This year was full of unexpected ups and downs. From the hope of embarking on new adventures to hearing news of a pandemic and lockdowns, all of us have been affected in one way or the other.
I’ve had so much time to think. There were so many days where it was just a window, four walls and my thoughts. I was prepared to break within a few days but knowing that the isolated life would persist for weeks, I physically prepared myself to not have physical human interaction for a while. That meant, being mentally alright with having just one perspective on everything; mine.
Regardless of the few times I’ve wanted to get some sunshine, overall this year has been an overwhelming success. Here are six things I noticed and taken as life lessons.
When I read the plethora of articles published about coronavirus in the beginning of 2020, I got a feeling that it was here to stay. That meant, with all the government mandates on masks, social distancing and stay-at-home orders, it was not going to be here for a few days but for months. Knowing that I had to stay inside got me preparing for a mental stay at home for about two or three seasons. This lead to an emotional preparation to be alright with canceling all work commitments and finding another way to make things happen. Just navigating through these first steps helped me hunker down and prepare for the changes that the next few years would bring, thanks to all the canceled plans in 2020, but also adapt to all of man’s genius and need of the hour innovations from inside four walls.
Self-care is not a luxury but a necessity
Women’s self-care has always been frowned upon because going to get our nails and hair done means spending money. This year’s self-care was focused more on pampering myself to keep the sanity alive. So it was important to take the time to pamper myself because that was one way to disconnect from the madness and heal.
Having time to reflect back on my life, I also came face to face with some uninvited stressors that I had to cut ties with. Whether that’s spending too much time watching something or listening to someone, it was necessary to care for self by raising walls on certain things and spending more time on others like finding parks to read a book or learning a new hobby. I learned that self-care does not just mean pampering but it means doing certain activities that help us heal from the daily mental and emotional stressors.
How many times a day do we actually say thank you? When we hear it, we happily take it but we never say it back. Why don’t we?
2020 exposed to us who cares and who is in our life just for the gossip. When I was not grateful, I never knew the depth of contentment that saying thank you provides. It’s a feeling that restores hope stolen by brokeness. Everyone should experience this genuine contentment as it’s the best way to fix a broken relationship and to heal the past wounds caused in someone’s heart. It shows a soul that true faith in humanity isn’t always taken for granted.
I mean… where do I start? All of us who really felt the pinch of being stuck inside came out successful. The saying “Diamonds are made under pressure” should be the tagline for this year. Whether it is learning a skill to build our career, starting a small business or cutting off a toxic relationship, those who felt the pressure of not going forward took small yet effective steps to not just get through the tough time but move ahead in life. This foundation might not be blasted on social media or in our WhatsApp group but expect those who were productive, to become luminous jewels in the next few years.
Don’t see God through bad experiences
In life, we go through bad experiences – the ones that we did not expect to be hurt by. Some people learn to channel that hurt in the right way and become a better person. Some people don’t try to come out of that tragedy as they glorify their hurt and end being a bitter person. When we live as a community of individuals, it is important how we treat others. If we are hurt and don’t channel that hurt in the right way, it becomes an exponential effect of that hurt being passed on to a large number of individuals. Someone has to break that cycle and it takes maturity to realize that self-education is necessary to override brokenness caused by trust, disappointment and public shaming. It also takes critical thinking and a larger perspective to know that God should not be seen through the pain that the average man has caused.
There is strength in vulnerability
This year I released my book, “The Courage to Identify Who You Are”. I was working on it for many seasons together with the end goal that my generation must take the time to identify themselves as whole individuals and not circum to peer pressure like I once did. Which meant that I had to be vulnerable to share my personal journey of all the things that pulled me down and everything I did to get myself to not stay in those lows. It meant saying no to many things that were close to my heart and saying yes to new things that are not widely accepted in family, work or spiritual settings. The result of that was a beautiful sea of young adults opening up to share their struggles who choose the freedom to live fully instead of just surviving through life. I witnessed that there is strength in vulnerability.
Watch my full video on the lessons 2020 taught me here
What did 2020 teach you? Comment below.