2015 was probably one of the worst years of my life. I know, a bit of a depressing start to this blog plost. The thing about 2015 is despite the many valleys and storms, there was just something so beautiful and amazing about it. If anything, I learnt so much more at God's feet this year than ever before and made some incredible memories and walked into some brilliant opportunities. Ultimately it ended up being a year peppered with so many kisses from heaven and perspective shifting moments that I can't help but look back at 2015 with a fondness of heart!
I learnt that the worst is never the worst!
So...here goes...the 15 things I learnt in 2015:
1. "God proves to be good to the man who passionately waits, to the woman who diligently seeks. It's a good thing to quietly hope, quietly hope for help from God." Lamentations 3:25-26 MSG
2015 as I said was pretty tough. A different kind of tough. Like nothing I've ever experienced before. 2015 felt like how the entire chapter of Lamentations 3 reads in the Message. Like one gut punch after another. The great thing about Lamentations 3 is how it ends. With the knowledge that His love never runs out. He is always with us. In the darkest of nights. I know this because I felt it, I saw it, I heard it! God at work is the most incredible thing to witness and be a part of. All you have to do is wait for God to appear! He always, always does. There is a light at the end of the tunnel. A way out!
2. I have incredible friends and family.
This year showed me that more than ever before. Old and new. Family can come in all shapes and sizes. I've made some incredible life long friends this year. I can't imagine life without them now. And my old friends stepped up their game this year showing me that God has clearly aligned me with some amazing people. Thank you for being part of my crazy journey in life! Thank you for propping me up this year with laughter, food, music, fun nights out, reminding me of God at work and showing me what true love acts like!
3. Who you let in determines how far you move forward.
Your friendships can really determine how high you jump, how many steps you take forward and what adventures you go on. Who you associate with is a key part of your future. Whether you realise it or not. So don't be so quick to open up your world to everyone. Discretion doesn't mean loneliness. It's an old saying but a good one. "Show me your friends and I'll show you your future." John Kuebler
4. Your perspective is your direction.
What are you looking at? Have you shifted your perspective lately? I learnt that your perspective plays more of an important role than I anticipated. I could have wallowed the whole year, I could have had a "woe is me" attitude. I had every right to. Constantly shifting my perspective nipped that in the bud and that's why I've had some of the best adventures, encounters and experiences I'll never forget. It's not an easy thing to shift sometimes but do it, regularly, for your sake and your future's.
5. Not all opportunities come knocking.
A common phrase floats around about opportunity knocking. This year was one where I found out that sometimes you don't have to sit and wait for opportunity to knock. Go out there. Find it for yourself. Prepare yourself and always be ready to seize the opportunities. Waiting can be a good thing but it can also cause unnecessarily delays. Learn the difference. When to wait and when to go for it! "It is better to be prepared for an opportunity and not have one than to have an opportunity and not be prepared." Whitney M. Young Jr
6. Sometimes being underqualified results in the best experience.
I've said yes to a lot of things this year that I didn't have the first clue about. I just believed I could learn, that I could do it and I did. Sometimes you don't have to wait to have all your ducks in a row, or that degree, or that car, or that house, or money to do what you love. To be capable. You have more in you than you realise. Explore your limits and enjoy the adventure!
7. Being surrounded by bad news doesn't have to infect you.
There's been a lot of bad news. In the media. In the world. In people's lives. That doesn't have to affect your trajectory. That doesn't have to derail you. It can propel you forward to help change it. To help in the refugee crisis in whatever way you can, to speak life when others focus on the death, to keep moving forward while helping your fellow man along the way. It doesn't have to infect your perspective, your plans or your joy!
8. Focus on what sets your soul on fire.
We have more chances to do what we love than ever before. Gone are the days when you had to work a job you hate to pay the bills. With technology, crowd funding, niche markets - we can explore our passions and get paid for it! Take that step! Look for possibility everywhere.
9. Look for the adventure in the familiar.
The mundane can be deceiving. You can think that that is all you have. All you can do. All you have to look forward to. It's not! There can be adventure tucked away in the familiar. There can be joy in the usual commute, the same working day & the usual day-to-day. Just look for it! Create it!
10. Quitting is not always a bad thing.
If you hate something, you can change it. Don't force yourself. Don't stay stuck out of choice. There is always a way to change something. Life's too short to waste it on something that doesn't nourish, propel forward or bring a little joy! "Don't settle. Don't finish bad books. If you don't like the menu, leave the restaurant. If you're not on the right path, get off." Elite Daily
11. Don't always look to take the credit.
A lot of the greatest memories I have this year are from things I didn't necessarily get to take the credit for. Behind the scenes can be just as fulfilling as getting recognition. Sometimes the best moments are rolled up in the lack of the pat on the back, of having your name called out to raucuous applause. You limit your world if you only get involved in what you can be seen for!
12. Being alone doesn't mean being lonely.
Solitude. It's not often a word with positive connotations. 2015 taught me that it doesn't mean being lonely. It means a chance to regroup, dream bigger, to shift your perspective, to dance like crazy to your favourite songs, to explore beautiful art galleries, hidden parts of your city & eat some great food!
13.Comfort zones are overrated.
Being comfortable is not a bad thing in and of itself. There's first class for a reason. It is a problem when it breeds apathy. When you don't try something new, push your boundaries or explore the unknown. You don't have the strength within you to get up from life's punches only to run back to what knocked you down in the first place. Use that strength to do something unexpected, something that would surprise even you!
14. Don't focus on the closing door. Look for the open ones.
A lot of doors closed this year. I could have focused on that. There were moments when I cried about the closed doors and wallowed a little too long. But ultimately, with God's help, I was able to see the open doors. To walk through the open doors to some shocking, surprising and brilliant memories on the other side. Don't miss the open door. It's there! See it? "Sometimes we stare so long at a door that is closing that we see too late the one that is open." Alexander Graham Bell
15. It's never too late.
Entrepeneurs. Business owners. Moguls. They are getting younger every year. The 13 year old down the street could be a billionaire soon because of some crazy idea. It can make you feel like you missed the boat somehow. Like you should've done more. Don't let it. It's never too late to dream a new dream, to go on a new adventure, to start that business, to get over empty nest syndrome if you're a parent. There's still so much more in you so long as you are taking a breath and still alive! Pour it all out. Live full, die empty!
HAPPY NEW YEAR! Hello 2016, bring it on!
28-30 "When life is heavy and hard to take,
go off by yourself. Enter the silence.
Bow in prayer. Don't ask questions:
Wait for hope to appear.
Don't run from trouble. Take it full-face.
The "worst" is never the worst.
31-33 Why? Because the Master won't ever
walk out and fail to return.
If he works severely, he also works tenderly.
His stockpiles of loyal love are immense.
He takes no pleasure in making life hard,
in throwing roadblocks in the way." LAMENTATIONS 3:28-33 MSG
What have you learnt or are thankful for in 2015? Your turn on the soapbox in 3, 2, 1.