I am ashamed of myself. I promise in 2020, I will be more consistent. But I am happy to share my 10 lessons of 2019. I am not going to lie… some of these lessons I had to keep learning. 2019 was an interesting year for me, and I am ready to welcome the new year 🙂
1. “A little bit of change won’t hurt…”
I struggle with change. But recently though, I’ve learned to accept it. I was so used to a specific routine. To me, change could be anything. It can be something so minor but also something drastic. I’ve had both minor changes and drastic changes happen. I learned that I don’t want to stay where I am, no matter how comfortable I get. I want to be challenged. I want to learn to adjust to whatever change that comes my way. I started this year with expectations but those expectations have changed. I know it’s hard. You are so comfortable where you are, but is it helping you grow? Is it helping you discover who you truly are? Your potential? Change is hard. Any type of change. But guess what, change can be good. So welcome it, embrace it with open arms.
2.”Healing is not an overnight process…”
You know how many times I have wanted to heal overnight. I know it’s impossible, but still. Have you ever watched Teen Wolf? In Teen Wolf, when the werewolves got hurt, they would heal immediately. I know, it’s a terrible example, but let a girl dream. I’m still learning about the healing process. This year, what I did when I was supposed to be healing, I would heal with the people that hurt me. Meaning, after being hurt, I would forgive and instead of me to heal on my own, I would go back to the same people that hurt me. Thinking about it now is making me cringe. Here’s the thing though, some of us do this because we’re afraid. It could be anything. I know for me, I was afraid of losing those people, which is why I kept going back to them. This of course did not help me heal whatsoever. It made things a lot worse for me. Please, do not delay your healing process. It takes time but you need to put in effort. One day you may be good, but the next day, you will feel horrible. Healing is not a one time thing. As you heal, remember that you are constantly evolving. Find out what it means to heal. It may be different for you. Know that this is not the end. Keep going.
3. “Having expectations for people and they don’t know about them… how sway?!”
Expectations. You have to let go of them. They will have you overthink. They will have you ruined. When you have expectations for someone, you have to let them know. You can’t get mad that they did not meet your expectations. I am guilty of this. I’ve had expectations for people in my life and they weren’t aware of them. Every time they disappointed me, they would wonder why I was behaving in an odd way. Or why I was giving them the cold shoulder. If you’re going to have expectations for someone, you have to make sure to tell them. And make sure, they are realistic expectations. Make sure you also meet that person’s expectations. It all just starts by having a conversation.
4. “Reach out when you’re in need of help or just someone to talk to…”
I’ve been told that I am strong, but to be honest I never believed it. I didn’t believe it before because when I’m weak, I try to deal with it all on my own. I deal with a lot of things on my own or seek professional help. There’s nothing wrong with seeking help from friends. Some will say that’s what you’re supposed to do. Sometimes though, it’s hard to reach out, especially when you’re stuck. However, it’s always best to have a support system. A small group of people who can be there for you when you really need it. Don’t abuse it too much though because everyone has problems they’re dealing with. If you do not have a strong support system, look at the people in your life who you know can help you. This doesn’t have to be just your friends. When you’re down and you really need help, please find a way to reach out. Because there are people who care about you.
5. “You’re not always the victim… so stop it.”
You ever been in a situation where you were the victim, but then after the situation has ended, you still continued “playing victim.” Yeah, stop it. I’ve done this before and it took me a while to be cognizant of it. It’s very easy to play victim after you have been the “real victim” before. You were hurt before. Someone manipulated you. Someone did you dirty. Yes, I get it. But, my dearest friend, when you’re in the wrong, take accountability. Take time to reflect and realize where you went wrong, and what you can do to resolve the situation.
6. “Your time will come.”
And it will. I have always rushed the process. Every process. I had a plan for everything. But, I realized that wasn’t fair for me. Most of my plans always went south because God had something else planned for me. It took time for me to accept that. You cannot rush any process… just because you have seen your friends somewhere in their life and you want to be there as well. However, you don’t know how long it took for them to get there OR what obstacles they had to go through to get there. Your time will come. It’s all about being patient and not being too hard on yourself. We all have our own books, stories, chapters. We’re all in a different chapter, pages in our lives.
7. “Rejection looks pretty, right?”
You don’t think so? Rejection is interesting because it’s something most of us fear. This past summer, I was rejected from a lot of things. From jobs to my love life. You would think I would’ve given up, but I didn’t. It’s humbling, to be honest. It made me take a few steps back. When I graduated this past Spring, I knew my potential, but I let it get the best of me. You would think that because you worked your ass off, things would come easy afterwards. Ha. I was wrong. I am not saying rejection is good, but it does humble you. In a really good way.
8. “Sometimes, people just aren’t happy for you and guess what? That’s none of your business”
It’s not your business. There will always be people in your life who aren’t happy for you. You can take it personally, but you can also let it go. One of the most important things I’ve learned so far is that YOU are your biggest supporter. I AM my biggest supporter. I published a book over the summer and not everyone in my life was happy for me. When I graduated, not everyone in my life was happy for me. Yeah, I cried about it, held a grudge, but I let go. It’s not easy of course. You want the people in your life to be happy about your accomplishments and goals, but remember that not everyone will happy for you. And guess what? It’s none of your business. Take your wins and celebrate yourself.
9. “It’s okay to outgrow people but that doesn’t mean you’re better than them”
You can outgrow your friends, family, strangers, whomever, but you are not better than them. Some of us outgrow the people in our lives because of our unique experiences. The situations, the heartbreaks, the crazy predicaments life hands us can help us outgrow some people. And that’s okay. What’s not okay is to make it seem like you’re above those people. You’re not. They may also outgrow you. Also, what you do with that newfound growth matters. Do you use it to help those in your life or do you gloat? Do you cut those relationships off or do you stay? I’m still learning this myself. And, I think it’s a lesson I will continue to learn in 2020.
10. “Why are you hard on yourself when society is already hard on you?”
I am so hard on myself. It’s something I have tried to work on for so long, but I just constantly beat myself up for EVERYTHING. I’ve seen people who are younger than me do this and it breaks my heart. I’m a hypocrite though. I tell those young people to stop that, because the people in this world will do that for you. I tend to do this thing where I do not follow my own advice. But you get the point. People in this world will be hard on you, so why do you have to also be hard on yourself? When I say being hard on yourself, I mean, self sabotaging, negative self talk. Telling yourself you’re not good enough. Beating yourself up for the mistakes you’ve made. All of this creates more baggage for you. It’s heavy. Eventually, you’ll have a difficult time carrying this baggage. You will bring this baggage everywhere- into your relationships and workplace. However, it’s a lot of work to stop being hard on yourself. For me, I’ve taken baby steps. One of the things I started doing was looking up or creating positive affirmations. Setting the intention. Looking at Diakha, and saying my affirmations. When I make mistakes, I reflect and process everything I learned from those mistakes. It’s hard, but you can do it.
These are my lessons. I really want to know what you have learned this year! Remember to take it easy. Enjoy your life. And share all the love you can.
Thank you for reading 🙂
Writer: Diaka Thiam
2 thoughts on ““10 Lessons…from an African girl.””
I’m glad you’ve learned a lot this year. The first sentence completely drew me in. I really related with the last one, on creating positive affirmations, which I, too, learned to start doing recently. Even just saying to yourself “I deserve to be happy,” can be very strong. Even if you don’t believe it, there’s still power in saying it. Thanks for sharing.
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Thank you so much for reading and sharing Nick!! You’re awesome 🙂 ❤