6 Lessons I've Learned In 2022
What I've learned this year about life, love, friendships and self-acceptance
Hey It-Girls, Happy Blogmas Day 4!
JOURNAL PROMPT: If you had to define 2022 as an era in your story, what would you call it and why?
I was discussing this question with my flatmate a few weeks ago and it was the first time I'd really thought about how much had happened over the past 12 months.
I turned 25 this year which was weird as it was the first time in years that I was genuinely excited about getting older. There was something about getting closer to 25 that really made me want to re-define what it meant to truly be my most authentic self. I'd grown and changed so much as a person and 25 felt like the age to finally bring it all together to create an identity I could truly be proud of.
I invested in my inner world through better health supplements, new workout classes, making memories and honouring my gut feelings and desires. I also invested in my outer world, creating a capsule wardrobe I truly loved, better skin and haircare, and a home environment where I felt inspired to create.
I experienced the most beautiful and love-filled moments of my life so far and at the same time, also experienced deeply cutting heartbreak that I'm still working to mend. I achieved goals I had thought wouldn't be possible for at least another year and had to let go of others I'd been sure I'd complete with ease.
If I had to define 2022, I'd say this was my resilience era - the pre-launch year that prepared me for everything I've been dreaming about. In line with reflecting on this era of my life, I thought I'd share some of the most important lessons I learned in 2022:
1. The real glow up is emotional intelligence
Our generation is obsessed with the idea of a 'glow up' (myself included). But while getting a new hairstyle or doing your nails is a fun and easy way to feel better about ourselves, the one thing that has truly made me feel like a new person has been learning how to process and express my emotions in a healthy and less destructive way.
2. It's what's inside that counts but what's outside matters too
Perhaps this was a symptom of growing up in a lower income ethnic household but for the longest time I had held the belief that buying clothing or beauty products was a frivolous and unnecessary way to spend money. It wasn't until I found myself in tears after yet another morning spent getting ready, hating the way I was dressed and feeling insecure about the poor quality of my clothes that I accepted there was an issue. I set myself a wardrobe budget, saved up and finally invested in a new wardrobe this year and the sense of pride and excitement I feel now when I get dressed every morning is priceless. It's not vain or frivolous to invest in your appearance and if there's something you can do to walk into spaces with your head held high in confidence, it is worth every penny.
Related: How To Re-Invent Yourself In 2023
3. Our self-identity is just a story we tell ourselves
We are not bound by who we we were a year ago, a month ago or even a few minutes ago. Every moment is a new opportunity to take a different path, switch timelines, and change our lives for the better. We are constantly creating ourselves so if we don't like who we're becoming or the way our lives are playing out, we have the autonomy to change the narrative and choose a different story.
4. Money always comes
Now this isn't necessarily a new lesson I've learned but rather an old lesson that I needed a refresher on. This has been my money mantra for years but this year it has really proven itself to be true. With the current state of the economy leaving many of us feeling worse off than ever, it can be hard to listen to people telling you to 'manifest' your way out of poverty. This isn't about wishful thinking but rather about being intentional and positive in the way you speak about and spend money. Call it being delusional or 'unrealistic' but when you choose to stop calling yourself 'broke' and instead believe that we live in an abundant world where sources of money can come from anywhere, you'll be amazed at how quickly life begins to meet your needs.
Related: What I did to change my money mindset
5. Keeping your heart open will make you happier
It's so easy to close ourselves off to trusting, loving or believing that good things will happen but all this does is stop our negative emotions from passing through us; blocking the universe from being able to help us. Keeping our hearts open and trusting the process allows our emotions to flow freely, enabling us to experience life to the fullest.
6. Sometimes 'bad things' happen to show you how much you've grown
I'm sure I'm not the only one who meditated once and felt nothing, journaled and felt like it was a waste of time or read a self-help book and rolled their eyes. But how many of us stuck with it anyway just to find that weeks or months later we felt different? In the way that we don't always see those gym gains until we look back at old photos of ourselves, is the same way that experiencing something painful or triggering can help us realise our personal growth. Sometimes it takes going through something that usually would have shaken us to our core for us to realise it doesn't hurt as much this time around. It takes going through something sad or hurtful to realise we have all the tools needed to get through the things we fear.