This time I wanted to reflect back on what I have learned in the past year. The past year was crazy for me since I got the chance to make my blog grow while I had to deal with a break up, moving apartments, getting into a dorm, finishing my second year at university etc. etc., however I just realized all of these events made me learn quite a lo
First of all, I learned I am the one who is responsible for my future.
I always blamed my parents for not letting me do things and making me put my education first (trust me, I´ve missed a lot of great opportunities because of that) and now I have finally realized I am the one who is responsible for my actions and my happiness and I am the one who will have to live with the consequences. Although this kind of thinking gives you a lot of responsibility it also gives you more freedom. It makes you more aware of the choices you make and you feel more accomplished when you finally do something right.
I´ve learned I am enough.
All my life I had a low self image and being a perfectionist doesn´t really help with that, however I have finally learned to appreciate myself – inside and out. I´ve learned that I´m the one who has to love me and if I don´t to that, how can I expect anyone else to do it for me. I began to be comfortable in my own body and for once in my life I can say I don´t really mind those few extra pounds I gained…heck! I love them! I finally got some curves. I think loving yourself and being happy with where you are going with your life is the first step to becoming a better you.
You have to work hard if you want to be successful.
I admit, I was the person who complained a lot about how life is just unfair and how some people get great opportunities, while I don´t get none although I work hard. Well, guess what? That is just an excuse I gave myself for being a loser. I didn´t work that hard and when I did, I didn´t do enough research and my work just wasn´t all that great – weather it comes to blogging, relationships, college… I´ve learned success means hard work. And you shouldn´t blame anyone or anything for your failure if you didn´t give your 100%. And when you feel like you gave it your all, just think about what you could do next. Work until your idols become your rivals…and then work some more.
Organization. Organization. Organization.
Don´t get me wrong, I´m still working on this one. I´ve learned being organized is crucial if you want to get anything done in your life. If you don´t have a plan you´ll die with a thousand of compromises. I know coffee breaks are what kills me since I love coffee and I love socializing. However, all those coffee breaks take up a lot of time, the time I could use for doing something for my future. So now I try to organize my day in the morning (I recommend you do it the night before, if you are strong enough) and I still leave some time in case something comes up. I still do coffees with friends however I choose who I´m gonna meet more wisely now. Not everyone is worth your time. Right now I´m grabbing some coffee with a friend of mine and we are using our time wisely. She is writting her book and I, this blog post. If we get stuck we help each other out and if we need a break we just chat.
Choose who you socialize with.
I can´t stress this enough. I was always the person who was always there for everyone…and I mean everyone. If someone needed a shoulder to cry on, I was there. If someone just needed to vent out, I was there. But not anymore. I´ve learned some people just aren´t worth it. Stop giving your all to someone who wouldn´t do the same for you. Make new friendships and make them count. Find people who are just as inspired as you are and people who share the same work ethics and motivate each other. Find ways to do more project and eliminate the toxic people out of your life. You know who I´m talking about..you can feel it. Every time you hang out they just suck the energy out of you. You feel tired and all you want to do is sleep and give up. Don´t do that. If you have the right people around you, you will always feel full of energy and ready to try new things. Trust me, I have had photo shoots from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. and still wanted to hang out and think of new projects with people like that. You forget about hunger, sleep and you just want to be active around people like that.
It´s okay to talk about the things you love.
I for one always struggled with this. I was ashamed to speak up and I always thought I don´t have anything smart to say. Trust me, if you surround yourself with the right people they will love to listen to you, even is they are not that interested in the topic you are talking about. They will see the spark in your eyes and you will motivate them to do something about their life, too. I´ve got a friend who I admire. I´ve told him that before. He is my age however I believe in him and I think he really is gonna go far. He is always on the move. He always has new projects coming up and he just can´t stand not having any goal to reach. Photography is a passion we both share and I´ve learned so much from him. You know why? Because I listened…I listened while he talked about his passion. I saw a spark in his eyes and I just couldn´t stop listening. So if you are really passionate about something just talk about it. It will motivate you, you will voice out your plans and thus come one step closer to realizing them and I am sure the person you are with won´t be able to get enough of you.
Appreciate the people around you. Tell them you appreciate them.
I was never one to talk about my emotions or how someone makes me feel since I though it gave the other person way to much power over me. I learned I shouldn´t do that. It´s OK to be open. It´s OK to tell people they mean something to you. It´s OK to say someone inspires you and people are gonna be thrilled when they hear they are the reason you tried something new. I´ve told you in the previous paragraph about my friend..I really appreciate him and I told him a million times how he inspires me. How I look up to him in the way he thinks and how I appreciate his work ethics. Just think, how would you feel if your brother/friend/mother came up to you and just told you about how they appreciate what you did – even if it was just cleaning the kitchen or giving them a good advice..it would probably feel nice, right? And you would probably want to do it again. We, as people, are programed to want to be around people who appreciate our presence and what better way to do that than to just voice it out…it´s the least you can do.
