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Lifestyle/Fashion Blogger. Photographer. Psychology Graduate. Agency Project Coordinator.

Lessons From 2015

I probably say this every single year, but 2015 has taught me so much more than I ever could have imagined. It was one the hardest (if not arguably THE hardest) years of my 21 years of existence so far. It was full of so many lessons, so many realizations, and so many acceptances. I can easily say I aged about 5 years or so in intellect and experience, and for that, I am grateful. while 2015 had its bad, the good was beyond amazing. I achieved so many goals, met so many life-changing people, stepped far out of my comfort zone, and really made strides toward finding myself and discovering who I am and who I have become. To finalize the end of 2015 and welcome 2016 with very open arms, I would like to share with you the most important lessons 2015 has given me:

10. Focusing on yourself is not being selfish.
I care about others far more than I care about myself, and 2015 made me realize how wrong that is. While the people in my life are so insanely important to me, I can’t be the person I want to be for them if I am not who I need to be for myself.

9. Change is necessary.
I was hit with change from every single aspect of my life this past year. my home life, my school life, my personal life - everything changed this year. It felt like my life was a snow globe that some giant hand picked up and turned upside down, shaking it up and down the entire time. the most important thing about change is that it not only shows you the person you want to be, but also the person you do not want to be.

8. Accepting an apology does not mean excusing behavior.
Have you ever seen the phrase that goes something along the lines of, “say ‘thank you’ or 'I forgive you’ when someone apologizes. Never say 'it’s okay’, because that shows someone that how they treated you is acceptable” - I may have paraphrased that a little, but do you see what I’m trying to get at? When someone apologizes, it needs to be earnest and sincere. And you need to make that evident to the individual trying to obtain your forgiveness. Let me make it clear that I am a VERY forgiving person, so it’s not like I am trying to tell you to hold grudges. but, be wary of false apologies, and try to have 20/20 vision toward the intentions of the person apologizing.

7. The things you think you are missing can be found in hidden places.
You know when you just feel like there’s that one thing you need in your life, but you’re not sure what it is? Sometimes you think you may know it: a significant other, a calling, assurance - just something. I’ve found that the things I find myself at a loss for can be compensated through other means. For example, I was finding myself to be the only single friend in my friend group, and I’m not going to lie and say that didn’t make me feel like I was missing something. However, I realized the love I receive from my friends and the other people in my life is just as important as the love any significant other would give me. Sometimes it’s about looking at things from a different angle in order to get a new appreciation. 

6. Don’t look for things you don’t want to find.
We all do it. With social media being at our fingertips, it is far too easy to search, snoop, and find things that immediately make our stomach sink. I am making it a personal vow to myself in 2016 to stop doing it. There is never anything good that comes out of it. Ever. You don’t deserve that feeling, and it just allows for you to assume and come to conclusions that may be really inaccurate and destructive to your relationships.

5. Don’t ask questions you don’t want answers to.
I find that the older I get, the less I want to know. That may be a little naive of me - because while ignorance may be bliss, I am all too aware that knowledge is power. However, I have realized that most questions I feel the need to ask, I already know the answers to. You have to realize that sometimes (actually, a lot of the time) the answers you get will not be the answers you want, and you can’t get upset with someone for being honest. Don’t let yourself think that you would be rather comforted by a lie than hurt with the truth. That being said, you don’t always need to ask to be hurt, either.

4. People can bring you down more than you realize. 
I don’t want to make this sound like I am bashing others, but I realized a lot of my happiness in 2015 came from negativity in the people I was surrounding myself with. Bottom line, anyone that puts that pit in your stomach or makes you feel any less of yourself does not belong in your life. It’s going to be the hardest lesson you’ll ever have to learn, but it will make the world of a difference once you really start to believe it. You can physically feel the difference once you just let go of what and who you allow to hurt you.

3. There is a balance between working for what you want and waiting for things to fall into place.
This was something I always struggled with: do I let fate happen or do I work for what I want? And I realized the answer is: both. I know I have made it very clear that everything happens for a reason, and I still believe this to the fullest extent. I think missed opportunities happen in order to let yourself grow as a person and find even better ones, and I think hardships teach you how to endure life as a whole. I believe in the power of hard work, as well. As long as you know you are putting in your best effort and giving your all to what you do, the only thing you can do is sit back and wait for things to fall into place. You can’t see the future, but you can make the most of the present. and this can mean not knowing exactly what the results of your actions will be.

2. Home is not a place - it’s the people you surround yourself with.
I lost so much this past year, but not everything you lose is an actual loss. My living situations have changed so frequently, that I truly am not sure which place I even refer to as “home” anymore. However, I know that the feeling I get when I am with the people I love is the same feeling I got when I knew what my home was. And truthfully, that is the only thing that matters for me. I found that my home was not a house, it was a person.

1. It is not about how you fall, but how you stand up..
You are not going to succeed in every element of your life. And the things in which you do succeed are going to take a decent amount of falls in order to get there. These falls will happen. You are going to fall. Let me repeat this: you are going to fall. And there is nothing wrong with that. What is the point of going through life seamlessly, with no obstacles getting in your way? You learn nothing, and there isn’t anything worth having that is easy to obtain. Not in my opinion, at least. There is nothing wrong with stumbling or even collapsing along the way. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but there is always going to be something in your way that tries to prevent you from getting what you want. However, how you overcome that - or stand up from the fall - is the only thing that matters. People don’t look at someone and say, “Wow, look at how this person failed.” They say, “Can you believe they got through that?” People admire determination and strength, and that is one of the most rewarding things life has to offer. Life is a beautiful struggle.

I hope that these lessons will help and follow you into 2016. I know I will be carrying these with me, as well as learning more along the way. I am not looking at 2015 with disdain - I am looking at it as my lessons, my strength, and my motivation in order to make 2016 the best year I can for myself.

I wish you all a happy and safe new year, and I look forward to hearing what you have learned from 2015!

Very truly,
Taylor

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