It’s officially the last month of 2019, and I really wonder how that happened. It was just yesterday I was in Taipei preparing (and worrying about) my move to London. At the same time, when I look at who I was at the start of this year, so much has happened that I wonder how it hasn’t been at least three years since I was the person I was in December 2018.
Before I go into the main lessons I learned in 2019, I wanted to recap the year, what I accomplished and where I fell short – and the biggest goal I fell short of accomplishing was working on my creativity, mainly writing. I had a goal to write at least forty published blogposts, and I wrote three. Yes, large fail. However, one of my other goals (I had eight with the Future Authoring program), came to manifest six months in advance, and that one was arguably the most far-fetched goal I had set when I wrote them down. To keep things in perspective, I could always sit down and force myself to write forty blogposts, but some other goals are much more subject to outside forces and take a lot more work to make happen. So, while I fell short on four of my goals, I had accomplished the other four pretty well, which I think is already a miracle. The four I accomplished certainly were much more stretching than the other ones, and required a huge leap of faith (whereas, accomplishing writing forty blogposts doesn’t really take a leap of faith for me at this point).
So suffice to say, this year has gone much better than my wildest expectations and wildest dreams – and I don’t say that lightly! I’m genuinely impressed, and now, I can finally speak with some authority to myself from a year before, about the challenges I was facing in this section of my life and how to conquer them. This is what I would advise myself a year before on what I would come to learn in the year that followed.
Lesson One: Principles exist, and they work.
It’s easy to have integrity when you have everything at your feet – shelter, food, finances, etc. Well, easier at least, though it ultimately depends on what you perceive you lack. However, when you really might not have a place to sleep the next day, or are not even sure if you can afford the Tesco Meal Deal for the rest of the week, your integrity can really be tested. Will you sell yourself so that you have shelter and food? Will you compromise on principles, turn your back to God (or the principles/values that guide the Universe – not the ones you hold, but the Laws that govern the greater system), so that you can experience physical security, and worse, not feel humiliated?
My experience is that when these are tested, if you stick to them, you come to find that principles truly do exist. People sometimes wonder, how to have faith in something – just because someone tells you something, will you have faith in it? No, the only way to have faith anything is if you test them out yourself and see the outcome. I find that since a lot of us have become really scared to try things, out of fear of what others may think of us or just not wanting to give up what’s comfortable, we’ve lost something much more valuable in return – faith.
Thanks to my leap to come here with minimal amounts of finances this year, at the times where I was tested, instead of attempting to salvage the problem with patterns of choices I made before, I prayed. Not because I felt powerless, but because I knew (had faith) there had to be a way without needing to default back to the ways of life I had before that weren’t working out for me. I just didn’t yet know what that was, and by prayer and faith, the ways were revealed to me. This, in turn, grew my faith in ways I never imagined possible. It allows less room for me to bought/sold by the allure and security of even primal security, or to be traded by shiny fancy objects, knowing that I have experienced having nothing and was still able to make my way through things, and I’m ultimately going to be alright.
Anyways, I definitely learned that principles exist and they work – if you ever feel like you’re doing something kind of dirty/wrong, it’s because you are, and you will have to pay for it at some point in the future. Economics is ultimately precise, just that we don’t dictate the scope or timeline of that precision.
Lesson Two: You know more than you admit.
A year ago over the summer, I dated the first guy that really “cheated” on me – I put it in quotations because he wasn’t my boyfriend, but we had agreed to be exclusive. The whole time, I felt something was really off, and I had continually confronted him about it, and he continually denied my concerns, and even turned to blame me at times. However, in the end it came out that he was lying – he indeed had been hooking up with girls at parties, and was still messaging a lot of new prospects along the way. Lovely.
This has happened so many times in romantic relationships, work situations, relationships with family, friends, and coworkers. Why do we have this instinct to doubt the impressions we receive? If I count the times my impression was off compared to the times it was en pointe, it is a very low number in comparison – and often only because those people were busy with something else I was not a part of and didn’t know about. We really know a lot more than we admit, and this year I trusted myself and these impressions lot more than I usually do. I turned out to be right in my impressions, and they helped me navigate very uncertain situations.
