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My 2017 in Review

2017 has been a year of tremendous growth and a lot of realisations. 2015 was an incredibly difficult year. I spent most of 2016 wallowing in self-pity and just feeling guilt for causing my family pain and stress. Honestly, really thankful for my family. I say this a lot, but I truly believe no one else could have been my parents. So much happened, and it’s a lot to talk about but that’s for another day.

Found this on the internet on grieving losses not caused by death. “Often it can be hard to recognise grief as grief, because of the absence of a death. Major losses can be caused by many other life changes than someone dying. But this difficulty goes well beyond the challenge of rightly labelling an experience. When we do not recognise the grief element in a major loss or life transition, we begin to try to make sense of that experience and overcome its fallout in ways that are not suited for the difficulties that lie ahead.”

Had some major life experiences in 2014/2015. I did not recognise this as a loss. I think I associated loss and grief with death. When in truth loss can be caused by other changes and shifts and those changes need to be grieved. It wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago I realised I never really grieved and needed to do so in order to move forward. What’s funny is I’m actually at the acceptance stage and had no idea I was grieving all this while. One thing I’ll say is this, you can try to suppress or ignore it, but you can’t hide from it forever. It only prolongs the process. Nevertheless, your process is your process, there is no typical process or response. I always tried to be there for friends and acquaintances dealing with life-changing experiences in whatever way I could whether I could relate or not. 2017 was me dealing with it and absolutely having no idea. After 2 years! I still ask myself how that’s even possible. Also just dealt with the end of a friendship after 2 years.

What did I do this year?

Travel

Honestly my travels this year affected my life positively. There really is a difference between a tourist and a traveller and this time around I was a traveller. I made a conscious effort to connect with people and leave my comfort zone. I am more confident, tolerant and compassionate. The friendliness and help from strangers honestly does change you in more ways than one. I have also evolved, gained a new perspective on life and rediscovered myself.

Yoga and Meditation.

It’s so funny because a few weeks before I picked up yoga, I would wake up as early as 3 am, feel so restless and go lay on the couch before eventually going back to bed. No explanation for it but that’s how I started meditation. When my sister brought up Yoga, I was all in and found a 30 day challenge I was determined to stick to. Crazy how what was supposed to be a 30 day challenge has changed my life tremendously.

Prayer and meditation (whether you’re religious or not) are important to growth and honestly keep you from going crazy.

Journaling

Keeping a journal is not a waste of time or for kids. It is important to growth, you gain clarity and honestly it’s therapeutic. Not to mention, it’s a personal account of your life. No one can write your story better than you can. Regardless of what you think, you are important.

Learning new things

From learning 2 languages to reading everyday. The world is so huge and there is so much more out there. Learning is important and shapes you into a well-rounded human being.

What have I learned?

We hear this all the time but really life is a journey. It’s futile to compare yourself to others as everyone has a different path. We all have different struggles. No one has it together. Not even Beyoncé. We all just try to mask the struggle and pain.

Having a support group is important. You can’t do life alone. You also have to build yourself up mentally because while family and friends are important, they can’t walk the walk for you. The dark moments are usually solitary.

Your feelings are valid and it’s important to acknowledge them.

Rather than asking what the world has done for me, I’m now asking what can I do for the world? Why am I here and what am I leaving behind? Who am I to the people around me? Am I creating a positive impact and being an asset to those around me?

Not to worry about the things I have no control over.

We take a lot of things for granted. The things we consider important are really not. As long as you have life, food, a roof over your head, health, freedom, family or anything you consider important, there’s a lot to be thankful for.

Happiness comes from within. A lot of times we tie our happiness to money, we think oh when I get that car, then I can be happy. Forgetting to live in the moment and enjoy the journey. But really, the truth is you’ll get the car and still be unhappy.

(P.S. Not saying money does not contribute to happiness but you get my point)

A healthy mind and a healthy body go hand in hand. Physical Exercise is important. Not even to have the body portrayed as goals in the media but they are the key to a much healthier life.

Anytime is as good as now. You don’t have a lifetime to start what you’ve always wanted to.

Rome wasn’t built in a day. Things take time.

Financial security is important. You have to take a hold of your finances before life forces you to. Honestly still figuring this part out.

In the end, what really matters is the life in your years.

That’s all I have for now but here’s to 2018 and new beginnings! Here I come!

Happy New Year everyone!

Lots of love,

Dami.

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