9 Lessons I Hope You Learned In 2019


1. You are far stronger than you could ever give yourself credit for.

Life is a massive smack to the head some days and often our discomfort can drive us into a state of isolation and confusion. Let’s not deny it, it is a punishing world. But what can we learn from the hardships we’ve pulled ourselves through? Just that- that somehow, we always pull ourselves through them. We learn that our resilience is something to admire. That our strength is something to appreciate. And that our journey is nothing but our own. In a perfect world we wouldn’t have to face mountains built to make the journey hard for us, but facing them reinforces that we are so much stronger than we give ourselves credit for.

2. People can only meet you as deeply as they have met themselves.

Everybody we meet is a teacher we can learn something off. But it is inevitable that not everybody is going to understand us. We’re all so complex as beings it would be literally impossible. We’re all at different levels of intellect, maturity, spirituality, academic reasoning, etc. People will only respond to things in the way they know how. After all, everyone sees life through a different lens. Of course, that does not excuse any adverse behavior, but this can be a disclosure that they just haven’t met you where you are because they are yet to meet themselves at a deeper level. They are on their own journey of ebb and flow to. The willingness another person shows to at least listen, acknowledge and care is all we can ever ask for. The people that can do that? They may just be the ones here that are meant to understand you.

3. Never rely on others for your own self-happiness.

Expectations are the devil. Why have them? Why make up silent rules for others to abide by in order to feel happy? We are all so individual, relying on someone else to make us happy is not a healthy game. It’s not fair on others and it’s not fair on ourselves. Think about this- if we were to lose everything around us, what do we have left? We only have ourselves. Shouldn’t we be our own best friend first? Our happiness within will be reflected in our relationship choices, our social circles, our health and vitality, the way we treat others and the treatment we allow from others. The higher your self-happiness is, the more you will attract the right experiences AND the right people in your life who deserve you.

4. Closure is an inside job.

We expect the conclusion of our relationships to have a resolution and be healthy and unanimous because that’s the only way to move forward right? Wrong. Many a time we don’t get to choose, and that is a possibility that we have to surrender to. We get endings thrown at us out of nowhere and it is unrealistic to expect closure to just come with it. Ideally yes, we want it to help us move on, but to expect cooperation from the person you need closure from is not going to work. If they couldn’t be relied on to show cooperation when you were united, they ain’t going to show it to you when you’re not. Have your own back and don’t sit around waiting for it. We don’t always get given closure, it’s up to us to make it for ourselves.

5. It’s ok to ask for help.

This isn’t exactly easy for many people. Especially those who have spent a lot of time relying on themselves to solve their own problems. Letting people in is a very weird feeling, but refreshingly, it can be helpful. While the thought of asking for help may be seen by some as a weakness, it ultimately proves it is rather an act of strength. There are just some things we can’t handle on our own, some things require us to call on the support of others and accept the love of those we trust to help us get through them. Faced with bullies? Ask for help. Need a week off work for your mental health? Ask for help. We cannot solve everything on our own and trust me when I say, that is not a bad thing.

6. You will always be the bad guy in someone else’s story.

This is something we cannot control. As humans we are full of thoughts, emotions, personal insecurities and all have outer-social influences manipulating our views, this is why another person’s opinion of us means nothing. Alongside the influx of conflicting influences, it will always come down to the concept that hurt people, hurt people. It’s natural to take someone else’s behavior personally while failing to remember that for them, to take time out of their day to hurt someone else, shows us they are in a great deal of pain themselves. How do we respond? We breathe. They are simply showing us who they are. This is where we work out what we need for our own wellbeing. If we are there for them when they return with a healthier perspective or whether we continue our journey without giving them a second thought.

7. Live like your life is short, because it is.

Inevitably. We all know this yet it is something that is scary for many to confront. Tomorrow is not guaranteed to anybody, yet we have been conditioned to live with caution and will do our best to avoid uncomfortable situations, even the ones that something amazing could come out of! One day we’re having a conversation about life with a loved one and the next, they’re gone. One day we’re having fun at the beach with a friend, the next, they’re being told by their doctor that the mole on their shoulder is cancerous. It’s not a hypothetical scenario, it happens more often than we could ever be comfortable thinking about. Find joy in the little things, put your phone away and go watch the sunset, sit under the moon and watch the bats flying across the incredible star-filled sky. We’re not owed time, we are given time, fortunately, we have the power to make it as magical as we so please.

8. You deserve to be happy.

Not superficial, #blessed, happy-for-the-gram happy. Rather pure, genuine happiness. The kind of happy that means we don’t doubt for a second that we are loved. The happy where we are obsessed with our day job. The happy where we laugh so hard with the people we adore that it hurts to even breathe the next day. The happy of having a loyal support network who will defend us behind our back and be honest to our face. The happy feeling content in our own skin. There are endless ways to feel genuine happiness and they are all worth spending time for. Let’s make this a priority in 2020.

9. You are actually amazing.

We are our own worst critic. But if we don’t have a healthy opinion of ourselves then others won’t either will they? Why is it easier to focus on shortcomings than it is all the good that we bring to the world? We are actually amazing. Think of all the hurt we’ve been dealt yet still continue to smile, think of the times we’ve stood up for others in unjust situations, the times we’ve all come together in crisis, the times we’ve done something that scares us only to have been rewarded so favorably, and think of all the art in the world that wouldn’t be possible without a sole individual’s imagination. There’s no ‘mediocre’ in having a life you can do great things with. Let’s not treat it as such.