LESSONS FROM 2017
Managing money is tough.
After working for almost a decade with bare minimum salary, I finally saw the fruits of my labour in 2017. But, like most people new to money, I had no idea how to manage it. The result? A lot of waste. I’m talking: weekly trips to Zara, frequently buying rounds of drinks for friends, not carefully observing my subscription plans (got a little out of hand with the Spotify, Netflix, Sirius XM, so on and so forth), etc. From what I’ve read, this is normal. Going from a pay cheque to pay cheque lifestyle to something more sustainable is a psychological transition and we need to time to adapt. Lesson? Take it easy!
My Body is my Temple.
In 2017 I started really paying attention to the creaks and cracks of my body. What foods were hurting my stomach? What exercises were paying off? What skincare was effective for me? This may be basic, but honestly, for most of my twenties I was so busy hustling to create my career, I never really gave my body much thought.
Those Who Matter Don’t Mind & Those Who Mind Don’t Matter.
I really shed a lot of insecurity regarding what others thought about me in 2017. Maybe because there’s only so much “giving a shit” to go around, maybe because I’m getting older and my priorities are changing. Either way, it’s been solid and frankly, an important step in finding personal success. The fear of others can be paralyzing and it was often scary to put myself out there (launching a fashion blog, releasing my art publicly, putting myself out there to find a new job, etc) but what it came down to, time after time, was not only the necessity of self-promotion, but also the fact that those who matter to me wouldn’t judge me, and those who would judge me didn’t matter.
This one stems a little from the last one but instead, applies to my social life. In 2017 I fully-stopped going to venues, events, and parties that weren’t personally enjoyable. Throughout my twenties there was a lot of pressure to go to certain parties, be certain places, dress a certain way, etc and although I’ve cared less and less about this over the past few years, this year I fully stopped giving a fuck. There aren’t enough hours in the day to care, really! All that matters these days, when I go out, is that I’m with people who I enjoy to be around and have a connection with (and I’m lucky enough to have an amazing, caring group of best friends who fill this need endlessly).
Family is Important
I moved away from home when I was eighteen and, with infrequent visits, I grew apart from a lot of my extended family. There was a lot of damage done to my relationships because of this — not necessarily hostility or anything but surely damage, at least the distance that times creates. But after everything that happened the year — my dad’s suicide, my mom’s heart attack, my relationship turmoil, my surgery — I realized that the people there for me through it all were my family, even if they were across the country. This gave me a deep appreciation for what I had taken for granted for so long. And then of course all my cousins, who I closely grew up with, had babies and it made me miss them even more. What I wouldn't give to see those I love and hold so closely transition into this new stage of life — I will do my best from afar.
NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS
Get more involved in politics
Moving to Quebec, as an anglophone, I always felt a little removed from my community and local politics. I’d follow the news and stay up to date on current events but would never get involved. I tried a few times, sure, but it never really came to fruition. Now that I’m moving to Toronto, I really want to step this up. Volunteer with a campaign I believe in, find a cause and step into it, speak up more for what is right in my community and the world.
Learn how to manage money
I want to be debt free by the time I’m thirty. That gives me a year and a half and I truly believe I can do it. But, it’ll take serious money management, a skill that I’m going to have to acquire. I’m going to start by downloading Mint (the app) and biweekly allocating certain money to bills, savings, debts, and personal allowance.
This year I want to really slow down my intake of Zara and H&M and instead, save money and when I need, invest in quality clothes. I’d like to own one designer handbag and maybe one pair of designer shoes before the year is out (without fattening my closet full of fast fashion).
No, really! I want abs! I know everyone says this but I really mean it. In 2017 I became a bit of a yogi, I exercised biweekly, and ate pretty healthy. I think this year I can take it a little more seriously. I’d also like to be able to do a headstand in yoga.
Stay in touch with friends and family
Moving to Toronto means that, not only am I still far away from my family, but also far away from my best friends in Montreal. I do not tend on growing apart, however. This year I want to call and FaceTime, very frequently, my friends and family. To remind them I love them and catch up on each-other’s lives.
I think my most important resolution is to give more love to myself and those who are important to me. 2017 was all about dealing. Dealing with trauma, breakups, death, moving, finding a new job, money, health, diet, reconciliation, politics, etc . I was constantly searching for ways to heal (yoga, food, meditation, exercise, alcohol, chocolate, BBC binging, twitter, Instagram, self reflection, writing, crying, you name it!). And frankly, I’m tired of all the DEALING. It may sound cheesy, but I want to take this new beginning as an opportunity to be reborn — to forgive, let go, and GIVE LOVE.
EXPECT NOTHING, APPRECIATE EVERYTHING.