2020 was a wild ride.
When I look back and think about all the things we went through and had to get used to, I’m still a bit shell shocked.
I felt like I lost so much and at times I felt like I was at my lowest.
And yet, 2020 was also a big year for personal growth and when I really think about it, it was also filled with a lot of happy memories.
5 Things I Learned About Myself In 2020
I put way too much of my self worth in my job. So much so that when I was laid off, I truly felt like a loser and like I hit rock bottom. When I was in the magazine world, I put my entire being into that job. I would walk into a room and introduce myself with my title first and then my name. When I left, I realized that I needed to be myself and stand on my own. But, as I continued to work in the fashion industry, I fell back into the same cycle. I feel like it’s a trait of the fashion industry where you feel like your title, your job, your company needs to define you and it’s something always thrown around.
I realized that there were a lot of moments in 2020 where I stopped myself from feeling happy because I felt like I didn’t deserve to because I lost my job. I didn’t focus on any of the positives like being able to spend more quality time and laughs with my mom and my boyfriend, how patient they were with me, how strong they were for me, FaceTimes with my best friend, new hobbies I picked up along the way and the way so many people, including my boyfriend’s brother, were so kind to me and offered to help me.
As driven as I am and as much as I do love working and making a name for myself, I learned that my career, whatever it may be, does not define me or my self-worth. It’s my family, the people I surround myself with, the way I treat others and the choices I make. To be honest and not to sound cheesy, the Disney movie Soul really hit home. I realized and as silly as it sounds, it really took me a whole year to learn that I am a whole person that is so much more than a job or a company.
I absolutely self-sabotage myself. When people are nice to me or give me compliments, I run for the hills because I don’t know how to handle it. I made one million excuses on why I could not blog. I tried filming for my YouTube channel several times during the year and threw out all the footage. The list goes on. I can sit here and make a ton of excuses and try to justify my actions and choices, but last year I learned that I am the only person standing in my own way. I wish I could share some magical way that I fixed that, but to be honest, I just don’t know how. But, what I have been doing is trying to be more conscious of my actions and reactions. I’ve been telling myself “oh no, you’re doing it again” just to try to own up to it and break the cycle.
To a certain extent, I can control my emotions. Can I magically make myself feel better when I’m feeling depressed or anxious? No. But, there were some days where I would feel really down and just allow myself to feel down for the rest of the week, month, whatever. There were days where I didn’t even want to try. I didn’t want to get out of bed, let any sunlight in, I just wanted to be. The reality is, I’m not always going to be happy or sad, I’m going to have ups and downs but I have to at least make an effort. An effort to smile, to laugh and to allow myself to be happy.
A tough pill to swallow, but not everyone has to be in my life and not everyone is worth my time. 2020 was a tough year and we were all trying to get through it in our own way. I needed to show myself grace, but I think we all needed to show some grace to all of our friends and family just trying to get through the year and survive in their own way. I absolutely had friends who did not show me grace and were not understanding to what I was going through and how I was coping. Was I the best friend I could have been this year? No. Was I as accessible as I have been in the past? No. But, I also had friends who did show me patience and understanding and accepted me and how I needed to cope with my current situation. So I had to really think and evaluate if I wanted to continue with certain friendships and make the effort or did I want to let them go. And I ultimately decided to put myself first and put effort into relationships I felt were reciprocated and take myself out of relationships where I felt like I was giving too much of me, trying to hard or had fizzled out.
I am the best version of myself, the proudest of myself and the happiest with myself when I just try. Last year there were moments where I was at my lowest and I just didn’t want to move. I really allowed my depression to just take over. But there was a moment, for lack of a better phrase, where I was sick and tired of being sick and tired. I had to pick myself up. I found that what really helped me get out of my slump was making a choice every day to take one small step and accomplish at least one thing. And honestly my only goal for 2021 is to continue trying. Trying my best. Trying to continue growing my YouTube channel. Trying to remain consistent on the blog. Trying to keep my spirits high in the job search. Even trying new food. We’re just going to try.