LESSONS FROM 2018

When the year ends we always focus on what could’ve been or what should’ve happened. We usually sum up the end of a year with all the bad things that happened to us and rarely look at the good too. I’m saying this because I’m also guilty of it. I found myself reflecting on 2018 as the worst year ever but in truth so was 2017,2016 and so on and so forth. The truth is every year has its challenges and that’s what life is, life is about challenges.

I found myself looking at all the people and things I lost, missed opportunities, things I could’ve done better and how I let myself down. I kept on beating myself up over all that and I know I’m not alone in this. Every year we make resolutions and have all these expectations but when things don’t go our way we sulk, give up and close the year off as the worst.

In truth no one can say they’ve had the best year, they just managed to make the best of the year and that’s what we should do. Take each day as it comes, live, learn and move on.

Yes 2018 was a tough year but it was also a good year in its own way. I learned a lot in 2018 and I’d like to share what I learned with you.

1. NOTHING LASTS FOREVER.

It can be pain, happiness, loss, change or whatever you are going through. It doesn’t last forever. Situations come and go, seasons change, we cry and we laugh, we lose and we gain. It’s all a part of life. It’s not permanent, so you must experience it, live it and and learn from it.

2. THERE IS A LESSON SOMEWHERE

When something bad happens we always cry and shut down but that shouldn’t always be the case. Sometimes there is a lesson in situations we go through and all we need to is open our eyes and try to find the lesson in whatever we are going through.

3. ITS OKAY TO FEEL BAD SOMETIMES

I bet even Batman feels lousy once in a while. Nobody is perfect and we need to understand that. It’s okay to feel sad, angry, emotional or any negative emotion out there. Life gets us down and it will get us down so it’s okay to feel bad. You can’t be jolly and full of smiles when you fail an exam or find out your puppy died. Feel whatever emotion you are going through and after all that pull yourself together.

4. SOMETIMES A LOSS ISN’T A LOSS

I know it doesn’t make sense but trust me, sometimes a loss is a gain. Losing bad friends is not a loss, letting go of toxic relationships and people in life is not a loss, losing anything that doesn’t benefit you is not a loss at all. It’s all good, you gained something. You might not feel like it but letting go of bad things will do you good.

5. YOU ARE YOUR OWN HINDRANCE

I won’t get much into this because our situations are not the same but sometimes the end result is always the same. Sometimes you want to try something or go somewhere but you can’t because you have mixed feelings or you are not too sure or you are scared and you experience all those emotions that stop you from actually doing something. That’s you stopping yourself from living and possibly your breakthrough, stop self doubting and just go with it.

6. COMFORT IS DANGEROUS

Being too comfortable in any situation is dangerous because it can stop you from doing anything. You get so comfortable in a situation that you don’t see when it’s detrimental. Get out of your comfort zone and you will achieve many things. You can never lose anything because it’s all about learning.

7. MOVE ON

There is no point in focusing on the past and what should’ve or could’ve been. If it happened, it happened and if it didn’t then it didn’t so move on and stop holding on to ghosts of the past.

8. SET REALISTIC GOALS

It’s awesome to have goals, goals are why we get up in the morning. We aspire to be someone, we hope to achieve something, we want to amount to something and we can only do so with goals. Goals help us achieve our dreams, so that’s why they must be realistic. You can’t wake up in the morning and say your goal is to be a different race. That’s just insane. Set goals that you can and will achieve, set goals that are realistic and will get you to where you want to be in life.

9. IT’S OKAY TO BE SELFISH

I always say this to my friends, it’s okay to be selfish with yourself, time and emotion. Sometimes you need to invest in yourself, take time out just for you to focus on you. It’s okay to want to be alone and focus on your career or hobby or whatever really. You don’t have to please everyone.

10. LOVE YOURSELF TO INFINITY AND BEYOND.

I can’t stress this enough, LOVE YOURSELF. It doesn’t matter whether you are big or small, fat or thin, whether you have scars or not or whether you are rich or poor. Nobody is ever going to love you as much as you love yourself so you might as well do it and do it to the fullest.

Happy 2019.

Live, Love, Learn and be Happy.

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Why do we need validation???

Stupid approval! That’s what I’ve been singing for the past few months. No, not self-approval, approval from the masses or better yet approval from my peers. I know that I am smart, beautiful, funny and all that but it sounds so self centred and vain when I say it. However when someone else says it it’s like heaven just opened and I was kissed by an angel. I feel happy when I’m praised or when I get compliments. Maybe that’s the problem. We get a sense of pride and joy mostly when someone else appreciates and approves of us. come on, I mean even baby Jesus was adored by the Magi at birth, so can’t these people who we’ve lived with for so long and did so much for adore us? No I don’t mean get us gifts of gold and all, (it would be really awesome though) no. I think we just want someone to say ‘Well done or you are beautiful and oh my God you are the bomb’.

