Tag: Self-reflection

17 Life Lessons I Learned in 2017

17 Life Lessons I learned in 2017 | Motivation, Inspiring, Reflection. Lifestyle

Today is the last Saturday of the year and what a year it has been!

I’m honestly not one to make an annual review of my year because – I don’t know. I don’t like grading my year and evaluating if it was a “good” year or a “bad” year. I find it cool that other people do it, though. It’s just not something I personally do hehe. I actually recently read an essay piece about this and you can check it out here.

What I like to do, instead, is to reflect back on the past year and remember all the lessons I’ve learned in 2017. Because you all know how I like life lessons 😉 And also, my homeboy once said:

“Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

So here I am, reflecting on the lessons I lived this year to understand. Grab a chair and a box of tissues or three because you might need it.

Or maybe you won’t but I might, okay? Okay.

17 Life Lessons I learned in 2017 | Motivation, Inspiring, Reflection. Lifestyle

1. There is no real world out there.

This year, I was especially tired of adults telling me about the “real world out there” as if the world we young adults are living in isn’t real.

Newsflash: it is.

Every hardship and every experience that we go through childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood will ultimately affect our adult lives. And this fact is backed by science yo. But also, like, that actually makes total sense? Because are we not molded by our own experiences? If you feel you’ve been told to prepare for the “real world out there” plenty of times, I have a post for you to check out.

2. Stop comparing your level 18 to someone else’s level 38.

It is never healthy for you, okay? As much as social media gives our comparison beast easier access for things it will compare to us, you have to constantly remind yourself that social media is a highlights reel. You don’t know what’s happening beyond that certain celebratory post or that beautifully styled photo.

3. We all have our own pace.

Sloths taught me there are those who thrive in the slow lane. And that our slow lane doesn’t necessarily mean the sloth’s slow lane. Maybe that’s just its norm.

In the same way that a squirrel’s norm is skittering at a quick pace. In the same way that a mammoth moth’s norm is a mere week more of life after becoming the huge and beautiful insect that it had become as it emerged from its cocoon. (Seriously. Sometimes Nat Geo Wild have sadder, more tear-jerker stories than any soap opera that ever existed.)

You cannot tell a life well-lived just by how much it has achieved in a certain block of time. We all grow at a different pace and we all get to where we have to go at different times.

4. You are allowed to be human.

To make mistake. To be flawed. Don’t let anyone say you can’t be like that.

Friend, nothing good comes out of obsessing on achieving perfection. Take it from a perfectionist like yours truly.

5. You define you.

Not things. Not stereotypes. Not society. You and only you define who you are. And on that note…

6. Let go of the people polluting your life.

Find yourself people who will enrich your life with support and compassion. People who will accept and love you for who you are. It is a disservice to your own self if you surround yourself with emotionally unhealthy individuals.

Remember: toxic relationships of any kind are like tooth decay. Pull that little beast out of your life for good and you will thank yourself later.

7. There are some things you simply cannot control.

And trying to control it will end in vain and you hurting. Let it go <3

8. There are some things that you cannot say.

I absolutely love the growing number of empowered people who have found the strength to use their voices this year. From amazing people who take the time to educate others of their culture even when it’s not their job, to the incredible array of individuals, both men and women, who shared the awful experiences they had in their workplace and community.

It is truly inspiring to see that more people have found how powerful their own voice can be.

But at the same time, I have also learned this year that there are simply things you cannot say.

Perhaps you just can’t say them yet or perhaps they are not something you should say ever. But I find this does not necessarily mean your voice is restrained and you are restrained. It just meant you are not harming anyone else by saying them. Does that make any sense?

9. There will be people with different opinions from yours.

Boy, being more active on Twitter this year really hit the nail for this.

There are as many opinions and perspectives as there are people. And there is nothing wrong with creating a discourse about your differing opinions. In fact, do so! To let other people see how you interpret and see these issues and share your opinion on them is the best way you could make other people see things in your perspective. And this I support 100%.

But there is a difference between “Look, here’s why I think you’re wrong and that what you’re saying is harmful to others” and “You’re SO wrong! Are you a freakin idiot?? I’m the one who’s right lalala!”

And you have to be careful not to cross that line. Otherwise, no well-intentioned discussion, that could have possibly taught all parties something, would happen.

