With 2019 quickly coming to an end, I wanted to share 5 life lessons I learnt in 2019. This is the fourth year I wrote a “lessons learnt” post, check out 2016’s lessons, 2017’s lessons and 2018’s lessons – it’s always cool to see how I view things have changed over time!
1. Not everyone is going to like you, and that is OK. *But* bad behaviour should be called out.
This was a lesson I learned the hard way, I suppose.
I was never walking through life thinking that everyone would/should like me. But I guess I had a high expectation that we should all be decent human beings towards each other…I learnt that isn’t the case and that the nightmares I faced from being bullied at school sometimes continues into my adult years. IT SUCKS. 👎🏻
At the end of the day, you can’t please everyone. You’re just not everyone’s cuppa tea. No matter how hard you try!
I know that I actually spent a lot of my time TRYING a lot – trying to fit in, trying to please, trying my absolute best… it was so exhausting. There were days where my face hurt from fake smiling and where I felt so drained, I didn’t want to do anything else but cry myself to sleep 😅
To past Pauline, present Pauline and future Pauline: 👏🏻 being 👏🏻 different 👏🏻 is 👏🏻 ok, you dont have to try and be someone you are not just to get people to like you. Please never disrespect yourself like that.
I learned not to get too bogged down trying to get people to like me by asking myself, “Who are they? Why do I care so much? Should I care so much? In a year or two or even five years time, will I care this much?” The answer? Most likely not.
I also stopped reacting to every gossip or rumour I heard about me from others. Naturally, these got me down initially but I realised that it really isn’t MY problem, it is theirs. I stopped fake smiling and laughing, now focusing on getting straight to the point if I need to interact with these people in some way. Living my truth.
A related lesson I learnt is that although you should choose your battles, it is important to make sure that the future is better for everyone. So, be empowered to call out bad, toxic behaviour because no one ever deserves to feel anxious, worried or any negative emotions about someone else’s actions. I applaud AWAY employees for stepping forward this year.
I love and respect myself too much to let it take over my whole existence, it just isn’t worth it!
2. You can learn anything with effort and dedication
I set a goal to learn React and Cloud Computing this year.
I don’t do very well with just relying on online courses and the associated assignments, although very useful, alone, I just didn’t learn it well. So I set out to learn React by doing, I did it over a weekend at HackMed Hackathon this year, I also built InspiringFigures.co on React and worked with Matt to re-create this blog from scratch. I’m pleased to say that I am comfortable with the basics of React, and can confidently set up another project alone.
I’m pleased to announce that I passed my #AWS CCP exam this morning! 🎉 🥳💃🏻— 🥶❄️ Pauline P. Narvas 🎄🎁 (@paulienuh) 25 November 2019
A huge thank you to my PS team for encouraging me from day one, @awsnewbies, @acloudguru (@KroonenburgRyan – you’re a great teacher!) for all the support and resources over the last 3 months!! https://t.co/cPnUyVZgGO
Outside the software development aspect, I also wanted to learn Cloud Computing. So when it came to choosing the next rotation as part of my graduate scheme, I chose to join our Platform Services team who dealt with Amazon Web Services and everything cloud related every single day. I’m currently in my third month in the team and I am absolutely loving it; I’ve picked up so much in such a short space of time. I also solidified my Cloud Computing and AWS basics by successfully passing the AWS CCP exam in November!!
You can literally learn anything, as long as you are willing to put in the time and effort to do it. Learning is for life!
3. Truth hurts, but being honest is the way forward
This lesson is a bit more personal and I don’t want to be too public about it.
But I learnt some pretty shit stuff this year, it was difficult to get my head around as my outlook on reality – the people, the events – suddenly changed. What I found out has kept me in a confused, frustrated place today, but has taught me that honesty above everything else is important (even if it sucks hearing the truth.)
Trust me, you’d rather know than not know what you don’t know.
4. Health isn’t what I thought it was
My relationship with my health and well-being journey changed in 2019.
I stopped focusing on having the lowest body fat my body could have (which by the way, led to some crazy diets and constant cardio – NOT FUN) and shifted towards performance. I began to appreciate how good it felt being a bit stronger each week and to be able to progress towards a new pose in yoga (ones I never thought I could easily do!)
It stopped being all about aesthetics, but rather about how much fun I was having feeling strong and overpowered 😂 I can truly say this now that I have gained a few pounds of fat, along with some muscle mass that this lifestyle isn’t about being lean all year round but is about being healthy, living my best life and feeling so alive!
Strength training, HIIT and yoga do that all for me. ✨
I’m not so lean anymore, but still Pawlean! If you know, you know. 😏
5. Spending more time on things that energise you makes a happy life
2019 has been my first year of working full time after university! It has been such a wild ride.
How I spend my time has drastically changed since university, which seems obvious but me being me, I tried to live up to my uni self and do everything I used to do along with working a full time job. IT ISN’T FEASIBLE!! I think it has taken me this whole year to truly understand that.
It’s OK to spend my spare time doing nothing but chilling out and energising myself. I’ve embraced my CHILL TF OUT blocks on my calendar!
Additionally I learnt that by stepping back from all the activities I used to do, I began to realise that some of these things stuck out to me as ones that I want to continue to do (in a more balanced way) in 2020. An example is giving back and paying forward to the local community – by stepping back, I realised how important it is to me and how they perfectly fit with my personal values.
I’ve had to say no a lot more than ever before in my life. By adding up all the time I have to focus on things that I love and actually want to do, has contributed to my overall happiness and fulfilment in life.
This includes people! I’ve stopped interacting with people who are just negative and soul-draining or limited where I can, if I HAVE to interact with them (related: AWAY article.) Marie Kondo EVERYTHING!
What are the 5 things you’ve learnt this year? Comment below or link me to your blog posts!
I wish you all a wonderful Christmas!