Thank U 2018, Next

Where has the time gone? As hard as it is to believe, the year is coming to an end already. Whether 2018 was more filled with heartache or happiness for you, we have all grown as individuals. In the midst of all the holiday and new year’s celebrations, there are seven lessons (of many) that I would particularly like to share with all of you. Let them serve as things to remember as we welcome the new year.

You are on your own timeline. This is the biggest and hardest lesson I have been slapped in the face with this year. It seems every time I unlock my phone, I see another baby announcement or engagement (not one, but three of my family members included.) While I know we are all happy for our loved ones, I’ll be the first to say out loud that it SUCKS. It is very depressing watching our friends and family find their significant others and their place in the world. While it’s a hard pill to swallow, you’re not the only one with that pang of jealousy in their gut. Now before you start blasting Ridin’ Solo by Jason Derulo through your speakers and list the reasons why being single is way more fun, just take a deep breath. As you get to know me through these blog posts, you will learn that I am not a big fan of “new technology,” and this is one of many reasons why I do not like social media. It is very easy to feel as though you are “behind in life,” or not up to speed with the rest of the world when you are constantly watching other people’s progress and success in various parts of their lives. In reality, the last thing you should do as a person is judge yourself, live your life or make decisions based on someone else’s time clock. This hinders your growth as an individual faster than anything else. There is a plan for your life, you have purpose, and you are on this Earth for a reason. Some people graduate college at 21, others never graduate. Someone is retiring at 65, another is starting their own business. Some get married at 26 and some have their third marriage before the age of 40. All that is important is that you focus on what makes you the happiest, go after the things and people you love most, and trust that you are on the right path. It may not make sense right now, but I promise you will find that happiness. One thing to keep in mind about social media is to remember all of what is NOT shown. This about it, the majority of posts are of successes or “wins” in life. While there is nothing wrong with showing off our hard work and talents, it’s important to keep in mind that social media does not show you all the hardships and screw ups that came before the gold stars. Everyone has their own struggles they are dealing with and who knows what kind of work they had to put in to get to the point they are at, just as they cannot see yours. So pour yourself another glass of wine and turn on Netflix for the 10th night in a row. Do not worry, you are exactly where you are meant to be.

Stop pointing fingers. While we are becoming a world where gender neutrality is more prominent and people are making an active change to be more accepting of one another, we are also becoming a world that is three times quicker at pointing fingers and instilling blame on one another. Too often do people talk about how “girls are hoes,” “guys are players” or whatever it is you choose to fill in the blank with. Regardless, this needs to stop. I will admit, girls and guys do have certain tendencies. However, just because one person failed to treat you the right way does NOT mean you suddenly have the authority to label the opposite sex as being hoes or players. It is extremely unfortunate that that person failed to treat you the way you deserve to be treated, but it is important to remember that there are bad apples on both sides of the fence, love. Being bitter and making comments about how guys or girls are a certain way will not do anything but create negative energy and ultimately give you wrinkles. Just be patient and wait for the right ones to come to you. Whether it is one bad relationship or ten, the bad experiences we have are there to help us grow as people and will allow us to appreciate the right person that much more once we find them.

Set ridiculous goals. If you have not already, I am sure you will be in the process of making new year’s resolutions soon. Somewhere along the way of making mine I looked back and thought, “This list is getting pretty long.” It was also in that same moment when I laughed and said, “Keep going.” This mentality, or the feeling of never being satisfied, undoubtedly stems from the athlete in me. Before modeling, I played junior olympic volleyball for ten years and sand volleyball in the summers. Competing at a high level every day from a very young age has bred me into something of a high intensity machine. While it can be a bit overwhelming at times, I wouldn’t change this mindset of mine. If people are not laughing at your goals when you tell them, your goals are not high enough. The only person setting limits on your life is you, so why not see how far you can possibly go? How will you know what you are capable of if you don’t push yourself past every breaking point you have? Even if you do not meet a single one of those goals in the next year, striving for greatness will allow you to achieve the most growth as an individual.

Closed mouths don’t get fed. If you want something, do not be afraid to ask for it. No one can read your mind. This goes beyond asking for an extra scoop of steak at Chipotle. If you want to reach a higher level of happiness or wealth, do not be afraid to ask the universe out loud for the things you want. Your thoughts are just thoughts until you emit those vibes into the universe. Tell the world what exactly it is that you want and do not be afraid to achieve that higher level of happiness or success. Reach out and take hold of what is yours, no one can do it for you. Whether you know it or not, your hesitation and fears are the only thing holding you back from having the things that you want. If you want your spouse to make more time for you or you want to try something new, do not be afraid to tell them. Like I said, they cannot read your mind, so stop assuming they should know what it is that you want and just be honest. The worst thing that can happen is they say no, at least now you can move on.

Be your own best friend. Think about it, how many times have you been there for a friend when they needed someone to lean on? How many times have you gone out of your way to make someone else smile or gave great advice to someone who came to you? Now think about this, when was the last time you did something like that for yourself? This is a really weird concept to think about, but seriously, when was the last time you gave yourself a pep talk before going into a big job interview or test? When was the last time you reminded yourself of all the things that make you an incredible person when you’ve had a really bad day? The universal question remains: how can you expect others to love you if you do not love yourself? This rule does not only apply in terms of relationships, but to everyone in general. You are a beautiful person, do not forget that there are people who love you for exactly who you are and you should make a point to love yourself more than anything.

Family comes first. First, last, always. You cannot choose your family, but the family you do have is there for life, and once they are gone there is no replacing them or getting them back. Life is far too short to not have the best relationship possible with your family. If you find you are not in a good place with any members of your family, make sure you do all that you can to repair those relationships and keep them close to you. Regardless of the situation, your relatives love you and that will never change. It is never too late to apologize and make things right, no matter how bad you may think the situation is.

Smile. It is scientifically proven that even if you fake a smile, it will increase your mood. Smiling is contagious, and it is something that you can never have too much of. You should strive to spread as much positivity and happiness as you can into your life and in the lives of those around you.

2018, thank you for the good, the bad and the ugly. You were a year of full of unexpected twists and turns, but I could not be more thankful for all of the new people I have met, experiences I have had and the lessons I have learned. Thank you for challenging me and helping me grow into the person I know I am meant to become. Thank you for helping me prepare for the year that is about to begin. Next: 2019.