‘Tis the season!

The Christmas holidays are a time of joy and celebration. With family gatherings and quality time spent with friends, it’s a season of love and happiness. But I believe the holidays should also be a time of reflection. In the last month of the year, it’s a great time to look at the past 12 months and assess. What did you learn? What challenges did you overcome? In what ways have you grown? Whether young or old I believe there is always room for personal growth and in some capacity, you should be continuously evolving as your own individual.

For me, 2015 was a year of self-improvement.

I started this year desperately wanting a fresh start. The year 2014 had been a difficult one, to say the least; although I had graduated from my undergrad, I felt as though I was going nowhere fast. I had recently dropped out of my master’s program and couldn’t find a job in my field. I was living paycheque to paycheque and I was absolutely bitter about the direction my life had taken. When the New Year finally came, I couldn’t have been more relieved. Though scathed, I had made it through one of my darkest hours. I was still standing. And so in the name of God, the universe and destiny, I proclaimed 2015 my year (a little dramatic, but you get the point!).

I wanted to be a champion and as far as I was concerned, there was no room for negativity or pity in this championship game.

But in order to succeed, I would need to take a long, hard look at myself. What role did I have to play in my own unfortunate circumstances? Yes, I was smart, yes, I had the degree and yes, I had the ambition, but was I really ready? The answer was obvious: no, I was not. Over the last 12 months I had become the epitome of a Negative Nancy. I realized it was not my failure to find a job that was my greatest downfall but rather, my negative outlook on life and my constant self-belittling.

My attitude had become toxic and it could not accompany me through this next chapter of my life. I wanted to be a champion and as far as I was concerned, there was no room for negativity or pity in this championship game.

I became more conscious of my words and tried to eliminate phrases such as “I can’t” from my daily vocabulary. I began paying more attention to my thoughts, quickly replacing negativity with positivity. I don’t want to go to work today soon became I’m grateful to have a job.

In keeping with this newfound positivity, I began removing people from my life who failed to fall in line with this new mantra. I ended a relationship that for too long had brought nothing but disappointment and stress. I removed “friends” from Facebook who filled my News Feed with drama. I shook the weighty obligation of remaining in contact with people simply because we lived in the same city and had the same circle of friends.

Within a few months, I noticed a difference. Not only did I feel better, but I was doing better. I packed my bags and returned to my hometown to continue my education and subsequently, pursue a new career. I rediscovered my passion (writing) and on a whim, decided to launch my own blogging platform (shoutout to all you loyal readers!).

But most importantly, I fell in love. With myself. Through all the ups and downs, the failures and the self-improvements, I found myself (although strangely enough, prior to this year I hadn’t even realized I was missing). I’ve discovered I’m tougher, more resilient and more skilled than I once thought. I no longer see all the unsuccessful job applications as failure but instead, as redirection. Though once painful, the memories of rejection are now important life lessons. This year taught me three very important things when it comes to rejection:

  1. It’s not personal.
  2. It’s often for my own good.
  3. It often leads to bigger and better things.

In the famous words of C.S. Lewis, “Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.”

But that’s just According to Adrienne.

2 Comments

  1. Agreed! No matter what age, reflection and self improvement are vital. If not, it’s easy to get caught up in monotony, settling and then years go by when you realize you’re on auto pilot! Reflection is key to LIVING in this life.

  2. Thank you for the reminder. My mid year review showed I was not mindful enough. Once I placed that word in my vocabulary, my circumstances were always doable, not necessarily completed but, at least, started. It made a world of difference for I know I was trying and people saw me trying. Can’t thank God enough for all the help I received without asking. For 2016, I hope your writing extends itself to where it needs to be. I may not comment on every article but it is being read with respect for your perspective and diligence. Blog on!

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