Merry Christmas and happiest holidays to you, friends. It’s been quite some time since my last post, and to say my first quarter of graduate school was a whirlwind is an understatement. When I wasn’t reading nearly 300 pages a week or completing several assignments at a time, I was interning as a school social work intern or working in the admissions office at my graduate school. What little free time I had left was devoted to resting and relaxing and not much else. It doesn’t mean I didn’t think about you or have anything to say. On the contrary. This year, I leave 2017 with more wisdom and self-awareness than I thought possible. My only regret is leaving this realization to the very end–I mean, this is literally the last Monday of 2017. If I’m being honest, I think we oftentimes leave reflecting for this time of year, and that’s for better or for worst. The holidays and the cusp of a new year seem to be both a difficult and yet essential point in time where we typically take stock and evaluate our lives. We consider where we are and compare it to where we want to be. The problem is we often overlook how far we’ve come. How many times have you focused on the big picture and completely missed the little things that really do add up in the end? How many times do we beat ourselves up because we haven’t reached our final goal? When we do so, we do ourselves a disservice. By only focusing on the things we didn’t do, we lose sight of what we did–and that matters just as much as anything. As we leave one year behind and enter anew, I challenge you to reflect often (perhaps keep a small journal or jot down in your phone’s notes app) and record your victories–both big and small. Consider where you were at the start of the year and where you are now. I assure you, you’re not the same person. I assure you you’ve grown. I assure you you’ve had some wins and some losses. Those losses don’t have to define you in a way that makes you feel less than. Those losses are lessons that help you grow. As I finally take stock and evaluate 2017, here are five lessons I’ve learned that I hope we can all remember and apply in 2018:
Five. Put yourself first. Say “yes” to you. Prioritize you. Commit to you. It’s not selfish, it’s self-care. It’s self-preservation.
Four. Be honest, be vulnerable and go for it. Take the risk. Create the life you want.
Three. You deserve it all. The best, the most honest, the most beautiful and purest love in the world. Not only to be loved by others, but to be loved by yourself. To look in the mirror and think “yes, I’m exactly who I want to be.” To speak up and be proud of yourself. To be brave and open. You deserve the nicest and most caring people to walk into your life. You deserve it all, you know. The whole world. And you should never forget that.
Two. Stop worrying about being someone else’s definition of enough because you are already MORE than enough. Treat yourself like you’re enough because you deserve more than what people and this world give you.
One. Don’t be so lonely that you start reigniting toxic relationships and friendships that you previously extinguished. While you’re at it, stop entertaining people who treat you like you’re ordinary instead of the extraordinary human being you truly are. Finally, stop giving do-overs to people who repeatedly treat you like you’re just a leftover. You’re worth more. You deserve more.