You literally lasted all of 0.5 seconds, and yet were filled with so much adventure. But as 2018 approaches—how is it only two months away?—I can’t help but look back and think about everything that went down. Here are five of the biggest lessons that I’ve learned, so far, this year.
Look for it. Have it. Express it. I decided to make gratitude a bigger part of my life in 2017 and I haven’t been disappointed. But I soon realized, in order to make it a bigger part of my life, I had to actively look for it. The great and crazy thing about gratitude is that it really doesn’t hide itself. You don’t have to look long, hard, or far to find it. And so when I made space for it and sought it out, I was amazed at all the things I had to be grateful for. Once you look for it and find it, it’s important to have it and express it for all things. Often, so many of the “hard” situations I encountered simply required a perspective shift. This allowed me to see the good out of the situation, even if the only good was as simple as just having another day of life. So thank you 2017, for teaching me how to be grateful.
4. Expectations vs. Intentions
This particular lesson I learned from someone else; but they once expressed the importance of living a life full of intentions rather than expectations. One keeps you in control and the other keeps the control external. Whatever situation you may find yourself in, enter it with intentions rather than expectations. To begin with, your expectations do not match those of your neighbour so instantly you’re setting yourself up for disappointment. However, it’s been said – quite often too – that it’s the intention that counts. When you intend to do something, the only person you are holding accountable is yourself. When things don’t work out, the only one to blame is yourself. But when things do work out, you get the praise. Through this,2017 has highlighted the importance of collaboration over competition, choosing friendships based on people’s mindset over their demographic, the importance of individuality over conformity, and taste over trends. Thank you 2017, for showing just how much authority I have over my actions.
Now, this could be family, friends, lovers, or anything else that can be defined as a relationship. Simply put, sometimes you need to cut them. Realize that whatever you have to force, ultimately isn’t worth it. If you avoid entering into or dealing with conflict in any of your relationships, you are doing one of two things (or both). First, you are avoiding the inevitable, the breakup of relationship that couldn’t stand the test of a disagreement. Or second, you are putting off the bond/tightness that can come from two people resolving their differences. This year has shown me how certain people will withhold their opinions about you, thinking that it’s in the best interest of the relationship. News flash, a relationship where you don’t feel you can be open and honest with one another at any point, is not a relationship that will last long. The hurt, pain, numbness, whatever, that comes from the breakup will never hurt as much as the pain you endure when you stay somewhere you aren’t valued, challenged, and ultimately wanted. Thank you 2017, for helping me see my worth.
2. What’s yours will come
So much time is wasted envying and being jealous of other people…thankfully, that’s not how I spent my year. I have come to realize and accept that what belongs to me, no one else can take. This was a year of applying myself in every aspect of my life, and then sitting back and reaping the rewards of what I had diligently sown into. Friendships that I took the time to cultivate grew. Papers and tests that I researched and study for came back with good grades. Opportunities that I sought and opened the door for, allowed for amazing experiences that I would not have otherwise been a part of. Internships, scholarships, and awards were given to me because I took care of my own money rather than spend time counting someone else’s. The comparing game only led me headfirst into a life of anxiety and loneliness. So thank you 2017, for showing me that what’s mine will eventually find me when I do my part.
1. Take those risks
With all that being said, the biggest thing 2017 taught me was to take risks. I don’t believe I would have learned all of these lessons had I not taken risks in the first place. A risk is anything that leads you outside of your comfort zone. So no matter how small or big it may be, it will always bring something back – good or bad. Thankfully, the risks I’ve taken so far have been good to me and for me. I aim on continuing to be this bold, daring, risk taker as I close out the year and into 2018. Thank you 2017, for showing me that I should stop telling myself ‘no’, but rather to put myself out there, knowing if I fall short, it won’t be due to lack of effort.
With that remaining two months, go out there and thrive. Life is literally too short to just survive. Who knows, you might just surprise yourself in the best way possible.
P.S. Tell 2018 to go slower, will ya?