18 Things I’ve Learned in 2018

 

Hey there Beautiful Dreamers,

It’s Amber here and this is the start of my new blog that I’m excited to share with you all. It’s also the start of the new year. As 2018 has come to an end I just wanted to take some time to reflect what I’ve learned this last year. The year of 2018 was truly a year I will never forget about. It has been full of a great combination of things- both good and bad. No matter what though I’ve learned so much from it all and wanted to share with you all some of what I learned.

I thought it would be fun to start this blog with 18 lessons I’ve learned from this last year. Since obviously it would take forever to write two thousand and eighteen of them and no one got the time to read that haha. Well here it goes…

1. Find What Makes You Happy

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Life is way too short to spend it not doing things that make you happy. Even if it’s a little thing that makes you happy. The little things will truly add up over time. If you like going on walks outside then try to add it to your day. If you love to read spend time reading. If you want to sing..sing. If you like to draw, draw your little heart out.

You can find happiness everywhere if you choose to look hard enough. I used to think happiness was something you were just born with. As an adult I’m learning that happiness is a constant choice we have to make. Some people may have some genes that make them more prone for happiness, and may have things easier than you. At the end of the day though we all have hardships, and we all have a decision. Some of the happiest people that are out there in the world are not the ones that had the easiest life, but learned to be happy no matter what life handed them. They realized that being unhappy did nothing but bring even more disappointment to their lives.

Invest time in your happiness. Some may think this in some ways is selfish, but if you really think about it it’s not because when you do things in your life to make yourself happy then it helps make everyone else around you happy too. When you live your life in accordance to making yourself happy and not trying to make everyone else happy it totally changes your life around. Because at the end of the day you are responsible for your own happiness..not anyone else’s.

2. Grief Doesn’t Just Go Away Over Night

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Grief. The dreaded word we hear as we go through a difficult process. Whether that be a breakup or the death of a loved one for example. Unfortunately in 2018 had to deal with the grief in both of those ways and honestly both of those things were some of the hardest things I’ve ever went through in my life.

I found that with grief at least for me it doesn’t happen all at once. Some times I’ll be absolutely fine and then it will hit me like a ton of bricks. You could be having a great time and something could remind you of that person. If you’re like me it could just be a song that comes on the radio and all of a sudden you’re crying singing to Mariah in your car hoping the people next you don’t think you’re an alcoholic.

The thing is yes grief is a stage of losing something, but the whole stage never usually goes all away. It just gets easier to deal with, with that good old Father Time. So if like me you wonder why you can’t just get over it. Know it’s a part of life and that it’s perfectly okay to have moments where you just need to mourn. It doesn’t mean you are weak..it means you are human.

3. The Real Friends Stay Through it All

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These friends are the real MVPs. There are there through your good times and there for your 2 a.m. crying session. They are there by your side no matter what supporting you and loving you. My friend Sharon that I meet this last year is one of my best friends, because I know she’s there for me when I’m happy and also when I’m sad. She has stuck by my side even when I can be a negative Nancy sometimes and listens to me ramble on about countless things.

In 2018 I lost some friends I thought were good friends, but honestly they were very toxic. Even though sometimes I miss the good things about those friendships I’m so much happier without their toxic energy in my life. Losing friends is never easy, but you also need to think about you and your health. If you wouldn’t be like that to them then why would you let someone be that toxic to you?

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Good friends will also comfort you, but at the same tell you what you need to (even if it hurts- which it usually does). One of my best friends til this day is my cousin Lynn because she tells me how it is even if I don’t want to hear it. Sometimes I’d feel so angry with her, because I didn’t want her to be right, but what I realized over time is that real friends will do that. Not because they don’t care. Actually the quite opposite. They love you enough to tell you things you need to hear even if they know it might make you mad, because just sugar coating it is not going to help you in the long run. So yeah it might hurt for a short amount of time, but I’m so thankful to her for always being honest with me and loving me enough to tell me the truth.

4. Exercise is Great Therapy

That being said it should’nt ever be a replacement to real therapy. 2018 was definitely a very hard

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year for me, and I credit working out being a big factor on what got me through. For me the gym not only makes my body feel and look good, it helps me mentally more than anything.

When I tell people that I love to work out. Many of them don’t seem to get how much it means to me. To me working out is not just a place to get in shape it’s a place for self development. Both inside and out. If you can’t afford the gym I totally understand. There’s so many other ways you can work out that are cheaper as well. Like simply just going to the park for a good run.

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If you can afford the gym I do recommend it though. I love being at a place where others are goal driven like me. I recently got into weight lifting and I can already see results which is amazing. I’ve always liked working out because when you work hard you can see results. Sometimes in school I got frustrated because I could study for hours and still do bad on a test, but with working out I got a satisfaction of seeing my weight drop or my muscles grow. It’s such an incredible feeling! It gives you a sense of pride and makes you happy.

