Just like that and 2018 is about to kiss us goodbye as if there’s a taxi waiting outside. This made me revisit all the goals I have written only to be reminded that I ditched it in exchange of the promise to keep following my heart. And you know that “follow your heart” thing? It is not for the faint of heart. It required me to be all out. My 2018 was about giving myself the permission to put everything aside and live like a child again. And here are the lessons 2018 taught me.
Less is More
This year, I have fully embraced the beauty of having less belongings. I used to be a victim of consumerism too and I used to spend the money that I haven’t even earned.
I tried to put it to test last Friday. I received a gift certificate as a Christmas present. Before, I wouldn’t be able to sleep knowing that I have a GC which then meant I’d have new pair of shoes and/or a dress. I would end up not just spending the GC right away but also my own money or worse, swiping my credit card and drown myself to debts.
I went to the store to get myself something nice to wear for New Year. I only have three pullovers and maybe it won’t hurt to add one more. Since it is winter and I wouldn’t be able to wear it all year long, I ended walking out of the store empty handed but with a throbbing temple.
The endless piles of clothes, shoes and all the shoppers eager to buy something, gave me a claustrophobic attack and an urge to declutter.
I don’t find joy in shopping like how I used to anymore. I have everything that I need and I don’t want to have another problem on how to dispose some of my stuff after another purchase.
Nothing gives me peace than knowing that I don’t have to make more time cleaning my space and looking for a misplaced stuff hidden under a mountainous pile of unused stuff.
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I don’t let numbers discriminate me anymore
Let’s face it. There is a discrimination in numbers. Still not convinced?
When are you getting married? You’re 32.
Your biological clock is ticking away. Have kids soon.
You look so fat! How much weight did you gain?
Amount of money in the bank.
I. Am. Not. Affected. By. Numbers. Anymore. Period.
After getting my University degree, I didn’t know what to do with it nor what I wanted to do with my life. I just know that I needed money to live on my own. I searched and searched for jobs and accepted whatever came first. Money was the sole motivator. Nothing else mattered. There’s a floating feeling in the air that my parents wanted me to get a job to support myself just so they can let me go and say that their job as my parents was done. I totally understand that. Who needs to put happiness on top of life long goals anyways? Who is happy these days anyways? I started feeling lost at 23 but I kept on doing what everybody is doing. I thought that’s the only way. Having a dream and following it was something unheard of unless you’re born with a silver spoon in your mouth. Just have a job, money, home and you’re fine.
I was 29 when I couldn’t go with the flow like a dead fish anymore. I am still alive and that will not be for long so I left with only my hopes and dreams of finding myself or should I say now that I have found myself, that I just needed to unlearn what I know, learn again and fight for I really want to do.
All the odd jobs that no one with Bachelors and Masters degree would want to do but I did and still doing. At 32, I welcomed the writer in me. A new journey has started. I am a beginner again. It is not easy but now, every time that I am faced with life decisions, I always go with the hard ones because wisdom is there.
At 32, all my friends are married with kids or separated with kids and here I am, still chasing my dreams. Sure being pressured to be married or have kids is something not new but knowing my purpose just makes me shrug them all off. Having something more meaningful is important for me. It took some time but it’s okay. It will still take some time and it’s also perfectly okay. Age, as what cliché says, is just a number. And in this digital age, this is the best time to live without so much responsibilities.
I realized that the life of my dreams exists. I asked myself what I really want, I used my spare time to educate myself and then I started working slowly towards it. The life of your dreams exists but You. Have. To. Create. It.
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A Selfish Journey
It’s okay if I can’t do everything.
It’s okay to rest when I am tired.
I can’t give what I don’t have.
I am enough.
I am not as ugly as I think and feel because of the photoshopped glory I see on TV.
I am alive for a reason.
These are not just affirmations. These are really what I started telling myself until I have started believing in them. I started doing what feels good with no explanation. I avoided toxic people even if that meant family or friends.
Detox, I understood, is not just the cleanse for the body. It can also be done to relationships, social media and other stuff. I didn’t know that not conforming to society is an act of self love. I started loving myself and those who loved me for it too. The only “never” that I will say to never do again is to do what makes me feel less loved and valued again and so should you. It is a long process but worth it. Live according to your truth. Love. Yourself. First. Only then you can really love others around you.
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The Power of Reading
“You are the books you read and the people you surround yourself with.”
I have cockily bragged my love for reading even when I was younger but coming to Germany and seeing their definition of loving books, I felt ashamed of myself and how little I know. Reading stirred my thoughts and lead me to find what brings fire to my soul.
