By – Jennifer Ifeoma Ugboh
I have been in a constant state of reflection lately as I am wont to do whenever the year is coming to an end. I always like to look back on my journey through the year and think on the lessons I have learnt. Like I shared in one of my posts, my only goal at the beginning of the year was to be better; a better person, a better daughter, better sister, better friend, better employee and better to myself as well. Looking back on the year helps me analyze my journey to see where I can improve so I can live better going forward.
2017 has been one hell of a ride; it has been an interesting mix of highs and lows, successes and failures, fears and tears (lots of tears), self-doubt and excuses, wins and losses. I have basically gone through the year just winging it, simply taking each day as it comes. But through it all, I can say that 2017 has taught me a lot, some of which I am sharing below.
First is that BEING YOURSELF is the best thing you can do for you. In a world where there is so much pressure to be a socially acceptable version of yourself, staying true to that which makes you who you really are is important. Clich I know but oh so true.
2017 also taught me that KINDNESS is the glue of humanity. Its really simple; a lot of the issues that are fundamentally wrong with the world today will be non-issues if we are kinder to each other. I also learnt that PERFECTIONISM IS A MYTH and to be MORE FORGIVING of peoples excesses, including mine.
Perhaps, one of the biggest and possibly the hardest lessons I learnt this year is that sometimes Its OKAY NOT TO BE OKAY, I had to learn this the hard way.
I have always been a control freak, obsessed with plans and ideas about how things should go in my life, this is because a lot of things have happened that I have had absolutely no control over and the knowledge that I can take control of the direction my life can go filled me with inner peace, being in charge gave me a sense of security albeit a false one.
This year took all of that away from me, 2017 wrecked my carefully laid out plans, my security, my control, everything. I dealt with a lot of personal stuff that had me questioning everything I believed in, I was at one of the lowest points I have ever been in my life, broken, shattered, helpless, disillusioned, and disappointed. I lost touch with my soul, removed myself from my body as a coping mechanism and I was numb for weeks. The sad thing was nobody knew what I was dealing with and the few people that had an idea didnt know the extent of my pain.
I held it all in, wearing plastic smiles during the day, deflecting with humor and crying myself to sleep at night until I crashed down, hit rock bottom and had a meltdown.
It was at this point that I finally understood that as much as I would like to map out my life every step of the way, I wasnt in control of nada. I did get by though, I cried buckets way too many times, questioned my faith, threw a pity party, wallowed in it, withdrew into myself, and escaped reality by watching tons of series and listening to sad songs.
It was a truly dark period but I found the strength to slowly climb from the abyss and into the light. (A little dramatic I know but haha). In all of it, I guess I understood that the idea of having it all together is only just that; an idea.
I am not halfway near where I want to be on this journey to being better and living my best life; my insecurities still eat at me sometimes, I still self sabotage all the time, I have mood swings for no reason, I get angry for inconsequential things, I’m still a lone ranger, reticence is still my modus operandi and shutting people out is my favorite pastime. But I am fully committed to this journey of self-development and I am learning as I go.
So thank you 2017 for the lessons, I will be forever grateful for all you taught me.
What lessons have you learnt this year? Share them in the comment section below.