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Lessons Learned in 2018

2018 has sure had its ups and downs, but along the way, I have been taught some very valuable lessons. There is a saying, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” I have repeated that to myself many times this year.

So many people who are near and dear to me have been dealt unfair cards this year and it has been utterly painful at times to sit back and watch. As we all know, life isn’t always fair. Sometimes watching your loved ones suffer is worse than enduring pain yourself. The feeling of helplessness has led me to many sleepless nights. Some loved ones have dealt with serious health issues, while others have faced deep emotional and mental struggles that life has thrown at them. One thing I’ve learned through my experiences this past year is to stop and smell the roses. To slow down, enjoy life and stop over scheduling myself. Life is not a race. Life is meant to be enjoyed and we often forget that as we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of our fast-paced society. In 2019, I strive to value my family and friends and to show them more often. I do not say that lightly. This past year, it hit me like a ton of bricks just how fragile life is and how truly precious relationships are. I learned that through tragedy, communities come together to support and rally around one another. I watched the compassion that was evoked through the horrific shooting at Borderline and then the fires that ravaged our area. Many people I know lost everything. Yes, everything. As I spoke to countless people who lost their homes in a matter of minutes, I noticed a common theme and that’s humility. They expressed how grateful they were that their family was safe. At the end of the day, material items can be replaced and something like a horrific fire can often put things into perspective. It takes a lot of strength to look at the glass half full in the midst of a tragedy. I am still in awe of these amazing friends of mine. This experience made me want to be better. When I set my mind on something, I have a goal to follow through with it. I started to put this goal into action already. One example starts with a love for the guitar that I’ve had for years. I have always wished I could play the guitar and I have finally started to learn. It has not been easy, but it has actually been easier than I expected and I’m glad I didn’t allow my fear of failing to hold me back.

This year, I also learned that it’s okay to say goodbye to friendships that may not serve me. It often takes strength to let go of toxic relationships or recognize when people around us are not good for our lives. Setting this standard for yourself shows that you know your value and worth. You learn what you are willing to accept. That is a pretty good feeling.

Doing this has lifted a huge burden off my shoulders. It’s OK to weed out the superficial friendships and hold on to the genuine ones for dear life. A strong woman does this without resentment.

Forgive, move forward in love but never, ever settle for a friendship that brings you down. Never feel guilty for your happiness.

We all deserve to be surrounded by those who truly have our best interest. In doing so, you just may open yourself up to meeting people who you’re meant to cross paths with. Those who make you feel like you’ve known them for a lifetime.

This year I feel so blessed to have met so many amazing people who I am not only learning from but who are helping me to be the best “me” that I can be.

I value all the experiences and lessons I learned in 2018. I am so thankful for my family, friends, and acquaintances who have helped to shape me this year. I continue to grow, learn and evolve. I continue to pray for my dear family and friends who have lost loves ones. I pray with those dealing with health issues. Life is short. Life is precious. People are more important than things. As I open the doors to 2019, I strive to never forget what I learned in 2018. May it bring peace, comfort, good health and happiness to you and your family. Remember: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

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