As we’re heading into the holidays, I can’t help it but scratch my head as to how 2017 has whizzed by. 2017 has been a year of change, for me. During the first month of 2017, I was still working on my thesis. Things didn’t turn out exactly the way I’d anticipated, thus completing the thesis was a frustrating struggle…I could imagine myself the very first day I set foot on campus, completely unaware of what was waiting for me. I thought that if only I could go back and tell myself to take the nearest exit and run as far away as possible, I would. But, I don’t want to make it seem as though my senior year was bad because it wasn’t. Rather, it was incredibly terrible! I now look back at those times and ask myself “How did I get through all that?”
Within the second month of 2017, I walked out of a toxic relationship that I was in for 4 whole years! However, during the months that followed the breakup, sadness and anger permeated my life. The anger was manifested into healthy steps to rectify what was wrong. I slowly dug myself back out of the dark pit that I was in. And since we’d broke up I was able to see what was going on more clearly. I realized that sometimes people just do and say shitty things, but there’s nothing one can do about it. Except to leave them to do the lame shit that they do. And just walk away, which is the best thing I’ve did for myself. And since then, unimaginably good things have transpired in my life (can I hear an Amen?!) The unrequited love helped me so much on my journey of growth and self-discovery. Moving slowly, I became who I was before all the bullshit that dimmed my shine happened…I now love myself more and I have no scruple with protecting myself from those who don’t reciprocate the same (level of) love. And I’ve made a resolution to be as authentic about my feelings as I can be. So, I no longer care about what people think, as much as I thought I did.
Also in February, I finally graduated. Well, I didn’t maintain As all 4 years of college. Neither did I land an awesome job nor did I find my one true love with whom I would start my forever after college. Hehe. However, I did graduate with decent grades.
Some of the lessons (the importanter ones) I’ve learned in 2017…
- Some people will dislike you for no apparent reason. Yeah, just like that. Last year, when I was working on my dissertation I met this woman, the head of Pathology department at some institution. As the boss, I had to first go to her (for permission) to collect the data I needed for my thesis. But every single time that she saw me, she had an excuse (she was great at cooking excuses) to send me back. From this woman, I learnt the importance of plan B. I also learnt that things eventually work out. But, always have a plan B.
- Nothing is ever that serious – getting dumped by the love of your life (or so you thought), having your thesis rejected, failing a course, getting fired – few years down the line, you’ll be wondering why you were so stressed out. It takes time to heal but at the end of the day, everything comes back to normal. Just chill. Everything works out in the end.
- Life is not a race. Life is rather more like a marathon where some people started earlier, some have bigger lungs, some cheat and take shortcuts. Some even do not finish the marathon. Some take longer than others, but that does not mean that they failed. I may be a crab-walker but I am moving forward. Besides what awaits us all at the end is the great equalizer, death. So, no need to rush.
- You’ll never have it all figured out. Never. Life will screw you over and over again. And life will constantly hand you lemons, so learn how to make lemonade.
- Not to compare myself to others. In the puzzle of trying to find myself, I often find myself comparing myself to what others have achieved at my age. However, I’m always reminded that just like a flower does not think of competing with the flower next to it, but just blooms, I have to do my thing, at my own pace, but not because I feel pressured to.
- Peace of mind is the best gift I can give myself. It is priceless. I don’t pressurize myself to do things that my mind isn’t comfortable with in the name of not being socially awkward. It is liberating not to be burdened by other people’s opinions of you.
- To always choose myself over anything and everything. To be selfish with myself, my time, and my energy.
- To lower my expectations of others. The expectation of getting what we give in return, is where we fail in life. I’ve learned that people don’t disappoint, but rather our expectations of them.
- What got me here is what will get me there. As long as I show up every day, I can make it.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year y’all.