23 was a very memorable year in my life. i went through some trying times that really tested me, but i also learned a lot about myself, made some beautiful memories and established some incredible lifelong relationships. 23 was so great that i actually didn’t want to turn 24 lol. but now i’m excited about this coming year and what God has in store for me. after one of the best weekends of my life, i sat down and reflected on my past year, and these are some of the most important things i learned that i want to continue to remind myself this year.
- give your all, or don’t do it at all – i can’t complain about things not happening in my life if i haven’t done anything to make them happen. yes, sometimes people get lucky, but i can’t look at that and expect it to happen to me. more often than not, things will not fall into my lap. i need to work for what i want, fight for the things that are important to me, make the sacrifices to get closer to achieving my goals. i can only expect as much as i put in. if i want it badly enough, i’ll do whatever it takes. there is no free lunch.
- it’s never as bad as it initially seems, there’s always a silver lining – life can get hard. unexpected things can happen and put me in a very troubling place. sometimes situations get so difficult, i don’t know how i’m going to get through it. but i’ve learned i will see it through. it may not happen immediately, it may take many years, but i need to remind myself that there is a reason for everything and believe there is something greater waiting in the wings. i love this quote and think it says it perfectly, “and once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive. you won’t even be sure whether the storm is really over. but one thing is certain. when you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. that’s what this storm’s all about.”
- love and forgive others – i never know whose life i could change by simply being kind and showing i care. people yearn for love and affection, and it’s the absence of it that causes so much pain and suffering in the world. i’ve been taught to show kindness, forgive and love people even when they wrong me. it may feel better to be vengeful and hurtful, but i’ve found that that feeling of satisfaction is so short-lived. whatever hurt that was inflicted on me doesn’t go away because i’m hateful towards the person who hurt me. i want to be someone who rises above that. even if it’s hard, i want to continue to challenge myself to always forgive and embrace those who wrong me with love because i truly believe that it’s what will help you move forward and heal.
- love yourself – i’m someone who struggled with this for a long time. i always felt like i was lacking and would always think i wasn’t smart enough, successful enough, pretty enough, thin enough, etc. this year was the year i really stopped trying to meet up to other people’s standards and began appreciating and loving who i am. i’m given one life and it’s given to live fully and with purpose. i don’t want to miss out on the amazing opportunities that are meant to be mine because i’m too occupied wanting someone else’s. i don’t want to try and meet up to society’s standards of beauty because i know for a fact that it doesn’t equate to happiness. bashing myself and thinking i’m lesser will only cripple me from being the best person i can be.
- be humble, be grateful and tell the people in your life you appreciate them – i’m lucky. i’m so incredibly lucky to have the life i have and i never want to take that for granted, or think that i’m great enough to deserve it. i’m able to practice my faith freely, i have a family who adores me and sacrifices so much for me, i have the best friends i could ever ask for. not everyone can say that, and i can’t forget that this is a privilege and a blessing. when you become comfortable with what you have and complacent, you often forget that you’re fortunate to have the people that do life with you and support you in your decisions and your growth as a person. every day i have with the people i love is a gift and i want to make a more conscious effort this year to make sure they know that.
thank you to everyone who has been a part of such a formative year of my life. thank you for loving on me and embracing me as i am, despite my weird quirks and loud af laugh. this past year was incredible and i was teary all day just thinking about this past weekend and how much was poured in. it did not go unnoticed and you are all dear to my heart. thank you, thank you, thank you.
cheers to 24 and more amazing memories!