The curtain is about to be drawn on 2015. The end of yet another year is here. I’m sure I don’t speak for myself when I say that 2015 has taught me many lessons.
It’s pretty cliché to say things like “new year, new me” because the truth is, I doubt I’ll be a different person in 2016 or the years after. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. But I guess the things I’ve learnt, no matter how big or how small, serve to make me a better version of myself.
Hence, I decided to jot down a list of things I learnt this year. After all, listicles seem to be all the rage right now! I guess some of the things I’ve written are probably not new insights in any way. But this little list of mine will serve as both a reminder to myself, as well as a summary of my year. So here goes!
1) Walk Away from the Person Who Hurts You
It might not be intentional. Believe me when I say some people cause you pain without intending to do so. This person may be a friend, it may be a lover. Whichever the case, this is an attachment of some sort, and someone you thought would be with you for the long haul. But when he tells you he no longer loves you or cares for you, walk away. You are no longer serving each other. Yes, it will be a pain you feel you wouldn’t be able to bear. But at the end of it all, you will be better for it. It will seem like the light has dimmed for awhile. But when you pull through, you will find peace.
2) But It’s Always Okay to Try
Of course, at the beginning, you will be clouded with the illusion that things can be the same again. You always hope for the best, and thus, you will stay to keep a dying thing alive. But when it ends nonetheless, you will be consumed with regret. Why didn’t you leave before being left? Don’t fill your head with such questions. Ignore that voice in your head. You stayed because you had to give it your best shot. Don’t beat yourself for that. Staying will be something you will never regret. You will never question if you could have done things differently.
3) Don’t Lose Yourself
Standing on your own two feet again gives you all the time in the world. You can finally focus on no one else but you. This will make you indulge in things you love, but stopped doing for whatever reason. Whether it’s reading, writing, catching a play, travelling. Doing it all again will make you wonder why you ever stopped. Whether you’re alone or with someone in the future, don’t ever give up on the things that make you who you are. These are the things that will always make you happy.
4) You Don’t Need Late Nights to Have Fun
You didn’t think it would happen, but having a full-time job will have profound effects on you and your social life. Waking up early every morning and working from 9-6 (sometimes later) consumes your energy. And when you’re not at work, you will feel an urge to crawl into bed. Take some time to rest, but don’t forget to have a social life. But remember this doesn’t mean late nights in a crowded place. You will find joy in grabbing a simple dinner with a friend, or doing a fun activity in the day. Not staying out late doesn’t mean you’re no longer the “fun friend”, even if people say you’ve become boring. You haven’t.
5) Keep Your Circle Small; Quality over Quantity
They didn’t lie when they say that getting older means losing your friends. It’s true. We all get caught up in our own lives and chasing our own dreams. There’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just how life works. But the friends who never fail to check up on you once in awhile, the ones who drop everything to see you when you just need someone…those are the ones to keep. You will realise that no one is too busy. It’s all a matter of finding time. And the ones that find the time for you are the friends of real value. Find the time for them too.
6) Keep Your Heart Open
It’s human to be fearful of being vulnerable again once you’ve been hurt. You might get comfortable being by yourself again, your mood is no longer dependent on anyone else. And then one day, someone might come along. You will be afraid, less trusting. You might think that you’re a bad judge of character. But my dear, sincerity is a hard thing to fake. This person might have the best intentions for you, better than anyone else you know. Open your heart to him. It might be the best decision you’ve made this year. It will make you realise one thing – it is always in ‘losing’ that you are given.
7) Family Above All Else
As things change in your life, you will search for a constant. Friends come and go, lovers become ex-lovers. But there’s one group of people who will never leave – your family. Whether you’re broke or broken, happy or sad, the unconditional love from your family members will never waver. Never forget your parents or your siblings, wherever life takes you. When all else fails, you will always have home.
8) Being Stuck Doesn’t Mean You’re Not Progressing
In the working world, people come and go. Some move on to greener pastures. And as everyone around you move around, you will feel like you’re stuck. They say our generation is never contented. People change jobs all the time. But just because you’re in the same place doesn’t mean that you’re not moving forward. You are learning everyday; each task is a new challenge. The skills you pick up today will help you in the future. So ignore the stagnant feeling that nothing is changing. You are a work in progress. And you will get to where you want to be one day.
9) Take Time to Be Grateful
When life rewards you with good things, it is easy to get caught up in enjoying them. That job you love, that person you enjoy spending time with, that expensive dish you can afford to eat, your warm bed at night. Take some time to be grateful for them. 2015 has shown you that the world is not entirely a happy place. Terrorism, wars, diseases and hunger are rampant. They make the headlines every day. You are so incredibly lucky to be safe and comfortable. Don’t ever take that for granted.
10) Be Kind to Yourself
Self-compassion is a beautiful thing, and incredibly hard to achieve. We are always told to be compassionate to others, but hardly to ourselves. In life, you will hurt and you will fail. Those are unavoidable. But you pick yourself up every time. Give yourself some credit for that. And when you feel like you’re flawed, realise that nobody is perfect. You possess some wonderful qualities as well. Recognise them. You have always been one to put others first. Now show the love you have for people to yourself. And always remember, you are enough.
Happy New Year,