Reflections & Lessons learned in 2016

Many would agree 2016 was a rather eventful year. However, for the first time in what seems to be forever, I can say that the second half of 2016 gave me the push I desperately needed to change and kick out some unhealthy, toxic habits.

Personally a great portion of 2016 was not that great. Without realizing what I was doing, I found my self being extremely unhappy & depressed over my current life situation. My work and personal life were completely dry and waking up everyday was a struggle. The saddest part is that I knew I didn’t want to continue living this way but I didn’t know what steps to take to help me develop a positive outlook and start making better choices in life. All I knew is that I had a vision of the kind of life I wanted to live, and I needed to take my first steps. Breaking out of my mental cage was the first to tick off my list, and I couldn’t have done that if it wasn’t for my family trip to Indonesia.

August 2016. A trip to Indonesia was the catalyst I needed. For as long as I can remember I was always attracted to their culture and their beautiful scenery. Through social media, I came across some of their well known beauty & skincare bloggers and somehow my love for Indonesia grew well before I had the chance to visit. The moment I landed I just felt liberated. The weight and pressure of work, and my lifestyle back home just vanished. Feeling 100 pounds lighter I made a promise to myself as I stepped on Indonesian soil

This trip will be memorable. This trip will change me“.

Mother nature was ever so kind to me. The beautiful scenery of their waterfalls, volcanoes, islands, sunsets and sunrises were the perfect dose to help me reflect and reset. Suddenly everything became crystal clear. I was in charge all along, yet I continuously allowed all the negative things take over me and eat me whole. I was unhappy with my job, unhappy with my educational qualifications, unhappy with myself, and simply felt that I had no purpose on earth. Carrying that baggage was exhausting and energy consuming. I needed to make some changes.

They always tell you to go for a walk whenever you feel suffocated with life. Walk it out as your breathe in the clean air and beautiful scenery. I never took them seriously before and just thought that everything will workout on its own eventually. Boy was I wrong. But better late than never, right?!

Not only is Indonesia blessed with its beautiful scenery, but it also has some of the kindest, beautiful and inspirational souls. I will forever be grateful for the friends we made during our 3 week stay. They were the ones that helped me break free from my mental cage and see what the world has to offer. Their never ending care and concern for our wellbeing brought us closer than ever and restored my faith back in humanity. I truly believe God made us cross paths for a reason. It truly is a miracle how God can randomly bring people in to your life and change it for the better within such a short span of time.

As the days passed, I noticed many things change within. Self pity, self doubt and self hatred started to shed off me layer by layer. I felt as light as a feather, and for the first time I believed in myself and in my abilities. I knew it was time to change and become the person I’ve always wanted to be. I found a purpose and I wanted to work towards it.  Then and there I made a mental check list that I still look back on from time to time:

  1. If you are unhappy with anything in life, then respect yourself and get out of the situation as soon as possible.

  2. If your work doesn’t excite you anymore, then it’s about time to walk away and hop on to your next adventure

  3. Don’t be afraid of failure. Failure helps you become a better person. The more you fail, the more valuable your success will be.

  4. Everything in life is a lesson learned.

  5. Don’t beat yourself up over things you can’t control in life. When you are in a tough situation, pause and take a minute to reflect. Can you control it? No? then let God take care of it.

  6. If you want something, work hard and go get it. Don’t spend too much time thinking about it, analyzing the pros and cons. Just do it!

  7. Nothing will change if you don’t take the steps needed. Take the initiative; change your mindset and opinions, soon enough everything else will follow.

  8. The world may look down on you, but NEVER give up on anything you want until you’ve tried.

  9. Treat everyone with kindness and respect. A simple smile to a random stranger could make their day. We all have wounds that haunt us and affect our daily lives.

Update on my life now? Well, right after I got back, I woke up one day and without thinking about it, I quit my job. I’m learning new things everyday, and I approach everything with a slightly more positive outlook than I did before. Change is hard, but it gets easier. With every small change I make, I feel a whole lot lighter and proud of my decisions. I still have a lot more growing to do, but the hardest part is over.

2017 here I come, determined to be 10x better than the person I was in 2016.

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