2018 was a tumultuous year for me. I learnt a lot being 24. There were some ups and some downs. Looking back, I had way more ups than downs and I’m grateful. All the challenges, failures and triumphs taught me something.
I started this post last year with the plan to write a post a day in honour of a lesson I learnt as a 24-year-old in 2018. I hung my hat a little too high with that plan because I couldn’t finish all 24 posts before my birthday. I’m not a quitter though so as promised I’ll list here for you all 24 lessons I’ve learnt in 2018 so I can remember them in 2019.
Day 5: Be authentically and unapologetically you.
One of the biggest lessons I learnt being 24 is how to be unapologetically. Not quieting myself in order to have others feel comfortable but using my voice strategically. I am by no means a loud person. I couldn’t shout even if I tried. Which makes me being me all the more important because not often enough will people get to understand me through conversation (half the time they can’t hear me; part of why I love writing)
Day 6: You’re capable of doing amazing things.
After two years of no driving when I bought my car, I doubted myself. I didn’t think I’d be able to drive competently. I was a nervous mess. Fast forward to almost 6 months later I’m almost never nervous or afraid. 2018 taught me to believe in myself.
Last year, I also launched my self-hosted website/blog, another challenge I had no idea I could handle but I set out to do it. Guess what guys it’s still going and you’re looking at it!
Day 9: Travelling is good for you.
I never travelled outside Jamaica a day in my life before 2018. Finally, my chance came at 24 and it was amazing. I saw new things and experienced more of what the world had to offer. I definitely think it renewed my desire to excel at my goals. Let’s just say I’ll be travelling a lot more from now on.
Day 10: Hobbies are important to my holistic development.
I always had hobbies growing up. Reading book after book, gaming with my brothers, writing poetry I was never bored. As an adult, I’ve found that it’s important to maintain activities that I enjoy. When work ends, one portion of my life ends and I go onto the next activity that gives me joy.
Day 11: Tough times are meant to build you not kill you.
You’ve probably heard this a million times but when you’re in a tough spot it’s of little consolation. Unfortunately or fortunately its true, sorry not sorry. I’ve had my share of tough experiences; in one right now, but I know I’m learning a lesson in this time and it won’t last.
Day 12: I can achieve whatever I set my mind to.
As cliché as it may sound this is something, I grew to actually believe over the past year. Accomplishing your goals and being able to tick them off your list will do that to you. No small-minded voice can tell me otherwise.
Day 13: Healthy, loving relationships exist.
If you know me you know I love, love. Over the past year, I realized just how blessed I am to be surrounded by family members who love me and a boyfriend who does too. I’m happy I can’t relate to a lot of the social media quotes and memes I see floating around. Disparaged relationships, fake friends, cheating partners, I don’t experience any of that and for that I am grateful.
Day 14: Plans fail but God doesn’t.
Year after year, I have this one goal to enter two writing competitions that I haven’t made good on. Though I try, I just haven’t made it a reality but I trust that God sees my heart and what it would mean to me if I entered and was able to win. Despite my participation in these competitions not becoming a reality God came through for me in other areas.
Day 15: You don’t have to have a support system to go after your dreams.
Hear ye! Hear ye! This one is important. I’ve learnt to not hinge my starting anything on having someone to help. Start working on your goals even when no one around believes.
Day 16: Self-care is crucial.
Sleep, vacations, however you choose to take time for you it’s essential. Unwinding from a week or month of hustling is an absolute necessity. Personally, my self care regimen includes a facial, exercise and a lot of YouTube and doing nothing.
Day 17: Don’t be anxious, trust the process.
I learnt this when I was car shopping. It was very important to me to find the right car to handle my daily commute as well as match my purse. Earlier on in 2018 I had lost hope and made a gratification purchase to make me feel like I wasn’t saving all my money in vain. Got a phone out of it but I wish I waited because the phone ended being way cheaper towards the end of the year.
Day 18: Slow progress is still progress.
You’ve probably heard this a million times. I had to learn to be content with moving at a seemingly slower pace than the people around me. It’s not always easy but I had to be easier on myself. Ambition is great but it can stress you out when the results don’t come when you think they should. Instead of thinking about what hasn’t happened for me I had to exercise gratitude for the things that have happened.
Day 19: My happiness is my responsibility.
2018 was an emotional year for me. It’s like all the feelings I’ve never felt decided to grab hold of me. there were plenty tears and overwhelming moments but I was also very happy. I think that was due to me coming into my own and appreciating myself. I always loved my own company so that wasn’t new but I found peace in God and felt joy with just me.
Day 20: Things get hard when it’s about to get better.
My whole life is a testament to this! The moment
Day 21: My hair will grow back.
I cut my hair last year and while it left many confused and disgruntled, I was happy. I had been delaying because I wasn’t sure a cut was what I really wanted. 5 months later I have no regrets and it’s growing back healthily. The time saved from washing and styling my hair weekly affords me more time to work on my blog.
Day 22: Cars are expensive to upkeep
As I mentioned before, I bought a car this year and boy does it cost me. While the convenience is invaluable, it does cost a pretty penny to keep it running. I’m not mad at it though it’s all a part of the journey. If you’re thinking about getting a car here are a few things you’ll need to know, https://simplycandinicole.com/index.php/2018/12/09/buying-a-used-car-101/
Day 23: A lot can happen in a year
From the beginning of 2018 to the end a lot changed. Paid for my laptop in full, started using it for business, travelled, celebrated my anniversary, went through changes at my job. It’s been a whirlwind of a year that started out as any other. I’m hoping this year will be similar or even better because being 24 in 2018 was good for me.
Day 24: It’s ok to make mistakes along the journey.
Lord, I have made some mistakes. I don’t regret them at all though. I don’t regret any of the lessons learnt last year. Growth can’t happen without mistakes in my opinion. In retrospect, I would’ve saved more money for this point in my life and have less anxiety about affording my future but I strongly believe it’ll come together.