Femme Problems 136: Lessons 2014 Taught Me

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Femme Problems 136: Lessons 2014 Taught Me

I love the New Year holiday. While some people might not appreciate the constant Facebook updates and long-winded statuses about personal goals and achievements, I actually like the spirit of the season, sharing ambitions and setting sights on the seemingly hopeful future.

After all, it’s a time to check in and reflect on where you’ve been, where you are, and where you’re going. It’s the much-needed opportunity to note what you’ve accomplished and what you have yet to achieve. With so much negativity in the world, who doesn’t benefit from a breath of fresh air?

Personally, 2014 was a great year for me: I started new hobbies, quit bad habits, and made growth in my professional and personal life. But 2014 has not passed me by without its failures. I took risks that didn’t pan out quite as planned. I lost friendships and connections with people I genuinely cared about, and while I have some regrets, I learned a few valuable lessons about life, love, and most of all, myself.

 

Clean Out Your Friendship Closet

There are some people I genuinely cared about that I let go this year, and I did that because I finally realized that no matter how much you might care about someone, you can never truly make him or her care about you. Some people are selfish, and it’s hard for those out there with huge hearts to recognize this. When someone shows you their true colors, you have to put the brush down and walk away from the picture you’re painting. Not everyone has the same perspective on friendships and connections. And, some don’t treat those relationships with the same importance as others, and that’s okay. As much as it may hurt or disappoint me, walking away from those people now can only make my tomorrow better.

 

Invest Meaningfully in Your Relationship

Earlier in the year I made the decision to commit to someone. I’ve had relationships before, but never one that’s functioned as healthy as this one. As much as I love my partner, I know that love is not enough. You have to invest meaningfully in your relationship. You have to take the time to really get to know one another and do the hard work, whether that’s in the form of therapy, a good book, or quality one on one time.

Being human is hard enough, but when you pair together two of those human beings—each coming complete with their own set of ovaries—things get about as complicated as they can. As I work through the intricacies of a monogamous, marriage-bound relationship, I’ve noticed that I’m able to self-reflect, to think through things, to be less selfish. I’m able to recognize my tendencies to be defensive and sometimes (more than others) diffuse them. It is my hope that this hard work continues to pay off in 2015.

 

Take Control of Your Circumstances

No matter what’s happening in your life, I’m a big believer that you can change it. We live in a beautiful country with opportunities that all too often we simply don’t take. Sometimes our greatest enemy is not the economy or society…it’s ourselves. Some of us are just sitting around, waiting for that perfect person to enter our lives, or to land that perfect job that gives us meaning and purpose. I used to be one of those people, until I quit making excuses for my circumstances.

If there’s one lesson I’ve learned above all, it’s that you are in control of your life: friends, lovers, jobs, all of it—you are in complete control—and this new year is a chance for you to do, and be, exactly that.

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