8 Things I Learned in 2014

In just a few hours 2014 will be over, 2015 will arrive and I will welcome it with open arms. But until then, I wanted to share what I’ve learned this year.

1. Don’t compare yourself to others. 

I’m 32 years old and I look at what other people who are in my age group have done and I become disappointed in myself. I feel as if I’ve should be farther than where I am in my life. I keep comparing myself to others and it’s not doing me any good.

I’ve learned that each person is on their own path in this thing we call life and though at times I feel as if I should be further along, I know I just need to stay focused on who I am and what I want to accomplish as I continue to work hard to get to those mountaintops. I don’t need to worry about what others are doing. I can be inspired by their journeys, but I don’t need to compare myself to them and feel as if I’m a loser.

2. Never give up, never surrender.

This phrase from Galaxy Quest will forever be one of my mantras.  This year was the year I almost quit writing for good. I had accomplished writing my first novel and I was so excited about the next step in the process-editing. As I started the process my excitement came crashing down and felt so frustrated and angry with myself. I felt that I should have done better with my writing and I also felt stupid.

My frustrations boiled up to the point of almost no return and I began to hate writing and wanted to walk away from writing for good. That’s why I haven’t written much on here, my love of writing just left me.  Thankfully I decided to take a break and when I did a few good things happened.

  • 3. When frustrated, work on something else.

When I put my novel aside and left it there, I worked on other things. I published my third poetry ebook, and I started the pop culture blog Uncanny Pop with one of my Twitter friends. I didn’t stop writing, I just worked on something else and my love of writing has slowly returned.

4. An accomplishment is an accomplishment no matter how small. 

I might not have accomplished much in some people’s eyes or my own this year, but I did do something. I wrote a novel (which was on my bucket list), and I published four books (Where My Imagination Takes Me, Attack on Love, Poesy Rainbow, Outside of the Box) this year.  I had two of my stories published in an eZine and a comic book anthology, in addition to creating Uncanny Pop which is slowly developing a following since its inception in October (the blog has about 235 followers so far). Finally I surpassed my yearly reading goal by reading 68 out of 40 books for the year.

5. Change is scary but it’s also necessary for growth.

This year I cut my hair for the first time ever. I said goodbye to my long locs and hello to short hair. I was scared to do it at first but I overcame my fear and plunged right in. I’m hoping to make changes in other areas of my life in 2015, I’m scared but I know it’ll help me grow as a person.

6. Though the struggle is real, don’t give up hope.

Things in my personal life got a little bit worse, my family has struggled all of my life to make ends meet and right now things are extremely tight.  I’m the sole person who brings in an income-and it’s not a lot at all. On top of that my mom and I have been sick-my mom’s been in and out of the hospital this year, and I’m dealing with my graves disease. There’s a lot of stressful things going on in our lives (police brutality, racism, finances, health, etc.) but though we struggle we continue to not give up hope.

7. Let it go. 

I haven’t seen Frozen (and probably never will due to the many parodies of the song) but that phrase has stuck with me. Sometimes you need to let go of the things and people in your life. There are 10 types of toxic people that you need to leave behind in 2014. Let them go! They’re not worth dealing with anymore.

Many days go by where I’m not sure if I really have friends, but I look forward to the new year and what it has to offer in the way of my relationships. I want to have my own circle of trust that I can depend on.

8. Do your thing!

Be you! Don’t try to be anyone else. The world needs you, you are unique and no one else could replace you. Keep practicing, keep working hard. Don’t give up! Whatever goals, ideas, projects, etc. that you have always wanted to do, do it in 2015, find a way to make it happen. Don’t wait on others, just plunge right in.

I wish you a happy and prosperous New Year! I hope 2015 is way better than 2014 and that you’ll be healthy, happy, and flawless!

I’ll see you in 2015.

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-Tali

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