2020 has felt like a decade. To say that it was a difficult year is an understatement. This has definitely been the hardest year of my life, but I am thankful for God’s strength that has brought me through.
*insert praise break*
Here are 10 lessons that I learned in 2020 that I hope resonate with you:
1. Ask for help when you need it.
Seriously, communicate with your friends how they can best support you. Don’t deprive people the opportunity to be there for you and show up. If you’re like me and are known as the strong friend, you may naturally suffer alone or distance yourself from others. When you’re struggling, that’s the main time to lean in on your support system.
2. Set your boundaries and stick to them.
Others won’t respect your boundaries if you don’t. I now let my phone go straight to voicemail if I am in the middle of watching my favorite show, Once Upon a Time, and don’t blink an eye. Even though I may not be “busy” to others, it’s important that I have time to myself each day to do something I enjoy. Also, I no longer check my work emails when I am home. No, I don’t have kids. However, my time is still valuable and being a single woman doesn’t mean that I have to spend all my free time working. Okurrrrt!
3. Self care is about learning to say “no” and prioritizing yourself.
Self care doesn’t simply look like bubble baths and paying for a new set of nails. Self care is learning how to say “no”. Self care is setting boundaries and sticking to them. Self care is protecting your peace, even if it means disappointing others.
4. Rest isn’t something you earn, but what you NEED.
Don’t be afraid to take your rest as you need it. This capitalist culture will have you feeling bad for sleeping a full 8 hours each night. Honey, get your sleep– the work will still be there tomorrow. Not only will your body thank you for the rest, you’ll be more energized and able to conquer all of your tasks once you have proper rest.
5. That inner voice you have–listen to it AND trust it.
The closer you get to God, the more you’re able to recognize His voice. God speaks to me sometimes through my intuition. It is my responsibility to listen and move accordingly to God’s voice. While it may be difficult in the moment to remove yourself from a situation, you’ll be better off in the end for it.
6. Get comfortable with letting go of things, people, and ideologies that no longer serve you.
That belief that you’ve held onto since you were a child and don’t truly know why–challenge it! And if you no longer agree with it, let it go. That person you used to talk to back in college that now disturbs your peace anytime y’all interact and doesn’t care about your wellbeing, distance yourself from them. Letting go of people is hard, especially because people see it as being malicious. But the honest truth is that everyone can’t go where God is taking you…
7. Investing in yourself is not a waste of money.
Investing in myself this year looked like starting therapy sessions again. As a result, I’ve strengthened my ability to break negative thought patterns and worked through a lot of internalized trauma. Additionally, I invested in my own blog and brand this year. For you, it may look like purchasing a yoga mat, getting piano lessons, starting crafting classes, or going back to school. YOU are your greatest asset, invest accordingly!
8. Life is too short to waste your time doing things you don’t absolutely love.
2020 has put a lot of things into perspective for me. And this lesson doesn’t need much of an explanation. Whatever it is that you love to do, spend your time doing it!
9. Most times, there’s no such thing as the “perfect time”. Start now. Do it now!
I wasted too much time this year waiting on the RIGHT time to release content. I would over-analyze every detail and end up leaving all of the photos and videos in my camera roll. That dream of going back to school–start filling out applications. That business you wanted to start, start it! That skill you’ve always wanted to learn, set aside the time to learn it. Ecclesiastes 11:4 says “Those who wait for perfect weather will never plant seeds; those who look at every cloud will never harvest crop”.
10. Choose joy.
Happiness is conditional and based on “when your happenings are happening'”, as my former pastor used to say. Joy, on the other hand, is happiness experienced in the midst of chaos. Choosing and finding joy in some of my darkest moments this year was hard, but brought me much peace. I pray the same for you.
As 2021 approaches, I pray that you experience an abundance of joy, peace, and blessings in the new year!
With love and light,