Time just keeps passing by quicker and quicker each year, doesn’t it?
At the end of every year, a voice inside my head forces me to believe that the year that elapsed was a combination between the best and worst year so far- for a host of reasons. As we near the end of 2017, I’m looking back at the year we’re leaving behind, trying to hold on to all the bitter-sweet memories.
Choosing to take just a few memories along with me into the next year is hard. It’s like picking up a fistful of sand, and watching it trickle through the gaps in my fingers. And with each passing year, it gets harder to pick a few highlights.
2017 was an eventful year for me- I *finally* got done with tenth grade, I had amazing adventures, I met some of the most wonderful people, and fostered friendships, that I hope will go on to last a lifetime. 2017 was also a year of realisation, decision making and putting plans into action. The beauty of this year lies in the fact that although this year meant different things to different people, there are a few common lessons that we can all have as a take-away.
As a brief rundown of the year, here are 17 things that 2017 taught me.
1) Learning to let go: To grow stronger, you have to learn to let go. If you continue to look back at all the little things that went wrong, you will never get to the things that went right, and they’ll go unappreciated. Let go of the past, all the ghosts that haunt you, and the bad memories you keep so close to your heart. Make room for happiness and positivity.
2) Coping with stress and the fear of failure: Success reaffirms our faith in our abilities, and urges us to try our hand at bigger and better things. On the opposite end of the spectrum, failure creates intense fear. This year began with the advent of exams- which, obviously, is a stressful time. Stress hampers productivity. The first step to success lies in translating stress into something fruitful and productive. Trying to channelise your fears into a positive direction is helpful. 🙂
3) Investing time in doing what you love: We’re all good at something- you may not have tapped into the source of your creativity, but you could be the next great musician, author or artist. 2017 marked a year of creative exploration for me. I dedicated more time to writing and my blog, and I have mapped my journey from the beginning to the end, and the results are wonderful. We’re all battling deadlines and rushing to finish assignments, but we often lose the essence of our creativity in this process. Dedicate a stipulated amount of time every week to doing what you love- it’s easier than you think it is.
4) Prioritising yourself: Working on yourself and your mental health and well-being is important. Reach out to the ignored person inside you, and reconstruct yourself. It’s okay not to feel your best sometimes, but it’s also essential to point to the source of this feeling and rectify it. Invest in yourself and your future, and do the things that will make you smile today, and make you fondly look back at them a few years later.
5) Learning to do things without needing validation: We often seek appreciation and validation from others for all that we do. Pose a question to yourself. Is this really necessary? After some deliberation, you will have your answer. For every picture that you share, for every statement that you make- you’re subconsciously seeking validation. However, if you don’t get that sometimes, it’s important to know that you’re still just as deserving and wonderful. Often, the lack of public validation is detrimental to our goals. ‘What if people don’t like this?’ It’s time to move on.Learn to avoid using public opinion as a yardstick for your self-worth.
6) Getting through difficult days: I’ve practised something for a while now, wherein I gauge my ‘Happiness Quotient.’ At the end of each day, I rate my happiness on a scale of 1 to 10, in my head. Some days are a solid 10, while some are a bare minimum. The skill that got behind being a more powerful individual lies in setting those 3’s right. Remember that difficult times don’t last forever, and for every thunderstorm you make your way through, a rainbow awaits you at the other end.
7) Appreciating little things in life: We often overlook the little things that make up a major chunk of our lives. Okay, if I’m not convincing enough, Winnie the Pooh agrees too! 🙂 A small act of kindness, or a good gesture can set a bad day right, and is impactful in imaginable ways. Learn to hold on to these little memories, and document them, no matter how silly they might seem.
8) You’re known by how you treat people: The true reflection of someone’s character is how they treat people. It’s often hard to help someone who will go on to have virtually no contribution in your life. Learn to help people without looking for benefits, an you will realise how much more revered you will go on to be. Remember- people base their opinions of you off of how you treat those around you.
9) No dream is too big: We often give up even before trying, because a certain goal or dream seems too unachievable, to begin with. Breaking through that mental barrier is half the battle won. In order to grow, we must stop limiting ourselves when it comes to the purview of achievement. Dream Big, formulate your goals, ideate and put your thoughts into actions- and you will begin to see results.
10) Accepting that nothing lasts forever: This is valid for both, our highs and our lows. Life is ever-changing, which means that people come and go, and things change. Ideal situations don’t last forever, and low-points in our life will ultimately culminate in something good. It’s funny how we talk about the concept of destiny- how everything is planned out, but we don’t know where the next moment will go on to take us. Accepting that things are temporary helps in the healing process. We often map stuff out in our heads, and when things don’t go as planned, it hurts. To minimise this, it’s vital to realise that nothing last forever.
11) Taking risks and making decisions whose outcome is unknown: Often, it is necessary to step out of our comfort zones and make decisions that might not have a certain outcome. The best experiences in life are by-products of the decisions we make outside our comfort zones. If an opportunity presents itself before you, seize it before it’s too late.
12) Being happy: We are all looking for happiness, but perhaps in the wrong places. However, we overlook the fact that Happiness is essentially a commitment and an option. It’s a daily thing. You have to plan your own happiness, and you are the ultimate creator of your happiness, just like all the other emotions in your life.
13)Detoxifying: It’s necessary to take a detox sometimes. Whether it means distancing yourself from technology and cultivating a hobby, or distancing yourself from negativity, a detox is your best bet. Often, getting away from things that could hinder our growth is a good option.
14)Don’t take any grudges along, into the next year: Forgiving and forgetting fractures in relations should be a significant activity towards the end of the year. Although this is essentially a process that should start several months before the year ends, try to resolve any grudges that have not been addressed through the course of the year. It’s for the greater good. 🙂
15)Surrounding yourself with the right people: Surrounding yourself with like-minded people puts you in a place of freedom and liberation. Surround yourself with the people around whom you’re unapologetic about being yourself.
16)Count your blessings: Don’t forget to be thankful for all that you have. We’re all fortunate to be in the positions we are today. We often pine for the things we can’t have, and ignore all the things we do. Gratitude is vital. You’re alive, healthy and you’re surrounded by love and warmth. What more could you ask for? If we were asked to make wish lists, they’d probably never end. What if we were asked to list out all the things we were genuinely thankful for? How long would that be? Take a minute to ponder. 🙂
17)Don’t be afraid of change: Truly, change is the only constant. We live in a world of ever-changing realities. This year, I learned not to be afraid of change, along with getting over the fear of changing. When I look back at old poetry and stories, I realise just how much I’ve changed, and that letting go of the fear of change has made me who I am. Change is beautiful. 🙂
Here’s wishing all my readers a Happy New Year! I hope this post helped you recount all the things that this year has taught us. I wish you a year full of happiness, and an abundance of good health and positivity.
All my love,