On paper my 2016 felt like a sequel to how 2013 was for me; terrible. It certainly was not one of my best years however I know it was preparing me for my future which has great things in store for me. Everything wasn't bad and I really have experienced highs (Kilimanjaro, my Baptism), and lows (go figure ;) ).
I know that I will look back on this year as a foundation year and the year that really brought out characteristics and strength that I never knew I had. We all want the success story but we often don't want the struggle that comes with it and for every 'I made it' story best believe that there were many tears shed along the way and a few failures too. My point is, don't be quick to want your trials to be over as there is a beauty in them and they really do prepare you for greater things ahead. So if you did find 2016 to be a challenging year, congratulations because at least you made it through the year and you're now here reading this blog post ;)
I do however feel that it was a year of small victories and firsts such as organising my first independent event (the poetry night to raise money for charity) and also marked the end of my first year living out with friends. It was also the year that I learnt so many lessons through painful experiences which I know will be invaluable lessons for the future.
Some of what I have learnt I will share before and I 100% plan to run with in 2017.
Time is precious
In the latter part of the year I realised that I do not value my time enough and as such I have invited other people to not value it too either. Before I go out to an event, meet up with a friend or whatever I ask myself a few pertinent questions;
Is this person/event worth my time?
Do I have outstanding tasks that need to be done instead of going out?
Will going to this event/ seeing this person enrich my life in anyway (Spiritually, emotionally and in general?)
It may sound harsh but the truth is bitter sometimes. I have wasted far too much time and allowed people to feature in the centre stage of my life when they should have been in the wings. I first need to respect my time and another facet of that is not being late and also not encouraging lateness. In the new year I do plan to be more selective in the events I go to and the people I choose to meet up with.
One day at a time
I hit a real low at a point this year and one thing that helped was to take each second of every minute of every hour of every day at a time. A wordy sentence right? But it perfectly captures just how methodical you have to be. Taking life one day at a time was no longer working for me and I was still worrying, still stressed and still downcast so taking it all the way back to basics did wonders for me. It got to a point where if you asked me about what is happening later on in the day or tomorrow I would just respond with "I don't know, I'm just focused on the present currently'.
Don't chase after people
I made a conscious decision to stop chasing after people. You know that person that you are constantly messaging on whatsapp/ whatever and it is always you initiating the conversation? Or it is always you initiating when you should both meet up? Yeah, I stopped doing that and it wasn't just for friends but family too.I refuse to constantly spend my time always trying with others and forever feeling shortchanged at the end of it. So now I only interact with friends and family alike as God leads. It doesn't matter how long I've known a person for either. God literally had to give me a wake up call like,
You are precious and you are loved and there are people that recognise that so stop wasting time with people that you have to beg to speak to.
Because that is what it is really; you literally have to wait around to get a response from some people and you're left waiting like a hungry puppy. Not I, and never again thank you.
And one last thing, can we we make a collective decision to stop saying we'll meet up with people when we both know we will not? Sometimes we mean well but at times the friendship isn't at that level of a one to one hang out and for the time being is fine just being on Whatsapp? I've been guilty of it in the past. Truth is if a date and time has not been set then it really is a pipe dream.
Those were some of the lessons I learnt but aside from that I am extremely excited for the new year and I hope it really is what we want it to be, and more.