20 Lessons for 2020

This decade has been a whirlwind. And if I’m honest, while it has been incredibly challenging, I’ve learned so much about myself and my place in the world. If you’d told me at the beginning of the decade all the life changes I’d experience, I would have run for shelter and never looked back. For that, I’m glad we don’t get too much foresight into what will happen over a decade.

 

In honor of that, I took some time to reflect on the many lessons I’ve earned. The decade fostered a lot of growth, outer body experiences, self reflection and most importantly, bloom. I’ve compiled a list of the top lessons from this past decade. I’m sure many of you can relate to some, if not, all of these. 

 

20 Lessons

 

 

  • Give yourself room to pivot.

 

It’s necessary to make space for your dreams to bloom. And because of that…sometimes you have to pivot. Remain flexible and open minded about the journey. Be willing to take risks.

 

  • Make space for who you’re becoming.

 

Growth is continual. It’s an arc that never ends. As long as that is in the forefront of the mind, the sky is the limit. By making space in your mindset for who you are destined to be…you will grow monumentally. Because you’re not limited by the confines of who you are today.

 

  • The way you look isn’t your biggest asset.

 

I started the decade in a very superficial space. I was seeking approval and love from exterior sources. I dumbed down my unique qualities and focused on the shoes, the makeup, the clothes, the gym memberships. My own insecurities made me that way.

  1. Skinny and well are not interchangeable.

Habits create wellness, not body size. Balance is well. Positive self talk is well. Cultivating relationships is well. There are tons of non body related things that play into wellness. Glad I’m not in that matrix anymore.

 

  • Quantity over quality. In all things.

 

Self explanatory.

 

  • Therapy is cool.

 

This is two fold. I have always been into seeing a therapist. I had one in high school. And I never really talked about it. Because I felt broken. I loved it though. So, cool. But now…therapy has hit the mainstream and everyone is dangling that word out like it was just created. So, cool. 

 

  • Judgment of others is a reflection of your feelings about yourself.

 

The very things I judged other people for were the very things I didn’t love about myself or I envied it. Recognizing that has made me much more aware of taking that energy and doing the self work.

 

  • Diet culture really sucks. 

 

…and they make a killing from our need to fit in with thin culture. It’s exhausting. Diets work until they don’t. Learning to trust my body and listen to her has been the most liberating experience. BUH BYE diets!

 

  • Your voice stretches further and wider than you think.

 

So use it. And I did toward the end of the decade. I used to fear rejection. But what I have to say is important. We all have something important to say.

 

  • Discipline is the key to success.

 

My 2020 word is discipline. As a creative, I have a hard time with this one. I love allowing things to happen as opposed to structuring time to make things happen. But I’m at my best when I create a loose routine with room for error. Not airtight like some, but no freestyling 24/7 either. 

 

  • Don’t let social media dictate how you feel about yourself.

 

Period. Because I’ve seen people ball out on social and struggle in their real lives. I was one of them. Channeling how I feel about me through what I think others have that I don’t created way bigger problems. Social media has its place. Gauging your value is not it.

 

  • Partying and the fast life are severely overrated.

 

I partied a lot in my day. Used to know all the newest spots, parties and social clubs to join. And I always felt more lonely when it was all said and done. I was chasing a feeling. And because I was chasing, it meant I was running. From myself and my own work. 

 

  • Friends will come and go.

 

I’ve been hurt. I’ve hurt people. And some of that hurt lead to severed friendships. And there have been relationships I’ve had to let go just because it was time to do so. Our lives were not on the same page anymore. And that’s okay too. God has a way of supplying us with what we need when the timing is right. To teach us, to grow us, and to show us exactly who we are.

 

  • Present over perfect. 

 

In the moment. Relishing the moment. Embracing the moment. And trying not to overthink by questioning why things are a certain way or what I did yesterday that I wish I could change. Just there in the moment.

In my marriage, as a mother, as a friend, and as a business owner, that’s my goal.

 

  • Love is a verb.

 

We are made in love. We are love. But in order to tap into that, we have to access our true selves. So we can do what we are built to do. Radiate our light in the world. I have gotten a grip on who I am and now I can love authentically. It’s ongoing and constant. Be love and show love.

 

  • Codependency in the black community is real. 

 

This one has been loaded for me. I love the tribal, communal love in the black family. But what I’ve had to challenge was the idea that we are a monolith. And that because I don’t want to cling on for dear life to every family member or close family friend, I don’t care. Maybe it’s important to be my own woman without my identity being wrapped up in someone else. I learned this big time when my mom passed. There is a way to have close family ties without extreme codependency. 

 

  • It’s okay to not have all the answers.

 

It is. And the unknown is where the good stuff happens. It unleashes our curiosity. That childlike wonder. And I’m learning daily to be okay with that. To sit with it.

 

  • Be comfortable alone so you can give in your relationships.

 

Cliche, I know. But it’s so true. Alone can mean a lot of things. You can have a boyfriend, lots of friends, family and great working relationships and still find comfort alone. Alone and lonely are not synonymous. But as stated above, codependency comes from the need to cling to others for necessities. So learning to be alone in a meaningful way is key.

 

  • Time is the most valuable tool we have. Use it wisely.

 

You can make money back. But you can’t get time back. Each second, we are moving closer to our expected transition. And time is a great resource when used wisely. But we often take it for granted. Wake up a few minutes earlier, leave the house earlier, hug a second longer. All that is important. Make space for things that mean a lot. 

 

  • Life will go on after significant loss. God has equipped us to cope with traumatic experiences.

 

Biggest lesson of the decade for sure. I used to think to myself, I would rather leave the earth than have to experience the death of my mother. That sounds so bizarre. But it was true. She was my backbone. Then, it happened. And it opened up a brand new way of healing. I was broken and completely undone. Spent that time alone. Unpacked a lot of trauma. Gained a lot of weight. And shifted my outlook on life itself. The things we think matter so much, can matter so little. And the things we say can be put off until tomorrow or the next day, may need our attention most.  That’s been part of my healing process. And my life has gone on and I am moving forward. We all have that in us. The ability to take experiences that could break us (and sometimes, they do) and making them into meaningful tools to become stronger than ever.

 

I’m looking forward to the lessons of the new decade. I’m up for all the challenges I’m sure it will bring. I’m also grateful I made it out of the decade in one piece. It was a LIFE CHANGING one.

 

May this decade bring you exactly what you need. <3

 

Peace, Love, and Wellness,

Jess

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