2017 was a year of change. A year of growing, stretching, tripping, falling, getting back up again…A YEAR OF LEARNING. It’s been a wild ride, but I know that I’ve learned some important things about life this year…so I can’t say I would do it any differently.
The funny thing about learning is that you don’t notice when it’s happening. A lot of times, the struggles you go through will leave you a wiser and more mature person. It’s often not fun to learn, to stretch, to fall on your face…but it’s necessary. Because if you never experience the struggles, you never experience the joy of success.
SO TODAY, MY FRIEND, WE ARE TALKING ABOUT LIFE. More specifically, what I learned about life this year. Y’all love my philosophical wisdom pieces, don’t you?? WELL HERE’S A POST FULL OF THAT EXACT THING. *nervous laughter* In case you’ve been living under a rock or a similarly large and heavy object, this post is the final installment in my series: What I Learned About ____ In 2017. You can read the other two posts here and here. NOW LET’S GET STARTED.
WHAT I LEARNED ABOUT LIFE IN 2017
#1: EMPATHY IS COURAGEOUS
I’m a very empathetic person by nature, and sometimes I wish I wasn’t. THERE I SAID IT. Sometimes it sucks to care so much. People will disappoint you and turn on you and betray you. You’ll get hurt by the world – even if the world doesn’t specifically hurt YOU. I’ve been hurt by the world…and sometimes I wish I could just be numb to it all, and not care so much. But I discovered (quite recently in fact) that I CANNOT STOP CARING ABOUT PEOPLE.
Lately I’ve been thinking about my heroes – the people I look up to as role models: Martin Luther King, Jr., Malala Yousafzai, and Martin Luther to name a few. All people with incredible capacity to love humanity and to show others their true potential, despite how much hate and violence is directed their way. I am amazed by this thing that is Love. This thing that is unshakeable, live-changing, heartbreaking. This motivation to serve others – to show them who they really are.
I want to be more like those people I mentioned. I want to be unapologetically convinced that my cause is just and true. I want to let the hate roll off of me like water and just keep moving forward – because I’m not just living for myself. I CAN’T live for myself. I live for everyone.
#2: I’LL NEVER REGRET SPENDING TIME ON THINGS THAT MATTER
And by “things that matter,” I don’t mean social media. Or YouTube. Or Spotify. There is never a time where you look back on how you spent your year and say to yourself, “I wish I had listened to more music” or “I wish I watched more of YouTube” or “I wish I had spent more time scrolling through Twitter.” I’M GUILTY OF GETTING DISTRACTED ON SOCIAL MEDIA. Aren’t we all? And according to Spotify Wrapped, I spent 21,000 minutes of 2017 listening to music. I’m not saying I regret that (because I LOVE MUSIC HAHA) but I’ve learned that it’s important to pay attention to the things you spend time on.
What would you really like to spend more time doing? Maybe reading books or hanging out with your family or creating something…whatever it is, swap it with the thing you DON’T want to spend time on. That’s what I aim to do in 2018. 🙂
#3: EVERYTHING IS A CHOICE
Every emotion, every feeling, every thought. We have the ability to CHOOSE what kind of words we let out of our mouth. We have the ability to wake up in the morning and put a smile on our face, even if life isn’t working out the way we’d like it to. We have the ability to choose happiness! Every day, every hour, sometimes every minute. You can choose to face a situation with love, patience, and grace. The world can only bring you down if you allow it to.
#4: “NEVER SUCCUMB TO THE TEMPTATION OF BITTERNESS”
This is a quote by none other than my hero, Martin Luther King, Jr. I love this quote because it speaks to me on a spiritual level. Remember how I talked about being super empathetic and how sometimes that can come back to bite you? IT’S SO TEMPTING TO BE BITTER. It’s so tempting to take one look at the hate and violence in the world and be like “You know what? Forget it.” But the beautiful choice is to not succumb to that temptation. The beautiful choice is to love – no matter what. Lately, this quote has become my mantra. It’s become a stark reminder that I’m capable of loving no matter what.
#5: I PUT FAR TOO MUCH TRUST IN THE WORLD
I said before that I spend too much time on social media. Well, in all honesty, I don’t do it for fun. I actually don’t like social media that much??* But I think it’s a powerful tool if you’re an entrepreneur (like me) and hardcore indie. That being said, I put A LOT OF TRUST in platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Statistics have the ability to make me happy or disappoint me. WHY?? Because I DON’T KNOW. THEY MEAN SOMETHING TO ME. And my point is…they shouldn’t.
My success doesn’t come from how many people follow me or unfollow me. My worth has nothing to do with organic reach or engagements or profile views. We’re constantly informed about the power of social media – but without it, am I still successful? YES. Why? Because my trust is not in the world. My trust is in Christ. I had a kind of epiphany about this in October (and actually wrote a song about it?? lol COMING SOON) because I realized something about myself: I put too much trust in the world. I allow people I don’t know to influence how I feel. HOW RIDICULOUS. I’m trying to fix this, slowly but surely.
*not sure if I’m actually a millennial lolololol
#6: ONE THING IS NEEDED
It seems so simple and obvious, but…wow. It just hit me in a new way this year. Take a minute to zoom out. WAY, WAY OUT. (I do this often and sometimes it leads to a crippling existential crisis, but WHATEVER.) What are you doing? Why are you doing it? What is the point? Do you get distracted by things that everyone else WANTS you to get distracted by? Like money and fame? Do you wish you had those things?
I can’t deny that I do. But recently I heard a verse from Luke chapter 10 drop into my heart: “You are anxious and troubled about many things… but one thing is needed.” I really believe that’s what it all comes down to. And if we don’t have that One Thing? Everything else is meaningless.
#7: I NEED A BREAK FROM SOCIAL MEDIA AND BLOGGING
HAHA. DIDN’T SEE THAT COMING DID YOU?? The truth is, I need a break. I feel out of touch with reality and my creativity is beginning to suffer. THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ALL YOU LOVELY PEOPLE WHO READ THIS BLOG. Because I would be lost without you, my beautiful friends. <3 But I’ve felt too dependent on the internet lately and I think I need to disconnect for a little while in order to reconnect with life.
I’ll be on hiatus for the first two weeks of January. (1st – 15th)* AND WHILE I’M GONE…the blog is going to experience a bit of construction. SDFGHJKALSKLA SO STOKED. I want it to be a total surprise, but for now I will let you know: I’m moving to WordPress! *screams into pillow* I’m super excited but also super daunted… I know this is the best option for me (especially since I already own a domain and hosting that’s been collecting dust… *nervous laughter*) and I know that this is the best time to make this move. But don’t worry! I’ll make sure y’all still have a way to follow me if you’ve been following via Google Friend Connect. FOR NOW, HAVE A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS.
*I will still answer emails and private messages on Instagram!
MERRY CHRISTMAS!! What have you learned about life this year? Anything you relate to in this post? What do you think about wasting time on social media? SHALL WE HOLD EACH OTHER ACCOUNTABLE FOR OUR NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS?? Will you miss me whilst I’m gone?????? :””’)