Lessons 2020 Has Taught Me

2020 has been an extremely difficult year for most of us. We’re dealing with a pandemic, experiencing severe trauma and loss, the list goes on and on. While this year has been shitty, it has taught me some valuable lessons. Lessons I will carry with me for the rest of my life. I went through a traumatic break-up, battled with my health, survived multiple suicide attempts, and am currently dealing with the loss of a friendship I was certain was life-long. Some days I wonder how I’ve made it this far… how I’m still surviving. But here I am and I must say I am doing so much better. Here’s what 2020 has taught me:

  1. Start saving money for an emergency fund and always have a backup plan. I’ll be honest, I struggle when it comes to saving money but this year has shown me that it’s important to have an emergency fund because anything can happen at any moment. 
  2. Relationships with others will come and go. What matters most is the relationship you have with yourself. I’ve been very open about my breakup. I spent nearly 3 years with someone who I thought was the love of my life. Someone I was certain I’d marry but in the blink of an eye, everything came crashing down and I had to learn how to be alone. I had to build a healthy relationship with myself (still in progress).
  3. Just because you love someone, it doesn’t mean you are supposed to be with them. Regardless of the trauma he caused me and what we went through, I still have love for my ex. We created some beautiful memories that will forever be cherished but loving him doesn’t mean we’re meant to be.
  4. Healing is both beautiful and terrifying. It’s messy but it is worth it. Everyone’s healing journey looks different. This year, I was forced into healing. I say forced because after everything that transpired, it was either sink or float for me. I could’ve stayed stuck but I chose to be intentional with healing and embarking on my spiritual journey. It hasn’t been easy and some of the shit I’m experiencing is terrifying. But there are days when it’s beautiful. My journey is just that, mine. Yours will likely look different. 
  5. I am whole. With or without anyone else. This lesson has been difficult for me. I’ve spent years searching for someone to complete me not realizing that I complete me. I am whole by myself. 
  6. Grieve. Feel it. Let it hurt then let it go. This is something my therapist said to me in one of our sessions. It has stuck with me since then. I’m still grieving my breakup and also the loss of my friendship. But instead of pushing my feelings down and not dealing with them, I’m allowing myself to feel whatever comes up. I spend so much time sitting with it in meditation.
  7. Life will go on whether you do the stuff you’ve been putting off or not. Like many others, I set goals at the beginning of 2020 and had a plan to achieve all of them. A lot of what I set out to do this year wasn’t accomplished for one reason or another. I realized that life will go on whether I choose to work towards my goals or not. That being said, we are in a pandemic and this whole year has been… strange. So, I’m not being too hard on myself for not doing more and you shouldn’t either. 
  8. Put yourself first, always. One of the biggest mistakes I’ve made over the years is putting everyone else before myself. I can’t tell you how many times I put myself on the back burner just to meet someone else’s wants and needs. And 9 times out of 10, it resulted in me being hurt. I’m finally in a place where I come first. Where I realize what I want and need matters. My life revolves around me.
  9. Trust your intuition. You know that gut feeling you get about something? That feeling that tells you that something isn’t right… trust it! That is usually your intuition guiding you. Now, that being said, be mindful of whether it’s your intuition guiding you or your trauma misleading you.
  10. Pause and think before you react. Sometimes no response is best. Anyone who knows me personally knows I’m quick to react when something goes wrong or some shit goes down. I’ve had my fair share of reacting out of hurt and anger and I usually end up regretting it once I’m calm. I’m learning that sometimes it’s best to not say or do anything.
  11. You can begin at any moment. You’re allowed to restart as many times as you need to. There are some personal goals I’ve been trying to reach for awhile and I beat myself up when I think of how many times I’ve stopped and restarted. Never give up.
  12. Employers view you as replaceable. Being fired for the first time showed me that when it comes to working for someone else, my place isn’t guaranteed. Again, always have a backup plan.
  13. You will lose people as you navigate your healing and spiritual journey. Not everyone can come with you. I’m losing and removing people from my life and I’m growing to be ok with that. As long as I don’t lose myself. This road I’m walking is lonely some days… but I know it’ll be worth it.

Although 2020 was a rough year, I’m walking away with my head held high. The year is ending better than it started and for that I’m grateful.

I’m curious to know what lessons you learned in 2020.

Happy New Year!

Photo by Jessica Felicio on Unsplash

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