Somewhere in the middle of 2016, I turned 24! Over dinner, they asked what my plan for the New Year was. And right that moment, two things dawned on me: That 1. I was a few months away from being 25 (a lot has been said about quarter life crisis)…and 2. I was already halfway past 2016, with little to show for the new year resolutions I had so ambitiously set.
I will take you back a little bit. Somewhere in the beginning of 2016, I had sat down and carefully written down my plan for the year. My New Year resolutions, my goals, the mile stones to look out for, the mantra to drive me for the year, my aspirations and all. Being a July baby meant that my birthday was some sort of interim self-review. Of where I had pictured myself, and where I was. And a time to reevaluate the plan if necessary.So I went back to the drawing board. This time, to plan for my last year before hitting 25. That very night, I turned 24, as a whole new person! *I kid you not:-)
At 24, I made many conscious decisions on what I was doing, how I was doing it, what I was going through and how I would go through it. I intentionally took charge of the friendships I kept, the life I led and each single path that I took. I can’t say that I had a smooth sail, it’s far from it. The highs were peak high, but the lows were real deep! But by far, this is the one year that has been the most fulfilling. Here is a sneak peak of the top lessons I learned.
Attitude is everything. A lot changed when I adjusted my attitude to streamline it with the present situation. I get more involved in tasks and I am more in touch with those around me. At work, I take assignments with ease, complain less, and delve more in the present moment. Consequently, I enjoy more and deliver better results. My advice is that attitude is contagious, be that breath of positive energy.
I consciously decided to believe in myself and my abilities. Beyond a certain point, you realize that the only person who has the right to make you feel bad about yourself is you. While at it, I realized that you do not need validation from other people; and that you do not need to be thirsty and eager to impress other people. Do what you are required to do, give it your best shot and the other things will fall in place. And it is very okay to walk away from that which does not add value to you, from they who either do not value you, or you do not value, from habits that do not build you, from relationships which drain you rather than build you. Because the most important person to you really, is you. So whatever pleases your soul, do it.
Mistakes are part of growing. As you grow, you learn to accept that it’s okay to make mistakes, and it’s okay to mess here and there. At 24, you find yourself making the tough decisions. Financial, social and career choices. Things go wrong, plans fail, businesses fail, you lose investments, money comes and goes…it’s a roller-coaster. But always remember that it’s better to make those mistakes now than later. Make those decisions now, make those mistakes now, experiment now, fail now. But LEARN! No matter what you do, no matter how many times you screw up, no matter how many people tell you what you can’t do, keep going. Never quit! You learn that we can have little glitches here and there without being labelled dysfunctional.
Patience is the master key to every situation. One of my all time favourite quotes is that when you walk through hell, keep walking. You will soon get to the end of the fire. I learned to have empathy in every situation, surrender to everything, but at the same time; remain patient and forthcoming. Watching my boy Bob battle with cancer taught me what patience and endurance meant. It taught me to appreciate every second of the present moment knowing that it could always get worse. I still struggle with accepting that he succumbed, but I pride myself in a hero who fought for his life with all it took. Of someone who valued every second and every breath. Of someone who changed my attitude in ways I cannot explain.
Family comes first.
If there was a lesson I had previously picked in 2015, it was to put my family first. Through the year, 2016, I had my family first. I consulted with them more, talked more and hanged out more. We discussed issues. I told Mom almost every decision I made. When people say that Moms are always right, they are right. Every golden piece of advice came in handy.
Wishing you, my dear readers, a happy festive season full of God’s grace.
“In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer” – Albert Camus