What I Have Learned in 2017

I had so many high expectations for this year but just like 2016, it has let me down. I experienced another sudden and traumatic death from someone extremely close to me in my family.

I have pushed through more trials and tribulations than I would have liked to experience and while we’re at it, let’s just put my finances in rice too. It feels like I have spent the last two years going through hardships and I have caught myself saying “I am tired of always going through something” on several occasions. But with each struggle that I have endured, there has been four really profound lessons that I have learned this year.

Death is inevitable and grieving takes many forms.

Just when I thought I had hit a new stage of healing from grieving the unexpected and traumatic death of my nephew, my grandmother suddenly passed away in March. Her passing came without any warning and was very devastating for my family. Anyone who knows me, knows the depth of our relationship. Even my mother would say, “You are your grandmother’s child”. I know that death is inevitable but I immortalized her. She was still full of life and so young in my mind that I never thought I would see the day that she would depart this earth.

Despite the hurt and suffering, I have accepted that she completed her earthly assignment and I have no doubt in my mind where her soul resides. As my family began helping each other heal, I noticed that we all grieve differently.I do not grieve for my grandmother and my nephew the same way. My grandfather traveled a lot immediately after her death and kept busy with work to distract his mind. I take delight in telling stories about her. I love hearing how much she impacted the lives of other people. I fully enjoy how we encourage each other to talk about her and make jokes about things she probably would say if she was still living. I began to understand that we have different ways for coping and it’s acceptable as long as these ways were healthy.

When people want to walk out of your life, let them.

I am not ending the year with some of the same people I started it with and I am very accepting of that. I have had people abruptly walk out of my life and I have had people slowly become inconsistent and distance themselves. I never chased after anyone who decided to move on. If they wanted to be in my life, they simple would have made the effort to be. I reflected on each of these connections and learned the lessons I needed to from them, and then I simply moved on. I have no ill feelings towards anyone that I am not bringing into the new year with me. Instead, I am focusing and fostering on the relationships of the people who love me and who desire to be full-time, active participants in my life.

LOVE comes at you fast.

Not to sound cliche, but love really does come when you least expect it. I spent Summer 2017 focusing on myself and not really being interested in dating. I was not bitter or scorn about men or my previous relationship history, I was just focused. There are so many other wonderful things in life that God created outside of dating that I wanted to explore. Apparently, He had other plans. My middle school crush (he was all of the girls’ crush in middle school) persistently pursued me. I have been learning so much about myself in this relationship. I had this widely romanticized vision of what I thought love was and I was very wrong. Love did not look like what I thought it would but I was not missing out just because it was packaged differently than I anticipated. And now, I cannot imagine my day without him.

Money comes and goes.

I am constantly re-learning this lesson. I have been in positions where I have had more money and I definitely have had less. But what I have discovered is that it comes and it goes and I should not stress about it. Anytime I have been in need, I have found a way to make a way for myself. Although finances can give me a lot of anxiety, everything that i need will be taken care of somehow. So in 2018, I am learning not to worry. I will reassess my money and spending habits. I will ditch the bad ones I have, foster the ones that I possess and gain better ones. I refuse to stress about money in the new year.

If I could give 2018 a title, I’m going to call it “Bloody Moves”, inspired by Cardi B’s Bodak Yellow. I need to have as good of a year in 2018, as Cardi has had in 2017. I don’t really make resolutions but I do want to focus on building and reconstructing myself. There are so many things I want to dissect and cultivate about myself. Originally, I was not really enthused about 2018 since 2017 was a huge disappointment but I remain optimistic and I am looking forward to the new year.

What have you learned in 2017?