22 Lessons Learned in 2022
This year was beautiful and chaotic and rough.
Let's get into it.
Look back but don’t go back. There are a lot of beautiful things to reminisce on. Looking back is not a bad thing contrary to popular belief. Look back. Remember people and seasons fondly. Miss them if you need to. Just don’t revisit them.
Go where you feel comfortable. The world we live in right now is a fairly uncomfortable place in a lot of ways. Especially for Black women (speaking for myself and many of my readers). The last thing we need is unnecessary discomfort. If you are facing discomfort in avoidable spaces and relationships, it is time to go where you feel comfortable. You don’t need to be uncomfortable in your friendships, romantic relationships, home, bed, etc. Now I am not saying abandon ship at the first sign of discomfort but don’t dwell in spaces that cause you heartache and unease constantly.
Meet people where they are but don’t live there. Everybody has a journey and it will not always be parallel to yours. If you care about someone, it’s okay to meet them where they are but you don’t have to move there. Meeting you where you are may look like understanding your situation, understanding how we can have relationship from this space (if at all) but it does not mean that I have to pack my bags and move to where you are until further notice. Example: If my friend is currently in rehab and residing there for 60 days, I am going to go visit my friend and MEET THEM WHERE THEY ARE but I am not packing my overnight bag. That is not my residence simply because I love my friend.
Failure is part of the human experience. Our generation has a tendency to opt for aesthetics over reality. I get it. Pretty feels good. But I think we forget that failure is an essential part of the human experience. From the time you learn to walk and you have that first fall….learn to ride a bike and fall for the first time….fail your first driving test (okay maybe that was just me)…we fail so that we can learn. We fail because it is inevitable. Failing does not make YOU a failure. It is a necessary experience. If we keep reframing our failures as something else, we will never learn how to bounce back…and we have to learn how to bounce back. You learn from failure. Let it be.
See people as PEOPLE first. Single girls, learn this from me. Every man you meet aint the one. Don’t miss the opportunity for a greater or different connection because this man isn’t your husband. I am not saying let a man friend zone you after sending mixed signals. I am simply saying that humans are humans and we should treat each other as such rather than treating people as conquests. I once met a man romantically who has ended up being an amazing business associate that I have made thousands of dollars working with over a matter of months because I did not dismiss him when we weren’t a romantic fit. Take this one with a grain of salt but take it.
Switch it up. Sometimes you just start to feel blah. Rearrange your furniture. Color your hair. Purge your wardrobe. Switch it up.
Make yourself at home. Wherever you live should scream comfort and peace. If it doesn’t and you have the means, change that.
Hold out hope but don’t hold your breath. Stop waiting for something to happen for you to be happy. Find a way to be happy now. Before you drop 15 pounds. Before you get married. Before you have kids. Before you get a new job. Some circumstances are out of our control but do your best to find some joy in the NOW. Be hopeful but don’t stop living waiting on the next level.
Keep your head where your feet are. I owe my therapist for this one. Stop worrying about all the things that could go wrong ten years from now. Keep your head in the present. We plan for the future but we don’t let the future ruin the present. Consider it a baddie bylaw.
Your people will understand. If people care about you, they will understand. Your people will understand when you are focusing on you. Your people will get it when you are not yourself. Your people will understand when you are out of sorts. Your people will understand. This is not a free pass to treat people poorly. It simply means that that when you surround yourself with people that are evolved in love, they will give you grace and prayerfully, you will give it back to them when they need it.
Being nice costs you nothing. Being a bitch will cost you karma. Enough said. Be a bad bitch but never a mean one.
See yourself from the outside. It is so easy to justify everything you do and say because you know you intimately. We justify our decision making and behavior easily because we know why we move the way we do. “I’ve been betrayed by a friend before and therefore I do not trust my friends and I second guess their intentions.” I challenge you to see yourself from the outside because in reality you just present as a bad friend. I can only tell you the truth. While it makes all the sense in the world to you, the fact is….you are hurting your friends and only extending your poor past experiences to others. Stop that.
Spiritual health is just as important as physical health. We talk a lot in this generation about physical health and mental health but rarely about spiritual health. You need a spiritual exercise routine just like you need self-care and just like you need to go to the gym. It won’t look the same for everyone but create a regular spiritual routine that fits your needs and beliefs.
Allow yourself to be surprised. I had started to feel like I had reached the end of newness in dating. I have been dating for years and years and years and nothing was feeling new and exciting. 2022 showed me that I was wrong. I have had some of the best dates and interactions on the romantic tip this year. Allow yourself to be open to be surprised. You never know what you will find. You never know what will find you.
Let go of the outcome. You’ll miss the view if you can only focus on landing.
Say what you mean and encourage others to do the same. Everyone is their own main character in their life. This means that their life does not revolve around you and your needs. This is just the truth. No matter how much a person loves you, it is impossible for them to know everything you want and/or need. Be clear about what you need and encourage others to do the same. And give grace when people fall short. We all do. You do too.
Go to the damn doctor. Let me tell y’all. A few months ago, I started having this INTENSE wrist and hand pain. It was giving arthritis but literally out of nowhere. It really frightened me not just because…pain but because my life revolves around me writing, typing, etc. I do it for work, for leisure, and for school. I am currently writing this blog because writing is just my thing. So imagine my panic when I felt like that was being threatened. I went to the doctor because HELP. They ran several tests and do you know that it was MY VITAMIN D LEVELS?! They were dangerously low and caused extreme joint pain. Long story short….go to the doctor. Get your STD testing. Get your physical. Check your levels. Take care of yourself.
Cook something. We need to be nurtured. We deserve it from others and we deserve it from ourselves. One easy way to nurture yourself is to cook yourself something beautiful and delicious. Have yourself a good glass of wine while you cook it. Turn on your favorite playlist. Light a candle. Trust me. It will give you the warm fuzzies.
He just doesn’t like you that much. Babbbyyyy look. This was a hard lesson to learn. If you don’t hear from him….if he doesn’t make effort to see you and make you smile, that man just doesn’t like you that much. PAINFUL TRUTH. Men are natural pursuers. If he ain’t pursuing you, just move around babe. I learned my lesson and it was rough but I am so much happier not making up scenarios as to why I haven’t heard from someone or why they aren’t showing interest.
Detox often. Your body. Your photo gallery. Your closet. Your social media. Your contact list. Etc.
Set some fun goals. Don’t just set goals that stress you out. Set a fun goal or two for yourself. Something that will make you smile. Something you can look forward to.
Shut up sometimes. Listening is the most active thing you can do. Listen to yourself. Listen to your friends. Listen to your family. Listen to your partner. Listen to God. Listen to nature. Just stop talking sometimes and listen. Suggestion: take a quiet day once a month where you go on DND and you just tap in with yourself. You just don’t do a bunch of talking.
Comment and let me know what you've learned this year that you plan to take into 2023.