Looking back at this past year's trials and tribulations.
Turning another year older last week was a blessing to have lived yet another successful chapter, but it also made me reflect on where I am now and how I got here.
18-year old Mariel aka pre-historic Polydeux was always confident her blog-turned-business would do well, but never to this extent, except for the fact that this is just the beginning. I never expected to be where I am now nor would I have ever gotten here without the support of you all or without these lessons learned:
1.) Not every loss is a loss.
This year, I felt like I lost more than I gained whether that be through friendships or just setbacks in life.
It never occurred to me that these losses were actually lessons, or better yet it was just life weeding out the bad ones for me. Isn't it better when you don't have to do it yourself?
In the end, you're never really losing. The losses you experience only set you up for greater gains in the future.
2.) Not everyone who wants to be your friend just wants to be your friend.
I've learned that there are people who want to be your friend not because they want your friendship but because of what you can do for them. It's hard to trust people easily, and I think I've had a tougher time letting others in because there's been so many instances when others need me out of convenience or for their own gains.
Don't ever be a stepping stone for someone else's success.
3.) People will always remember how you treat them, so you may as well be nice.
I think I've talked about this before, but no matter where people are in life, whether they're homeless or a CEO, there's always something you don't know. Everyone has their own battles and you don't need to make it any tougher for them. Always be kind even if you have no reason to. Ask people how they are, smile to strangers, start small talk in lines - some people just need someone to talk to.
It'll always come back around.
Even more so, there's always going to be someone who will disregard you at first but will come running back as soon as they see you have something they need; whether it be contacts, opportunities or jobs. Never give these people the time of day.
If they can't treat you as an equal upon first meeting but will change their attitude and behavior towards you later, it's a red flag.
4.) If friendships don't grow you, you don't need to be in it.
The fact of the matter is, is that it's not a friendship. Surprise.
Friendships are supposed to be dynamic and challenging as much as they are supposed to be full of support, love and encouragement. Never out of convenience or obligation.
Sadly, sometimes these are hard to move past but don't force yourself to be friends with others because you feel bad for them. If they're not growing you now, they'll never grow you in the future.
It's okay if you keep your circle small. The smaller, the better because you only need to keep those around that are necessary for reaching your life goals. You'll always have more acquaintances than friends, which doesn't necessarily mean that you're lonely, but you'll have an easier time nurturing and cultivating the friendships that matter most.
5.) Invest in your body
Give as much love to your physical self as much as possible. Invest in organic groceries and restaurants even if it means spending more. Wouldn't you rather spend more now to take care of yourself than for medical bills in the future?
You only have one body so treat it well and be aware of what goes in it. Acknowledge which foods weigh it down and slow down your flesh machine (it sounded cooler in my head, but we're sticking with it). Drink alkaline water, cut your carbs and caffeine intake; even invest in a gym membership.
You want to be able to move when you're 70 right? Always think of the future when it comes to yourself. Nothing else is more important.