I’d wanted to write a review of the the year, but I’m not quite ready to. Sharing lessons is my comfort zone. It is where my stories sneak out, often without my knowledge and shrouded in all those lessons, they don’t look so naked and exposed. I hope you find something of use. Here’s a list (sort of) of the most important things I learned from life this past year:
No man is an island. Keep connections, even if it’s one text every two weeks. Reach out for help, reach out to be helped. Don’t drown in the sea when there’s a crowd on the beach, just because you won’t call out for help. Someone will hear you over the din.
People are going to hurt you. You don’t have to stay friends with everyone who hurts you, but you have to forgive people. People are going to drift away. Sometimes you shouldn’t fight too hard to hold on to them (especially if they aren’t fighting to stay close).
Always assume that everyone is doing the best that they can. The best they know how to. Yet, everyone’s best will not be your cup of tea, so remember to treat people with dignity, even as you demand things of them.
Never be afraid to walk away from relationships that do not fit, that do not make you a better person.
Be honest. Have honest, intense, difficult conversations. Like Shonda Rhimes says, across the fields of difficult conversations lies freedom.
Disagree kindly. Disagree a lot but always remember to be kind. Sometimes, the problem with arguments is not that you disagree but HOW you disagree. Sometimes.
Don’t give up too easily on anything. Always determine if it’s simply a hurdle or a permanent obstacle. Don’t walk away too quickly.
Find alone time. Guard it fiercely. Share it only with God.
Document your thoughts and feelings; there will be times when your past self alone will give you all the talking-to you need.
Find people you can be real and human with.
Be enchanted. Stay open to love and beauty and let nature put flowers in your heart and the wind in your hair.
Get comfortable with uncertainty. Be okay with saying “I don’t know”. Here are a few phrases you should also learn to use:
- “Hey, I just need to be by myself for a second. I’ll be back”
- “I don’t want that”
Acquire the skill of apologising even when you do not think you’re wrong. The peace with those you love is more important than your ego.
Hurt is better than numb. Hurt is better than angry. It is however easier to be hurt than angry, so before you hurl blame, look inside. Verbalise hurt. And heal.
Find hope, always. Between the pages of the bible, in sunrises, in the unrelenting waves of the ocean.
Learn stubborn gladness.
With love, Afoma x