6 Life Lessons I Learned in 2016


We’re in the last Wednesday of the year.

Is anyone getting teary-eyed saying goodbye to 2016?

I can just hear you: “Teary-eyed, Kate? Tears of relief, maybe. Good riddance, I say!”

I know, I know. 2016 was definitely not one of the best years for many and that’s saying it nicely.

But what do I always say here? Good and bad always go together. They’re two different horns, yeah sure. But they’re two different horns on the same llama. So they have differences and things in common and they always go together.


That said, I honestly believe that while 2016 was a straight-up birch as a whole (that was not a typo; I’m just cautious of younger awesome peeps reading this) even the Rainiest Johnny and Jenny Rain Clouds can’t deny that good things happened this year, right? Riiiight?

And to prove it, I share to you the 6 best life lessons I learned this year.

1 | There is no pace to keep other than your own

This was the hardest one I’ve learned this year, I think. I personally grew up with the idea that I have to figure things out as early in my life as possible. I guess a lot of people are. We’re all pressured to decide what our future job should be and start working to achieve it by the age of fifteen. We are all pressured by this internal time ticking in our subconscious telling us to keep. Pace. Keep. Pace. With everyone else.

And you know what I learned this year? This is all ridiculous. There is no pace to keep. You are not lagging behind.

I could go on but I don’t want to keep this post 8973 words long so let’s leave it at that for now. I may write an entire post about this next year but for now, you can head on to my previous posts below to see a glimpse of what I think of this.

Sarah Dessen’s “Infinity” and the Daunting Task of Making a Decision

Why It’s Okay to Not Have Everything Figured Out

2 | There is always room for improvement

I think there’s that tricky, blurry line between contentment and persistence. When do you stop doing one and start doing the other?

Honestly? I have no idea.

But what I do know is this: even at times when you feel like there is no way that you could ever surpass where you currently are now, well surprise surprise because someday you will. There’s a whole lot of space left in you for improvement.

You are a work in progress.

This amazing article from Brain Pickings (I mean, who are we kidding? Brain Pickings is an inspirational gold mine; all the articles are ah-mazing!) tells of two mindsets and how they could essentially change our outlooks on life and even shape it. This article strengthened my belief for this particular lesson, too, so give it a read. It’s really enriching.

3 | Your quirks are part of who you are; embrace it

And while you’re at it, embrace all parts of you.

Further cementing my belief on this one, I recently read this amazing collection of stories by A.C. Burch called A Book of Revelations (*Amazon affiliate link over there) and my gobbling turkey the stories are just plain amazing! One of the stories had this quote that I think excellently sums up my point:


Edit: I forgot to attach this, whoops!

And to drive it all the way home, I wrote a post at Flawed Silence for Project Taboo where I talked about how I think every part of you doesn’t have to “make sense.” And since you’re there already, scroll through Kiya’s amazing blog. It’s filled to the brim with inspiration, delectable baking goodies, and spectabulous photographs!

4 | Don’t judge a person by how they appear

I’m calling it: a lot of people literally judge books by their covers *raises hands* but don’t do this to people.

Every one, every single person you met, passed by, engaged eye contact with, talked to, even those you haven’t met yet: they all have unique experiences you wouldn’t understand.

Okay so maybe you kiiiinda get it because you’ve been through a similar experience. But read that again: similar. Totally different from exact. Because, folks, even when you’ve read that person like a book from cover to cover, always remember that there is still something between the lines. And you may have missed it.

This is a hard one, believe me, I know. But as Judy Hopps always say, try.

5 | Take a break

And by that, I don’t just mean coffee break. (Or in my case, chocolate break) I mean, get some rest—physically, mentally, and emotionally. If you’re over-fatigued, sleep. I find that having enough sleep when you’re life isn’t as hectic helps in so many ways. I mean, if Arianna Huffington approves, go ahead and do it!

And if you’re feeling overwhelmed, nothing wrong with taking a break, amirite? But there’s a huge difference between stopping and quitting, mmkay? Speaking of which…

6 | Never quit entirely, immediately

So you got rejected in your job application or maybe a scholarship one. Will you quit applying altogether? Will you not pursue it anymore? Will you not try to reevaluate what you’ve done and see how you could change it?

Personally, this is the easiest lesson that I learned this year and could apply for next year onwards. But that’s because I’m plain stubborn. Well, a lot more stubborn than I was when I was a kid. I’ve decided to never let one failure/rejection/Johnny Rain Cloud get to me.

