It’s been the best of times, it’s been the worst of times. 2019, has been a trip. On a personal, professional, and even global level. It has led to so many ups, some rather devastating downs, and the million little journeys that transitioned into bigger journeys.
And perhaps the most important takeaway, even as I sit here typing this retrospective article, is that the journey isn’t over yet.
1. Embrace the sisterhood
Perhaps the most important lesson of the year, and certainly something that I will hold onto for the rest of my life. This year has been a bizarre blur. It has been strange, frustrating at times, and almost always overwhelming. But really, I can say that about last year as well. And the year before that.
What changed this time around, is that I finally met my tribe. In my own way, I have always been someone who revels in the happiness and successes of others. And this year, I finally met women who could reciprocate that. Empowered women empower women; I’ll always remember that.
2. You excel outside the comfort zone
This year pushed me to the breaking point. Physically, emotionally, professionally; you name it, I went there. And then, I realized that I had been underestimating myself all this time. The things I have been able to accomplish, have astounded me. Does this mean that I’m flying across finish line, holding that blazing torch up like a trophy?
That question was rhetorical; so you know the answer wasn’t pleasant.
But, I have realised that my own insecurities were half the battle lost. And that I owed it to myself, to not think my failures into reality. If I haven’t taken the first step, that means I haven’t failed yet. So, I’ll push myself. Because, as I learned this year, more often than not, when I push myself to the brink, I don’t break; I excel.
3. Marry the night
This is supposed to be a post about introspection, but I’m going to make a sweeping generalisation, and assume that we’ve all had some bone-crushing lows this year.
You don’t have to admit it; it’ll just be our little, unsaid, secret.
But, if I could offer you a little bit of positivity, it would be that regardless of what happened, you got through it. I’m sure it impacted you, altered you even, in the most visceral sense. But, possibly, you’re also stronger, more resilient, and much more of a badass.
4. This right here, is enough
Comparisons have been the bane of my existence for the past twenty six years. From the size of someone else’s paycheck, to the girth of their abs; I have been jealous about any and everything.
It’s not a good feeling. In part, because regardless of what you do, or achieve, it’s never good enough. Essentially, you belittle your own success, because it doesn’t meet standards that you have learned to value.
This year, I finally stopped this useless pandering. Whatever I have, however I am, whoever I am, it is enough.
5. Take every opportunity
This year, I heard a really inspiring woman say, “you are your ancestors’ wildest dreams.” And, at the risk of sounding like a millennial; I felt that. Also, at the risk of being presumptuous; you felt that too.
So, in honour of every opportunity that never presented itself to everyone who ultimately made story possible, this year I decided that I’d ditch the nerves. It isn’t easy to take the plunge. But the worst thing you could do to yourself, and your potential, is to not believe that you’re worth the risk.
About the Author
Ushah Kazi is a freelance writer, pop-culture junkie, and resident communications expert at Meraki.