Ok, I know I’m about a month late on the whole ‘let’s reflect on the previous year & focus on making the next even better,’ crap. But let’s face it, sometimes that reflection period takes a bit longer that the 10 second countdown to 2019!
So let me give you a brief recap of my year- it was the most trying year to date. I lost a lot of people. One after another, through death, respect and so on. But it was also a year of challenge & creativity, where I’ve never felt more confident in who I am, what I want & what I can achieve. From all of the chaos, here are some things that I have learned through it all:
A bit of advice I received, in a dive bar, from a very intoxicated friend & yet, probably the best. I used to be so concerned with whether what I did made people like me or made them happy, instead of doing what I knew was necessary & right. Sometime’s drunk advice is pure gold. By standing up for myself & standing by my decisions, I gained a whole new level of love & respect for myself. And I think others did too. And though not everyone was happy with certain decisions (and some may have not even liked me afterwards), it finally felt like I was being taken seriously. YOU CANNOT & WILL NOT PLEASE EVERYONE – and that’s ok.
I’ve been clapping this out since 2016, but this year was a biggie. I decided to remove all the negative energy from my life & feed. If someone or something was causing me constant grief, anger, frustration or annoyance, I unfriended, unfollowed & removed myself from that friendship. It’s nothing personal, it’s just… what’s the point? Life is too short to be constantly dragged in the mud by people or things who do not add value & substance to your life. If it isn’t making you a happier human, you’re probably better off without it.
*Warning* I spent hours deleting people from social media.
But social media is sooo deceiving. I think sometimes people assume my life is all sunshine & rainbows because of all my posts. Newsflash, it isn’t. That photo of me on Insta doing yoga in Croatia, yeah I was answering emails the majority of that class. Or the one of me diving into the Adriatic… 30min before that, I accidentally ate a wasp. Yep, you read that correctly. Half my lip was swollen & I cried. Glamorous, I know. And I laugh because I follow all these accounts & I just think, “What was going on BTS, before, or after this photo? What all is real & authentic?” Because life isn’t picture perfect. I’ve learned that it’s ok to be a bit more honest & real on social media. It’s ok to laugh at yourself every now & then.
I always compared my past to my future, which didn’t make a lot of sense because the future hadn’t happened yet. Therefore, comparison wasn’t really fair. I would become so overwhelmed with past mistakes & my future plans, that I would forget where I was that moment. I was neglecting the now. And I recently went on this rant (like I do) to a friend about how when I’m 80 years old, I’m not going to be concerned with what job I did or did not have. And that’s IF I make it to 80! Because there is absolutely no guarantee that I will live that long or what tomorrow or the next day will bring. 2018 could not have been more proof that life is too short.
As stated above, this was a year of loss. And when I look back, I wish I would have made more of an effort. Maybe just one more call or one more visit. We should have taken more photos. I should have written more about the special moments & even the not so special ones. I’ve really beat myself up about it. And when people are taken from you so suddenly, it’s the worst. Even when friendships end or you aren’t sure when the next time you’ll see someone is, hold onto the moments & people that helped build & shape you. Because one day, they will just be memories.
OK… not all the time. And definitely not if you’re intentionally hurting or walking all over someone else in the process. But sometimes you need to put your wants & needs first. Do what’s best for you because you deserve that! You deserve that job promotion, that trip, or heck even if that means using the mens restroom because there is no line & you’re about to pee your pants. Boys, we need that stall more than you do.
I’m not one who struggles with confrontation. But I do sometimes have a hard time letting people know how I feel or what I’m going through. And I think that, at times, I’ve thought that sharing how I feel was almost a sign of weakness – which it isn’t. If anything, using your words & actually talking about it is the exact opposite. It took me awhile to understand it, but being able to show your emotions & being open about them shows strength & awareness. And you don’t want to go regretting not having said anything.
And if that isn’t good enough, keep trying. Mistakes make you human & teach you something.
I end with what I’ve always told myself: Be the person your younger self would look up to, your current self would respect & your future self would be proud of.
A midwestern gal raised in Oklahoma & the face behind DANIYORK.com - created to share my life, loves & all the crazy in between.