2020: What to Take Forward and What to Leave Behind

2020: What a year it has been. As we are on a precipice of a new year, here are my candid, forthright, and sincere takeaways:

What this Year Taught Me:

To be incredibly thankful and gracious. In the midst of one of the most unprecedented and unpredictable years in history, I have seen first-hand that I take many things for granted. My health, my livelihood, and my socio-economic status are just a few categories in my life that I did not appreciate until I saw how they can all be taken away so quickly. 

To preserve my energy. I learned that the people who truly care will make themselves available, and will reach out on their own accord. My darkest days in 2020 made it clear who is on my team and who is not. My energy is precious and I learned how to preserve it, in order to maintain my sense of peace, and only let a select group of deserving people have access to my energy.

To raise my voice for justice and speak out on my beliefs. I stepped into an activist role during 2020, by publicly speaking out on the injustices in our political and civil system, and called out racism. I shared very personal accounts of my pain and fears, and put my vulnerability at the forefront to support a cause larger than myself. At many points this year, I felt scared to navigate spaces due to the unrest and unforeseen events that took place. Despite my fears, I gained increasing confidence in my self-worth and my sense of belonging in these spaces. 

To stop waiting on the sidelines. I was content with waiting until I saw an opportunity, instead of actively searching for them. Throughout 2020, I have truly stepped up my game and have created new paths for myself that I would never have been able to with my old mentality.

To take the long-awaited leap of faith. In April 2020, I started my blog and my Youtube channel. I took the leap of faith I have been yearning to, and the journey has brought me so much fulfillment, joy, and revelation. I have connected with people all over the world, and made business opportunities happen, all by being my most authentic self and sharing that with the world. 

2020 photoshoot with tripod

What I am Leaving Behind in 2020:

Relationships that do not serve me. 2020 spoke to me loud and clear about the people I can and cannot rely on. I decided to stop giving so much to people who don’t deserve it. I am a very giving and loving friend, with my time, my energy, and my support. I struggle most with boundaries and knowing when to set them. Expending all the energy on people who don’t reciprocate is emotionally exhausting. I’ve made the tough but necessary decision to remove those people who no longer serve a purpose in my sphere. This act is so crucial in order to grow and prosper.

Allowing factors out of my control break me. This year, I have went through hell and back. I’ve lost people, places, and things I treasured. Many tears, many low points, many moments of second guessing my purpose and worth. I’ve been knocked down in multiple ways, and all of them were completely uncontrollable. As many times I’ve been pushed down this year, I didn’t stay down. I got back up, and pushed on.

Unwanted & unwelcome negativity. Negativity comes in multiple forms. I have seen both outright negativity, but also silent negativity. Both are equally hurtful. In outright negativity, people have been classless and formed opinions based on major holes in their thought pattern, which are ultimately untrue. I do not engage with such behavior in any way, and when I see it, I immediately shut it down. What I learned this year most of all, is that people will go to extreme lengths to watch and wait for an opportunity to tear you down. From all their attempts, it is not stopping me from getting to where I want to be. On the flip side, there is silent negativity. These are the people who watch every IG story religiously and see every post, but never show support, engage, or comment. The people who display silent negativity, are either insecure, jealous, or doing surveillance, rather than encouraging or supporting who you are and what you are working towards. This was a huge lesson learned in 2020 for me and something I am well aware of going into the new year.

Self-induced stress & anxiety. This one is HUGE. The majority of my emotional pain is self-inflicted. I carry many burdens that in reality are too heavy to bear. Feeling the need to extend my hand in all directions has left me in a dark hole, and this is the hardest mental component to let go of. Instead of dwelling on the past, I want to focus on the present and look forward to the future. Through therapy, I’ve learned how to rework my brain pattern, to see the clear difference between my burdens and my strength to overcome them. With that mindset, the stress and anxiety gradually dissipates overtime.

Settling for anything less than what I deserve. This transcends many different life categories for me: work, relationships, friends, self-care. To put it simply, I believe I have been too comfortable. My comfort stems from the fear of branching out. The fear of closing a chapter and beginning a new one. The fear of cutting off my safety net. But my comfort has turned into remaining stagnant, which is not serving me in a positive way. My new mantra is “don’t get comfortable existing in spaces where you know you deserve better”. 

2020 photoshoot using tripod

What I am Bringing Forward into 2021:

Continued therapy and healing. I’ve shared my therapy journey at length on my blog, and believe it has been one of the most fulfilling and enriching aspects I introduced into my life. It has grounded me in ways I cannot imagine doing on my own, and has allowed me to express myself and exhibit true growth personally, professionally, and mentally. We all have a broken part of us that can benefit through use of therapy. 

Putting health at the forefront of all my endeavors. In 2020, due to the residual mental effects of the pandemic, I shut down in terms of my health. Health and fitness has always been one of my pillars, and due to the early months of the lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, my brain was not able to cope in a healthy way. Towards the end of 2020, I got back into my fitness routine and I learned many healthy recipes to eat on a daily basis. I stepped out of my comfort zone by taking daily runs throughout my neighborhood, and opting to walk to a destination rather than taking motorized transportation. I saw what I can accomplish physically all on my own, through my own perseverance. I want to keep these tools I learned in this hard time in order to remain stabilized amidst obstacles that come in the future.

My passion for adventure. Travel is one of the most important aspects of my life. In the midst of 2020, I have been able to travel to many destinations i’ve always wanted to see, while being super safe and cautious through all my journeys. I have also gathered helpful and reassuring insight from travel moguls on social media who travel for a living and have mastered their skills throughout this trying year, and worked to bring these valuable resources to the public. I have many travel plans for 2021, and I am very excited to see more of the world!

Stepping into center stage of my potential. As a kid, I was so uncomfortable with being different. Now, and this year most of all, I found that what makes me different is what makes me unique, inspiring, and attract others. Now that I am fully comfortable with stepping into center stage, I have quality to bring to the table, and I will use it to propel myself forward. I wasn’t meant to simply exist. I was meant to thrive. I have the tools, and all the motivation, ambition, and grit to manifest my own destiny.

Full intention on pursuing my wildest dreams. I think back to college quite often, and vividly remember everyone who, when learned that I was an accounting major and working in the accounting field, would have the most confused look on their face. Now, after all those years, I am able to reason with myself and understand that so many people saw more for me than I could see for myself at the time. As much as I learned and grew exponentially from the experience, I knew that there was so much for in store for me, and in order to embark on that journey, I had to dive full force into my dreams. I am well-aware of my capabilities, resilience, and work-ethic, and I am excited to unveil more of what is to come for me in 2021!

2020 photoshoot using tripod

We’ve been spending so much time in 2020 sulking in the thought of how much we’ve lost. Let’s start reminding ourselves how much we’ve gained. How far we’ve come. What we have survived. Our exponential growth in our tolerance threshold. Our revelations. Our breakthroughs. 2020 is a piercing clear reminder of how life is so precious. How we must tread mindfully, graciously, and with intention. How life is evolving and the “normal” we knew will never be the same. 2020 reset many perspectives and we got a fresh outlook on the world. It’s time to rewrite our story. 

Watch my latest Youtube video here! I share a personal conversion about 2020:

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