2016 Life Lessons - Reinventing, Reviving and Releasing

As if building a new website, my Instagram hiatus and inspirational Twitter rants couldn't speak for themselves, the past few months have been challenging for me. Without delving in too deep to my personal life (although we might tackle this later) I experienced a large loss that left me questioning the life that I have built for myself. People told me to focus on the future and take time for myself. As good hearted as all this advice was, the only thing I needed to do was to feel it out completely, despite how dark of a place it would take me too. I have been - and if we are being honest, still am - attempting to revive some semblance of normality.

They say that every experience offers some knowledge that you can carry with you as you embark on future endeavors. I have been racking through everything to see what I could possibly take away from all the crap that 2016 has had to offer me. This is my chicken scratch list of what I have learned. 

#1. Family is everything.

This should also be prefaced with the fact that family does not always have to be a relation by blood. The people that have your back through thick and thin are the people that make up your family. You have the ability to create your own family. Being away at school is tricky when dealing with emotional turmoil so it is important to have a trusted group of people to love on you.

#2. Think bigger and beyond yourself.

I will be the first to admit that my world revolves around myself. It is okay to be selfish every once in a while - only when it is to take care of your emotional needs. The key is not to get stuck in your own head. Everyone is going through something - there is always someone that has it worse off than you. This also goes for building success for yourself. Take a second to think - are your actions to serve more than just you. If you could be doing anything at all, what would it be? How are you going to build that dream starting today? What will be the mark you leave on the universe?

#3. Trust Your Gut.

If you listen to any of these, this needs to be it. Also included in this one is to trust your process, there is absolutely nothing more important. If you feel like your man wants to f*ck other girls - he probably does and you need to get out. If you feel stuck in a job you hate - it is probably time to move on and grow. If you think that a friend doesn't have your best intentions in mind - he/she probably will throw you under a bus in due time. The only way to be successful and truly happy is by building a wonderful relationship with yourself. You need to be able to do what is right for you and your process. Your gut is one smart bitch plus she always has your back. It is time you listen to her. 

#4. Healthy body helps build a healthy mind.

My body and I have had a very "It's Complicated" relationship status since third grade. As shitty as 2016 was, one of the best things that came out of it was an appreciation of my body and fueling its needs. This doesn't mean that I don't have the days I see myself as a beached whale, I absolutely do. 2016 brought the first year ever where I felt a drive to be healthy and take care of myself. I learn to watch what I eat - not to track calories but to make sure I am nurturing my body with the best food for me. I am paying attention to how food makes me feel. Most importantly, I am working out because I WANT to. Crazy, I know. Not only does it feel so good to get stronger and fit but it is the only thing that calms my anxiety. I am destined for heart disease and I am determined to kick its ass.

#5. Radiate light, love and positivity at all times.

No matter how much someone might hurt you, you can always be a beacon of love in the world. This one is the most important lessons for me to solidify in my belief system. Look around at the world and everyone with incredible level of empathy. Love every person, independent of their choices or character. Everyone is on a journey and most are just doing the best they know how - love them for that. Respect and acknowledge the roles the people play in your "movie" and love them for that - nothing more or less. Be the reason someone smiles, not shrinks away. You will never be able to control the way people think about you so, don't pay any mind to that. Make sure you go to bed each night knowing you did the best you could do make our world one of peace and positivity.

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I thank 2016 for all it had to offer. There were some incredible memories accompanied by the difficult ones. All in all I am grateful for the year. 2017, let's see what you've got.