This last year was a tough one personally. I was forced to do things I didn’t plan to. I was forced to slow down when I didn’t want to. I was forced to be content, which is something I struggled with. Then about a month before my 35th birthday (so 11 months’ worth of tough lessons), it all made sense. That’s when my mom passed away. Everything I had been going through up until that point was to prepare me for her passing.
My year (from 34 to 35) has been one of tremendous growth. Not from a business or material standpoint, but from an internal one. It’s been a year of reflection, trusting the unknown, and having faith.
I was explaining to my besties that my mom’s death and ending my 34th year of life didn’t feel like a chapter was ending. It felt like a book was ending. Like my life from birth through age 34 was its own book, and now I’m moving into the sequel: Life from 35 on. I don’t know what the future holds, but I know that I’m still here and I still have things to do…despite my heartache. This is where my faith comes in (and I’ve been building and strengthening it aggressively this past year).
Now that we’ve closed another year (and thank goodness, because 2023 was too much), I’m forcing myself to sit and think about all the lessons I’ve learned in the last year. So many lessons that it feels I’m ready for this new/next book of life.
One of the biggest lessons I learned is that it’s okay to need more time to reach my goals. I’ve always been a goal-setter and a goal-getter. But things can come up to completely throw our plans and our timelines off. It doesn’t mean I’m a failure. It doesn’t mean I can’t reach my goals later. Although I will probably always need to remind myself of this, it’s 100% okay to not reach a goal by the exact deadline. It’s okay to need more time to reach the goal because attention is needed elsewhere. I’m not defined by my goals or achievements. There are so many more important things in life—like spending quality time with those you love before it’s too late.
Another lesson I learned this last year is that I’m a strong, independent woman. Now that I’ve lost both parents and I still wake up with gratitude every day, I know just how strong I am. Not only that, but knowing that I have my own money, my own savings, my own business, and my own willpower is incredibly rewarding. I’m choosing to be with my partner. I’m choosing to work for myself. I’m choosing to be positive. Not needing a partner, not needing a boss, not needing anything but myself feels really good.
The final game-changing lesson I learned in 2023 is that life is too short not to enjoy yourself. Now, I don’t mean that I should just stop caring about work or making money, but the focus can’t be—and shouldn’t be—just on the work, the money, and the goals. Life should include consistent moments with the people, places, and things we love. Not just because time is of the essence, but because the memories of those moments—those things we enjoy, will help get us through times of trial and tribulation. I look back on the time I got to spend with my mom because work was slower than usual, and I’m filled with so much gratitude and so many great memories to think back on. What a blessing.
As the first Book of Raya (Volume 0-34) closes and the next Book of Raya (Volume 35+) begins, I’m staying rooted in my faith, I’m giving myself grace with the goals I work towards, and I’m filling my days with the things and people that I love.
What lessons have you learned this past year? I’d love to hear them, so please comment below!Leave a Comment