Bye, bye 2018.

They say the way you spend New Year’s Eve marks how you spend the rest of the year. I looked over the water, drank some champagne, laughed with people I love and then laughed some more, FaceTimed with my better halves around the world, watched the fireworks and held onto my love with gratitude. If this is any indication, I cannot wait for 2019 to unfold in its simplicity and with more teachings. As yet another year comes to an end, I’ve had the time of my life, surrounded by beautiful people. With gratitude comes the unavoidable reminiscing and reflection. So here is what 2018 taught me.

1 Live with your best friend, it will teach you so much. You will move on from renting a room to making a home. You will have a shoulder to lean on as you navigate through life and your decisions, the good and bad. You will always have someone to be your biggest cheerleader and critic, unapologetically. You will grow for yourself and for your best friend and you will grow together as friends, too. You love every mistake and every egg flipped right. And you will have hugs, lots of hugs, always.

2 Friendships can fall apart and that’s okay. We tend to associate love and the strength of a relationship with the years spent together rather than how we feel about the person. Some relationships turn sour and some fade away. Just as you don’t choose who you love, you don’t choose who you don’t. I learnt that just like seasons, people too, should change in your life. Different people serve different purposes in your life and sometimes, you’ve got to tie some to a red balloon and let them go.

3 You can’t avoid failure. You could work bloody hard, and you could still fail. Shit happens. Make yourself a strong drink, play some upbeat music and put yourself together. Tomorrow is another chance to get it right. The human mind is incredibly strong. In fact, it’s stronger than you give it credit for, and it can push through the worst of times. I’ve learnt not to let fear paralyse you. Instead, acknowledging it is a testament to the fact that you survived the tide. So, thank u, next.

4 Reading is one of the best habits that you could ever have. If you have it, never let it go. If you don’t have it, start now. I’m incredibly lucky that my father was a voracious reader, and that he was able to instil this passion in me, too. There have been times where I didn’t read a single book. I remember feeling hollow, dull and uninspired. Luckily, I got over that phase and have read at least a book a month, if not one every week. Oh the bliss, the community and conversations. So, get out and read.

5 You don’t choose who you love. You don’t choose how you love. It’s never easy finding “your” person but when you do, you know right away. It’s a familiar feeling, a feeling of home — with a heartbeat. It’s funny, how love finds you when you’re not looking. It’s funny how you find peace and comfort without even trying. I learnt that sometimes, you just love without condition or a list, you go all in and you could find the light of your life.

6 Home is a heartbeat. The kind of home that doesn’t have to be the most luxurious or the biggest. It doesn’t have to have floors that shine when the sun hits or a perfectly landscaped garden. It just has to be cosy and warm and hold you. It needs to shelter you and comfort you. I’m so lucky to have found that with someone. It’s amazing, what will come find you when you’re busy making other plans.

7 Your tribe inspires your vibe. Surround yourself with people who push you to better yourself, every single day. If your circle is full of people who you admire and respect, you will automatically want to better yourself, and the inspiration will be right there for you to soak up. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with breaking the mould. In fact, you should do it, over and over again. However, there’s a certain comfort in convention, too. The trick is to find your sweet spot; your very own, personal, perfect balance.

8 Break the mould. You never really know where life will take you, and chances are, it won’t be where you thought. While it’s totally okay to go with the flow (we’re all winging it, anyway), it’s not okay to not have game plan. And that should always include your Plan B. Lay your foundation and keep building, brick by brick. Don’t let fear make you lose sight of your dreams. Find your sweet spot, the perfect balance and make it work.

9 Kindness. It’s been my biggest lesson this year. Whether it was in a friend opening her home for me to live in, my mother looking out for me despite my poor decisions, my boyfriend comforting me after a bad day, a stranger smiling at me down a supermarket aisle, or an Uber driver making sure I got home safe. We underestimate the effect of kindness, to yourself and to those around you. Say ‘thank you’ to your taxi driver, to your cashier, to your intern. Kindness is the name of the game.

10 Family always comes first.

So, thank you 2018. Thank you for the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.

Here’s hoping the roads in your new year are lit with love and hope, and you walk under skies covered in colours of peace, joy and prosperity. Here’s to 2019 being everything you hope for and more. Here’s to 2018 being an album of lessons learnt and memories cherished. Here’s to the ones who dream, here’s to the ones who believe, here’s to the ones who fight, here’s to the ones who need a hand, here’s to the ones who lead, here’s to the ones who inspire, here’s to the ones who aspire.

May your hearts feel full and your jaws hurt from smiling, and may your days feel floaty and warm. This year, I hope you choose yourself, always and in all ways. Happy New Year!

Positive thoughts and unconditional love,

2019, make me some magic!

Photo by Alan Jones on Unsplash