Also, note to self: don’t feed on the trolls. They know they’re provoking you, Kate. Don’t be tempted. You’ll only satisfy them.

10. There is absolutely nothing wrong with indulging yourself.

Look, prioritizing and focusing on what matters are good and all until that’s all you ever do. Please, take care of your body.

Our bodies are not machines and, heck, even machines need breaks. So take a break too! Treat yourself to an ice cream after a long study session. Cuddle your pet for several minutes before going back to finishing that project. TAKE. A. FREAKIN. NAP.

Breaks are important and not to be taken for granted. Allow yourself to be human, remember? 🙂

Freshly baked lemon cake with icing and lavender flowers

11. You don’t have to show everything to everyone.

In this day and age, sharing could easily turn to oversharing. Which is not really good for most part.

I got to listen to this amazing podcast episode in Emma Gannon’s Ctrl Alt Delete where she and her guest, Rae Earl, talked about the consequences of sharing everything in your life on social media, along with body image and mental health. It’s a fun episode and if you like listening on conversations about the Internet and how it affects our lives like I do, you should definitely check out the rest of Emma’s podcast.

12. Don’t judge how other people spend the money they earn.

It is not yours. Plain and simple.

13. Changing your routine a bit can work wonders.

I shared this post on getting unstuck with life and I mentioned how writing my first drafts for blog posts on my tablet instead of typing it in my laptop as I always do helped me with my writer’s block and on actually finishing a draft. I still do it, you know. And it still works wonders!

See, you don’t have to necessarily change everything in your routine. You don’t have to do a complete routine overhaul. Simply tweaking and changing a bit here and there can already seem like both familiar and refreshing to your brain.

14. Don’t be so quick to assume someone’s character.

Just… Don’t.

I’ve learned this year especially that every person has character depths. Even those that you think seem like a cookie cutter of a certain stereotype. You just don’t know them that much to see it but it’s there.

And anyway, thinking of people this way instead seem a lot better and more compassionate and more thoughtful than to simply assume everyone’s shallow, right? 🙂

15. Choose to be positive.

Because you do have a choice. And you can choose not to dwell too much on the bad stuff. Another takeaway from your resident cynic potato (aka me.)

16. Find time for your hobby.

Hobbies are important, y’all.

I’ll probably write a more in-depth post about this next year but in the meantime, know that those people who laugh at your hobby and say your hobby’s ridiculous?

They’re the kind who don’t get anything from Santa.

They’re a bunch of sad folks who have yet to find their own hobbies. Forget about them. Keep doing your hobby. (Unless, of course your hobby involves hurting other living beings badly then please please please look for a better hobby.)

17. Don’t give up.

This may seem a bit cliché but hear me out here.

Honestly, there have been plenty of trying times throughout 2017 for me. And I’ve hit a real low at some point. But you know what? A small part in me had this cliché line on repeat whenever it happened. It was just a constant phrase I hear during those low times.

And so here I am now 🙂

Friend, no matter how “good” or “bad” this year has been for you, remember that, in spite of everything, you’re still here. You’ve reached this point and you’re 200% stronger than you were at the beginning of 2017.

You probably got new battle scars all over you too. But hey! That also mean you’ve got a lot of experiences and accomplishments on your arsenal too! Don’t take that lightly. It’s huge, no matter what other people say.

And you’re gonna greet 2018 with more resilience and more strength than you’ve greeted any other year before.

Don’t give up. You got this.

I believe in you. <3

I hope you have an awesome year ahead! <3

What lessons have you learned this year? Do you also have a wise homeboy? Share it all below!

kate

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photos from: SC Stockshop and Annie Spratt on Unsplash

What’s Stopping You From Doing What You Want to Do?

Seriously. I’m curious.

Think of something, just one thing, right now. Something that you’ve always wanted to do but never found the time. This urge deep, deep inside you that just wants out. It just screams to be shared to the world. But it didn’t get to.

What is it that’s holding you back? That’s making you hesitate to take the first step? That no matter how many times you’ve replayed Shia Labeouf’s iconic (and probably now a classic) motivation clip, you STILL didn’t do it?

Is it your need for perfection? Or is it procrastination? Is it maybe because you feel guilty? Or you have more important things to do? Or you feel like you’re not ready for it? That you’re not good enough?

