Traditionally, I’ve written a lot to myself (into the void), or passed notes from underneath the table to others. Those letters, written to everyone from my parents, to my child, to my husband, to my friends, are the things I often can’t say in person, but have to be said.
Many people do a year round-up of things, and I often did them for myself, in the past. I’ve not done one for many a year, but I’ve realised that – for a lot of reasons – I should. Even if I just read this one Friday evening, in the future.
This is the year we got married. It still feels somewhat surreal, but I’ve realised that’s part of the magic. Our life together wasn’t ever planned for, or theorised. It happened, as it wanted to. That’s not to say we weaved no control over it…it’s just that we let our life happen as it wound towards us. Looking at it now, the stories were writing themselves, long before we picked up our pens. I’m very grateful for that. There is a comfort that comes from knowing someone is on your team, no matter what the format may be.
Things I’ve learnt (and sometimes, had to relearn) this year – 10 things for 2017:
- Insatiable curiosity pays off, unless you’re insatiably curious about something illegal. To be sure, I was not insatiably curious about anything illegal, but I had to make that distinction. Wanting to learn, and working doggedly towards learning…It’s worth it.
- Being wrong does not mean the conversation has come to an end. You just have something else to learn. Shut up and listen.
- Not knowing the answer to something – saying “I don’t know” – isn’t a reflection of your intelligence. It is an opportunity to learn. Shut up and listen.
- Even your worst decisions were still decisions. Stick by them, because decisions always either advance you, or teach you. I have not made all of the best decisions this year, but I have certainly learnt from each one I’ve made.
- Sometimes, telling people how you feel is the most difficult thing in the world to do. It’s worth it.
- Sometimes, cutting people out of your life feels like you are murdering your own memories. You’ll know when you have to do it. It’s worth it. It hurts, but it’s worth it.
- Sometimes, standing up for yourself feels impossible. Defining your sense of self-worth is not the job of someone else. Do the work and then be prepared to defend it. It’s worth it.
- If you can speak, half as much as you listen, you’re doing well. This year, I learnt to shut up and listen.
- Loyalty isn’t some transient, intangible thing. It lives, and thrives, through action. Pick the team you’re on, make sure it’s worthy, and then commit. The moment you feel that a loyalty needs to be questioned, question it. Any element of doubt here…arrived for a reason. You’re not just paranoid. Your instinct is speaking. Shut up and listen.
- Realise, and acknowledge, that you are good at some things, and not good at other things. That’s absolutely okay. Nobody is expecting genius, but you are expected to try your best, and then be able to prove you did. It’s worth it.