It would be pretty easy to sum up this year by saying I learned a lot which is true however today’s #reverb10 prompt asks us what was the best thing you learned about yourself this past year? And how will you apply that lesson going forward? There is no canned response for that however there are a few things that stand out.
If I think back, I’ve realized that I was always the nice person. I’m easily approachable and quick to say “yes” even if I know it isn’t in my best interest and that’s usually because I don’t want to make any enemies and I want to be helpful. However I always wind up in uncomfortable situations where I’ve given up too much of myself and then I can’t back out. This year, I’ve evaluated each opportunity and encounter and learned to just say “no.” It’s OK to turn down something that doesn’t fit who I am and what I’m capable of. My friends don’t hate me, time didn’t stand still, and I’m happier because of it.
Another lesson I’ve learned and probably the biggest one was to let go. I often cling to relationships and people in my life because of that whole “being nice” factor, wanting to fix things or just plain not having the words to say how I feel.
“There are things that we never want to let go of, people we never want to leave behind. But keep in mind that letting go isn’t the end of the world, it’s the beginning of a new life.” – Unknown
This year, I made it a goal of mine to only surround myself with positive people. Who needs Debbie Downer to rain on your parade? She isn’t a friend; she’s a hindrance. This was an exercise that involved a careful scrutiny of the people I surround myself with on an everyday basis. I quickly realized that most of them didn’t have my best interest at heart, couldn’t understand my goals and dreams, and ridiculed me. We can all try and make it on our own but when life hands you lemons, you need friends who believe in you to share a glass of lemonade and those friends have to be the ones that still believe you have what it takes to move forward. A part of letting go also involved some close relationships in my life.
To just say no and let go have been two important lessons in my life this year. It hasn’t always been easy but it’s liberating to know I can just move on and not feel any regrets.
“Hanging onto resentment is letting someone you despise live rent-free in your head.” – Ann Landers
While it saddens me that I’ve had to let some people go from my life, I also need to remember why they had to leave and that everything happens for a reason. I know that’s cliche but it’s so true. Every mistake is an opportunity to learn something new so instead of letting it get me down I’m looking forward to what may be and thanking them all for a wonderful lesson learned.