There will never be a time in your life when it’s the right time to do the right thing. If you’re waiting for that time to come, you’re going to waste many, many years stuck in the same place. And what’s more terrifying than wasting away your precious time on earth, hiding and waiting for a “miracle”?
Don’t get me wrong, I believe in miracles. What I don’t believe in is the concept of miracles: that good things come to those who wait. Yes, it does, but… there’s more to it. Good things come to those who put in the effort, attempt to make change, continuously try to improve themselves and the world around them. Life isn’t a charitable organisation, it doesn’t voluntarily reward those who are too afraid of their own power. Life demands payments and it demands them in full. Miracles aren’t given, they are earned.
So, as far as tradition goes, some people will be opening their rear door to let the dead soul out and opening their front door to let a new life fill their homes. Another year having swept up a storm and it’s time to bid farewell to 2016. As with all ends, come new beginnings.
It’s coming towards the end of the year, and of course the “new year resolutions” have begun. The top most common ones being to “lose weight”, “exercise more” and to “be happy” and I certainly wasn’t surprised when I seen those very same resolutions make an appearance on a survey I shared with my Facebook friends and Twitter followers.
The survey included the following questions:
- Have you achieved anything in 2016? What was it?
- What is the most valuable lesson you learned in 2016?
- If you could re-live 2016, what would you do differently?
- What are your hopes/aims/goals for 2017?
In no time, I was receiving responses like
“I passed exams which people doubted I could”
“Yes,i feel i have become more confident and happy with myself”
“gained more self confidence”.
While these responses may seem a bit clichéd to some of you, I was almost in tears knowing that these people have acknowledged those as achievements. I had a sense of pride kick in, momma was so proud I’m telling you! Another said “I moved abroad for 3 months and lived on my own while attending college!” And how brave is it to leave your precious ones behind in pursue of educational or spiritual advancement. To throw yourself at the deep end and have your [probably] first real experience of independence. We are living in an era of social media that had created a toxic definition of success and achievement – so I found it inspiring that these respondents had more realistic ideas.
Being a student myself, I know how tough it can be when people have academic expectations (good or bad) of you. Expectations can knock you down to your knees. You’re either trying to live up to them or defeat them. Some people feel lambasted by doubt and others feel pressurised by high expectations and both are equally difficult circumstances to be in. If you’ve ever been in either or both situations, you’ll understand how humiliating it can feel when we “fail” to prove ourselves. But, take those expectations as compliments; those who doubt you are ignorant to your strengths and those who expect a lot, are more than aware of your ability to succeed. In 2017, be inspired by people like the respondent who passed their exams in spite of what they’ve been told… because despite doubt, they endeavoured and they accomplished
Confidence is a journey of self-discovery. It takes time and effort, but it’s possible. It starts with a positive frame of mind. On a personal note, confidence has been one of my biggest life achievements and let me tell you, it was not easy. Insecurities may always be part of your life, but there’s power in not letting them interfere with it. You owe it to yourself to love every last atom that you’re made up of, to love the beautiful person you’re budding into. In 2017 you should always remind yourself that you’re a magnificent, one of a kind masterpiece. You are unique, not a copy and you should always remember that.
Of course, life teaches us all differently. When the going gets tough, our immediate question is “why me?” but maybe in 2017 we could change the question to “how do I use this to improve me?”. I loved the valuable lessons people learned in 2016. If there’s one thing that echoed the most, it was people’s recognition of their self-worth:
“Be more open and being myself is okay“
“Friends are always there for you“
“I would focus on myself more.”
“I should receive the love & respect back from the friends I give it to“
“Not everyone will like you but that’s okay too, just value the ones that do”.
“Don’t care about others focus on your own objectives”
“Life is for living don’t waste it worrying about college”
“The most valuable lesson I learned in 2016 is that one should never depend on someone so much that if they leave, you are nothing.”
It’s important to take all these responses on board. Life can get a little lonely sometimes and we all deserve to know that we’re not alone, that we have friends and/or family who love us and who care for us. Some people may not be lucky enough yet to have found their people, but as a respondent said… “never give up“. There are 7.4 billion people in the world, trust that there’s somebody out there for everybody, you included.
A personal message to the person who felt like they’re “nothing“. I don’t know who you are or what your story is, but I want you to know that losing someone you cared about does not reflect on your worth. With somebody, or without, you’re as whole as the universe, filled with sparkling stars and unknown dimensions. People don’t complete you, you complete yourself.
If there’s one thing I learned in 2016, it would be that people treat you as you treat yourself. You need to love and respect yourself, before expecting others to come on a mutual level. You need to be willing to take the first leap of faith. Take control and show people why you deserve it.
The first step to solve any problem is to acknowledge it, the next step is to overcome it. One way to go about it has been answered by one of the respondents: “be more open” and of course “being myself is okay“. No one, and I repeat no one can take you down or abuse your kindness if you just be yourself and open yourself to the world. Recognise your insecurities and strut down that runway irrespective of whose watching. People can be like sheep sometimes (sorry); convince them you’re the ray of sunshine that lights up their every waking morning and they’ll believe you. I hope 2017 is the year you’re surrounded by people who see the stars in your eyes and feel the warmth in your heart but most importantly, I hope it’s the year you give yourself some well needed credit.
If we knew what the future held, we would all live our lives differently, so it’s only natural to be longing for a moment of time that’s gone and dusted, a second chance or a last chance to do things right. Unfortunately, the world doesn’t work that way, but as long as you have a beat in your chest and air filling your lungs, you still have a chance to make things right or/and avoid making the same mistakes twice.
When asked “If you could re-live 2016, what would you do differently?”, the most common responses compromised spending more time and effort on friends / people who deserve it, some respondents also included themselves.
We can get so caught up in our own crazy little worlds and forget to acknowledge those who have always been by our side and sometimes we can even forget ourselves. Sometimes, our appreciation comes a little too late. If you have the opportunity, 2017 is a year to try again. My biggest fear is to never get the chance to let people know how worthy they are to me. So, in 2017 stop waiting around, stop building a life full of regrets; get out there and spend that little bit extra time with those you value the most, let them know their worth and surround yourself with their positive vibes. Spend some time with yourself too though. Sometimes the person who listens to us best is ourselves. We owe ourselves some alone time every now and then.While most of us stopped caring for new year resolutions, I think it’s fair to say that we still have hopes and ambitions for the year to come. Some people may plan ahead, others take life as it comes. And whilst “it’s not the movement of the clock that produces the newness of life, it is the movement in your mind” most of us want to be able to say “this has been my year”. When posed with the question “What are your hopes/aims/goals for 2017?” the respondents, yet again, had common wishes:
“Happiness would be lovely”
“To be happy“
“Get fitter, finish college and be happy!”
“To improve my mental health and be happy with myself”
“To do well in college, exercise more and to be more open with my friends and family.”
“To accomplish what is put in front of me”
“Become a better person”
“My goal for 2017 is to learn about myself more & always be the better person.”
On a final note, I would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to everybody that has continuously supported my work throughout the past four months of writing. Thank you to those who took the time to read, to share, to appreciate my silly work and even participate in it. A lot happens behind the scenes, and for me, writing has become such an eye opener to the world around me and certainly the people that surround me. It’s scary putting yourself and your thoughts out there, it’s a vulnerable place to be but it’s the constant support that empowered me to keep at it. And my god do I wish some of you blogged too so I can have an insight into your thoughts. Maybe you’ll surprise me in the new year 😉
That’s it from me for the year.
Wishing you a truly happy, fulfilling year, smothered with love, warmth and discovery!