Tuesday, December 27, 2016

5 Lessons I Learned In 2016 That Will Help Me In 2017


This year, as with any other, has been a mixture of ups and downs, wins and losses, successes and failures, and excitement and disappointment. Yet, because of this crazy rollercoaster of a year, 2016 is one that I will undoubtedly remember forever.

I began the year with my final semester at a school I had grown to call my home over the last four years. It was, by far, the most bitter sweet few months of my life — I was about to embark on the craziest, most exciting journey of my life: the "real world," but I was simultaneously unwilling to let go of what I had spent several years building and nurturing: college friendships and hobbies.

My new Fordham family would no longer be a short distance away, we would all be dispersed throughout the country (thankfully mostly on the East coast, if not in the same city), some with jobs, some without.

After graduation in May, I was lucky enough to begin a position that could not have fit my interests more. I wanted to write to empower women and as a fellow with AOL'S MAKERS, doing exactly that, I have experienced some of the most genuine excitement about what the future holds for me in media.

While navigating post-grad life, I have overcome many challenges and experienced many successes, all of which have helped me come to the realization that, no matter what, everything will be fine.

This holiday season, when I sat down with family and friends, I realized just how much growth I have done this year and became fully aware of the love and encouragement I had along the way. Something I appreciate more and more each year, especially as each one comes to a close.

Here's what 2016 taught me:


It was really easy (especially in the months leading up to graduation) to put pressure on myself in the expectation of following what is "supposed" to happen after graduation. In the process of being consumed by the pressure to find a job, I was often stressed and began losing focus of what was happening in front of me. It was not until after I accepted my fellowship with AOL that I could finally breathe. It was not the permanent, salary position I had been so focused on, but I accepted the fact that maybe my path would not be exactly how I originally planned and that was ok. Unfortunately after spending too much time stressing (despite everyone else saying this exact thing), I accepted the fact that not everyone's "plan" is exactly alike and was fine with that. What's meant to happen will happen and that is not something I will ever forget, especially as my career progresses in 2017.


I have always tried desperately to make time for the people I love and care about, but sometimes when things are busy, it's tough to keep everyone as close as I would like, especially when their schedules conflicted with my own. The same thing went with hobbies and passions. But, since graduation, I have become particularly aware of the impact this has on happiness and the importance of keeping in touch with those I love, even if it's a quick text or phone call, and making time for the things I enjoy. For this very reason, I began my blog — knowing that my passion for writing was not just something I was willing to only exist in my work life, but something I wanted to carry over into my personal life. In the new year, I will continue writing for pleasure in order to ensure it remains a passion and never becomes a chore.

Constantly wondering "What's next?" is not the way I want to live. I have had to tell myself this quite a few times in the last year in order to keep myself in the present. Worrying about what I have to do to prepare for the next stage in my life is nearly impossible because very rarely do things happen exactly as we expect them to. This year I learned that planning things out according to an "imaginary" timeline ends up being a complete waste of time. Next year (and for the rest of 2016), I will stop myself from worrying about what will happen a month from now and focus on living in the moment.

Sometimes, like many of you, I get a little distracted by the discouraging or negative things happening on the news around the world each day and it's hard not to become doubtful or cynical. One thing I have learned is that even when everything else seems sad and hopeless, the best thing for me is to remain faithful and hopeful. Even when all else is/feels lost, I will never let anything make me lose hope or shake my faith.

Things don't work out sometimes— interviews, tests, meetings, et cetera. But that does not mean it is not where I am supposed to be because all good things take time. With every failure comes a future success, so I've learned to stop second guessing and just try again. The beautiful thing about a new year? It's another chance to try something again or a chance to try something new.

Sweater: J.Crew
Pants: Kate Spade
Shoes: Lands' End

2017, here I come.

29 comments :

  1. These are some great lessons learned! I learned that you will never know what you are capable of until you try!

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    1. That is so true! Most of the time people end up surprising themselves! Thanks for reading :) Have a happy and healthy 2017!

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  2. Great lessons, that can be taken into the new year, and are so inspirational

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    1. Thanks for the read! Hopefully 2017 will bring even more inspiration! Have a happy happy New Year!

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  3. Loved reading this post, you shared some great life lessons.

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    1. Thank you so much! I am glad you enjoyed it! Have a very happy New Year! :)

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  4. What a great post!!! i love reading it :-) Great lessons for life... Thanks for sharing with us

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    1. Thank YOU, Hra! It was quite a year, that's for sure! Have a happy and healthy New Year!

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  5. I just read your blog for the first time. You may be only 23 but you have an old soul. Most people take a lifetime to learn those lessons! Keep writing this world needs more inspiration!

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    1. Thank you so much! :) I think sometimes people learn lessons at a young age, but it takes a while to actually live life by them. Here's to hoping I can apply at least some of them in 2017, right? Happy New Year!

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  6. I absolutely love this! Wishing you a very happy new year :)

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    1. Thank you so much, Carlie! Happy New Year to you as well! May 2017 be the best one yet!

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  7. I like the one about making time for people you love, I am guilty of not doing that this past year and need to do it more. Since we really are not guaranteed another day, I want my family and friends to remember that I love them and not that I didn't have time for them

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    1. It's really tough sometimes, isn't it?! I think we are all guilty of not making enough time for people/things we love when things get busy. I hope to make that more of a priority in 2017. Here's wishing you and your family/friends so much happiness in the new year!

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  8. Such a lovely article, thanks for sharing! This is so true - what's meant to happen will happen. I totally agree, we shouldn't rush the moment! <3

    Cheers, Eliza | www.fashion-confession.com

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    1. Thank YOU for reading, Eliza! Cannot wait to check out your blog! Have a lovely new year!

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  9. These are some great lessons that will help you throughout your entire life.

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    1. Thank you so much, Crystal! I hope you also had a year of growth and inspiration and wish you the absolute best in 2017!

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  10. It's always great to look back on the year and reminisce and see what we've learned, isn't it? Definitely slowing down, taking time to be with friends and family and disconnected are mine for the year.

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    1. It really is. I also think writing it out in this way was really helpful in recognizing my own personal growth! Thank you so much for the read and I hope you have a very happy and healthy new year!

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  11. I love your positivity. I want to make more time for happiness and live in the now for 2017.

    xoxo
    Isaly Holland
    www.memoriesbyisaly.com

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    1. It's so true! Even the busiest people need to make time for whatever makes them happy! Cheers to a happy and healthy 2017 for you!

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  12. Happy New year! This is a great post about planning out! I wish you all the best in the new year.

    Divine
    www.ladiesmakemoney.com

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    1. Happy happy new year, Divine! Thank you so much for reading. Hope this is the best year for you yet!

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  14. Thank you for such an inspirational post! Happy 2017. May this year bring you joy and happiness.

    Best,
    Roger W.
    www.wetnoseescapades.com

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    1. Thank you so much, Roger! Wishing you a happy and healthy 2017!

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  15. So inspirational post!! Really following these simple things can help us achieve bigger targets in life. Thanks for sharing!!

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    1. Thank you so much for reading, Jhumki! Happy 2017!

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