12 Things I Learned Last Year

things i learned last year
not knowing how to be loved

This last year felt like a huge challenge in being true to myself and my wants. (Although don’t they all, really?) My sense of self was tested and stretched and my ideas about who I am and what I want and where I’m going had to be re-evaluated. Every year should be like that you know, it keeps you growing and keeps you honest and true to yourself. (Even though oftentimes those feels are painful and sucky and complicated and maddening.) I like to take a look back at the year and catalog everything I learned as a reminder of what to bring with me into the new year.

Here are a few lessons that stick out:

Stepping away from your comfort zone can be an amazing thing. Even if things don’t go your way you’ll feel braver for it and that’s a truly wonderful feeling. Makes you want to pound your chest in victory and stuff.

Don’t feed yourself bullshit excuses. Sometimes something feels wrong and sometimes that’s just something you tell yourself because you’re afraid. Wisdom is knowing the difference between the two.

Falling in love is an incredibly scary feeling but being loved just as you are makes up for it. Let people love you, even when you’re afraid you’re just too bat-shit crazy and will ruin it all.

Some friendships just aren’t meant to be. You don’t have to do all of the work to make it work. It’s okay to let the friendship go. The only failure is in holding onto something that doesn’t nourish you.

There’s nothing wrong with being a walking talking contradiction, a collision of odd qualities and traits, an odd duck. It makes life interesting and your friends will be lucky to have someone in their lives just like you, craziness included.

There are some days when sitting around with a group of your favorite people laughing and telling dirty jokes is the best medicine ever. Not all healing has to be serious or cost $$$.

There will be times when you lose yourself.

As long as you don’t give up, as long as you find your way back, and you learn something new about yourself on your wanderings, that’s the part that matters.

You are good enough exactly as you are. You don’t have to dilute yourself and you don’t have to make yourself small so that others will like you. It’s true what they say, those that matter will love you exactly as you are.

You can make your daily routines sacred. Inviting God/Spirit/Divine/Universe into your life and into those mundane things that you do can add magic to your existence. Try it.

There are times when you need to let go of control, just a bit, in order to survive something unscathed. Bending, allowing yourself to move with the current instead of standing strong against it can be just as much a show of strength as not budging.

Pouring yourself into something you love, words, art, reading – it makes all the difference. Have your “thing” and if you don’t have a “thing” go out and find your “thing”.

Have boundaries and enforce them. Become a pro at saying “No, thank you.” “I can’t, but thank you for thinking of me.” and let the guilt about saying it go. If you want to say “no” then say it. Don’t drag it out and torture yourself trying to find a way to wiggle out of it.

What are some of the lessons you learned this year?  Let’s hear them!