It’s been a rough one, guys. For all the talk of 2016 being the worst year of, well, ever, for me personally, 2016 was a blast. I fell in love, called the greatest city in the world HOME, stayed up super late laughing with friends, turned 31, traveled solo, got published in a magazine, started a creativity collective AND checked off every single item on my proverbial bucket list (which is mostly a scary thing cause holy shit, now what?) Side Note: Most of that stuff was done while sipping gin, which makes the memories foggy but wonderful.
2017 however? Well, it’s going to end on a great note, I know that. But the first 3 months have been unpleasant. (That is a joke. It’s been absolute hell, but sometimes I like trying out new words that I don’t use very often.)
The bright side in all this is that 1) the first quarter of the year is almost over. (Sometimes you just have to give yourself a time limit and that’s mine.) And 2) well, I’m wiser. Which is great for me but not as great for my next boyfriend. #KnowItAll
My go-to way of coping when hard shit happens has always been to just put my head down and barrel through but I actually hate doing that. It may have served me well years ago, but I’m older now and I’ve learned a fair bit about how to cope, so things need to change. I don’t want to stop growing and thriving for one little second.
I keep an ongoing list with me at all times of truths I’m learning day by day, so that I can reference them when I need to, as a reminder of things I believe in and value. Sometimes when you’re in the middle of a mess, it’s easy to forget that you once had some thoughts, made some sense and trusted in a few things.
Here are some home truths, life lessons, words of wisdom and honest thoughts I’ve had, learned and gained from the past three months. Use them at your own risk (but they’ve all helped me!)
» There is no room for negotiations when it comes to someone’s feelings.
» Two seemingly opposite things can be true for you. I don’t know how that works, but it does. Example: I want to be seen as the kind of person who can pack up her life and move to Paris. I also want to move to Paris. One doesn’t cancel the other out. But both need to be acknowledged.
» There is a difference between someone hurting you and someone doing something that you don’t like.
» The reasons why you start something can be very different from the reasons why you continue something. Both are okay.
» If that’s the way you see things, then that’s the way you see things. (There might be a better way though.)
» Feeling connected and feeling supported are very different things.
» Remember that you DO know how you want to feel. You might not think it matters, but that’s a different issue.
» Sometimes, in order to move forward, you first need to stop.
» Changing your thinking can change your life, but it’s extremely hard. (I like to think that’s why the reward is so great.)
» Secure people don’t say they love you, then blame you. Successful people don’t pat you on the back and then point out your flaws. Confident people don’t get jealous when good things happen to you. Happy people don’t want you to be sad. Lesson: People are flawed. Pay attention to your source.
» You can admire what someone does and not want to do the same thing.
» No one else knows what you’re failing at.
» Your reward for doing a thing is how you feel once you’ve done it.
» You can write for yourself and still be happy when other people read your work. And if you’re writing for other people? Well, that’s totally cool too. Creativity doesn’t need to be so deep and pretentious.
» Giving second chances does not make you weak.
» Likewise, someone needing a second chance does not make them weak.
» Don’t bank the goodness. You still have moments of gratitude and joy during tough times. Don’t try to feel the good stuff less during times when you are okay so that you can access it when times are hard. It doesn’t work like that. It feels like it does, but it doesn’t. Use up every last ounce of happiness you have. THAT will propel you forward.
» Feelings are based on things that are happening. When different things happen, you will feel different ways.
» Failure to one person is totally different from failure to another person.
» Don’t get your circumstances confused with your identity.
» In times of great trouble, who you reach out to will shock you. Pay attention to that. There’s something in it.