What’s Stopping You From Doing What You Want to Do? | Personal Growth, Fear, Positivity

I like to think there’s one word for it, whatever it is that’s holding you back:

Fear.

I mean… perfectionism? That’s fear. Procrastination? Fear. Guilt? Busy-ness? Insecurity? F E A R.

Me + Fear = Self-doubt

At the start of the year, I planned this monthly creative thing. During each month, I was supposed to work on one huge illustration. It was supposed to be my 2017 creative project where I could improve on anatomy, get out of my creative comfort zone, practice putting more details on my work.

Now that I think about it, they’re all ambitious shenanigans.

Three months into it, I was still okay. I got to create illustrations that I was proud of, even now. But March was also the last month of our school year. Things got hectic and busy. I was meeting project deadlines. At the same time, deep inside me, doubt was starting to grow. Doubt on myself, mostly. On my art.

Utterly overwhelmed, I ran towards and hid behind the protection the busy-ness of school life provided. I had more important things to do, I reasoned out. I needed to make a priority. Funny thing, this was exactly what happened to me last year. I threw out everything not related to school.

My art, my blog, and *chokes* books.

That was hell, I tell you. And I regretted not having enough time for my hobbies.

I promised myself I wasn’t going to be like that this year. But, surprise surprise, I went back into that rabbit hole. Less than a year later.

Here’s another example:

I am a World-class Procrastinator™. Most times, I procrastinate because I’m lazy (especially in things like, you know, school). But sometimes I procrastinate in creating a blog post or doing this illustration that I’ve been planning in my head for a while now. And I constantly beat myself up over it.

Fear manifests into your life in so many ways

You might take a look at what’s holding you back and think, “Pssh, nah. That ain’t fear.” But if you look real close and think about it real hard, you’d realize that yes it is fear.

My refuge to busy-ness? That’s me avoiding the challenge I’ve set myself up because of self-doubt. Because I was afraid of failing that challenge. Being a creative procrastinator? That’s me fearing I won’t do what I imagined in my mind justice.

Like, you know how boggarts transform into that very thing you’re afraid of? How it turned into a giant spider for Ron and a dementor for Harry? That is the very essence of fear.

It morphs and takes different shapes, depending on the person that encounters it.

Now, I’m facing another encounter with fear. And it’s holding me back again. But this time’s different. I refuse to let it hold me back. I don’t want to feel awful at myself because I didn’t try to step away from my fear. Not anymore. And if you’re in a similar position as me right now, neither should you.

So what can we do about it?

Really, the first step to all this is knowing you’re afraid of something. And that fear is holding you back.

Sometimes we like to be in denial even with ourselves. I get it. My gosh, it can be sooo hard to be honest with yourself. Because truth is supposedly simple but it also hurts, which makes it so difficult to confront, let alone acknowledge.

So I always take the phrase “reflect on your actions” to heart. I try to give myself time and space alone to reflect on what I did and why I did it. Sometimes I reflect while doodling. Sometimes I’m just staring at my ceiling while the Hamilton soundtrack is playing in the background. I couldn’t care less, so long as I’m reflecting and acknowledging my flaws and fears.

If pure, staring-blankly-into-space reflection is hard for you, here are other ways you can reflect:

<3 Talk with someone—whether it’s a friend, or a confidante, or a professional

<3 Write an entry in your journal

<3 Meditate or do yoga

<3 Read books in a genre you rarely read

<3 Cook or bake

<3 Do pottery or other crafty activities

<3 Listen to relaxing music

When you’re at that point where you’re frustrated at yourself because you are not doing the thing that ignites your passion, it’s time to reflect. Ask yourself, “What is it that’s holding me back? What am I afraid of?”

Awareness is always the first step. The moment you are aware of your emotions and fears, the moment you acknowledge their existence, the rest is a little bit easier to deal with. At least that’s what I think 🙂

Check back here again next Wednesday for part two of this… Post? Impromptu series? Whatever you call it. 😉 I will talk about the rest of the steps you could take to step out of fear’s grasp and start doing what you’ve always wanted to do. For now, take the first step. And tell me:

Is there something you’ve always wanted to do but never got to? What’s holding you back? Is it fear just like mine? Do you take time for self-reflection? How do you reflect on your day?

I’d love to hear your stories and thoughts! 🙂