It took me a while to decide if I was going to write this post. Usually, year-end, new-year begins posts are so upbeat and speak of nothing but positives, accomplishments, and accolades. Pats on the back about how we secured the bag the last year and we’re destined to secure twice as many this year. Although my 2018 wasn’t terrible, it was definitely one for the books so I wondered if it was “blog-worthy.” That’s when I began to talk to friends and look around me and found that I related to more people than I thought.
2018 taught me a lot about growth.
I know that sounds cliché and everyone says that but for me, it definitely forced me out of shells that I’d become complacent in. I realized that I was going full speed ahead – but in circles. I’d become too comfortable in a job that I hated, yet I was going full speed to keep up my progress there. Project after project, meeting after meeting, all to keep good graces at a place that didn’t satisfy me at all. As a matter of fact, I remember the days I would pull up to the building at least 30-45 minutes early and still end up late because I’d sit in my car and procrastinate actually going in. In that same regard, I realized that a lot of the relationships I’d formed were not satisfying, either. Every time I looked up, there was someone asking for a favor or for a service that would usually either cost them money or exerted a lot of my time. These people weren’t concerned about the burden or time constraints that were placed on me – they simply knew that I may be skilled at something or “appeared” I guess to have spare time on my hands and felt no hesitancy and continuously asking for things.
To top off the circles I’d found myself jarring to get out of, I lost two family members back to back towards the end of the year – one being my absolute best friend and sole foundation for the woman I am today, my grandmother. Her death came like a whirlwind. It came at a time where I reached a transition in my life that I didn’t quite have the answers for, but knew it was needed. After a mind-altering conversation with a very close friend, I decided to leave my corporate job and take a 5-week break before starting another. Within those five weeks I decided to go back to my hometown and spend time with my family. No one knew I was there because I didn’t want or need any distractions: my sole purpose was to see the people who kept me grounded. While there I felt like that may be the very last time I saw my grandmother in a state where she could speak to and recognize me. And just as I’d expected, it was. A few weeks after I returned back to Dallas from my visit, she passed away. My grandmother was always one of those people who planned her life out – including the arrangements that would follow her death. And with these plans, she left me in charge of everything – her funeral, organizing family business, etc. If that wasn’t enough responsibility, her funeral was the Saturday before I started my new job on Monday.
If nothing else caused me to wake up, value time, and appreciate the fact that we could mold and command a life for ourselves – this did. It took a while for me to gain that understanding, though. I walked around in a fog for a while – some days sad, some days completely checked out, other days wanting nothing but to be left alone. But then, reminiscing the woman she was to me, I had to remember how positive she always was, even in her very last days of living.
So no, my 2018 wasn’t the absolute best, but it taught me several important lessons..
Moving forward into 2019, I promised myself to never “stick around” in a situation if I have a gut feeling it isn’t for me. This applied to jobs, romantic relationships, friendships, and overall life ventures. If you feel it’s not for you, why wait around just for it to be confirmed over & over again? We often ask for signs more than once just because we don’t like the ones that have been presented to us.
I also challenge myself to take chances. Life is short and there’s no better reminder of that than death. So, start that business. Write that blog. Create that podcast. Apply for that new job. Dust off your resume. Shoot your shot. Move. Start your savings account. Learn a new skill. Spark a new friendship. Whatever it may be that you’ve hesitated on, slept on, daydreamed about, and discussed until your face turned blue – do it! The only difference about 2019 than any other year is that it’s new, a fresh start. We can’t recover time wasted but we can ensure we don’t add any more to it.
I wrote out several affirmations for myself, all centered around finding and defining balance for myself. I have several personal and professional goals I want to reach but we often place added pressure on ourselves when in reality, we’re only one person. So instead of jumbling all my goals together and expecting to see 95% progress by the end of January 2019, I’m pacing myself. Life is meant to be enjoyed, not endured. In 2019, take time for yourself. Plan spa days. Travel more, even if it’s only into the heart of your city to explore. Read more. Take time each day with no distractions to breathe and re-center your mind and emotions. Going into 2019, remember that the only way we can let time get the best of us – is if we let it.