Well, it’s happened again. It’s been another year since the last life-altering event that made me ponder aloud: “I wonder where I’ll be a year from now.” That “event” this time being the loss of a job. I can’t even wrap my head around how much has changed. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to process what a year can bring. You’d think after doing it twenty-three times, I wouldn’t be so shell shocked. But, alas, cue the soundtrack of Rent and leave me and my nostalgia be. Here are some things I’ve learned this year:
1) Having money in the bank is vital. I will never again not have a nest egg or outstanding credit card debt. I recently paid off all my credit cards and it was the most exhilarated I’ve felt in months.
2) Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I was always someone who felt like I could do things on my own. I never had a problem asking for help on smaller scale things but I came across a lot of things this year that were too big to battle by myself. Whether it’s needing to talk to a doctor or asking a mentor for job advice, I’ve learned that it’s okay to be weak sometimes. It’s okay to fall down and say, “I can’t get up alone.”
3) Getting your heart ripped out and stepped on has one silver lining: it is a great diet. Getting dumped was a fantastic catalyst for going to the gym and eating better (well, slightly better…). Twenty-two pounds lighter than last year and still workin’.
4) Throwing yourself into your job is so worth it. I lost my best friend this year and that was easily the hardest thing I’ve ever had to deal with. That said, having an awesome company to spend 40+ hours a week in made things seem not so grim. Yeah, my coworkers don’t understand all my quirks just yet but they’re great people and the more I get to know them, the happier I find myself in the mornings on my way in to the office.
5) You can only ever trust yourself. This is a big one and I feel like I’m really only writing this out to remind myself because I so frequently forget it. There’s really no certainty in any facet of life and knowing that makes things complicated. I’ve always been an open and honest person and this year has just strengthened my desire to keep being that person. Between jobs and friends and boyfriends, I’ve learned that there’s always something someone’s not telling you and there’s always things going on behind closed doors.
6) Family is more important than anything else. This needs no explanation.
7) Love yourself. Now I know what you’re thinking. I know this is one of those clichéd #basic white girl things that’s used in fitness videos and tampon commercials. But after spending a year on a roller coaster of emotions, I can safely say that when all is said and done, you just have you. And if you don’t love who you are, how can you expect someone else to? I lost who I was this year. I was lucky enough to have had a very privileged childhood to early adulthood. This year showed me the only first-hand adversity I’ve ever known. Like a cold bucket of water to the face, I’m finally aware of how harsh life is. So, as trite as it sounds, I’m working on finding me again.
8) You have to let things go. This is another one I’m writing more as a reminder than as a thing I’ve newly learned. I feel things on a massive scale and I hold on to them because I love being passionate. I’ve learned this year that you can’t let the things you can’t change get to you because they will eat you alive. As the hardest lesson I’ve learned this year, I’m still working on this but, hey, maybe next year I’ll be an expert.