With the end of the year fast approaching, I decided to write a cliche lessons entry. To be honest, this has been one of the most transformative years in my life thus far. It feels almost necessary to write about what I learned. Without further ado, let’s get to it!
1. My job does not define me – this may seem obvious, but this was a big year in my career. On April fools day, I was laid off. It was my first time leaving a job that wasn’t of my own accord. While it was shocking, it was also quite liberating. It closed a very toxic chapter in my life. Overall, it’s changed how I look at jobs.
2. I’m stronger than I think – This year was pretty intense. Not only did I get laid off, but I got a part time job in the animal world (my passion), my dog needed major surgery, I started therapy, and I found a new full time job.
3. There is a therapist out there for everyone – After seeing 4 therapists that just weren’t right for me, I found the right one. This feels like the biggest accomplishment of the year. If you’re looking for the right therapist, don’t give up. They’re out there.
4. I can process my emotions – This is something I’m learning. I’m learning to sit with feelings, and even identify them. It may sound silly to think I’m not sure of what I’m feeling, but that has been my reality for a very long time.
5. I can restart from zero – I’ve decided to work towards the career I want. It’s been a long and stressful process, but I’m making progress.
6. I can try new things – For most of my life, my anxiety has kept me from trying new things. This year, I’ve been slowly stepping out of my comfort zone.
7. I can be vulnerable – This has been so hard for me. Writing this blog is a way to be vulnerable. I still have a long way to go, but progress is being made.
8. Progress is better than perfection – This is a big one. I’ve struggled with perfectionistic tendencies my whole life. I’m finally learning that something is better than nothing. I’m tired of letting perfection get in the way of progress.
9. Being authentic is ok – I grew up being told that I was ugly and stupid. To this day, it’s a go to insult for a family member. It’s made me strive to obtain approval. To the point where I’ve kinda lost my authenticity. This year I’ve been taking more steps to get to know and reveal who I truly am.
10. I have mental health issues and that’s ok – For most of my life, I’ve denied that anything is “wrong” with me. I’ve also been hesitant to accept that I lived through trauma, because some people had it worse. I’m learning that trauma is unique and shouldn’t be compared.
11. I’m a walking contradiction and that’s ok – I feel like a walking contradiction. I’m learning to accept that polarity exists outside and inside of me. I can like two opposing things and make it work. It’s about recognizing and accepting my truth.
12. People will actually help, if I allow them – For the first time in my life, I was forced to ask for help. First, I asked for help for Dobby’s surgery. Second, I asked for help with foster kitten supplies. Both times I was humbled at how many people were willing to help. In addition to this, I’ve been more vocal about needing support from friends.
13. Crying is ok – I grew up in a household where crying was a sign of weakness, and if you did cry you’d be given “something to cry about.” This year has been liberating. I’ve allowed myself to cry on a few occasions. Though I can’t cry for more than a few seconds, it helps release some pent up emotions.
14. I can be a foster mom – This year is my first time fostering animals! I’ve learned that I can do it, and I can be sad when they have to go. This has taught me to deal with some yucky things such as wormy bellies, diarrhea, fleas, ringworm, and more. All things I wasn’t sure I could handle.
15. The body truly does keep the score – I’ve learned just how much the body keeps track of suppressed emotions and trauma. As I write this, I’m dealing with pain. It’s taught me to be more mindful of processing emotions as they come in.
16. It’s ok to just be – I’ve always been focused on doing and accomplishing. I still feel guilty about not doing anything, but I’m trying to listen to my body more.
17. Self-love is the best type of love – I’m learning how to love myself and all of my flaws. No one will ever love me like I love myself. No one will ever take care of me like I take care of myself.
18. I cannot give from an empty cup – This has been hard for me, especially around animals. Thing is, if I don’t take care of myself first, I’m not able to properly help anyone else. I’ve had to say no to a few foster cases, and it’s worked out for everyone in the end.
19. The best is yet to come – Another cliche! I truly do feel like the best is yet to come, and that’s exciting.