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Things I Learned In 2022 and Want to Work on In 2023

Updated: Jan 25

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2022 was a year of ups and downs, smiles, and tears. It was challenging and pushed me to grow in several ways. I think it is important to reflect on who we were in previous years and see how far we've come. I think it's also important to set goals that we want to work on in the new year. I don't mean New Year's Resolutions that will fizzle out after 2 weeks. I'm talking about long-term goals that you want to work on as long as they take to complete.

Things I learned from 2022:

  1. It's normal and okay to feel uncomfortable having difficult conversations. It's not how comfortable you feel that is the determining factor but how you choose to have those conversations.

  2. It's okay to say "No". Being true to myself and how I feel and what I want is super important. I am not a superhero. I cannot save the world. I do not have the time, mental energy, or sometimes even physical energy to cater to the desires of everyone in my life all the time. If that person does not understand why I'm saying no, then that's also okay.

  3. Even though someone else's graduate school journey looks different from mine doesn't mean that I'm doing something wrong. I had a lot of imposter syndrome starting graduate school and sometimes still do, but I just have to tell myself that we're all struggling and there are probably people looking at my graduate school journey and wishing they had it. It's all about perspective and I just need to focus on mine.

  4. It's okay to not have everything figured out. I put a lot of pressure on myself to have my life together because I have this fear that people will look at my life and judge me for how I handle everything that is thrown at me. Logically I know that that belief is false because I've heard evidence to the contrary, but it's so hard to remember that when it feels like things are falling apart. It's hard to feel like I don't have complete control of everything around me. Life is messy and that is okay.

Things I want to work on in 2023:

  1. Waiting at least 24 hours before I buy a product to determine if I really want to spend the money on it or not. More times than not, I realize that I don't want the product as much as I did the first time I saw it. Impulse buying has consumed so much of my income (as well as credit, unfortunately) and I want to really learn how to stick with a budget this year and save a good chunk of money.

  2. Speaking my mind even when I'm scared of how my words will be received. I can't guarantee that the person I'm talking to will receive my words the way I wanted them to be received, but I can guarantee that I get the words out. Holding in my thoughts and feelings is usually never the best route to take unless I need time to gather my thoughts or if I know that I'm about to say something in order to hurt the other person. No one can be expected to be a mind reader.

  3. Procrastination. Guys...I procrastinate SO much and it's a terrible practice. If you guys don't know procrastination is often a reaction to anxious thoughts and feelings. To avoid feeling that way we avoid the situation that is causing the anxiety but that leads to not engaging with the situation again until we feel time pressure.

  4. Deepening my relationship with God and remaining consistent. This year as a graduate student really challenged me and made me anxious. I was very busy and I felt overwhelmed at times and which deterred me from engaging with the Word of God. Even though I was still doing my morning devotional pretty consistently, it was very surface-level. I wasn't taking the time to explore what the text was saying and how I could apply the principles to my life or what I could learn about God.

  5. Resisting the urge to run when I feel uncertainty or anxiety. This is especially relevant to relationships, whether romantic or platonic. Since I struggle to be vulnerable and forthcoming with my thoughts and feelings, I tend to let the feelings fester until I feel like there's no other option but to run away. I think the other part of it is also that I have high expectations for some of my relationships and when they are not met I believe that that relationship is not for me.

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