Twenty seventeen. What a year. This year caused pain to many, including myself. But also brought personal achievements and new perspectives. However, through the trials & triumphs, I learned a multitude of lessons that I want to share with y’all.
1. Exercising regularly is important
Not only for my physical health, but for my mental health. Studies show that exercising increases endorphin which make you happy. I never fully understood that; in my ignorant ways I thought there was no way exercising made you happy if you hated doing it! But I was wrong. I worked out regularly in the summer and noticed that the days I worked out were the days I was naturally in a good mood and positive. Not to mention, working out has allowed me to keep in shape and has brought down my mile time significantly, which was my goal!
2. Give yourself a break
The way my personality is wired makes me feel responsible for just about everything. I find ways to make things my fault, even if it really isn’t. I apologize for things I that don’t need apologizing for. This led to self loathing. I started to beat myself down for mistakes or when I slipped up. For example, if I missed a workout because I overslept or didn’t feel up to it, I would feel that I was letting myself and my parents down; that I was unhealthy and a failure. Why I believed this load of crap I have no idea. I had to learn to give myself a break; I had to have grace for myself. I was allowing satan’s lies to life and believing them! The Lord wants us to change our ways and repent, however our loving, gracious, merciful Father does not want us to break ourselves over our sins. He just wants us repent to him, ask for forgiveness, and learn to correct them.
3. Natural, as for skin care, is ALWAYS better
I have always had oily skin with occasional dry spots, usually during the dry cold months. Because of this, and a few other things, I go to the dermatologist semi annually. On two separate occasions they have prescribed me two different topical medications. And this is not a dig or diss at dermatologists, they do great work and I have had many good things come out of those visits. However, my skin is really “moody”, sometimes its tough other times its extremely sensitive. And the two medications they prescribed worked, but had more cons than pros. It made my skin flaky, dry, and irritable. I was so done with putting makeup on flaking skin and constantly hating the way my skin was looking. So I quit my medications. I put an end to all harsh skin treatments. Instead, I found a natural face wash/ make up remover/ toner. Let me tell ya, this works wonders. The coconut oil in it moisturizer my face and gets off waterproof mascara, the baby shampoo helps wash off face makeup, and the apple cider vinegar acts as a toner. After that I was my face with a drug store face wash to get rid of the excess oil on my skin. It is amazing what natural ingredients can do for you skin and I will never turn to another topical medication again!
4. I am me, and not even I can change that
This year i have really learned to come to terms with myself. I am definitely a Type A, enneagram type 1, and an INFJ. I am organized in my own way and cannot stand a mess; I am one to take charge of any group when what needs to be done is not; I am the type of person that doesn’t simply give up, I have to finish; I am will go at all lengths (in moderation) to get what I want; I am not a people person although I try to please all I care about; mostly, I am me, and I cannot change the way I am wired. I have tried long and hard to become an extrovert or to always be bubbly or to try not and care what others think or to be less of a nerd about things I love or to be less passionate and fiery or to be less opinionated or to more sensitive. However, I cannot change these. I mean sure, i can be more outgoing when i want to be or be more bubbly if I try, but i cannot live like that all of the time. I have learned to love myself, the way I am. And yes, this is cliche and I am pretty sure every other lady that blogs writes this. But I am so serious about this. I used to hate that I was not as “normal”, or what i though was normal, as my bubbly, extraverted, less fiery, and mind filtered friends. And that’s just there personality, and I love them for it. But, it’s not me. And it will never be. This is just who I am, and I love it. I have learned to love my introverted, perfectionist, outspoken, goofy, sarcastic, snarky, always hungry, musical enthusiast, intuitive, period drama loving self. Even if that means I am kinda hard to like sometimes. And all personalities have flaws, and there are definitly things I have to work on. But for the most part, I just have to accept and love who I am, better or for worse.
Side note: INFJs are not some mystical unicorn psychics some MBTI charts make us out to be. We are just a mixture of many traits that make us more reserved and quiet with really good intuitive qualities, gut feeling if you will. We are not more special than the other types because we are the least common type. We just happen an extremely complex type that appears different with every INFJ.
5. Real friends love you, even when you are a pessimistic “b” sometimes
I have had my fair share of friendships. Some have lasted since 2nd grade other seem to weaken and eventually we part our ways. This happens to every human on this earth. But this year I have realized who my true friends are. Those who love me good, all the freaking time. Because my title for this lesson is my a good 40% of the time. Yet, they still love me. I know this because of all the times I have been a pessimistic bum or have vented for hours, and later apologized for it, they always tell me “it’s ok” or ” no, I totally get it” and the next day they are still there for me. So just a shout out to my best buds and a big thanks with a hug, even though I am not a fan of hugs, because y’all are the most quality people I have ever met and I love y’all more than I can say. Thank you for always encouraging me, believing in me, inviting me, listening to my talks, and laughing with me. Y’all truly are the best human beings I have ever met and I will always want to protect y’all.
6. Do what makes you happy
This little line can be totally misconstrued. For me at least, this does not mean I have no responsibility for myself and I can do whatever I feel like or want. No. This means that if I want to teach myself to play the piano again, then I will because it makes me happy. Or if would rather stay home than go out, then I will because I would rather be at home being happy than out and miserable and vice versa. This also means that when I do something that I think is weird and I fear others thoughts about it, I have to let go of that fear and just do it. Like listening to broadway music 24/7 or being really interested in my DNA and family ancestry. Because these things are kinda out of the ordinary but they make me happy. And I would rather be happy than listen to their thoughts.
7. There is more to faith than just a quiet time
I used to think that a daily quiet time was the ultimate way to grow closer to God. It’s great to have a quiet time daily, but more needs to be done. What’s the point of faith if we stay on the boat. Like Peter, we must step out onto the water with total faith in the Lord. We must step outside of our comfort zone because we cannot grow where we have already grown. I learned this concept this summer, in Munich. Where I was pushed daily to step out of my reserved ways and talk to people and pray out loud in public places. I grew so much through this. My quiet time with Him prepared me for the day. And I struggle daily with this. I don’t want to make myself uncomfortable, but he calls us to live uncomfortably, and I have taken this call, and so I must. I was shown this summer a new perspective on those who do not know our Father. They are all souls, lost and wandering. And it is our job to plant seed, water seeds, or harvest plants for these souls because they all must have the opportunity to be saved. How selfish are we not to want to help these souls. Because we all are, including myself. That is why each day we must wake up and be ready to walk out on our faith whenever we see the oppurtunity because the Lord is always there across the water ready to save us when we start to sink. And though he may let us start to sink to wake us up from our way of no faith, he will not let us drown.
These were all the major lessons I learned this year.
2017 has been a year of growth, trial, and overall learning to love our Father, others, and myself. And I am thankful for all those who have taught me these lessons, where intentional or unintentional. Thank you to all who read my posts this year. This is where I like to put myself onto paper, figuratively, and write my feelings. I am so grateful for this gift God has granted me and this opportunity to share what he is teaching me with whoever wants to listen. I lift up everyone who has had trails upon trials this year. I pray for peace of soul and mind to you and that the Lord would show you how out of such tragedy and pain, he is still there, and never left. So 2017, I take a bow and next year, hopefully, I will come back learning more, and applying these lessons to my everyday life.