In closing out what probably been the most chaotic year in recent history, a lot of people are excited to kiss 2020 goodbye, claiming it as the “worst year ever.” Happily I can say I am not one of those people, and while the last 365 days have definitely had their highs and lows, I would almost dare to say this has been my best year so far. Hear me out.
You get what you want out of life. If a person is only focusing on what went wrong, then they will have a negative life. But as soon as you flip the switch in your mind to seeing the upside of what actually went right in an event, then suddenly you’re living a blessed and happy existence. I could easily say that losing my job for 6 months was a catastrophe and put me in financial strain because it was definitely a hardship on my life this year. Instead, I’m choosing to see it as a blessing. I’ve worked hard since I turned 16 and considering how drained I am from the last month at my new job, I feel very blessed to have been given that opportunity to relax and reset. I had an entire summer to lay by the pool, never set an alarm, and get back in nature with lots of hiking. Thanks to the extra unemployment, some help from family and savings I never went without and all my bills were paid. It also showed me just how much money I was wasting and I reinstated budgeting into my life which I should have been doing all along.
Early in the year a tornado ripped through Nashville and devastated many lives. That was a tragedy the city is still trying to bounce back from, made doubly hard by the shutdowns just 2 weeks later. But waking up to frantic messages between my co-workers checking on each other and driving through the destruction firsthand gave me a new sense of gratitude for life in general. In one instant you could be laying peacefully asleep in bed and in the next have everything you own destroyed or worse, lose your life. I don’t want to take even one second for granted because all those things that mattered so little, like food, clothing, shelter or a vehicle, would matter a great deal if lost.
As I mentioned last week I feel I finally have an idea of the direction my life is supposed to be heading. For the first time things are falling into place, and while there are guaranteed to be unexpected hiccups, I feel like I’m where I’m supposed to be. The universe has sent me on a long and winding road to put me here, now it’s just up to me to continue putting in the work and achieving success. While I do have some more materialistic goals and resolutions (losing weight, getting a new car, paying down debt) the majority of my energy is going to go toward furthering my career and my journey to being at peace. Regardless of how many things are going right, there’s still one thorn in my side I haven’t been able to shake that is hindering my full potential for happiness. It’s time to heal from it.
If you’re one of the folks who endured a tough year out of 2020, find some peace in knowing you aren’t alone. Everyone thinks they’re on an island and their own struggle is unique or worse than others, when at the end of the day, pain is pain regardless of the source. You can drown in a bathtub or an ocean and the end result is equally as traumatic. Try to start acknowledging what went right and the small blessings. Sometimes even when things go horribly wrong and the outcome isn’t what was desired, it can end up leading to a better scenario.
I do not write these things to try and brag about how amazing my life is. I’m still a work in progress and it’s taken many years of hurt and a laundry list of tragic events to put me where I am. I just know firsthand how it feels to be alone and scared at rock bottom and if sharing my journey can inspire even one person to take that first baby step forward toward “better” then I’ve done some good for the world. Find faith in the timing of things and find confidence in yourself that you truly are capable of cultivating a fabulous life, it just might not look the way you imagine it.
If you’re looking for some small resolutions with a big impact for 2021, my advice would be to aim for simplifying everything. Stop taking life so seriously. Laugh more than you cry, focus on the present, forget about the future and the past, take in lots of veggies, water and sunshine, and for goodness’ sake, turn off the 24 hour news cycle. And always be grateful, because somewhere probably very close by, someone wishes they have what you have.
See you all in 2021!