It's important to reflect every now and again, and the coming of the New Year brings about the perfect opportunity. We remember the good, the bad, and the in between. Some years are better than others, but every year tends to come with a few lessons to be learned. Here are a few important lessons I have learned.

1. You don't have to have everything figured out.

I have a habit of attempting to plan my life out, even though it is impossible to know where I will be and what things will be like in the future. Sometimes I wish I could know, so that way I could plan accordingly. Sometimes I focus too much on assuring that something will last. However, I realized that I can't always do that. Uncertainty is normal. Uncertainty is inevitable. It's difficult to truly enjoy life when I'm worrying about what the future will look like.

2. It's okay to change your mind.

This is somewhat related to the first point. Before a certain point this year, I thought I knew exactly what I wanted my future to look like. I wanted my then-current situation to last forever. Eventually, though, I started to become unhappy, but I attempted to convince myself that I had what I wanted and that I was happy. It wasn't really working, but I kept doing it. However, something unexpected came into my life later, and then I saw what it was that I really wanted. I did not want what I had. I wanted something different, something I saw promised in this new, unexpected thing. Changing my mind involved some difficult conversations, but it has proven to be worth it. I'm so much happier now.

3. You have to focus on the bright side.

For me, 2017 brought a lot of ups and downs and a lot of changes. Even when things are changing for the worse and bad things keep happening, it's important to keep your head up and keep moving. Things will work themselves out-- sometimes in strange ways, but they will nonetheless. The possibility of a brighter horizon is worth the struggle and the wait. Succumbing to the darkness will only lead to the loss of positive things to come.