To end 2017 on a high note, right before I launch my upgraded website, I want to write about 7 things I learned in 2017. I want to start off by saying that I really think 2018 is my year. I know, I know, we all have said that. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t think 2017 wasn’t my year or 2016 wasn’t, either. They were lessons. They were journeys. In 2017, I learned a lot about the journey I was on and the direction my life was taking. I was humbled by the end of this year realizing a lot of these things. Some will be funny, some will be deep, and some may leave you saying “Natalie, how did you not already know this?” so bear with me.
1. Self-Understanding vs. Self-Love
I learned that I am not in a self-love stage yet. I’ve shared a lot of thoughts and feelings about the struggles of truly loving yourself. Sometimes, when we start down a path, we get on the ride and we think that’s it, we’re doing this. I’ve come to terms with the idea that I have reached self-understanding while trying to figure out what exactly is my self-love.
2. Self Awareness
I’ve realized I have a lot of triggers from my childhood; random dating, friendships and past serious relationships. I figured out this was Self Awareness and leading into self-understanding. These “triggers” have greatly impacted my current relationships (career, friends, family, love). The best part of the awareness is using my knowledge to create a better life
3. Choosing yourself is hard
I thought loving myself and prioritizing me would be a piece of cake. You mean, I just do whatever Natalie wants? Whatever makes me happy? Hell yeah! Except, more often than not, I don’t actually know what makes me happy. I feel guilty not putting others above myself. I overthink and agonize about situations until my brain explodes and I am literally in tears.
4. Negative thinking goes hand in hand with vulnerability.
Remember those “triggers” I was talking about? I’ve realized one of mine is assuming the worst-case scenario. I typically believe that people are guilty until proven innocent instead of the other way around. Let me tell you, I am a pretty harsh judge, and I’m realizing that I never really stick around for the innocent part. Because of that, because of being so scared of looking stupid or being misled, I have an issue with vulnerability. These blogs have been my saving grace, forcing myself to be uncomfortable so I can work on overcoming these feelings.
5. I am manipulative, passive aggressive, and have control issues.
The negative thinking I’ve mentioned previously has lead me to three incredibly unhealthy reactions to situations. I will have a blog coming out shortly called “How I figured out I was toxic” to discuss it even more. These toxic tendencies are defense mechanisms I developed due to my childhood, previous relationships, and other circumstances that were not healthy for me. It isn’t easy, but I am ready truly ready to learn how to let go and be a healthy person.
6. Internet snooping is killing your relationship, we take social media too seriously.
Okay, okay, obviously we all know lurking and being an FBI detective on the internet isn’t a smart choice but let’s have a “Come to Jesus” talk. We’ve all done it. We’ve all checked out the page of the person who the guy or girl we’re dating just started following. We’ve put our friends on watch patrol, too. Now, I’m not saying people haven’t used the Internet to be dishonest, but we put too much energy into a person’s online “persona” and not enough to time enjoying the actions of the person outside of the Internet. Cheating happens. It happened before social media was introduced. No, that doesn’t make it right. While the Internet has made it more accessible, we’re stronger than that. Maybe we can go back to letting go of control and jealousy and start building trust. Fall in love with each other outside of the Internet. Let that girl have the Instagram like or Snapchat follow. Remember, trust does need to be built. But, without it, what type of relationship do you have?
7. There is no point to rush.
Our parents messed us up. We’ve all had our hearts broken at least once. Things are getting more intertwined and a bit messier. We’re almost thirty yet some people are still treating life as a child. We’re all just trying to figure out our way and live differently than our parents. Good things develop slowly to last longer. Try to be friends first. If you took sex out of the equation, how strong is your foundation? I hear so often people say “well, we’ve been talking for x amount of time” or “I just want to have clear intentions” before ever giving a chance to know each other. In less than a year, people are dating, moving in together and ready to put a ring on it and spend the rest of their lives with someone. Take a moment. We stopped enjoying the moments…
Leaving on this note, I want you to think about where you were this time in 2016. How many people did you meet? How many lives did you touch? How many goals did you accomplish? How many things did you work on? Single or in a relationship; the person you were intimate with, did you spend enough time getting to know them or did they just fit your idea of what you thought you wanted next?
See you in 2018, everyone!