Blessin’s & Lessons: 2019 in Review
Hey Kultured Fam. Hope you’re doing well out there in your respective places and internet spaces.
As you know, the new year is fast approaching to bring 2019, and the decade, to a swift end. The end of the calendar year is also marked by another special observance: my birthday. Tomorrow will mark the beginning of my 25th trip around the sun.
Back in January, I wrote a list of nine things that I wanted to accomplish by the end of the year. As I’ve taken time over the past week to reflect, I’ve been reminded of how many of those things I actually got to check off, the blessings I’ve received, and lessons learned along the way. In honor of my birthday and the upcoming new year, this post is dedicated to my personal year-end review. Here’s to hoping that the good vibes will rub off onto you.
These are my top five highlights of 2019.
#1: Moved out of my parents’ house.
Won’t He do it?! You’ve probably already read about my frustrations with living back at home after graduating college. While I was always grateful that my parents allowed me to stay with them while saving up to get on my feet and fully leave the nest, the fact remains that being a young adult in your childhood home triggers certain growing pains. It is especially true if you’ve already spent a few years living on your own, and by your own set of rules. Going from that level of freedom back into a space in which you have to find balance between respecting rules and being yourself, is alot.
It was a huge adjustment, but the challenges have made the achievement of getting my own place so much sweeter. I’m now thankful for my parents’ support, but also for my new space. It’s more than just an apartment to me; it’s a symbol of personal achievement and a sanctuary for my peace.
Don’t think that moving has been all sunshine and roses, though. Be on the lookout for next week’s post about some of the lessons I’ve learned through the apartment hunting and moving process. Because while the end-result is nice, that shit is still hard.
#2: Secured the bag at work.
I started a new job in late 2018 and within eight months, I got promoted. When it came to my career, I truly spent this year building. In signature fashion, I always want to reach back as I climb so I will be going into more detail about this in an upcoming post that will go live right before the New Year. Make sure you come back to pick up the tools I’ll be laying down regarding the methods and rewards of putting yourself out there at work.
Believe it or not, it is very possible to do this in a way that’s forward, friendly, palpable, and garners the mutual benefits of demonstrating your ability to contribute, while also getting you seen by all the right eyes. So, come back for the gems. Bless up.
#3: Took a solo trip.
I still didn’t get any new stamps in my passport, but I did have the chance to travel somewhere alone this year. I’ve been fortunate to be pretty well-traveled in my life, but most of my trips have been with family or friends. For the first time, I decided to fly solo for some time to let my hair down, recharge, reset, and be grown-grown. So in March, I finally took a close friend up on his standing offer to visit his new city, and made my way to the DMV.
From seeing my first comedy show to taking ourselves on an unofficial tour of an HBCU, we had a long weekend full of fun, laughs, and libations. And in case you’re wondering, yes, HBCU campuses do make you feel like you’ve stepped into an episode of A Different World. I loved it, and seeing Hampton University made me revisit my interest in pursuing graduate studies at a historically Black college.
It may not seem like much to some, but it was a big deal for me to commit to going somewhere totally alone for the first time. I was instantly glad that I did, and hope to do it again very soon.
#4: Made and exceeded my 2019 savings goal.
Although it didn’t last long, I met my savings goal for the year extremely early. Once I actually committed to moving out before the end of the 2019 – and broke the habit of transferring my savings to checking – my stacking efforts were relentless. Setting up automatic transfers for my paychecks helped me to quickly save up the money I needed to finance my move independently. The whole point of staying at home for two years was to be self-sufficient and sustaining; so even though my parents helped with some of my moving expenses, it was solely because they chose to do so, and not because I asked.
I admit that I miss seeing that high balance in my savings account, but the experience of achieving it once motivates me to do it again. With discipline and patience, I will and you can do it, too.
#5: Spent less time on my phone and more time getting things done.
While it may not be visible in the amount of blog content I published this year (I know you were thinking it lol), I did take really conscious strides to spend less time scrolling and more time doing important things. My focus changed and several things just seemed to come together, from professional development to my personal life. Here are the most notable items:
Became a mentor through the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.
Continued volunteering regularly in the community.
Spent lots of time talking to, supporting, and hanging out with friends.
Made some new friends.
Produced and appeared on podcasts.
Made contributions to my brand – Special announcement coming very soon!
To sum it up, my 24th year has been a blast, but it’s progress couldn’t have been possible without Faith, defined goals, and hard work. I have learned so much about myself and what I am capable of doing when I truly commit to seeing things through. I sit here now, feeling so proud of myself and looking forward to all that lies ahead with optimism and ease. As you look toward 2020 and whatever it symbolizes for you, be sure to take the time to reflect on all that you’ve done this year and decade. You will be surprised at how much you’ve grown, overcome, and how much of a boost those reminders will create. If I can do it, so can you.
Recognize. Reflect. Redefine. Stay Kultured.