When 2022 started, I had numerous internal and external battles, however the battles made me stronger as l took every experience as a lesson. l celebrated my victories, even the smallest of victories, soldiered through my mishaps, cried through the pain and laughed every chance l got. Below, l will share my takeaways from 2022, l believe these will come handy in 2023 and in years to come.
The first thing l learnt early in 2022 is that We were never meant to do life alone. Growing up, l was used to doing things on my own, the “I can do bad all by myself,” kinda vibe. In March 2022 this was about to change as l received the news that l was to undergo surgery. At some point l even started making plans for my kids just in case l didn’t make it. Thank God the surgery was a success and during the whole period l wasn’t alone. l had friends and family around me who helped me go through this terrifying moment. Some were there at every doctor’s appointment, some were there to hold my hand through it all, some were there to drive me to the hospital, others got me groceries .. l could go on and on but you get the idea right ? I had so much love and support which made it all bearable. Always remember that the people in your life are there for you, although it might not be everyone.. there are those who will be there through thick and thin. Ask for help and don’t do life alone!
The second thing l learnt is, One cannot be grateful for what they feel entitled to. Entitlement kills gratitude! It’s normal to feel entitled to love and provision from our parents, loyalty from our friends, affection from our spouses and good remuneration, the list goes on and on. Despite how we feel, the truth is NO ONE OWES YOU ANYTHING! Not our parents, to not partners, no one! Consequently, when we feel entitled to certain things such as love, loyalty, provision and affection, things that other people work hard or sacrifice to give us, we become ungrateful. Ungrateful, because we feel that we deserve to receive these things because it is our right. Lack of appreciation results in frustration in those bending themselves over for us. Let us appreciate every single thing that the people around us do, thank your parents for paying your school fees, appreciate your partner when they get groceries and pay bills, be thankful when your friend shows up for you. Never feel entitled, rather appreciate the people around you.
The third thing l learnt is, Do something! There is a popular saying that goes if you can’t run, walk, if you can’t walk crawl. The goal is to do something, to goal is to move. Whatever goal you have, it might be to run a marathon, build a business, become a present parent or improve school grades, remember Rome wasn’t built in one day! Start by doing something small, take a step towards achieving your goals. One step at a time! Before you run a marathon, you have to start by taking a step, then walking a mile then finally run.
The fourth takeaway is, Create your own happiness. The easy thing is to let our happiness depend on what the people around us do or what happens around us because it takes all responsibility away from us and burdens the people in our lives. In addition, we give the people around us power to dictate whether we are jovial, sad or depressed. As much as we have no power over the actions of others, we have power over how we react or respond to those actions. Being happy is a choice that we have to make regardless of the circumstances around us. Happiness is internal, therefore be intentional about creating your own happiness and doing the things you love.
My last take away is, Its ok not to be ok. Often we are taught to hold our heads up high and put up a perfect face for the world so that they believe that we have it all together. That is like blowing air into a balloon non stop, blowing up is inevitable. Pretending to be ok when we are not, is self destructive. We have to learn to deal with negative emotions and depression and get help if need be. It’s ok to ask a friend to come by for a chat, it’s ok to vent to a friend and let them know how you are feeling, cry, scream if you have to and grieve when you have to.
I hope you will find these useful in 2023. I wish you an amazing year!