The Most Important Lessons I Learned in 2018

Happy (almost) 2019! It seems crazy to me that it's already almost January of the new year... I feel like just yesterday I was at the beach during the summer. If you've been following along since last year, you know I'm not the biggest fan of New Year's Resolutions. Only 8% of people stick to their fitness resolutions and I'm sure the numbers aren't much higher for anything else - I feel like it's almost a broken promise to yourself or to others that leads you to be even more discouraged. If you were to ask me, I'd say that every day when you wake up you need to decide what you want to change and what your priorities are and get whatever that is done, no matter how far into the year it is. That being said, I do always reflect on the past year and look back at all that I've learned after the Christmas festivities are over. I think it's safe to say that this year was full of lessons that were learned as a result of both positive and negative experiences, and I'm grateful for all of them. 

pure happiness with 3 of my favorite things - ice cream, my puppy, and my little sister

This year opened my eyes to how easily accessible joy is. I discovered that my morning coffee puts a smile on my face that lasts almost all day. I learned that plants make my heart happy. I learned that sunsets are the greatest work of art you'll ever see and that I can't help but feel thankful when I see them. I discovered that reading is the best therapy after a long day. I realized there is not much better than a big bowl of fruit to make your belly happy. I (even more so) uncovered my love for the sights and sounds of the early morning. I confirmed that running is my favorite way to make my brain, heart, and body content all at the same time. Joy, for me, has nothing to do with anything big. The keys to genuine happiness are spending time outside + with the ones you love, snuggling up in a blanket to read, drinking a fresh-fruit smoothie, and basking in the sun. I think I've become somewhat of a minimalist this year because I realized how little is truly needed in order to be happy.

Dreams don't work unless you do; it's as simple as that. This year tested me the most ever of just how hard I was willing to work for what I wanted. After working really dang hard, I can 100% say that if you put all your heart and soul and effort into something controllable, you won't be disappointed.

I'm not saying that you're better than anyone or that you deserve to be treated like royalty, but you do deserve respect. This year tested my self-respect and how long I would allow being treated in a way I didn't deserve. I think I let it go on too long, but I'm proud of myself for finally recognizing that I was mistreated and that I was worth more than that. You (and I) are worth more than being taken advantage of, made fun of, or ignored. If you're in a friendship or relationship or even just meet someone that treats you in any of those ways, it's important to let them know that you don't appreciate it. ADVOCATING FOR YOURSELF was one of the things that my mom stressed the most this year and I think it's finally drilled into my head.

 My first year in high school and everything is about looks - every girl wants to be the prettiest and the most well-liked by the guys. I get it, and I'm not going to judge - but honestly, it gets tiring that so much of life is focused on how pretty you are or how fit you are; that is CRAZZZYYY!!!!!!!!! NoBoDy cares if you are a supermodel if you are mean to people. NoBoDy cares if you workout seven days a week if you only care about yourself and never do anything to help others. So stop worrying if you're pretty enough or strong enough or skinny enough and focus on your health, happiness, and the well-being of those around you. Just have a pretty heart, people!!!! That's all you need!!!

I wrote this post explaining my feelings in detail, but in summary, your character does not have to be one-dimensional. I think when you really start to grow as an individual you realize that your personality becomes so complex and unique. Some things that you enjoy doing or ways you act may seem to contradict each other because it's not stereotypical, but stereotypes are overrated. Remember to never shrink yourself to fit in and that you are more vibrant than being able to be classified into a personality type.

I hope that 2018 was good to you, that you found joy in the little things, that you grew as an individual, that you were happy, that you didn't worry about what others thought of you, that you were thankful for what you have, that you worked hard to achieve something great, and that you did something to positively impact someone else's life. Wishing you SO MUCH joy in 2019! See you next year!

Stay on the sunny side,

1 comment

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