Reading didn’t just teach me important life lessons. The self-help books that I started reading taught me how to value myself too. They taught me how to treat myself with kindness. Being kind to myself started with being careful of the thoughts I allow to flow inside my head. Reading also made me feel that I am not the only one who’s gone through this. Every time I read I feel like I gained new friends in the authors’ persona because they didn’t hold back in first, honestly detailing what they have gone through, emotions they have felt, lessons from every failure they have encountered and, little successes they celebrated and second, they didn’t scrimp on information on how they found peace, happiness and success in what they do.
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The Healing Power of Writing
If there’s one thing I have so much these days aside from books, they are my journals.
In my desperate attempt to understand myself and in my hesitation about telling someone about how I feel and what I think for the fear of being mistaken as a lunatic, I have taken journaling seriously.
Three years and eight journals later, I am trying to balance time earning a living, managing a website, social media and piecing the pages together to finish a book about my journey to finding myself which I am hoping that somehow it will help those who aren’t living the life of their dreams.
Reading is helping me to find enough words to describe my pain and writing them down is the major source of my healing. It is not getting easier, I am just trying my best to be as honest, reflective and open minded as I can not to relapse to depression. Writing has been playing a huge part in unleashing the beauty I have found during my darkest days. I am now back with a different life perceptive and a new-found purpose.
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The Art of Letting go and The Law of Attraction
Letting go of everything I can’t control has made me learn a different definition of respect. Respect for privacy and individuality.
I can never make a person see how I see the benefits of something. We all have different personalities. We have different life experiences. We have our different traumas and definition of what feels good and happiness. A perfect example would be me and my boyfriend. I am a minimalist because of all the running away errrr wandering I have done which he didn’t have to do. So no matter how much I wish that he practices minimalism too, I wouldn’t force him out of respect for him.
When I let go of all my preset notion of what my perfect man looks like and gave myself the permission to love and be loved, I am able to keep a relationship I never thought I would have again. With the permission to live a simple life, to be loved, to fail, to gain weight, to not be perfect; I am paving ways for what really matters to come into my life.
Letting go has made me believe in Law of attraction. I can’t be what I am not made of but I can always open myself up to trust the Universe to what it has planned for me when it allowed me to exist and going against it will not help me.
Comparing Notes no More
I wasn’t just a victim of consumerism, I was also a very competitive person. At first, I didn’t know this fact about me. All I ever wanted was to be the best in what I do because that’s what my mom trained me to be. I am not saying it is bad. In the village where I grew up, information was limited and I thought that there’s only one way of doing things. I never pushed to learn more from the outside world. Well, I didn’t know that there are more only if I stepped outside the comforts of our village. In our village, life is very simple. When I experienced great depression in my adult years and recovered, I realized how much I have taken it for granted. I realized how simple I wish my life to be. I learned to slow down to think. I learned not to compare notes anymore which gave me more peace of mind. In short, I am living like an 80 year old woman who has seen what needs to be seen and just enjoy every single second left and it feels good. I am no longer being stressed by the things I can’t have. I have learned to value and put to use what I chose to keep in my life.
Grateful people are the happiest people
Practicing mindfulness everyday has trained me to be grateful the moment I opened my eyes in the morning. This is when I stopped looking forward to Christmas, New Year, Birthdays and other occasions.
Everyday is an occasion because I have opened two of the most wonderful gifts I could ever receive: my eyes. I am alive. I have the chance to live and continue correcting what I feel that I have to. I have the chance to continue what I wanted to do the previous day. I have the chance to succeed in whatever I set myself to accomplish. This is why I don’t make a New Year’s Resolution anymore. I list the goals every night before I go to bed and attack them everyday. I don’t just list my goals and daily tasks, I also list what I am thankful for and I have a lot. I feel rich. I feel abundance even if I only have one Euro left in my wallet. I even use that one Euro left to buy some candles and light them up when I visit the church to meditate and say my grace. When I started practicing all these, I started feeling my heart swell. I look forward to every single wisdom that lies behind every brand new day.
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I will relive 2018 if I can and have to but I can’t hide my excitement for the new year that will come. I can’t wait to find better ways on how I can simplify life to be able to live the slowest way possible. I can feel that everything that I have prayed for are on their way. I can feel them stomping their feet as they make their way to me. The ground is shaking. They are vibrating. I can’t wait to slay 2019 with my intentions of living simply. Doing a life audit and learning to fight for what I really want is the best lesson 2018 has taught me.
How about you? How’s your 2018? I’d love to read in the comments below what it has taught you. Feel free to chat me up. I love that. I love to see you happy too.