I bet you’ve felt that too. wanting to be praised and acknowledged. Wanting someone to pat you on the back, pull their thumbs up and and say way to go, you did it.’
Why does it matter though? Why does your value rely on someone else? Have you ever thought that maybe you are enough? I don’t mean being tired or over something but enough in terms of being complete, being the ultimate package. Just being whole and not needing anything?
I won’t judge because there was a time in my my life where the masses would matter and so did their opinions of me.
I remember not feeling good enough. I used to feel complete in the eyes of Someone else or rather what they thought of me. If they thought positive of me then I’d be content and if it was negative then I’d sit down and curse myself.

I think this happens with everyone. When you get a new hairstyle its not a big deal until someone says ‘Oh my God you look amazing’. We measure ourselves based on how people see or classify us. Take me for instance, I completed my degree, I’m smart, I’m beautiful, funny and all that but I didn’t feel this way about myself until someone else said it. For me to believe all that about myself I needed to hear it from someone else. I needed someone to put value and validate me.

Here is my crazy story: A very close friend of mine is a photographer and I’ve known the person for years. Not once has the person ever taken a picture of me or pretended to take a picture of me and that put a dent on my confidence. I started feeling ugly and didn’t appreciate myself only because this one person didn’t take a picture of me.

Looking back at it or writing it down I’m thinking man, that was stupid but at that time it was a big deal and it hurt. I knew that I’m beautiful don’t get me wrong. Just that this one person or rather their photographic opinion if you would call it that meant so much that I belittled myself and started feeling low about how I looked all because they never took a picture of me. In my mind it felt like if Beyonce never wrote or sang a song about or for Jay-Z, imagine how Jay-Z would feel. That’s where I was.

Regardless of what I knew, it still hurt and bugged me. I think that’s our problem, we know but we still want to be told . If you know something for a fact then why do you doubt yourself? Why do you feel the need to be praised by someone else. Personally I figured what if I took different poses, the butt pose, the smile, the shy look and all these other poses then the person would have to take a picture of me. This one person would find me beautiful. The sad thing is other people did take pictures of me, they offered and some even begged me to send them my pictures but this one person, this one person mattered so much that I saw myself as ugly and I just saw negativity in myself.

Its the same way as a wife with a new hairstyle hoping the husband compliments her but what if he doesn’t compliment you, what if he doesn’t see the change in you, he just stares blankly at you while you are busy swaying your head from left to right in the middle of a soccer game and he is just not paying attention to you, does that mean the fault is with you, are you incomplete without his compliments?

Why do we need validation? Why is it that someone’s approval of us matters much more than how we see ourselves. No one can say I don’t love myself because I woke up feeling that way. No, some magazine said you need to be a size 28, someone didn’t take your picture or find you beautiful enough to capture, someone said you are too dark.

That’s why you have a problem with yourself. What if you just woke up and felt like the bomb. You just woke up, got in your size 40, took your own picture and posted it on Facebook and just decided to tell yourself that you are the bomb and actually believed it. You wouldn’t need the Magi to adore you. It wouldn’t matter what anyone did or said because you know better and you know yourself much better. You adore yourself enough for the masses, you find no faults and flaws in who you are. You don’t need fake validation. You don’t need fake praises.

Perdonally I feel like this is a sickness that we all suffer from and the only cure is to look at ourselves and see ourselves for who and what we really are: beautiful, handsome, smart, intriguing, complete and amazing people amongst other things. The truth is that no one has to look at you and put a stamp of approval on you but yourself. Your happiness is not and should not be found or should not lie in someone’s words.
Don’t ever give someone that much power over you. You are enough and people don’t have to say it for you to know it. You know that you are enough and that’s enough on its own.

You don’t need someone to validate your existence and praise what you already know is amazing. Be content with who you are and adore yourself. Your life will be filled with peace and so much of love.
Be okay with who you are and how you look. Love yourself. Loving yourself can be many things, find your beauty, write yourself letters and poems, be crazy, take yourself on dates, face your fears, take pictures of yourself, motivate yourself. Don’t give anyone power over how you see yourself. Never give them so much power that when they don’t do what you expect of them then you are left shattered. Take that power back, compliment yourself, praise yourself and just be happy with yourself. Never let anyone make you feel bad about yourself.