Dang! The days flew past like the wind!
As I type this with last January’s memories still very much vivid and intact, I can’t help but wonder where all the time went. If I were to describe the year I had, I wouldn’t hesitate to say it was ~full ~. It was full of life, full of fun, a whole lot of love and many valuable lessons learnt.
For the first time in a long time, I can say without a doubt that I had a great year. But as good things can often be, my year was imperfect, and at times difficult, but great, nonetheless.
I grew a lot as a person; out of the old and into the new.
It was a year that fit me like a pair of skinny jeans I wasn’t eager to take off.
Funny enough, when the year began, I had absolutely zero expectations or hope for what was to come.
I had experienced some of the worst years in my life and wasn’t holding my breath in anticipation for the days ahead – the raging global pandemic didn’t help much either!
Hence, I was pleasantly surprised when each passing season turned out to be better than I could have ever imagined. Aside from being a year I’m going to remember fondly due to the fun times, it will also be one I’ll look back on as the year I learnt some crucial lessons, whilst others were reinforced through experience.
Some lessons were harder to take in than others, but, nevertheless, I’m so excited to take them with me into the new year.
These were my 22 lessons of 2022:
1. Failing to plan is planning to fail.
If I’m being completely honest with you, I believe setting achievable goals and intentions at the start of the year is one of the main reasons my year went so well.
I looked at my life, saw the things I didn’t quite like and set out to change them. Not everyone believes in resolutions (trust me, I didn’t!), but after years of not making any, I decided to give it a go. I set goals that would push me out of my comfort zone but were still very much doable.
Of course, setting the goals was just the first step, ensuring I worked hard on each one proved to be more of a difficult task. That’s where planning came in.
It doesn’t have to be a great plan off the bat! It can be a rough draft or a barely sketched-out road map, but it’s important to start somewhere!
2. Bitter pills still do much healing.
3. To truly love someone is to be eager to get to know them deeply over and over again, through seasons and changes.
4. A little fear may be the (not so) secret starting ingredient to success.
If it doesn’t scare you, is it really worth doing? Well, maybe… Watching a series on Netflix, eating ice cream and sleeping in on a Saturday morning – none of these things are remotely scary, yet we look forward to them. Often, these little joys keep us going, but I find more and more that wherever there’s progress to be made, there’s always a bit of fear lurking around and about. The challenge is getting passed that thumping feeling in our chest and moving forward anyways.
5. A sweet smile, an unexpected compliment from a stranger, the smell of home after a long day outside – these things will always make a day a little better.
6. It’s okay to grow out of people. People change, paths change, and perspectives change. So, after you’ve gotten to know the new version of them, it’s okay to admit there’s not much linking you together anymore. It’s perfectly fine to cut the string of memories tying you together. It’s okay to let go if it means you grow.
7. Food always tastes better in great company.
8. The story can always change midway.
Early in the year, I was reminded that The Story Can Always Change Midway. I’ve never been the most patient person, so it was a reminder I definitely needed. Sometimes, life keeps us waiting a little too long for the plot twist, but wait, it will all be worth it in the end.
9. A bad day is not a bad life.
10. No shaky footage online will ever be as good as screaming from the top of your lungs at your first concert. Let it sink in how magical of a moment that is. My first concert was magical indeed.
11. Everyone has ghosts and demons they hide. Be kind.
12. ‘If you read a lot, nothing is as great as you’ve imagined. Venice is — Venice is better.’ – Fran Lebowitz.
When I found this quote about Venice a few months back, all I could think about was how accurate of a description it really is. I lived in Italy for the most formative years of my life, yet somehow, I had never truly visited the city on water until last summer. Maybe it was because I always wondered how wheelchair-accessible Venice would be. Maybe I thought I had seen it all that summer we merely drove close by on our family vacation.
When I vowed to have my hot girl summer, a spontaneous trip to Venice wasn’t even a figment of my imagination yet. When I booked a train ticket on a whim, I began to imagine how beautiful Venice would be. It was better indeed.
13. Be ready to bear the cross of the consequences of your actions.
14. Sometimes there’s no rhyme or reason to the madness – life just happens.
15. Drink water. And more water. And even more water.
16. This phase of life will never be exactly the same ever again. The pictures will freeze the moments in time and the memories may last longer than the season. Nevertheless, things will never be the exact same which is both sad and thrilling at the same time.
17. Don’t wait for it to happen. Make it happen. Sometimes, you have to create worthwhile moments yourself. Go on that trip. Buy that ticket to your first concert – and your second concert too. Put in an application for that course that will take you to the next stage. Head into the other corner of town for no reason at all.
If you do nothing at all, nothing ~ absolutely nothing ~ will change.
18. There are Bitesize Wonders everywhere waiting to be found.
As you may know, one of the biggest goals I focused on at the start of the year was intentional gratitude. I was lucky enough to be one of those who get to realise just how much negativity they carry and that made me want to change things.
My goal was simple – to catch moments of pure magic and trap them on a page. For all intents and purposes; a digital gratitude journal. It kept me positive, light-hearted and joyful because I knew no matter how hard life got there were always Bitesize Wonders around me waiting to be found. As long as you keep looking, they are there staring back at you.
19. Regret hurts more than failure.
20. It’s okay to throw a pity party once in a while, but afterwards, take one last shot, turn the lights back on, and pick up the remnants scattered on the floor. YOU GOT THIS!
21. When it all gets too much, SWITCH OFF. The news, the countless notification alerts, the social media pings – the noise.
Turn it all off and let the quiet in. You can always pick up where you left off or play catch-up later.
22. Go your own way, at your own pace.
As cliché as it sounds, remember everyone is writing their own story. We are all villains in someone else’s story as much as we are heroes in another’s.
People will judge one morning and forget the next. They’ll insist on where you should be by now and what you should be up to. Some will seek your validation and then poison the well you drink from. So go your own way. At your own pace. Write your own unique story until the ink runs dry and out. For as long as you still breathe, it’s beautifully unfinished.
Your restless romantic roamer