2019, how do I say farewell to a year that brought me to the highest of heights and it also brought me down to my knees in prayer? It was a good year, with lots of wins, but it also presented some challenges. Most years have their mix of ups and downs, but 2019 felt a bit more dynamic for me. The ups made me feel on top of the world, while the downs kept me up at night.
Nonetheless, 2019 is a year that taught me a lot. In fact, I believe that this year was a pivotal moment in my professional life, spiritual life, physical/wellness journey, and in my personal development journey as well. I’m happy to see 2019 end on a high note, but most importantly I’m ready to march into 2020 with my head held high, ready to grasp whatever life throws at me.
Without further adieu, here are the lessons that 2019 taught me.
Many philosophers, motivational speakers, authors, and social media influencers who preach the importance of being your authentic self, but I cannot tell you how difficult it is to do! In a world where society is constantly telling you to be thinner, follow the latest trend, and get entrenched into the latest social media hashtag, it is easy to lose who you are.
At my last job, I did not feel that I could be my authentic self. Every day I wore a mask. I assumed a persona of how I believed my co-workers and leaders expected me to behave. While it had some short term benefits, I am still dealing with the unpleasant outcomes that resulted from me suppressing my true thoughts and opinions for 2 and a half years. I suppressed who I was because I didn’t think that the real me was a good fit for the role. After leaving the position, I had a lot of anxiety and emotional stress to address.
Professional settings are tricky. The workplace is filled with passive-aggressive antics, but through it all, one must find a way to adopt a professional persona that does not compromise her core personality, thoughts, and beliefs. Any job that prevents you from showing up authentically is not the right job for you.
Therapy is the most rewarding journey you will ever take.
Therapy has become a trend among Millennials and I’m so happy that more people are going! I majored in Psychology in college and cultivated a deep appreciation for mental health. To keep myself mentally fit, I always kept a therapist on standby to help me cope with life’s obstacles. I went to a therapist during college (in 2005); in graduate school (in 2009); while job-seeking (in 2012 and 2013) and then, I took a long hiatus from therapy, until I resumed therapeutic sessions in 2019.
Unlike my previous stints with therapy, I have a well-defined goal. This time, therapy does not happen in a silo, but I actively apply the insights gleaned from each session. It has increased the quality of my relationships with my co-workers and leaders at work; my relationships with my husband and relatives in my personal life and most importantly, it has increased the quality of my relationship with myself.
I acknowledge that therapy is not for everyone. Many who are seeking enlightenment and understand themselves more have turned to self-help books. I believe it’s a good start, but therapy presents an opportunity for a professional to confront your erroneous thought patterns. We all have them, but we are unaware that we do. That’s where your own personal, unbiased, professional can call you on your BS, when needed.
Weight ain’t nothing but a number.
One of the things that I’m proud of this year is joining OrangeTheory Fitness and maintaining an active lifestyle. I completed more than 50 classes this year and I saw some changes in my body’s composition.
I made the mistake of focusing on the numbers on the scale and not my body’s composition of fat and lean muscle. My weight wasn’t changing but I was slowly building more muscle. As I continue with my fitness journey, I’ll be sure to focus on my body composition and not the numbers on the scale.
Don’t worry about “bad” people getting what they deserve.
Earlier in the 2010’s, I had a boss that treated me unfairly. I can save the details for another post, but let’s just say that his actions were unlawful. I find myself googling her name to see if she’s gotten what she deserves.
Then, I realized that there are some people that may not get what they deserve for another 50+ years. If we sit and wish them misfortune, we are only doing harm to ourselves. Let it go and focus on your own success.
In the words of Queen Bey, “Always stay gracious. Best revenge is your paper.”
Simple vacations are the best.
I feel pressured to make every moment of my day productive. I underestimate the power of relaxation and rejuvenation. I prefer to spend my free time immersed in projects or social events. However, 2019 has shown me the value of hitting pause to reflect on life and its happenings. It’s okay to spend an afternoon curled up on the couch reading a good book. It’s okay to spend the winter vacation in your PJ’s binging a Netflix series or an old sitcom that reminds you of your childhood. It’s also okay to spend the entire day in bed doing absolutely nothing but shifting in and out of sleep. We all need an activity that helps us feel rejuvenated.