I began trusting my intuition and impressions more – not just the ones that came up, but also, in decisions that hadn’t been made yet, I would really pay close attention to whether I felt something off about what someone was saying or a choice I was facing, and was able to follow through on a lot of harmoniously serendipitous events and situations that supported me in getting me places I needed to go.
As long as we’re not clinging onto a specific agenda for the way we need things to be, I’ve found that not only do we already know the answers to a lot of the questions we have, but also, we are able to access a lot more information than we think we can, and can know what’s going on in most situations.
Lesson Three: I’ll never be finished.
Over seven years ago, I took a leap similar to the one I took at the start of this year, and landed in Europe for the first time, in Italy, speaking absolutely zero Italian. I was also having a personal spiritual crisis after realizing I had fueled my entire self-worth based on what my ego could build, so I was in a very fragile state with my self-image as well. I spent all my waking hours peeling the layers back, learning to walk humbly, and absorbing the beautiful culture in Italy. Within three months, I was a completely new person – I was speaking Italian, I had an Italian boyfriend who loved me dearly, and for the first time in my life, I had developed true self-esteem and self-love.
Here’s where it then all messed up: I thought I was done. So for the next seven years, my growth rate was zero for the most part (hey, I learned to cook and raise a cat), and I was wondering why I was so unhappy. No one else could figure it out either, because I had accomplished much more than what most people accomplish in a lifetime – speaking multiple languages fluently, creating a loving partnership, healing wounds from decades and likely even centuries back, and developing proper self-esteem.
When I came to London, even though I had already lived in Italy for four years before, I realized I knew nothing about the Eastern European countries, for example. I had never even met anyone from the smaller, post-communist countries, and I realized I know nothing! I studied and learned to read the Cyrillic alphabet on my commutes. While I already speak Italian and Spanish to a decent fluency, I now want to learn Bulgarian and Russian, and the cultural history behind these countries, understanding them in a way I understand Italy.
I took a trip to Portugal two years prior – and I said to my friend, if I ever move to Portugal, I’m not learning Portuguese. Why? What on earth was I thinking? Of course I want to learn Portuguese too. Quero falar portugues!
Now I’m working in a tech company, I want to learn computer languages, hardware hacking, and just about everything I can about the industry and its economics. I want to know what’s going on when I connect devices together, and I want to be able to command my computer to do things for me like my colleagues can.
We’re never going to be finished. Just because compared to other people I’m worldly and a dainty little well-travelled [spoiled] globe-trotter, it doesn’t mean that I’m done, and moreover, these privileges are not entitlements from which I’m to gain. They’re for me to be in greater service to the world, to exercise greater power and integrity in this world, and with this directive, I am never, ever finished.
It’s been humbling to say I know nothing of your world, show me please, and that I follow through in whatever way I can to continue to develop myself, to harness and take advantage of whatever opportunities Life places before me, and to use them to be of greater service to the world.
I’ll never be finished with being who I am, and I’m so grateful that I even have the opportunity to be who I am, being free of problems I had created before by having atoned for them last year. It’s not something exclusive to me at all, we all have to bring out who we are into this world, and never think we’re finished with being who we are.
So there we have it, three of my greatest life lessons of 2019 that I would tell myself at the start of this year to embody, as they would help me get to where I need to go much faster than I had ever thought possible. What I would like to learn and accomplish for next year is getting myself further involved and entangled with what’s going on in the world, and see how my participation in it can be a good influence with the same principles I learned this year. My goal is that I’ll be ready for them as this year comes to a close, and I start on my journey of creating into reality my intentions and goals for 2020 (which by the way, still have to get done).
It’s really been a fulfilling year, and I’ll be deeply grateful if I can have just as fulfilling of a year to come. Thank you 2019, hats off to you, and let’s get 2020 together.