Now I don’t mean to never quit your whole life. Because there will come a time, when one thing isn’t working anymore, there’s no point in pursuing it further. I just mean that maaaybe you haven’t tried everything yet to possibly work it all out.

Whew! That was one lengthy post! But hey, it’s my last Wednesday post of the month and the year. The last post this Saturday (December 31st, holy macaroni!) will be, like every end of the month, a creative review and probably will include a short Happy New Year message. So we’re really saying goodbye to 2016 in a few days!

Onto you: what life lessons, or any lessons in particular (I’m not picky, I just love lessons ;)) you’ve learned this year? Share them in the comments below!

Have an amazing day, awesome peeps! 🙌


Love you list! And as a college professor and student advisor, I often tell students to NOT make a decision about their life plan as a Freshman in college. I feel like closing doors early on may make one miss opportunities they might otherwise see. So, I agree with you on keeping pace. It is good to have a FLEXIBLE plan, so follow a path, but be willing to take some detours should they arise and look attractive. You might end up in a better place than you were originally headed!

Kate says:

Hi! Thank you for reading and for taking the time to write such a thoughtful comment 😀 I couldn’t have said it better! You are right that we shouldn’t really close our doors to the possibilities of changing paths because we need that door open for most of our lives. I hope the world will have more amazing professors such as you 🙂 May you have an awesome year ahead!

Lia says:

This is a really great post! I think I’ve learned that it’s okay to be yourself 🙂
I hope you have a wonderful 2017!

Kate says:

Thank you Lia 🙂 and yes! That is a brilliant lesson to learn and something we all need to remind ourselves anytime. I hope you have a spectabulous year ahead too!

Lia says:

Thank you!

Ash says:

These are all amazing lessons and I agree with every single one of them! A lesson that I’ve learnt this year is that we shouldn’t give up on humanity purely due to all of the terrible things that have happened throughout the year because there are some pretty fabulous people in this world 🙂

Kate says:

Thank you, Ash! (I’m still loving that new name obvs :D) And oh heck yes PREACH. This year revealed all the terrible things that humanity could possibly do BUT it also proved that love and happiness can permeate through it all 🙂 Hope you’ll have a 2017 as awesome as you! 😀

Ash says:

No problem! Exactly! Like you said, there’ll always be good where there’s bad and although at times the bad may seem incredibly, well…bad, there IS good that can overcome it we choose to acknowledge and support its existence! The same goes for you 🙂

Regina5000 says:

This post is awesome!! I agree 100%!! XD XD
Happy new year in advance!

Kate says:

D’awww thank you! But it’s not as awesome as you 😀 Advance happy new year too!

Regina5000 says:

No problem!! And nah, you’re more AWESOME!! And thank you! XD

Kate says:

The we’ll be both awesome then! 😀

Ash says:

Yay, I’m glad!

It’s great that you’ve learned a few life lessons! I definitely have this year! Have an amazing time next year! All the best for the future, Kate! 🙂

Kate says:

Hi! Thank you so much 🙂 I hope you have an amazing year ahead too! 🙂

Pssst I love your graphic in this post! And these lessons you’ve shared with us are all amazing and relatable. And thank you for mentioning my blog, you know just how to melt me with your kindness. I can’t wait for your artsy wrap up on Saturday!!

Hmm a lesson I’ve learned this year is it’s okay to feel inadequate, and it’s okay to move at a slug pace because determination will pay off in the end.

Much love x

[…] Related: 6 Life Lessons I Learned in 2016 […]

Doni W says:

Those are valuable lessons, allthetrinkets! <3
Nice post, I can totally relate especially 'never judge people'!

B says:

Oh, did I ever need to read Number One. I might need to write it down somewhere and look at it over and over again to stop beating myself up every time something doesn’t happen fast enough for me. I’m looking forward to reading other lovely, thoughtful blog posts from you in the new year. All the best!

B says:

Thanks so much for checking it out, Kate! 🙂

Doni W says:

No worries, Kate! <3

Great lessons to share!

Eri Hunt says:

This is great !I hope that 2017 will be an awesome year for you.

Eri Hunt says:

Absolutely! Your welcome and thank you 🙂

We are all work in progress. Good stuff.

Kate says:

Thank you! That’s a good quote 🙂

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.