HAPPY NEW YEAR!
I’ve been hearing for weeks that 2020 means the end of a decade. The words rung hollow until I sat down to write this article. It wasn’t until I realized that this last decade has been what will probably be the most important decade of my life.
At the start of it, I had just graduated high school. I moved out of my parent’s house, out of the small town that had become my protective, safe haven and I moved to Boulder, Colorado for college. In 2013, I graduated from college with a degree in Film and rescued Scout. By 2014, I worked for Sundance Film Festival and I moved to LA to work for Disney Animation on their latest film in development, Zootopia. I made three films with the studio before going on to Dreamworks Animation to work on Fast and Furious: Spy Racers (now available on Netflix! #shamelessplug) All the while, I made this blog!
w o a h
When looking at the last decade and simply the life changes that have happened, it completely blows my mind. This last decade was the most formative decade I will ever have. I will grow and change in the future but 18 to 28 is definitely the most impactful with the most pivotal lessons. I became an adult, the woman God meant for me to be.
This last decade was hard-earned. And with it came a lot of lessons that I learned the not so easy way. The list could go on and on but I’ve included the 10 lessons that were the most life-changing in this last decade.
people are here for a reason, a season, or a lifetime
I used to hold on to people tightly because I wanted to have people in my life forever that I shared a history with. I would hang on to toxic friends, even worse boyfriends, and ideas of what someone “should be” or what I thought was “meant to be.” Then I learned that people are here for a reason, season, or lifetime. Meaning maybe my relationship with this guy isn’t supposed to be for a lifetime. Maybe he’s in my life because we both need each other right now but aren’t the perfect match for who we will become. Maybe this friendship is for the season. A lot of my friends in college were just for that season. A couple became lifetime friends but I don’t value the “season friendships” any less. I just know what they were meant for.
Holding on to people didn’t allow them to grow and change and it didn’t grant me that permission either. To accept that people are here for one of the three categories gave way for me to move away from people I had outgrown or who weren’t good for me.
I am my greatest asset
My voice is my most powerful tool, my heart is my most courageous factor and my brain is my most resilient friend. At the beginning of this decade, I put a lot of stock into what other people thought of me. But it doesn’t really matter what people think of me, it matters what I think of me. One of my all-time favorite quotes is:
“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Elenor Roosevelt
I’ve kept this quote close to my heart. People don’t have power over me as long as I realize that I am my greatest asset. There are going to be circumstances that I can’t control. What I can control is how I react to it. Always be on your own side, your biggest fan, and you will always be your greatest asset.
listen to yourself and trust your gut
You have intuition, use it. If you think something doesn’t feel right, feels off, or you just plain don’t want to do it: listen. There is a reason you feel this way. You may not always understand it but listen to yourself. It was really hard for me to make choices for me. These choices can vary from the college you want to go to or if your friend wants to go out to dinner when you’re exhausted. Make choices that are right for you – you’re the one that has to live with it!
red lipstick is the ultimate armor
I wear red lipstick frequently. Instead of a power suit, it’s like a power lip. I feel stronger, more confident. I don’t know what it is about a bold lipstick that makes me feel, well, bold but it works like a charm every time. When I first graduated high school, I was still figuring out what felt like me. I tried to find out through the avenue of what others thought was me. Bonus lesson: that doesn’t work. Which brings me back to three: listen to yourself. Find what works for you. What feels like you and what doesn’t. You could try something and it could feel totally wrong (hello bob cut). It’s important to find out what isn’t you, just as much as what is.
stay rooted in what God has for you
I’m a planner. I like to plan what I’m doing when. It’s very important to me to know where I’m headed next. But ultimately, what God has planned is so much better.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. – Jeremiah 29:11
self-care isn’t selfish
To think that it is is to be in the trap of a people pleaser. The biggest lesson I’ve learned in the last decade is boundaries. I’ve never been naturally good at them. I always give and give until there isn’t anything left. The saying, “fill up your own cup first” just didn’t resonate with me.
When I moved to LA, it was the first time I had ever lived alone. I didn’t really make the decision to live alone as much as I didn’t know anyone in California. It was through living alone that I realized: I need time alone. I realized I got energy from both being around people and being alone. People are always put in a category of extrovert or introvert. I was both. Understanding this truth made me able to better care for myself. Today, I need to make plans with a friend. Maybe tomorrow, I’ll stay home and read. Self-care doesn’t look the same for everyone but everyone does need it. Take the time to explore what works best for you and then make time for it.
no significant other or job is going to complete you
You already have what you need. If you are looking for a person or occupation to complete you, you aren’t fully read for either of those things. Remember: you are your greatest asset. No one is going to be able to change that. A relationship or a career should add to you, not complete you.
the only thing consistent in life is change
So roll with the punches, baby. Think of it this way: is it easier to swim with the current or against it? It is way easier said than done, trust me. The reason it’s a lesson on this list is because I had to learn it and relearn it and then learn it the hard way. Life is a river, not a lake. It isn’t standing still. It is always flowing, always changing. Go with the current, trust in God, and trust yourself. You will always have God and you will always have you. Whatever comes your way, you’re ready for.
“Courage is not the absence of fear but rather the judgment that something is more important than fear; The brave may not live forever but the cautious do not live at all.” – Meg Cabot
Even if you’re afraid, do it anyway.
Most things in life that are hard are worth it
It is painful when we grow; that’s why they call it “growing pains”. To quote the very wise Professor Dumbledore “…there will be a time when we must choose between what is easy and what is right.”
These 10 lessons all go together, hand in hand. Whether you’ve already learned them, are in progress, or have yet to face them, know that you will be okay. You got this. And so do I. I can’t imagine another transformative decade as dramatic as this one. Standing on the other side, I am so damn proud of how brave I’ve been. I made it through to the other side. Each and every lesson both on this list and off has made me who I am. Have made me a better person. I believe that this last decade was to set me up for all my future decades. I went from a high school kid to a powerful, grown-ass woman.
So cheers to 2019 and the decade we survived and thrived in and the lessons that came with it.
What are some lessons from the last decade that you’ve learned? Let me know in the comments below.
Can’t get enough? I love sharing the lessons I’ve learned. Here’s another one: