This last year I have learned a lot. About myself. About other people. About life.

It’s not been easy, but it’s been a valuable life lesson none the less. These are but a few, but good ones:

1. I’ve learned that no matter how much anxiety you bring to yourself, you can never alter someone’s thoughts about you. Not always. Not everyone is going to like me, I’m ok with that now, I get it. Not everyone likes the same flavour ice cream and that’s ok- like my ice cream metaphor? Ha. I have learned that you can’t please everybody, try and think about yourself too. You shouldn’t have to explain why you are who you are, you shouldn’t have to change yourself or your opinions.

2. There are times when you’re going to break, you can only push yourself so hard and stretch yourself thin for so long before you give in. Realising a weakness is not a failure, it’s an opportunity for you to learn how to pick yourself back up. I’ve been guilty of feeling bad when I can’t give 110% in a job. I feel guilty when I don’t manage get all my jobs done, or I forget someone’s birthday. Shit happens, give yourself a break. If you’re burning the candle at both ends, something is gonna get lost somewhere, just be thankful that you don’t lose yourself.

3. It’s ok to ask for help. You don’t have to be strong all of the time. It’s exhausting.

4. The door swings both ways. Do not take all the responsibility of a relationship on your shoulders; whether it’s intimate, family or friendships. There’s a lot to carry by yourself! It is both parties’ responsibility to maintain a relationship; visiting, phone calls, texts, etc happens both ways.

So the next time someone says: “I haven’t seen you in ages, I thought you’d forgotten about me?”

Your inner response should reply: “And you let me?”

5. Be aware that people change. The people you went to school with are now grown up and, like you, have their own lives. People grow apart as there lives take them on different paths, don’t worry. With enough effort (on both sides) you can still be in each others’ lives. Just know that babies, careers, relationships, houses, all the grown up stuff, take time and a lot of energy; be patient and thoughtful.

6. It’s ok for you to be mad at people if they’ve hurt you. If you’re hurting or upset because of someone’s negative actions against you, don’t feel guilty for feeling that way.

7. Do not sweat the little things. I know, right? That’s easier said than done. But it’s not good for you, and can cause even more problems. Are you worrying about things that haven’t even happened yet? I’m talking about the “What if this happens? What if I can’t do this?”- it’s like worrying about ice cream that hasn’t melted yet (have I used ice-cream somewhere else?). These little things, you’ll realise, seem so stupid and tiny when something big eventually rears its ugly head. You’ll want to kick yourself for it. And, I am the ultimate culprit for doing this, and that’s why I’ll look old and haggard before any of you.

8. Don’t apologise if it’s not your fault. I’m forever sorry- even if I have done nothing. Someone bumps into me, I’ll say sorry. Someone spills their drink on me, I’m sorry. I am trying to break out of this habit. It’s hard.

9. Know when you’re in a rut and get out. Know yourself and identify negative changes early. Physically and emotionally. I wasn’t paying attention and it took me longer to recover.

10. Realise what you’ve got around you. I didn’t know just how good I had it until I didn’t have anything else. Until my crappy health smacked me in the face and made me pay attention. Don’t wait for a smack in the face.

As I said, just a few of the lessons I’ve learned this year. I want to thank all those who taught them to me one way or another.

A xo


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