2018 has been INTENSE, but, oh, so good.
I started the year fresh out of med school finals and ready to hit the job market (not as a doctor), although I didn’t know which job market I’d be hitting. After three months of job hunting without results, I started tutoring kindergarteners and high-schoolers, and even held a summer reading program.
Then in September, I stumbled upon freelance writing and editing (which you’d think I’d know to go into — I am a writer, after all), and voila! I’m officially a freelance writer and editor — hire me, please.
Throughout the year, I didn’t have a ton of time to stop and reflect. I was working/job hunting a lot, reading A LOT, and volunteering as a bible teacher 70 hours every month. As things have been winding down, I’ve been talking with friends and realizing how much I’ve grown this year. It only makes sense that I share my lil nuggets of wisdom with you.
5 Lessons from 2018
If I had to pick the biggest lesson of my year, it would be that trials refine us. Call it cliche, overstated, hard to believe, whatever — it’s true. Hard times are tough and can be heartbreaking and discouraging, but when you claw your way out of them, you’re so polished and strong, it’s unbelievable. My favorite thing is that I’m less afraid of challenges or difficulties because as long as there’s life, there’s a way out. It may take AGES, and lots of blood, sweat, and tears, but there’s always a way out if you hang on long enough.
You Have to Do the Work
2018 was the year I made the shocking realization that I can be pretty lazy. Not lazy in that I never do anything, but lazy in that I was afraid to work hard at things. If I didn’t like the thing and it took too much energy, I was checking out — and quick too. This year, I understood what it means to work at things, to chisel away at endeavors until I knew I had given everything. You have to do the work. Want to be a writer? Then write every single day. Want to become a videographer? You better start shooting. Want your blog to make money? You better post quality articles consistently.
[bctt tweet=”This year, I understood what it means to work at things, to chisel away at endeavors until I knew I had given everything. You have to do the work.” username=””]
Your Life is Yours
If you’re fortunate to have people in your life who love you, it is such a blessing. But no matter how much people love you and want the best for you, your life is yours at the end of the day. If you’re fortunate, you’ll be stuck living it years after some of your loved ones are gone. So, choose well. Think deeply about the things you decide to forego, and what things truly matter to you.
It’s Okay to Take Breaks
This year, I gave myself permission to disappear from many nonessential spaces as often as I needed. When life overwhelmed me, I switched off as many energy-sapping portals as I could manage. I even took a three-month break from blogging when my freelance work picked up (always grateful for more work). It’s okay to withdraw from things that do not rank as high on your priority list. You can always return to such things when you have the capacity.
[bctt tweet=”It’s okay to withdraw from things that do not rank as high on your priority list. You can always return to such things when you have the capacity.” username=””]
I’ve learned that it’s okay to change your mind and my blog is a tangible representation of how much I’ve changed. From diary-style writing to dabbling in style posts to becoming an online space to be me (and get clients, hello!), it has evolved over the years. My goal is to continue to give myself the space to grow and tweak things as I go.
I’m sharing 13 other lessons from 2018, including what I’ve learned about ‘dream jobs’ and my ultimate 2018 lesson with my newsletter squad. If you want in, it’s super easy to sign up here.
What did you learn in 2018?
If you missed it, I shared a list of books releasing in 2019 to get you warmed up for the coming year.
Desire Uba says
Its so nice to see you back here and to know what you have been up to. Happy to know you’re doing good!
2018 was a rather fleeting year for me, I cannot understand how it flew so fast, but it is all good.
I learnt that my life is literally what I decide to make of it and I am taking that to 2019.
I also learnt that as much as we want to, we cannot change people.
I’m excited about what the new year would bring.
Afoma Umesi says
Yes, Desire! We really need to be intentional because time seems to fly these days! Thank you for reading! <3
I love these lessons Afoma! I especially love the first one; trials refine you. I’m a scaredy cat and sometimes I wish life was simply smooth sailing but of course, that’s not the case. When I think of future hardships or stressful times, I get scared. That’s why I find what you said so encouraging, trials definitely refine you. I look back at some of the things that have happened in my life and I can see how they have shaped and improved me. Happy New Year Afoma! xx
PS: Congrats on the freelance work!
Coco Bella Blog
Afoma Umesi says
Thank you Demi! They do; don’t be afraid! Enjoy the smooth seasons and work hard to thrive in the rough ones too 💕
Kay Kathleen Belaniso says
Hi Afoma, I love this! <3 You put all my sentiments into words. 👍
Afoma Umesi says
HI KAYYYY!!! Thank you so much for reading ❤️❤️❤️ I’m glad you could relate!
Mollie Reads says
OK, I’m late to this post, but YES! I love it. Trials do indeed refine us. Some serious words of wisdom in this blog post! x
Afoma Umesi says
Eeek! Just seeing this! Thanks, Molly 🙂