Hi, all ! I'm so sorry that I haven't written in a couple weeks ! I'm sure that you can all relate when I say that the holiday season is one of the best and busiest times of the year. I've recently finished my final exams for school and took some much needed time off for myself. I spent it catching up on sleep and some one on one time with the ones I adore and love. However, with today being the last day of the year, I wanted to write ONE last post for you all. 2014 was an eye opening year for me. I constantly strive to live each day as a better version of myself. I know that without God, my beautiful family & friends, and my wonderful boyfriend, I wouldn't have overcome this year with flying colors. Through the good times and bad of 2014, I've been taken to the highest point of my life to the lowest point of my life. Although I'm only 24 years young, I've learned a whole lot this year, so I wanted to share with you guys and gals the top 6 things I learned in 2014.
1. It's okay to not have it all together.
As much as I would love to say that I have it all together at the age of 24, I don't. But you know what? THAT'S OKAY. And here's the thing: Nobody else is making me feeling like I should have it all together except for me. I strive for perfection, but I am nowhere near where I want to be. I'm human; I'll have my good days and I'll have my bad days. It's a part of life, and I can't pressure myself like that anymore. It's as if a weight has been lifted off my shoulders with that realization. I can finally breathe a sigh of relief after really learning that this year.
2. It's not what you say, it's how you say it.
I've always been hesitant to really say what was on my mind. If someone does something awful to me, it takes me a while to say something. Eventually, I'd bottle it up so much, I would explode in the worst way possible. It's not fair to the people around me and it's not fair to myself. I've learned that it's okay to express myself and say what I want to say, but it's in how I say it. I think people forget that being honest doesn't always mean you have to be rude. Being honest is telling the truth, but you can tell the truth with love and cut all the, "I'm blunt, so that means I'm a bitch" attitude. That's a naive way of thinking. It doesn't have to be that way. I guess I've always been scared to say how I feel because I DID NOT want to turn out that way; I despise that type of attitude. This year I've learned to be honest and say what's on my mind, but to do it in a way that's classy and not trashy.
3. It's okay to say, "No."
I want to be the best, but I've learned I can't always be the best. I like investing my time in things that can shape me into a better version of myself. So as a student, I used to participate in almost every activity and event my major had to offer. Although it's a great way to gain knowledge and experience about my career by learning first hand, I took on too much. There was a time I almost passed out at an event because I stressed myself out to the point of exhaustion. This year, I've learned to take a step back from things, say "No", and rest. I've learned that as much as I want to be a star student and do all these wonderful things, I need to invest in taking some me-time for myself. How can I perform at my best if I'm not getting enough rest?
It's easier said than done, am I right? Whether if it's with others or yourself, the act of forgiving has more impact on your over all health than you think. Studies show that most people don't forgive because they think it makes them weak, giving the other person an upper hand in the relationship. However, forgiveness affects our overall mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual health.
I remember when I used to think about a person that hurt me, I would suddenly get stressed out and very angry. My blood pressure would rise and I had a very bitter attitude towards that person. However, after I sat down with them and talked things out, I left the conversation stress free, happy, and at peace. I sat, forgave, and talked with multiple people I thought I would never connect with again. It's taught me that forgiving people is the key to a happy life. It doesn't matter if you receive an apology from someone or not, forgiveness is always the right choice.
Look, at some point in your life, almost every single person you love will hurt you. Will you let a grudge stand in between your freedom to happiness, an opportunity to build your character? Or will you let that grudge grow within you, feeding the bitterness and anger that will only keep you sinking? Choose to be happy by rising above. Don't let yourself drown.
5. Treat your body right and it will treat you right back.
2014, I strived to not only build my character, but to build some muscle ! Lol. I wanted so badly to lose weight and tone up. I'm not necessarily fat, but I did gain weight over the past three years. When I moved from San Diego in 2011, I gained about 15 pounds which put me at my heaviest weight, 125. I know 15 pounds may not seem like a lot to some people, but as a 5'2 lady, that weight really shows.
My goal was to shred the weight by my birthday, November 20th. Although I didn't hit the weight goal until early December, I'm proud to say I did it ! I cleaned up my diet by taking up veganism and then becoming a vegetarian, gave up caffeine, eventually took up Pilates, and went back to doing cardio and weight training. I have more energy and my body feels a lot stronger than it has in a long while. I'm really proud of myself and I thank God everyday for giving me a functioning body to take care of.
6. Let go and let God.
This is probably the biggest thing I've learned this year. I'm a Christian. I've always felt God's presence in my life, but it was this year that I lost my way a bit. I started becoming a person I didn't want to be. If it wasn't for my faith and for God grounding me back to His grace and love, I don't know where I'd be. He has worked in my life in ways that scared me to death because I didn't know what the outcome of things would be. But God continued to pour into my life and let me know that everything would work out if I had faith, hope, and love. I followed His command and He has blessed me enormously, bringing me to tears of joy in multiple occasions. It was then that I realized that God had to break me down to build me back up.
This year, I learned that I can't control everything. I have to let God take control and trust that He will restore, provide, glorify, and bless my life. His love never fails. I'm excited to see what God has in store for me in 2015.
Happy New Year's Eve, everyone ! Xo