Amongst all of the differences that human beings have, we all have two things in common: life and death. This is extremely familiar to me. When I was 9 years old, my mother was diagnosed with very rare cancer. Having survived with her cancer only two years, her beautiful spirit is now alive in my heart. My life drastically changed. As an only child with a working father, I had to grow up extremely fast. This past year, we have seen loved ones killed from COVID-19, and we have heard about the heartbreaking grief family, friends and children have had to go through. I truly empathize with the families who have experienced such heartache and who have watched their loved ones suffer after receiving a terrifying diagnosis. If there's anything to be said for it, we all need to understand that life changes fast. I can assure you, while this past year may have felt like the door was completely slammed shut, there was always a small crack where the light was able to shine through. All of the times you may have lost hope, the crack of light remained constant. Lucky for you, I am here to inspire you to find it in the new year. In 2021, I will...
Appreciate Each Moment
While I hope we all know how unpredictable each day is, the best possible thing anyone can do is not just to live in the moment, but to wholeheartedly appreciate it. It's easy to get caught up in your thoughts. Believe me; I get it. But was it that night you sat at the dinner table with your parents and you were spacing out thinking about going back to the bars the last normal night you had before dad tested positive? See? Every. Moment. Counts. We know all too well how life changes on a dime. Even just taking a walk outside with your family and unplugging from technology can help create an environment where you can enjoy and appreciate each moment this upcoming year.
Never Have Regrets
This is a big one. This past month, I have been dealing with a very difficult breakup. Avoiding all explanations regarding my relationship, I will say one thing that I have learned: don't regret. That crack of light I was talking about is all of the great times.The fun and loving memories. In 2021, whatever I choose to do will be done, and I cannot regret the decisions I will make. There is something that comes out of every situation. Although my relationship ultimately did not work out, I can use my experience for the future to just embark and let life guide me. If it's not the right path, I will be rerouted; however, whatever I want to explore this new year, even if it doesn't work out or if it wasn't the best choice, I will not regret.
Find Happiness In The Little Things
I think a lot of times, we as people try so hard to do everything perfect. We want to become a huge success and make a ton of money. We consume ourselves with constant work, whether that be through school or our job, that it becomes hard to find joy within our daily lives. I've seen this first hand this past year. Someone would tell me that everything in his/her day went wrong. When I ask what happened to you today that was good, there's a pause. And guess what? There's always at least two things that is mentioned. It can be as small as eating something yummy for lunch and/or talking to a family member on the phone. Our minds are so preoccupied with a thousand tabs open that sometimes we feel like we don't even have time to be happy and the perfect moment slips away without acknowledging the joy it could've brought you if you let it. Don't let things become too late. Enjoy the present moment, and try find happiness from the little things in 2021.
Always Have Something To Look Forward To
This is key!! I'm sure quarantine was hard for a lot of people, and it was easy to think that there was no point in even planning vacations or hangouts because there was nothing to do. Personally, I got creative with my friends and saw them while sitting in each of our cars trunk's in an empty parking lot. This really helped put a smile on my face. When I was feeling nervous about the pandemic, I remembered the people in my life who make me happy and those who I will get to safely see or even FaceTime with. In 2021, no matter what life brings you or me, let's look forward to something. Even if it is something small. We're still trying to find joy in those small things, right? Embed things into your schedule that will motivate you to be productive to have that reward. Watching a movie, doing a workout, treating yourself to your favorite dessert and cooking/baking something new are some great examples. Whatever you are passionate about, utilize it to be a motivator.
With all of that, I hope that you can do some reflecting on this past year to help shape your goals for 2021. The takeaways from 2020 are essential in understanding how to make the upcoming year even better for yourself. Whatever life throws at you, make the best of it. Live your life, and don't look back. Remember, the door always has that small crack. FIND THAT LIGHT.