2014 has been unexpected. Dreams I didn't even know I had I've accomplished, friendships I didn't know I needed I've gained and memories I will never forget I've made.
So without further ado....here are 14 things I learnt in 2014:
1. "Muamua Le Atua" - A little Samoan for an important lesson that I learn every year and never regret following. PUT GOD FIRST. It's been a year of high highs and low lows but my constant has been and continues to be a loving Heavenly Father. The best is yet to come!
2. Friendships are important. A lot of 2014 was made sweeter by the great new friendships I've made and those I'm still honoured to call friends years later. They have also been the reason I've been able to open some doors and make it through some tough seasons. Special shoutout to Melissa who convinced me that doing another degree wasn't admitting defeat to my first degree but opening myself up to more choices. Having completed my Masters, I can honestly say I'm glad I took that step.
3. Fear can be crippling or motivating. On the other side of my fear, I've found great friendships, amazing opportunities, a job I never even dreamt I could get, a church I'm excited to be a part of & strength for the hard times! Don't let fear cripple you, use it to spur you into your next season and into the unknown which may be frightening but totally worth it.
4. A dream delayed is not a dream denied. It's a common phrase for a profound truth that was part of my 2014. I stopped singing because I had to but before the year was out I've had some incredible chances to perform and a realisation that I didn't need to put that on hold to keep moving forward. Don't let your delays become your full stop.
5. Time is fleeting. With family passing away this year, legends dying and world tragedies that have shaped 2014, I learnt even more so than usual, that time is important. How do you spend it? Who do you spend it with? What if tomorrow never comes, what would you do differently?
6. How to brave. Comfort zones let us know when we've crossed our own boundaries (or someone has invaded your personal space without permission - pet peeve). I usually do things scared and I'm happy to go outside my comfort zone, but 2014 took it to another level as I went far beyond my boundaries. How far are you willing to go? You limit you.
7. Switching off your technology will not kill you. Don't live your life through your Instagram and Facebook posts. Look out the window, take in that view, breathe in that air and go on that adventure. Take the time to stop. The time to switch off. The time to go somewhere you've never been. To take the scenic route. It adds colour to your world - not the Instagram filter kind.
8. Dream jobs do exist. I've worked so many different jobs over the years, some good, some not-so-good but after the pre-requisite 1-2 months I would get bored, restless and want to be self-employed. Then I got my current job....it's been 4 months and I love it even more now than I did when I started. Excited to get out of bed every morning and consider it an honour that they wanted me. You can get that dream job! Change your attitude about the one you may not love and choose to appreciate what you have. Don't underestimate the power and privilege of a permanent job and career.
9. Passion is important but so is knowledge. Passion is important fuel for your mind and soul, where your passion lies is usually an indicator of what you are meant to do for the rest of your life. Knowledge however is the vehicle that will keep you on the road. It takes time to gather though so don't rush the process. Never stop learning. You can never have too much knowledge. Intelligence is not only measured by the degrees you have, or your IQ points.
10. People aren't perfect and they will let you down. There are some friends I've had to say goodbye to. Not everyone who is in a position to help will necessarily do so. Don't bank on that or allow that disappointment to derail you and infect the way you view your next friendships and interactions. Choose your friends wisely.
11. Action combined with faith and dreaming is what it is all about. Dreaming is part of who we are, it's how we process our day, and it's how we spur ourselves on towards our goals. They are supposed to be pursued, acted upon and with a little bit of faith -- achieved, leaving room for even more dreams. Don't just let it stay in your head, in your heart - but go for it. Plan for it. Seize it.
12. Don't park up on disappointment. Keep moving forward, you will get through. "Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark in the hopeless swamps of the not-quite, the not-yet, and the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish in lonely frustration for the life you deserved and have never been able to reach. The world you desire can be won. It exists.. it is real.. it is possible.. it's yours." Ayn Rand.
13. Expand your world view, through experiences, through knowledge and through reading. I re-discovered my passion for reading. I was known in all my schools as the Bookworm and could expertly manoeuvre crowded streets and school hallways while reading. "A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies, said Jojen. The man who never reads lives only one." George R.R. Martin.
14. It's not about you. We live in a selfie-centred, me-me-me world, spurred on by technology to be even more anti-social and superficial than ever. I've found the best moments of my year have been shared with others, helping others and looking outward rather than inward. Live 2015 doing what you love but not to the exclusion of others and with the need to do only things that elevate you above all else.
HAPPY NEW YEAR! 2015, I expect even greater things!
Ayn Rand says it best, "The question isn't who is going to let me. It's who is going to stop me."
What have you learnt or are thankful for in 2014? Your turn on the soapbox in 3, 2, 1.