I came back to Charlotte yesterday sunburnt but happy and ready to get back into the swing of real life. I hopped in my car to go replenish my nearly-empty fridge. Anddd it was dead. “My little Corolla would never betray me!” I thought. Yet as I tried again and again to get the car to turn over, it seemed that my little Ruby’s battery had passed on to the great junkyard in the sky.
But since I had just written this post yesterday about living more in the present moment, I decided that instead of sitting around refreshing my social media feeds constantly until Matt from Triple A showed up to save me, I would use the down time to do some end-of-year reflecting. After some consideration, I’ve realized I’ve learned quite a bit this year. This includes:
Time is more important than money
This year I’ve really focused my freelance business on projects that make me happy. Money is awesome and fun, but it also disappears astonishingly quickly. If you hate what you’re doing, you’ll look back when your bank account is dwindling and wonder why you didn’t use your time in a more fun, fulfilling way.
Don’t be embarrassed about the kind of wine you like
I like moscato, okay? There I said it. I like moscato and I just went to Harris Teeter and bought a huge bottle of it and I feel no regret. I don’t care if it’s too sweet or girly or like fruit punch. I will drink it and enjoy every second.
It’s okay to show emotions
I’d like to consider myself a pretty positive person, and generally I try not to dwell on negative emotions. But this year I found that suddenly I was dealing with a lot of complicated feelings relating to my breakup that I hadn’t really allowed myself to process before. When I was going through a particularly conflicted day, one of my best friends said to me, “You know that it’s okay to show emotions other than excitement and happiness, right?” His words stuck with me. A positive attitude is great, but you don’t have to suppress what you’re truly feeling. Acknowledge and deal with these emotions and it’s easier to get past them and back to your perky, positive self.
Having your shit together is an illusion
I used to spend a lot of time comparing myself to other people. But I’ve realized it’s easy to put on a pristine front for outside consumption. In reality, it doesn’t matter how smart and successful other people think you are, we all have moments where we want to lie down on the floor and cry. Self-doubt is the great equalizer. We all have times where we feel like we have no earthly idea what we’re doing, and yet we all get through them.
Dating can be a waste of time when you don’t do it thoughtfully
I completely believe that dating is a numbers game, meaning that you have to go out with a lot of people before you meet the right person for you. I also believe that if you don’t put some thought into it, you can end up wasting a lot of time and getting frustrated as you date. This year I’ve learned it’s important to vet your potential dates carefully enough so that you know that your time together will be enjoyable at the very least. Otherwise you’re better off seeing friends or pursuing a hobby.
Paying money to relieve stress is always worth it
This year I started paying to have a cleaning service come in monthly. At first it seemed lavish and ridiculous, but it is SO worth it. I use that time to get more work done, and I always feel so relaxed when my apartment is spotless. If you can pay money to get peace of mind, do it.
Investing in yourself is also always worth it
If you can take a class, attend a conference, or do something else to better yourself, do it. It might hurt your bank account for a little bit, but the investment will pay off in the long run.
What have you learned in 2015? Share your thoughts with me in the comments!