Lessons Learned in 2016

As we close out this year, I would like to share some of the wisdoms I’ve gained this year. Let’s start off by saying that this year was one of the most challenging and one of the most rewarding years yet – I got to be where I wanted to be for 1/4 of the year – I’ve went through a lot, learned a lot, worked a lot and vacationed a lot. And who can forget the friends I’ve made along the way through work and travel.

2016 was a year where I found my values.

2016 was a year where I learned to say “fuck you” and directed that fuck you both professionally and personally.

2016 was the year I learned to let go of a lot of things and in doing so I was  able to gain a new perspective on life.

And now without further ado, let me list some of those things I’ve learned this year.

Know yourself and your value

Who is that person looking back at you in the mirror day in day out? What is that person about? Who are you? How are you self defined? Is it by your beliefs, your passions, your plans for the future?

Are you self defined or are you defined by others?

This, I found was crucial. Because if you don’t have a strong sense of “self”, you’d more likely be “okay” with everything and that includes yourself, the people you surround yourself with, your situation, your job and it goes on.

If you don’t have a strong sense of “self” knowledge, you’re also more likely to get told what to do – and for what? A manager who outright screams in your face that you should do certain things because she’s ‘paying’ you? You don’t deserve that kind of abuse. Lesson learned.

Say “No” to things more often

Please, please please, hear me out. 2016 was the year where I went through some pretty significant professional and personal changes. I’ve learned to never take on projects that didn’t interest me in the first place, and or only for the money.

I’ll tell you a story – I was fired this year by a company (whom by the way, did it in a very underhanded way. I still have no idea if I’m going to be paid in full by them, but if they dare not to. I’ll see them in court.) but the point is, after I had known I would be replaced I reached out to some of my friends and past contacts. They were kind enough to introduce me to new companies that paid a lot more, with better people, and company culture.

So, my firing ended up me making up more money in the end. It was a blessing in disguise.

Not only that, but afterwards, I realized that the company I had been fired from mistreated me and I should’ve never allowed that to happen in the first place.

I should’ve been bold and knew my own value from the beginning and got out of there sooner rather than later. Lesson learned.

Always have a plan

Why did you pay “X” amount to go back to school again?

Because, the school offers a foot in the door to the industry I want to switch into.

Because, I also realize that while I made “peace” with my city now I still don’t like it one bit and I’m by no means reckless enough to pack-up and move to Europe, which by the way has its own problems that can take up 20 posts by themselves, but in short – I realized how expensive it is to live well in the city of my choice in Europe and I know myself too much, and know what I’m after to know that I’ll be okay with mediocre.

I’m playing the long game here. (See #1, know yourself).

Make yourself uncomfortable through action

Get out your comfort zone, take risks…blah blah blah.

As if you’re actually gonna absorb those wise motivational stories and take everything in – no you probably won’t, you probably hit x on the browser and continue on with your day. So try this instead, wake up at 5AM, get up and start your day.

When it’s freezing outside, go out anyways for a run.

Or, like me, work 60+ hours with some 12+ hours added on commute time a week just to see for yourself how much you hate it.

And still, what’s your excuse not to change?


What for?

You’ll be dead in 70 years time if you’re lucky.

Just how many people passed away in 2016?

And here you are, still breathing, still in one piece.

Scared still? You should be, because every time you waste time and be defined by others instead of yourself – every time you go for something just for monetary reward rather than staying true to yourself – you are wasting your own time, killing yourself.

That’s my wrap up for 2016.

2017, I’m ready for you.



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