5. Gratitude

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I can’t be the only one who heard YouTubers say “gratitude” is the key to happiness and roll her eyes. As silly as it sounds its very true.

You might think you’ll be happier if you make a million dollars, but if you’re not happy now without it chances are you won’t be with it either. Gratitude is all about being thankful for what you have and appreciating it. Sure, we all want the nicer things in life, but too many of us get so wrapped up in wanting more that we don’t appreciate all the great things right in front of us.

Appreciate the friends and family who stayed beside you when they could have dipped. Appreciate the nice sunny day outside. Appreciate that you have that opportunity to go to school. Appreciate that you are not homeless. Appreciate that you have food to put in your belly. Appreciate your good health. Whatever you have no matter how big or small you think it is appreciate it, because some of those things you are taking for granted others wish they had.

6. Excuses Are Not Your Friend They’re The Enemy

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Anyone who has been in my life for a long time knows that I used to be the Queen of Excuses. I could name off excuses like I was doing an intense rap battle. I realized in 2018 especially that excuses are just that they are excuses. They do nothing but waste your breathe and energy- that quite honestly could have been done to go towards what you were procrastinating on. Then by a blink of an eye you go from 18 to 78 years old having always coming up with the same or different excuses on why you can’t do something.

You may think that your problems are too great. That it’s too late for you. To those who think that I want you to watch a video on YouTube about Nick Vujicic. Here is a guy who has no arms and no legs and still decides to make the most out of his life and has such a positive attitude. This man has had every right to mope around and feel sorry for himself, but guess what he doesn’t and that’s very inspiring.

If you struggle with always coming up with an excuse to something. I challenge you to instead of thinking “Oh why do I have to do this?” think “I’m so grateful that I have the opportunity to do this.” When you think of it in a place of gratitude instead of a place of pity it is a total game changer.

 

7. Tell Others You Love Them Even When You’re Mad

The other day me and my mom got into an argument. It’s actually quite humorous when I think back to it. At the end I said “I love you but I can’t talk to you right now because you’re making me mad.” No matter what just saying “I love you” can have such a powerful impact on us and the others we love. Even when I’m blistering mad at someone I keep in the back of my mind that if it was the last time we talked, I at least want them to know I love them.

We truly don’t know how much time we have left with our loved ones or how much time we have left here on the Earth ourselves. Since we don’t know when that time is up for any of us it’s so important to always take a chance to tell others that you love them.

I don’t try to live my life with any regrets. I believe everything happens for a reason. However I do wish in the past that I had taken more time to talk to others who were there for me and remind them that I loved them. I remember a few months before my cousin Lori died she had invited me to come over, but I was so obsessed with the guy I was dating at the time I choose not to. That now really gets to me because I should have taken that opportunity to spend more time with her. I just assumed I’d have more time with her, but that wasn’t the case at all.

That is just one example, but I’ve also done this with others in my past too. It’s not something I am proud of at all and in 2018 I’ve learned that it’s something I need to work on. So many times I get so wrapped up in myself and my problems that I don’t think about the others around me that I love and care about. I think many of us are like this to a certain extent. I’m just glad I’m finally getting awakened to this concept and that I am really trying to improve on it.

 

8. Trust is Built Over Time

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I used to think you were just automatically supposed to trust everyone around you. I quickly learned growing up though not everyone around you can be trusted. As I got older I had a hard time finding a balance. I either wouldn’t trust someone at all or I jumped full in.

This year I learned that trust is something a person earns from you over time. Trust cannot be built in a day. I remember one of my exes that I was with for two years. I never would do the trust technique with anyone, but after being with him for a long time I actually trusted him enough to let him catch me, which I was never able to do before. I didn’t do that at the beginning of the relationship though. I knew him well enough after a while that he’d be there for me.

The relationship obviously didn’t work out, but there is a really important lesson from that. That true trust is earned over time. In my last relationship in 2018 I jumped in way too quickly trusting someone with my heart that I didn’t know very well yet. He then ended up being quite different than what I thought he was and I ended up getting very hurt because I trusted someone way to soon with all of me. This year I’m practicing the art of slowing down. I think I thought about how short life was and tried to hurry it all up, but true relationships are formed when we take the chance to grow and learn to trust each other over time.

 

9. You Have to Be the One to Change Your Life

Many people know I have had a dramatically transformation losing approximately 65 lbs. Weight was one of my constant personal struggles throughout my life. At the time of my highest weight of 180 lbs. I was deeply depressed and just so unhealthy.

I didn’t lose all my weight in 2018, but during that year I learned to be more mindful with my health. When I first started my weight loss journey it was mainly all about looking good. Which there’s nothing wrong with wanting to look your best, but it’s so much more than that. I realized that working out and eating better helped make me healthier from the inside, out.

