Top 12 Life Lessons From 2019
2019 has been a truly exceptional year for me. My mental health has improved greatly, my career has skyrocketed and I have been so lucky with all the opportunities offered to me. But I also learned a great deal. So today’s Blogmas post is all about life lessons from the year.
Family is so important
After 2018 when I lost my uncle to cancer, my grandad to dementia and spent half a year worrying about the birth of my gorgeous cousin Ayla after the loss of her sister the previous year. 2019 really reminded me how important family is and I’ve tried to act on it as much as possible. And let everyone know how much I love them and are proud of them.
Staying in touch with people is crucial
During 2018 I was really lonely. I wrote a post on it for Huffington Post and was very open about my experience. But in 2019 I realised that the cure to my loneliness, or at least the medication, was to stay in touch with people. It sounds so obvious, but it’s an ability that many of us are losing because of the ironically named social media. I wasn’t reaching out to people, I was liking their posts. I wasn’t haven’t conversations with them, I was commenting on their status’.
In 2019 I got back in touch with friends from university and work who I had lost touch with me, and I’ve reminded myself just how much I love spending time with them. Not just friends but family too; I make a point of visiting my cousins as much as I can. I’ll jump on FaceTime whenever I can’t. I’ll invite people to coffee, dinner or the theatre, I make plans for my days off to see people.
Staying in touch has been brilliant for my mental health and social life this year and it’s something I really hope I don’t lose sight of again.
Only do what you love, if you don’t love it stop doing it
People often ask me how I can have so many side hustles or do so much in my career, but the honest truth is the above statement. If I love something I’m going to do it, and if stop loving it I’m going to stop doing it. It’s so simple, but something that we all need to be reminded me of now and again.
If you do something wrong, action it rather than beat yourself up
When I started my new job I got a ton of things wrong, because I was new and learning. But instead of sitting around wallowing – okay, after I did this a few times – I decided to action the things I did wrong. By action all I mean is looking back, accepting what I did wrong and either changing how I did something or learning from it and moving on. I also stopped accepting criticism and only accept critiques. I’ve also stopped seeing critiques as criticism – there’s a subtle difference but it’s poisonous if you get it wrong.
It’s okay to be anxious, just don’t let it overwhelm you
I have a generalised anxiety disorder, brought on by many different things and something I have had a therapy to deal with. I loved therapy – I thought it was great! But it hasn’t cured me. I still get anxious, I just know how to stop it in its tracks. However, that doesn’t mean I stop it every time.
When I started my new job I struggled with anxiety and was so mentally exhausted it got to me. But I realised I was becoming anxious about being anxious! Once I realised that, after a good few weeks of struggling in silence, I was able to deal with it as I realised that it’s absolutely fine to be anxious. Just tell someone, take a breather and you can work it out.
I hate politics and I’ve just decided, bar voting in the general election, to cut it out of my life. I just don’t care anymore because there is no good outcome and it’s too depressing to watch. And, as someone with generalised anxiety disorder, it’s not the most healthy thing to get involved with.
Never wait two years for HBO to release a TV series
I’m sorry but Game of Thrones season 8 sucked. So bad. So so bad. Disappointed.
Change can be good
From changing jobs, to changing up your furniture. To spending more time with people, to spending more time alone. Change is good. I used to hate change – I had fear of uncertainty – so for me to accept that lief lesson is a big deal. And something I’m glad I can as year has brought has a fair amount of change for me.
Take opportunities when they come, but never stop looking for them
From talking on BBC Radio twice to being paid to give a talk on social media. To talking on panels, filming for a top-secret online webshow (more details in 2020!) to submitting my book to agents and publishers. To reaching out to brands to collaborate with them. To applying for a new job whilst starting a new venture in podcasting. Opportunities flow all the time, but you shouldn’t sit around waiting for them, even if they’re naturally starting to come to you. Look for them as well as accepting the opportunities that come to your door.
Believe in your dreams
It’s a cliche but it’s true! How many of you are living the dream that you envisioned for yourself when you were a child? Well, I am. You can call me lucky, but I prefer determined. It wasn’t easy, I stopped believing in myself many times and had to pick myself up time and time again. But if you want something, you should go for it no matter what it is! If you want to be an astronaut or the Prime Minister, or a novelist or a film maker, an artist or a singer. If you want to learn a skill, then what is stopping you but excuses?
Trends are weird
The floss. Sock shoes. Tik Tok.
Shit is the fertiliser that makes the flowers grow
When you make a mistake, when things go wrong, when life truly sucks just remember the above life lessons. It’s helped me no end this year.
What are your life lessons from 2019? Let me know in the comments below.