As we enter into a new year and new DECADE, I am excited to see what it brings, but I am also saddened to see how fast the years really do fly by. When I was younger I remember my mother and my older family members telling me to enjoy life, take it in, do whatever I want because in an instant it can be gone. Time passes fast after a certain age and every moment becomes more precious. I don’t mean to sound so somber, but this year has been a winding road of emotions. Through it all, I have learned many more lessons and I hope that because of my experiences in the year 2019, 2020 may be fuller, richer, and ripe for the taking.
#1 – it’s OK to cut ties
Listen, I know everyone will tell you that you should keep your friends close as you can and that nothing should ever drive a wedge between you and someone else, that life is to short, but I am here to to tell you that sometimes it’s okay to cut ties. It’s okay to move on from negativity and focus on positivity and sometimes relationships fade out. An old friend of mine once told me that relationships are like shifting tides— some people are here for a reason or for a season and it was something that I really connected with. It’s hard to let go of people, but sometimes you only hold on because of nostalgia, or worse because you are afraid to live life without them. Whether it be a friend, a family member, or an acquaintance, it’s okay to evaluate and decide for yourself if a relationship makes you or physically breaks you.
#2 – change doesn’t have to be bad
I personally love change. I change my hairstyle, my clothes, my job, and my location more often than not, although as a wife and mother now I try to keep the changes minimal or at least not change too many things so there is a consistency to our lives (because routine is also great too.) Some people do not relish change, and for those that do not, be not afraid if it is something that will be beneficial to you. I think we all know many people that we often pray for, think about, and outright wish that they would make changes to their lives because you know that it would make them happier. We cannot make choices for others, but instead be a shoulder to lean on as they make those types of decisions for themselves. Change brought my family back to Corpus Christi, landed me a new job, got my husband a new job and a plethora of new friends, and my kiddo in a new atmosphere where he feels most alive (he’s definitely a water baby so island life is good for him!).
#3 – focus on consistency
Yes, change is a wonderful thing, but so is consistency. When my husband and I made the changes to our lives this year we promised ourselves that it was so we can also focus on staying put and laying down roots to grow, and to really embrace our community. As 2020 approaches we realized that this year will be the first time since we have known each other that we do not anticipate any big changes (that we are aware of at least). Maybe that means very little to some, but for people like me where change was a vital part of life in my twenties, it is a scary part of growing up. I am so glad, though, that I can be consistent and establish routine with my husband and my son as we figure out what works for us and hope that all the changes we have made were worth it.
#4 – find your peace
Many of our family members are very religious, which is so great. I grew up Catholic, we attended church fairly frequently, and then a tide shifted and we were all kind of grappling to figure out what it all means, existential crises, etc. Since that point on it was up to ourselves to figure out what we believed in and what gave us inner peace. As a sufferer of anxiety I can tell you that the search is not easy. Some days I feel very spiritual and in tune with the universe and beyond, other days I find myself questioning everything and spiraling, but what has really helped me is meditation. Meditation can mean different things to different people. Attending church is a form of meditation for some, to others it might mean being still, doing yoga, taking a walk, or anything that makes them feel more zen. Whatever you choose, it is great to feel peace. This year I decided that I was going to focus on positivity, even when things were going bad. It took about half the year to finally get to that point, but now it feels so worth it. To me finding peace means avoiding the negativity in social media, not engaging, and spending quality time with my friends and family. I read and meditate and speak to what I believe is the higher power, and while to some that seems like it falls flat, I think it does wonders. This is one of the most important lessons I’ve learned.