Give more compliments.
Now, this one goes hand in hand with the previous one. Every single one of us notices a change..weather it is in someones behavior, the way they carry themselves or even in their appearances. We notice it, so why don´t we say it out loud? Maybe a simple comment like; ˝I love what you did with your hair˝ or ˝I love the way you handled that situation˝ can make someone´s day. You never know what the other person is going though so the next time you notice yourself appreciating how pretty your waitress´s hair is or how gorgeous her nails are, why not say it out loud? She took some time into her appearance so why not give her credit for it?
I´ve learned we are all continuously learning.
You know that person you think of as your idol? She/he probably has no idea what he/she is doing either. I´ve noticed we put way too much pressure on ourselves thinking some people just have it all figured out..guess what?! They don´t. In the past year I have met so many influential people and they all have one thing in common. They are not afraid to admit they do not have everything figured out. They love to help out and sometimes they need help, too. We are all learning as we go so we should all just try to help each other out, ask questions and don´t be afraid to speak up if we don´t understand something.
Be your biggest fan.
I´ve learned not everyone is going to support you on your journey and there are even people who will love to see you fail. So you should always try to find inspiration within you and you should always try to give it your best. When you feel like you are stuck in a rut just take a walk (I know, what a cliche) or do what inspires me; grab your favorite magazine and take yourself out for coffee. Believe me, the ideas will just start to flow. And if that doesn´t help…Google is your best friend!
Take some time off just for yourself.
I seriously owe my life to what I like to call ˝me-time˝. I need at least half an hour every day just by my self, whether it is by reading my favorite magazine, looking though Instagram for motivation or even listening to some jazz while laying on my bed. I take this time to think about ideas for my blog, figuring out what I could do next, how I could evolve. I like to take my notebook with me and just dot down anything that comes to mind..who knows, maybe it will come handy in the future.
It´s okay not to do everything right the first time.
As I´ve stated before I´m a perfectionist so if it´s not guaranteed for me to succeed I would rather not even try. I´m trying to change that and I´ve learned that every failure does not automatically mean you are a failure. I´ve learned that things happen when they are meant to happen…if you don´t succeed the first time it is probably because you didn´t learn enough from the experience the first time. Take it one day at a time and you will soon realize there is so much you can learn along the way. Nobody is perfect and that´s OK. Even Beyonce sometimes screws up and you don´t see her giving up because of it..no, she gets up, thinks about what she could do better and does it again.
Being a blogger is hard work, but it is definitely worth it.
I believe a lot of people don´t really understand how stressful being a blogger can be however I do believe it is all worth it in the end when you can see the progress you´ve made. When you can see how much you´ve grown through it all and at some time, being available 24/7, always having an open mind and thinking of new blog ideas becomes such joy you just can´t imagine your life without it anymore. You always have to be active on your social media and the work hours really never end…from meeting, to emails, to arranging your time with the photographers, finding the perfect location, thinking of new ideas..it just never ends..but trust me, the feeling of seeing your blog succeed is sooo worth it.
Influential people are still just people.
Every time I was invited to an event I was so scared I almost turned around at the door. I though everyone is going to judge me and since they are all so perfect and have everything figured out they will think of me as a joke. Well, it´s not like that..not at all. I´ve learned the more successful someone is the more down to earth that someone is. They know how it is to start out and to be scared since they too, where once where you are now. We are all human and we all have our little flaws and insecurities that make us unique so there is really no need to be scared. I´ve just said that to some of my favorite bloggers on our little holiday how once we were all so formal with each other and tried to make the best impression and how now we are all just great friends who love to pig out and talk about sex..now, you didn´t see that one coming, right?
Life is beautiful.
Now, I could talk about what I have learned for 10 more hours, however I doubt anyone even read this thing through so far so I´m just gonna end it here.
(If you read this whole thing you are seriously my best friend right now!)
I will probably do a similar post in the future since I love how you can just reflect and look back and I think we really don´t do that enough. We don´t take the time to realize how far we´ve come and to appreciate all that life has to offer.
There is so much you can learn day by day, you just have to take the time. I´ve had (and still occasionally do) days when I thought life is unfair and there is nothing to be happy about, but trust me if you are going through some hard times..it will all be worth it in the end. You will be so happy you stuck through this and you will soon realize there is so much more to life than what you are dealing with at the moment. Find pleasures in everything you do and never forget to be thankful. You only have this one life so do what you love and never stop growing.
Photo: Teotim Logar