This year has been an interesting one for sure. Interesting is probably the best way to sum it up because it has been filled with ups and downs.
I found myself again.
But it was a struggle to do that.
There were a lot of tears.
But there was a lot of laughter… sometimes so that there wouldn’t be many tears.
I made some great new friends.
I said goodbye to some toxic people. Well, a lot of toxic people.
I moved across the country.
I started a new job.
I found my “home.”
I reconnected with people that I maybe haven’t treated the best over the past few years.
And most importantly, I figured out what I deserved.
Over the course of the past 360ish days, I’ve definitely learned some lessons…
1. Sometimes we make mistakes, and that’s okay.
I think this is the hardest thing to deal with when you are going through something tough like a divorce. You feel like you’ve made such a big mistake and everyone is judging you for it.
I started thinking of it in a different perspective… I mean, it was essentially a long relationship that went south. We don’t judge people for breaking up? Most of the times it’s a congratulations for getting out of the situation.
And that brings me back to my favorite word: perspective. It all depends on how you look at it. I think that if you can learn from your mistake and grow from it, it’s not a mistake at all. That’s what life is about. We make decisions, and we learn from them.
Life is full of bumps and turns and I think that’s what makes it such a wonderful ride. Because you can’t truly appreciate something amazing when it comes into your life if you’ve never experienced the terrible. Not wishing the terrible on anyone, but if you’re looking for a glimmer of sunshine on a cloudy day, it definitely teaches us more about ourselves than everything going perfectly would.
2. Laughter is truly the best medicine.
For as many tears as I had this year, I had just as much laughter… if not more. Sometimes that laughter only happened because it was the only way I could keep from crying.
Laughing is my favorite and for me, if I can laugh at least a little bit even on the most terrible days, things feel just a little bit better. Maybe this is why I will always laugh at the corniest jokes and dumbest things. 😉
3. Some people aren’t meant to be in your life forever.
This was a tough one to realize… this quote sums this up perfectly:
And it’s true. It’s hard to let go of those people sometimes, especially if they are near and dear to your heart, but sometimes… it’s the way it needs to be. They were there to help you through something or to give you a different perspective, and that was that.
4. Music is therapy.
There were a few songs this year that helped me get through some rough times (thank you Maddie & Tae, Adele and Eminem). Music, especially when you are going through some rough stuff, just has a way of speaking to your soul and making some things make so much sense. Thank you repeat. 😉
5. So is running.
I didn’t run for the first few weeks of the year and I missed having that time to sort out my mind. But getting in a good tough workout — tears included — is just like therapy for the soul. My favorite.
Side note: I didn’t run because I felt like it was more stressful to do it given what life was throwing my way. I know everyone is different when going through something tough, but if running makes you feel better — do it; if it makes you feel worse — do something else. Your love for running will always find you again.
6. Listen to your gut.
Our gut never lies. If I would have listened to it so many years ago… things would be mighty different. 🙂 That being said, listen to those red flags. They are there for a reason. You can’t explain it away, but your heart never lies and listening to those red flags today has helped me so much in the past few months…
7. You deserve to put yourself first.
God, was this a hard lesson. For so many years, for so long, I thought that if I made sure everyone around me was OK, then I would be OK. And sure, it felt like that, but I was such a lost person. I didn’t know how to answer a simple question: what do you want to do? I started to lose my backbone.
And I’ve worked on changing this over the past few months. It’s made some people mad. I’ve struggled with it a bit, but I’m slowly getting better at putting myself first and building a strong foundation so I can love and care for others because I love myself first.
I was talking to my friend Guy earlier this year and said, “I want to move back to Minnesota.” And about 8 months later, that dream became a reality.
Dreams do come true. If you let them. We are often the biggest barriers in having that be the case… don’t be your own barrier.
9. This too, shall pass.
I think when you are in a super difficult moment, this is the hardest one to believe. But slowly, with time, things get better. You cry a little less, you start to laugh a little more… suddenly, you aren’t thinking about “it” all the freaking time — and it hurts just a little bit less. This too, shall pass. Just let time run it’s course and you’ll be amazed at how far you come in three months, six months or even a year’s time.
10. Choose happiness.
I feel very strongly that happiness is a choice. You can go through hell and come back from it and dwell in the fact that you were there and what you experienced. Or you can chalk it up to an experience, walk away, and opt for a better life in front of you.
That’s what I choose. It was a rough few years, but the past is the past. It’s what made me into the person I am today, so while I would never wish it upon anybody, I know I am a stronger person because of what I went through.
And learning how to let go and forgive and forget, that’s what’s important. Holding on to my anger, my hurt, my negative feelings does nothing but hurt me. It’s hard, so freaking hard, but I know how much I like to be happy so that’s what I strive for. I feel like my perspective on life will never be the same, and maybe it’s hardened my soul a little too much. But I do know that happiness will always win.
What were some lessons you learned this year?
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