Top Things I Learned in 2016

As this year (or any year) comes to a close, there seems to be a common theme : rather than reflect on the year we've just lived and experienced, we seem to want to just forget it ever happened and pledge to make next year our year. 

But a lot of shit went down in 2016 you guys. Good and bad. 

And no matter how much you didn't love it and how much it may have screwed us (I'm using "us" liberally as in the entire country), we learned something from it. So let's not just pledge to black it all out. Let's actually reflect on the past 365 days.

Okay fine, I'll go first. (Grab some coffee.)

I learned what I love to do career wise. I'm a Community Manager at an amazing advertising agency and I'm in and on social media all day every day, I get to put my passion for writing to good use, and be creative and strategic. I absolutely love it. I learn something every single day, I'm surrounded by creative, insanely intelligent and ambitious people who push me to be better and I'm genuinely, 100% interested and passionate about what I am doing. I can honestly say that while spending a large chunk of time in tech and sales, I never once felt that. (#truth).

I learned how to accept rejection. And it didn't define or break me. We all deal with rejection - in jobs, in relationships, with friends, in life. Last summer I took a big fat risk and auditioned to be a SoulCycle instructor... and I was told thanks but no thanks. Or in the simplest terms, no. But you know what? I didn't take it personally, I took it as a sign that I wasn't ready, that the timing wasn't right and my butt was back on a bike the next day. I don't regret auditioning for a second. The relationships and friendships that were made or deepened because of that singular experience means so much to me, and I'm better for it. #soulpeoplearethebestpeople

I stopped comparing myself to anyone or any one ideal. Social media can be a beautiful thing and it can be incredibly detrimental. It's 100x easier to fall into a comparison trap when it's thrown in front of your face, filtered, and edited to within an inch of it's life. So I just... stopped caring about any of that. I love this life, I love what I'm capable of, what I have and where I'm going. I hope you love that about you too, and I'm happy for everything you have and all of your successes, but I don't wish I had what you have. I love what I have, who I am, and what I do. 

I didn't GAF (give a... well you get it) what other people thought. I'm not a huge drinker and when I don't want to drink at a social function? I won't. If I'm exhausted and don't want to go out? I don't. If I feel my best after a 6am workout class even if it means bowing out of an event early? I'll do it. If I know that gluten and dairy make my stomach a hot mess and make feel all kinds of meh? I embrace being high-maintenance and assertive and I ask for what I want and how I want it. If I want to be a huge nerd and wear holiday jammies for like 8 weeks? Damnit, I'm going to.

Vegetables don't need to be a part of every meal. OMG I know. As the trend to put vegetables into literally everything took off in 2016, I rebelled. Oatmeal with just oats, peanut butter and almond milk for breakfast? HECK YES. A sandwich for lunch? A GD Roam Burger with Sweet Potato Fries AND A (GF) BUN? Sometimes chugging a green juice because you realized you've eaten no plants in a single day? Embrace it. You actually won't die, promise.

I did ME. I took part in the workouts I wanted to do (Pilates, Bar Method, SoulCycle, Walking). I left projects or jobs because they weren't the best fit for me career wise and life's too short to be complacent or unhappy. I prioritized my relationship, my family, and my friends. I didn't wear anything but a bathing suit and/or cutoff shorts for a solid week over the 4th of July. As of last week, I pledged to not wear real pants until January 3 (currently winning at that).

I still don't have a dog. THIS NEEDS TO BE FIXED.

So there we go, a full year of learnings. So as much as we all want to forget 2016 happened (or put some grim emoji face next to it on all of our social media posts) - learn from it. Take the good. Ditch the bad.

So your turn - what'd you learn? The good, the bad, the BS, all of it.