If I hadn’t decided and made up my mind to change my life though I would have never learned all of that. If you want to change your life, it all starts with you. Not with others. You can learn from others, and they can help you along the way, but ultimately the power comes from within you. You making the decision that you need to make a change.

I learned it’s the same way with prayer too. I could pray and pray to God to change my life, but what I didn’t realize is God already had given me the ability to change. I just wasn’t using it. So if you find yourself struggling to change look to others for help and guidance but also find the strength inside of yourself. It’s there inside of you even if you don’t realize it.

10. Love Isn’t the Only Thing That Matters

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This lesson has been one of the hardest ones for me to grasp. It has taken me years of going through things and finally this year I’m seeing it clear when I couldn’t before.

At a young age I taught myself that if you love someone you can’t let them go. If you all have this idea set right now I’m here to tell you “Rose, let go of Jack.”

*Titanic Spoilers*

This movie is my favorite movie of all time. Everything about the movie is absolutely breathtaking. As I get older I now see that it also had many great lessons that I didn’t realize fangirling over Leonardo.

One of the biggest lessons is that even though Rose loved Jack she had to let him go to survive. That lesson is so true in real life as well.

I can’t tell you how many times I got into relationships and destroyed myself in the process. Honestly, I can say in all of my romantic relationships I lost myself in some form or another.

Some of the relationships were even abusive, but I stayed. I didn’t like crying every night. I hated the way I was talked to. I would barely eat because of the pain. So why did I stay? Because I thought if you loved someone you need to do everything you can to make it work. However I was wrong. In trying to help these men and try to be perfect for them I lost myself. I drifted so far from Amber that I trusted them before I trusted my own voice… and you should NEVER I repeat NEVER let anyone have that much power over you.

Just because there’s love there that doesn’t mean the relationship will work. I used to think love solved all the issues. That’s not the case. A relationship is about two people choosing to fight for one another and offering benefits to each others lives. Yeah you can love them, but if they are making you feel like crap every single day and you fight all the time..it’s just not a good relationship. You can love someone at the fullest of your hearts desire, but just basing the relationship just on love it’s not going to work. Love is one of the biggest factors, but it’s not everything that matters in the relationship.

 

11. Focus on You Instead of Focusing on Finding Someone

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I think many of us after getting out of a relationship go on alert mode.

*ALERT* *DANGER* *WE ARE NOW SINGLE…SAY WHAT?!*

Instead of focusing on ourselves and our own growth we jump from relationship to relationship. I can’t tell you how much time I’ve spent obsessing over guys. Going from guy to guy. Sometimes I almost wish I could go back in time and slap myself with all the time I wasted either seeking out a relationship or spending way too much time in the wrong relationship.

However I have learned from those mistakes very hard this year and realize it starts with me. I need to focus on what I need to do in my own life, have my own goals, and do my own thing. Then when the time is ready the right guy will come along. When it’s right it’s not going to be forced either- it’ll just happen naturally. But to just wait along until Mr. Right comes along is very stupid. Just because we all have so much more valuable things we could do with our time.

Instead of having a guy take you on a date..take yourself out on a date. I’ve gone to the movies so many times alone. People look at me weird when I tell them that. They tell me that’s really sad, but honestly I’ve done it so many times I really enjoy it to be honest. I also take myself out to eat. Go shopping by myself. Work out by myself. And guess what I enjoy it.

Yes, it’s important to have others around you, but it’s also so important to enjoy the time you have by yourself. I know so many people who lose their minds if they’re not hanging out with someone 24/7. God forbid they go one night at home by themselves. They might just go crazy. If this is you I urge you to sometimes just force yourself to do things on your own. It might be scary, but you’d be surprised by how much you’ll probably like spending time with you. You are an awesome human being so go hang out with yourself!

 

12. You Should Laugh as Much as Possible

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The saying “laughter is the best medicine” is said for a reason. In some of my darkest moments I noticed that if a friend of mine made me laugh it could turn my whole mood around. I think that goes for many of us that when we laugh it can help turn our moods around. Just like you should try to be happy every chance you get you should try to laugh as much as possible too.

Even if that means watching YouTube videos that make you laugh. Even if it’s…Baby Shark. DO IT!! Watch a comedy. Go hang out with friends that make you laugh until you start to cry. Watch a funny episode of SNL. Make a baby laugh. A babies laugh will not only make you happy, but will probably make you laugh too, because they are probably laughing at you doing something completely stupid. Like the words of the great Shia LaBeouf “JUST DO IT!!!”

13. Try New Things

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Whether that be just doing something different with your hair like I have done so many times in my life that even my mom said “What color is your hair this month?!” I find it’s very important to try as many new things as possible even if it’s small. It could be even try something on a menu different then what you usually get. You never know, you could like something better, but you will never know until you try.

