28 Things I’ve Learned Through Reflection

I’ve done quite a bit of reflecting over the last few weeks. The ample time for introspection has helped me realign some of my goals and values, slowed down a schedule that had slowly become overwhelmed, and helped me get back to the things I love.

And so, in that time I’ve decided to share a list of 28 things I’ve been thinking about when it comes to living life and being yourself.

  1. Life has a funny way of continuing, no matter how much you want it to slow down. Instead of running to catch up, be present, enjoy it, then move forward.
  2. When things get crazy, find what you can control. For example, my then-boyfriend and I found out the engagement ring was going to be delayed indefinitely due to coronavirus. Instead of getting frustrated, we took control and got a cheaper stand-in ring so we could do our thing. We are getting married sooner than we planned as well.
  3. When your cat jumps on your lap while working from home, take a moment and let them get comfortable. You can pause for five seconds.
  4. Your values will change over time. Continue to check in on yourself and accept those changes. You are not meant to follow one path.
  5. Your goals will change too. Circumstances change, life throws you for a loop, and you might have to change your trajectory. It’s okay.
  6. You’re not meant to have one passion in life. You can love — and pursue — a bunch of different things.
  7. Always be learning. The internet is endless, there are a ton of free courses online, or you can learn from the people around you. Branch out and find new interests.
  8. Create as if you are a beginner. Remember the first time you found something you loved? I remember the exact minute I fell in love with writing. Every time I sit down to work on a novel or an article, I think back to those first moments.
  9. Know your why. Why do you do something? Why do you continue showing up to your work? What purpose does it serve you?
  10. Be yourself. Sure, you might get weird looks. You might confuse people. But if it makes sense to you, it doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else. You are unique.
  11. Own yourself. Find things that make you confident and lean into it. Dye your hair, wear your favorite outfit, sing your favorite song, and stand tall.
  12. Write the story you want to read. Live the story you want to write. No, we don’t have a magic system or superpowers, but that doesn’t stop you from letting your imagination bleed into the world. It will be a better place because of your creation.
  13. You can always learn more about a person by their taste in music. Not if they listen to pop or rock or whatever. What are the songs they love that aren’t in the top 100? What artists have you never heard of that they love? What music do they prefer when they’re happy, sad, angry, etc?
  14. Stuff is overrated. You don’t need a million trinkets to be happy.
  15. Love is so much better when you can be yourself. Relationships are deeper and stronger. Connections are so much more powerful. That is true happiness.
  16. To get trust, you have to give trust. It’s not easy but you learn faster and develop better connections.
  17. Some people will break that trust. You can sit and dwell on the anger and hurt, or you can move on and be better for it. Let go of the things that only bring you down.
  18. Life is not about the likes or Facebook friends or followers. It’s always about the people. Each and every one of them are important.
  19. Journal, even if just to get some handwriting practice in. It’s a great skill, it’s meditative, and you can learn a lot about yourself.
  20. Share your work. Put yourself out there. That initial post is scary but one day you might hold your very first book in your hand. That’s an amazing feeling.
  21. Cake won’t fix everything, but if it has enough frosting, it might.
  22. Learn to say no to things that distract you from your path. You might have to pass on things that people would say you’re crazy for passing on. You might have to let go of friendships, or fake ones. See #10: if it makes sense to you, it doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else.
  23. Money is nice, but it isn’t everything. Get to your happy, safe place where you can live comfortably and then focus on the things that matter most.
  24. Exercise sucks, always, but it’s good for your body and mind. Embrace the suck for a bit and think about how good you’ll feel after.
  25. You matter. Your health matters. Your mind matters. Don’t let stigma keep you from pursuing something that brings you peace where you need it.
  26. You are not your job title. Having what society deems as a lower-status position doesn’t make you any less of a person. Everyone has responsibilities in life and you need to do what you need to do. You don’t have to explain or justify yourself to anyone.
  27. Finish something that matters to you. Write ‘The End’ on a novel with space monkeys and cotton candy. Train for a marathon and run it. Practice karate and get your black belt. Choose your goal and let it become part of you.
  28. You don’t have to have it all figured out. The only constant in life is change. Instead of getting frustrated, go with the flow. Try new things, fail at some of them, and adopt new ideas. Be open to experiencing life and let it guide you.

Head to my Patreon to read my first novel for free. If you become a patron now, you’ll get early access to the first five chapters plus you’ll start to get bonus material throughout the month.

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