12 Things I Learned in 2018
The year 2018 has finally ended and I am closing this painful chapter. Surprised I said painful? It’s easy to say you are okay in social media, to show the most amazing looking photographs as if nothing painful is lurking behind, it’s easy to pretend, but who are you fooling? I finally got exhausted from trying to be stronger than what I feel. 2018 OMG, it’s overwhelming! The year I took the time to get to know myself. I am surprised that I don’t know so much about myself either. I only know what I want to know and what I want to believe I know about me, but I have not explored the real me. I also took my time to soul search, a better deep dive analysis of what my soul wants. Am I just going to be the superficial person I wish to be? I realized I am so much more than what meets the eye. So today, let me share what I learned in those 365 days of the year 2018.
1. Being alone is not a bad thing. I always thought life would suck if I don’t have anyone special in my life, e.g. boyfriend, spouse, partner. I viewed a relationship as a set of chromosomes, that if I lack some chromosomes there will be defects, anomalies, and malformations. That I am some kind of a jigsaw puzzle that would not look perfect if one piece is missing. But guess what? I realized I am the missing piece of my own puzzle. I am the missing X in my chromosomes. I am my own responsibility. It is not other people’s responsibility to complete me. I complete myself. As I get to know myself better, I realized I am the whole cake, a partner will just be icing on the cake but it doesn’t mean I lack if I don’t have icing on top of me. A relationship is only good if it brings out the best in you, if it makes you a better person. If not, it’s okay to wait and be alone for a while.
2. Face your demons head-on. Last year was the year I had to confront all the demons inside me; the demon that tells me I am unworthy, the demon that says I will never measure up, and the demon that yells I am not good enough. It takes a lot of will power to see it within me that I am more than enough and I am worthy. I may be flawed, bruised and scarred but my imperfection made me whole. I would say, I am still a breathtaking mosaic of the battles I won and no demon can steal the life out of me.
3. Let go of what’s weighing you down. Someone told me that our problems, the people that bring us problems are like extra baggage we don’t want to carry because they will pull us down. Let’s imagine ourselves as vessels; a ship. If it’s overloaded it will sink. Let go of the people who bring too much drama and toxicity in your life, let go of the problems that bring you to the pit of depression, let go of the job that does not give you satisfaction, just let go…
4. Forgive. It is the hardest thing to do, but we have to forgive. Let me quote my pastor when he said: “Unforgiveness is the poison you take hoping for the other person to die”. This is very true, if we don’t forgive we continue hating and keeping grudges that embitters us. We cannot move forward. Forgive others, not because they deserve forgiveness, but because we deserve peace.
5. Stay away from people who drain your energy. Our pastor use to tell us they are called the energy vampire, they are the type of people who make you feel like a trash bin after talking to them, that every minute of talk feels like an eternity of impending depression. I laughed because it’s true and I had a couple of experiences with these types of people, but what strikes the most is the woman I met through work. I was talking to her on the phone about work, and everything that comes out of her mouth are bad, insulting words towards me and other people, it was just 100% negative talk. I feel sorry how miserable her life had become for her to be so bitter about everything. It was a 30-minute talk but that surely ruined my entire day and left me depressed for 3 days. I can’t believe people have the power to make you feel that bad just by talking to them. To cut the long story short, I called her out for her nasty behavior and unprofessionalism which for sure deranged her all the more and I decided to block her. I am too old for this drama and I can’t take this type of people with me in my life
6. If it doesn’t feel right, it is not right. Yes, you will meet people with glitter laced tongue that promises nirvana, but once you get to know them they are actually not what you thought they were. Their actions are not in sync with their words. Then you start doubting. The moment you start to doubt is the moment you have to stop. Yes, it’s called instinct.
7. Love doesn’t hurt. I’m sorry I cannot agree with the Nazareth. Love doesn’t hurt, in fact, it is the most beautiful emotion there is. However, it is painted in a bad light because of the secondary factors associated with it such as anger, hatred, bitterness, and jealousy. I only believe in one definition of love and that is the one in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.
8. You are your own hero. I get it, we live in a cruel world. Everyone can bully you at face value while the coward ones will bully you in a form of an internet troll. Do we wait for the God’s to deal with them? Bullying, mistreatment, and racism are just a few of the things I cannot stand. I will not just cry and pray for everything to be okay because it will never be okay. What is okay is to call them out for their behavior and tell them you do not wish to be treated that way. Stand up for your self, don’t wait for other people to save you, be your own hero.
9. Know who matters and who doesn’t. As we get older, our number of friends get smaller. It’s not a bad thing, it’s called maturity. We have acquaintances we met at work, in school, in the church or through connections, we become friends with them but suddenly they disappear. What we have to understand in this life is that, not everyone is meant to stay. Sometimes, they are only placed in our lives to teach us lessons and vice versa. Not only romantic relationship falls out, but also friendship. Cherish the ones who stay and wish the best for those who don’t.
10. Don’t sweat the small stuff. If it will not matter tomorrow, next week or next year, don’t make it a big deal. This used to be the hardest for me since I always make everything a big deal. I was once an “almost perfectionist” but what I realized is that, this will only put us in bondage with anxiety. If it is something you have no control over and there is nothing you can do about it, let it go. Stop nagging and stressing other people about it.
11. You don’t have to post it all. Been there, done that. I was once one of the millennials who would post everything going on. My facebook feed would feel sad if I don’t post anything. The prettier the better. Then I realized, what do I get from this? Am I asking to be validated? I mean, everyone has their own social media space that they can do anything, post anything, and I respect that. Not everyone is asking to be validated or if that is what they believe. But if what you are seeking is validation, you can never find it in social media but within yourself.
12. Life is now. We, humans, are either stuck in the past or navigating the inevitable future. We tend to forget that we are living in the present. We fail to cherish what we have now thinking of the “what if’s” of the past and “if ever” of the future. What happened in the past belongs in the past, don’t try to resurrect buried feelings and relationships. The future is a long way to go, your speed doesn’t matter, forward is forward.
I don’t know what the future holds for me, but I am pretty sure 2019 will be a very busy year. I am fully booked until December. Lol. To all my readers and followers, thank you for not giving up on me when I am close to giving up on myself. It has been a whirlwind ride and I hope you’ll stay til the end. Will you?
Dress: Reina Korea
Leggings and Mittens: Ardene
Bag: Karl Lagerfeld
Winter Coat: Larry Levine
Sunnies: Wear Vintage Philippines
Photo credits to: Olive Bato