If 2018 was full of one thing. It was me doing things I haven’t done before. Meeting new people. Working new jobs. Merging on roads..it terrified me at first. Trying new foods. Going new places. Doing my makeup differently. Trying a new workout. I have many things that I tried during 2018, but we all don’t got the time for me to list all of them. Big or small. The point is that even if I did make some bad decisions (which I’m not recommending by any means) I was doing things I’ve never done before. I tried things I wasn’t sure about at first and learned through those experiences if it was good or bad.

We learn by going out and doing different things. If we sit around doing nothing all day or fall into the same routine we don’t really learn anything by it. We learn by challenging ourselves to going out and trying new things even if they are scary at first.

 

14. We All Have a Choice

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Every day we all have a decision on how we live each day. We can spend each day bitter, hateful, full of regret, negative or we can live happy, cheerful, forgiving, excited.

I’ve learned that has its ups and downs. The thing about the downs though is we have the decision whether we let it destroy us or let us make us stronger. There are bad things that happen to all of us without our control, but what we do have control over is how we respond to all of it.

Many of the happiest, most positive people are not people who have had the easiest life. Most people who are positive I find have went through many difficult things but learned through those events that it’s better to look on the bright side than the negative.

We could all sit down wallowing in self pity if we all really wanted to or we could rise above. The choice is yours.

 

15. Success Isn’t Built Sitting on Your Butt

As much as I’d love to be successful just laying back doing nothing that’s not how it works. If you want to succeed in anything you need to put in the work for it. My whole life I’ve been a huge dreamer. I’ve always dreamed of doing incredible things. But did I do those incredible things? Most of them no, because I didn’t put in any action into it. Dreaming is great. It’s important to dream, but if you want to make those dreams a reality you need to stop dreaming and start doing.

Anything that I have actually succeeded in doing in my life required me to put in at least some action. For those of you who don’t know I’ve lost about 70 lbs over a short amount of time. If I didn’t put hard work of eating healthier and moving more then I would have never lost any weight. It’s all because I decided to do something.

It’s almost funny how most of us think that if we just sit there hoping things will come to us that they will. When you want something to eat out of the kitchen does it magically just come to you? Unless you have someone bringing it to you it usually requires some type of action of you getting up to get the food. It’s the same with the stuff we want in life. If we want it we need to go after it.

 

16. Your Time is So Valuable

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I feel like when we are children we don’t really realize how precious time is. I remember looking at a calendar as a small child seeing how far away Christmas break was and it was 2 weeks away, but in my mind it felt like a whole year. I think back to that every now and then thinking sometimes I wish I still had that view, because anymore it seems like time goes by way too quickly.

As this last year has ended and just turning 24 I now realize that life really does go by in a blink of an eye. That being said what you do with that time is so important. Are you going to spend that time begging for that guy that doesn’t love you, to love you? Are you going to go out and party every night instead of going to school? Are you going to spend all your time obsessing over how someone did you wrong?

We all have one life on this Earth. And one things for sure with me..I’m tired of wasting my energy on things that don’t don’t serve any good in my life. Life is way too short for all of that.

 

17. Cherish the Time You Have With Your Loved Ones

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I mentioned this a little bit earlier, but it’s so important to let others know in your life that you care. One of the biggest ways you can do that is by spending time with those you care about whenever you can. When I flew home recently I got to spend a lot of time with my cousins and the night before I had to leave I started to cry. The reason I did was because I realized how important it was to be a part of their lives.

Since I was living in a different state I sometimes got so caught up with what was going on here that I forgot a big part (my family) was back home, and that even though, yes, they live very far away right now it’s still so important for me to make time for them all. Even if it’s just sending them a short text or Snapchat. Any time that you can spend with your family or friends is very precious.

 

18. Do the Best That You Can

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Not the best that someone else can do. All that matters is you do your best. All of our journeys are different here on the Earth. Many times we all get caught up in comparing ourselves to others (myself especially included) that we forget that we are not like everyone else. The plan for our life is unique to us. We may wish we could have somebody else’s life, but we were given our own life for a reason. Whatever reason that’s for we should all try to make the most out of it by living it to the best of our ability.

There will be some days your best is just to sit down and cry. Guess what? That’s okay. There will be days you where your best will be killing it. That’s okay too. We are so hard and critical over ourselves that we forget that as long as we are doing the best that we can that it’s alright. It doesn’t matter if Sally over there is riding in a limo to the Grammys. What matters is you are doing what’s best to your ability. And if that’s riding in a limo to the Grammys…then by all means go after it.

 

That’s All Folks

0120192020d1399590986.jpgAlright so there you have it. The few lessons I have picked up over this past year. I hope you all have enjoyed this read and that you all have a beautiful day dreamers!

Until next week, stay beautiful dreamers,

Amber ❤❤❤

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