Friday, January 17, 2014

2013 in Life Lessons

It may be sentimental or trite, but I can't help but feel excitement at the beginning of every year.  It's my chance to take personal inventory about what happened in the past 12 months.  It's the time to look at all of the things that were really happening while we were busy living our lives in hopes to find singular truths.  The results from the introspection aren't always fluttery and light. Sometimes, they are the gritty life lessons that are hard to admit to yourself, let alone put on paper so that they can stare you in the face.  It's for those moments of clarity I write this list.  

In 2013 I learned: 

-  To no longer use busy as an excuse.  We are all busy. No one is more or less busy. It’s about making time when it’s important.  

- Showing vulnerability does not always equate to weakness. It equates to realness. Business is not always the place to be vulnerable. It can be, but be wise and know when it is not. 

- To breathe in to situations that are difficult instead of retracting. Confrontation, regardless of the circumstance, can not always be avoided. It did not kill me, it made me less afraid. 

- I still let fear rule too many areas of my life. This is a work in progress lesson. 

- To embrace the people and situations that offer opposition and be thankful for the opportunity to question and grow. 

-  To turn my introverted tendencies into talking points, not career stoppers. 

-  The best decisions in my life have been the ones I've made based on instinct not over-thinking. 

- Culture shock is real. It’s scary. It’s overwhelming. But at the end of the day,  it is just something else to overcome. 

-  To accept that when I have said I can't do something, it has most often meant that I am unwilling to do something. 

-  For every step forward, it’s okay to take one or two more to adjust.  Moving forward is important, but so is taking a moment to steady yourself before moving on.

- The stories we tell ourselves become the novels we live.  Negative self talk only results in negative endings.  Say it again, now. 

Next year I hope to:
- make more space in life for those I love and the things I love. Making space means that I'll have to let go of a few things in the process. Bring it on. 
- stop apologizing so often and stop minimizing my thoughts. 
- spend less/save more (Still didn't conquer that one)

A nod to my favorite band: 
Matt Pryor, of The Get Up Kids fame, wrote a great song about New Years.  He wrote "Don't let the pouring rain, temper your day-by-day. Don't let the bones the closet may hold get in the way.  After a long dark night, bathe in the morning light.  Then take your return, the lesson you learned: You'll get it right."

We're all just trying to get it right. So may your 2014 be filled with growth. May you have patience with yourself and with others and keep a sense of good humor throughout the process.  You may call it trite or sentimental.  That's okay. To me,  it's just faith in power of change.  

Happy 2014!