19 Lessons I Learned in 2019

As 2019 comes to a close, it’s time that I do a little reflecting on what I learned in the last year. I love doing these sort of numbered lists — I’ve done them before for birthdays (21 things I learned by 21), so this year, I thought it would be fun to do one for 19 things I learned in 2019.

Warning, this list might be a little long, but it is totally worth the read!

  1. Take the solo trip. 2019 was the year I took my first solo trip. Earlier in the year, I was in Singapore for work, and I decided to tack on Thailand and Japan (two of my bucket list destinations) to the trip since I was in the region. No one was able to come with me, so I took the plunge and made it into a solo trip. Best decision I made.
  2. Do more of what you love. Right now, I am in this cycle of work and grad school until I finish my degree (which is at the end of 2020!). I want to do more than just those two things, so I started to make it a priority to start some passion projects (like this blog) and picking back up other hobbies I love like lettering and photography.
  3. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. This year, I went to a Greek young adult conference for the first time. To be honest, networking and talking to people isn’t my thing, but I forced myself to talk to as many people as I could and it totally paid off. Now, I don’t quiver in my boots at the sight of a networking opportunity.
  4. It’s never too late to try new things. This has applied to me in two very different ways. One, to put out content on the internet and (maybe) make money from it; and attending workout classes. I’ve just wanted to try out different things and not limit myself to what I’m capable of because of where I am in life.
  5. Life is about experiences, not things. This has been something I’ve really been trying to implement in my life. In terms of material things, I’ve really been trying to keep things in my house that bring me joy and replace things I don’t like with things that do make my happy.
  6. Good work gets rewarded. One of my highlights of 2019 was my team being awarded Marketing MVP at work in Q3. Our team is relatively new and we’ve gone though so many trials and tribulations to make ourselves known and respected. And it all paid off this year!
  7. Even faith the size of a mustard seed is enough. I’ll admit that my church track record hasn’t been stellar this year. I try to do what I can outside of church to stay connected with my faith like reading the daily readings, reading devotionals, and giving my time and talents to the church. Even these small acts have been successful in keeping me tied to the church even though I haven’t been attending regularly.
  8. Family is precious. If you socialize we me on the regular, then you may know that my brother currently lives and goes to school in Florida, which means that my parents split time to make sure he has a support system down there. This has been the new normal for the last year or so, and now it’s very rare we are all together. And when we are, I definitely don’t take it for granted.
  9. Take the time to learn everyday. I love to read, listen to podcast, watch documentaries and anything else that enables me to learn everyday. At the very least, I try to take 30 minutes before bed and read a book. I like to switch off between fiction and non-fiction to keep things interesting.
  10. Self-care is key. I found myself taking a lot more time to do self-care this year, Whether it was doing my nails, a face mask, or just putting on a movie, I find myself a lot more relaxed than in years past.
  11. What is meant for you will come when you’re ready. Needless to say, I’ve felt like I’ve been going through a quarter-century crisis for a good part of the year. I finally took a step back and told myself that whatever is right for me will come in due time.
  12. Create a space you love. I’m trying to stay in my current apartment until I have enough saved for a down payment on a home of my own. That said, I’m doing my due diligence to create a space I love, meaning filling my home with things and people that bring me joy and leveraging the space to its fullest.
  13. Eat the cake. Life is too short to go on these restrictive diets. Eat the cake, but in moderation with a salad or two.
  14. You are loved. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been self-deprecating this last year. There was one instance where I really learned that despite all of my negative thinking, I realized that there are people in my life who do love and care for me.
  15. Type two fun is still fun. “Type two fun” is a phrase one of my best friends came up with to describe activities that aren’t fun in the moment but are when you’re looking back on them. My use case for this is working out. I hate it in the moment but feel so good afterwards.
  16. Distance is only a number. I have a few friends and now family that live away from me, meaning we have to maintain a long distance relationship. When I was first out of college, this scared me a lot, but now I’m used to the distance and do what I can to maintain the relationship.
  17. There’s nothing wrong with generosity. I would consider myself a pretty generous person. I don’t like to nickel-and-dime my friends when someone owes me money, I am a huge gift giver, especially around the holidays, and I will give my time to help out a friend or family member. And there is nothing wrong with being that person, as long as you expect nothing in return.
  18. Get out of your comfort zone. Life is scary, but it’s only scary if we make it. I’ve learned to get out of my own head and ignore what I think people will say and just do the damn thing.
  19. Live each day to its fullest. Before I know it, I’m going to blink and be my parents’ age. Now, I’m just trying to make the most of my days and really maximize the time I have. After all, we have the same amount of hours in the day as Beyonce.

What are your biggest takeaways from 2019?

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