To say 2018 was an eventful year would be an understatement. From becoming certified as a holistic wellness coach to WERK Your Curves finally becoming a thing to selling my mom’s house…and all the in betweens, there is one word for this 2018: growth.
It’s the first year in a LONG time that I can say it was better than the previous and things are on the uptick. I’m eternally grateful for all the moments and those who shared them with me. It was a journey to say the least but I am so glad that it’s coming to a close. I have high anticipation for 2019…more growth, more healing, more loving, and more establishing.
With that being said, while I won’t give a full recap of all the good, bad and indifferent things that happened over the last 365 days, I will reflect on the lessons learned. To be honest, that’s the more important part. Events happen to teach us. They come to grow us and shape us. I’m forever grateful for the school of 2018…I’m a much better woman because of her.
Here are my top lessons learned for the year:
No one will look out for you the way God does. I realize, in my time of solitude, that turning to God and truly trusting Him is the best way to go about doing anything. I was really stuck when I tried to do things on my own. He sent me Derek when He knew my mom was going to soon transition, sent me Jay when I was spiraling out of control, and this year, he sent me friends and business partners to help my professional growth at a time I thought it was over. God is always on time and sovereign. He looks out for me like no other and I am eternally grateful for that. I will continue to lean on my faith in 2019 and beyond.
Grief is not linear. Stages of it look different on everyone. It is, however, a thread of connection. I didn’t manage my grief very well right after my mom passed away. I will be the first to admit it. I played the role really well, made it seem as though I was fine and it was business as usual. It wasn’t okay. The holidays were exceptionally hard. I didn’t want to participated and in that, did not push to see family. People would tell me “what I did was xyz” or “you need to think on the good times.” “You’re in xyz stage of grief.” Well, I hate to be the bearer of breaking research news, but those stages and the expectations of managing grief in a cookie cutter way is a bunch of mumbo jumbo. I had to grieve my way. In that, I was able to connect with some incredible people in the same position. That’s the thread…we all will lose or have lost people who mean the world to us. It’s not up to you to determine when or how and it’s also not up to you how anyone else handles loss but YOU! It’s given me a new sense of empathy and compassion I wouldn’t have otherwise. Again, I am grateful.
Intentional relationships are essential and need nurturing. As mentioned before, I met some incredible people this year. With that, I had to learn how to nurture those connections in order for them to bud into authentic relationships. For me, it means if someone crosses my mind, I may send a quick text or ask to meet for coffee. It doesn’t have to be hours upon hours on the phone, in email, texts…keeping it simple is real and doesn’t feel forced! A subtext of this lesson, too, is everyone you meet does not have to become part of your inner circle. That doesn’t mean that you’re not interested in the relationship, but rather, you know how to prioritize the important ones. It changes the game when you stop spinning your wheels on relationships that are growing you.
Ask for what you want as though you already have it. This one is straight forward. Want something? Ask for it. But ask with confidence and without hesitation. The worst thing that can happen is hearing no. That’s okay too. The more you ask, the more you put yourself in line to receive.
Put your head down and do the work. The rest will come. I remember when I first started, I was looking for validation at every turn. It was so consuming: emotionally, mentally and physically. It wasn’t until I just did the work and stopped talking too much about it, did I find suitable opportunities catered for me. It was like I had the juice. Just work. Be confident in it. It will fall into place the way it should.
Trust your gut. If you have an aching feeling about something or someone, trust it. Don’t let your willingness to be open and kind stop you from guarding your heart.
Not knowing what you’re doing and how you will get there is ok! The idea of perfection is one that I used to struggle with so hard. I hated the idea of doing something wrong or embarrassing myself. But all those things are ok! It’s actually better than ok. It’s part of the process. Don’t try so hard to be perfect and do everything right the first time…be willing to make mistakes. These are learning opportunities. You will make your destination…keep pushing.
Identify your core values. I recently did an exercise that was designed to line out my core values. It was telling and reassuring. The importance of knowing what your core values are and placing them at the forefront in what you do ensures that you are doing meaningful work each day. My values are my faith in God, my family (both immediate, distant, and chosen) and purpose. Each day, my motivation revolves around those three things. Anything that is taking me away from those core values has no space in my life.
No is a standalone answer. Enough said.
Character traits are a gift or a curse. It’s up to you how you maximize those gifts. I’m a lot of things. One of my dominant character traits is my way with people. At a time, it wasn’t used properly and it came across as manipulative or all over the place because I had so many different types of friends and could mold to each group. These days, I allow my authentic self to shine always and find real connection more important than popularity. It’s one of the best things I have to offer. Me.
I love the woman I’m becoming. She’s legit.
What lessons have you learned this year?