Lessons I’m Taking With Me Into 2017

What lessons will you bring into the new year? 

1. Don’t let uncertainty of the beginning discourage you, because you never know what is right around the corner.

At the end of 2015, I wasn’t sure what the future held. I also wasn’t happy. I was looking for something that would make me happy. My mom always tells me that YOUR life is what YOU make of it. No one  person – no one thing – will bring you the happiness you seek. Your happiness is your responsibility. Own it. Create it. Embrace it. And, just as a head up, it will look different than everyone else’s.

2. Lay your expectations of others down and go look in the mirror.

No one is perfect. Nor will they ever be. Perfection is unattainable. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. People change. People move on. People fail. And that degree of failure can vary depending on the weight of the expectations that are placed on them. Learn that if you can’t be perfect, despite how much you’d love it, no one else can be either. Don’t try to change this. Because there is beauty in imperfection.

3. Don’t be scared. 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart. Do not lean on your understanding. You see life on the smallest scale. God? He sees your past, your present and your future – clearly and without smudges. Trust Him with it. Being scared isn’t wrong. We all come to certain points in our lives where we can do nothing but stand panic-stricken, our biggest doubts/fears snarling back at us in the distance. But we can’t stay there. And the closer we get to those fears, we realize how small they are up close.

4. You don’t need a significant other to be loved. 

It is pretty special, isn’t it? Having someone to share life with. Having someone to lean on when times feel scary or uncertain. Being someone’s special person. In essence, to be loved. It all sounded lovely. And, if I’m honest, it still does most days. But I know now something I didn’t know last year. I am wholly loved already. I have parents who would do anything to see me happy. I have friends who I get to make and share funny, real and embarrassing (and awkward!) memories with. I have a God who loves me enough to discipline me when I need it most and never forgets to remind me that He is for me. If that’s not love, then I don’t know what is.

5. Be prepared to change.

With every year comes the hope of a new set of opportunities, new friends, new growth and even some new challenges. This is a good thing. Remember that the only constant is change. You can’t hold onto it forever. Which is the hardest part to accept, I know. But know that these things, people, places…whatever – remember: it’s all a part of the plan.

 

 

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Leighann

Twenty-something, lover of Jesus. I like animals (esp. dogs), Fun-Fetti cupcakes and yoga. I love God and do my best to love others. I hate too-warm weather and socks that fall into your shoes when you walk. I'm a huge fan of Christian rap and cold, sunny days.

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  • 𝒹𝒶𝓎 16 𝑜𝒻 31

Hot. No, it’s not what you think. As a matter of fact, when I first saw this picture I was horrified. I saw all that was wrong with my body, my hair and my skin—ugh. 
But you know what? No one’s perfect. And thank God I don’t have to be. Plus, my body was/is working just fine, my hair was moisturized, and my skin was poppin’. Trying to shift my moments of self-doubt and body-consciousness to thankfulness and positive self-talk. 
Also, the day this was taken was HOT, so it still counts towards today’s #augusteyecandy.

I don’t know if anyone’s told you today, but you’re made splendidly and you couldn’t be more perfect than you are right now—yes, even in this heat with your mascara running down your face. ttys 
S/O to @kayzilch and/or her awesome fiancé, Michael for this pic 📸
  • 𝒹𝒶𝓎 14 𝑜𝒻 31

5pm. 
It’s crazy to think that I’ve actually posted one picture on IG for TWO weeks straight. Especially considering all that’s been going on around me: moving back across the country for school, moving into my new place, actually starting school, remembering how to (somewhat) adult—throw in a little bit of anxiety, and you’ve got yourself the past two weeks of my life. 
All that to say—we made it, folks. We made it to today. And that is enough. You’re doing great—ttys
  • TW: Anxiety/Panic Attack

Anxiety is like a shadow that’s been following me around since I was about thirteen. I guess puberty marked the onset of racing thoughts, subtle hyperventilation and that queasy feeling you get when something’s just not right. I had my first panic attack at nineteen, during a new hire orientation. It felt like I was having a heart attack—my heart inexplicably began to race, my hands shook and I felt warmth all around me. 
I excused myself to the reception area and, in a panic, asked the receptionist if she could help me. She said to place my hands above my head and breathe. I paced around the lobby and breathed, eyes closed. Inhale. Exhale. I worried for a moment that I would die. Then gradually, my heart began to beat at normal pace again. My breathing deepened and my body cooled down to normal as I continued to pace, slower this time. The kind receptionist gave me some water to sip and sat me down until I was ready to go back to the meeting. 
Anxiety can feel like a high-speed train. Going 5mph one minute and 150 mph the next. It can also be subtler, feeling like you can’t quite catch your breathe and you begin to hyperventilate, in a way that is only recognizable to you. 
Although I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, anxiety has taught me the importance of coming back to the present. And how allowing myself to feel what is presently around me, can ground me and remind me that I’m alive. I’m safe. 
I share this story in order to start the conversation. Anxiety is a part of my life, whether I like it or not. I hope you know that first of all:

1. You are loved beyond measure and valuable even with your anxious thoughts and actions 
and 
2. You are not the only one 
ttys
  • 𝒹𝒶𝓎 13 𝑜𝒻 31

Home. For now anyways—is Georgia. The most asked question I get lately has been “Well? Are you gonna stay out there, or move back to California?” So, to help answer anyone’s burning question about my plans for the future, here it is:

Maybe. Maybe not. Let’s just get this last year down and then talk specifics, shall we? Here’s to one of my last first days of school. 
To my fellow cohorts: May we grow. May we care for ourselves and others a little better each day. May we get up the hills to our classes in one piece #UGA
  • Wait, I can’t believe summer is over and I officially start my last year of my MSW program tomorrow! What is life? Time is flying by, and I’m just trying to soak up every moment ☀️
  • 𝒹𝒶𝓎 12 𝑜𝒻 31

Sunday morning. 
Mmmm, tacos 🌮 so far, I’m learning to enjoy this new life stage: also known as adulting. I’ll admit, at times it’s a little scary and a whole lot of trial and error, but I know it’s all a part of the plan—even if it sometimes feels like nothing is going according to plan 🤷🏾‍♀️ #adulting am I right? 
Faking it ‘til I make it since ‘92.

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