Lessons of 2020

Let’s get it started….let’s get it started in here! That’s probably how I was feeling going into 2020. 

Looking through many Untitled Google docs, random notes I left myself, my journal, and the pictures on my phone I want to share what 2020 has taught me. Though I had many battles in the past year I think it’s best to look at them as lessons.

1.Things don’t happen on your timing

April 20, 2020 from my journal

It’s been mentally exhausting and draining. Not until the last few days have I finally said to myself…it’s okay to not know what’s coming. Giving God the control is awesome but also so new to me. 

In March I had been temporarily laid off from my job. A few weeks later I had to take my mom to the hospital where she remained for weeks after having a major surgery. While my mom was in the hospital my grandma was also admitted to the same hospital. My mom got to come home and my grandma went to heaven. 2020 felt so unfair. Why did so many terrible things have to happen at the same time? I spent a good chunk of time battling depression. Questioning how this all could be happening… this wasn’t how this year was supposed to go. It’s a new year and I still don’t have answers to those questions. 

May 12, 2020 from my journal

Today we decided we for sure will on be pursuing jobs opportunities in Indiana. 

This gives me goosebumps guys. Amidst loss, being without a job, and quarantine… my boyfriend and I decided we would be saying goodbye to Illinois-the state we both had lived in for our entire life. We had talked about moving out of Illinois for probably over a year. I prayed night after night for God to lead me. I wasn’t sure what was coming but He told me for quite some time it was going to be big. 

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted.” Ecclesiastes 3:1-2

Though I can’t say I fully understand why things happen when they do, there is a season for it all. One in which you experience more loss than you ever have. But maybe following it will come a season of growth. His timing is intentional. 

2. You’ll experience more rejection than acceptance 

I’m not for everyone. You are not for everyone. That is just as hard to type as it is to say out loud. I spent a good chunk of time brushing up my resume in 2020 because I was without a job or looking for a job more than I ever have before. During that time I did something that scared the poop out of me. I applied for a job that I felt unqualified for. 

July 17, 2020- from my journal

I’ve been so scared that since I don’t have a degree I’d be stuck in a field that would not be for me. I have to be confident in my skills and knowledge.

I didn’t get the job. A few weeks after my interview I received an email from the Executive Director I interviewed with. She wrote how I was one of the top candidates they interviewed and how my passion and experience truly stood out. But there was someone else who was better suited for the position. It’s not about the number of times you hear “no” but how many times you choose to continue to show up even though there is a chance of rejection. The one YES after 20 no’s will be worth it! Your day will come.

3. All lives can’t matter until Black Lives Matter 

June 7, 2020 from my journal 

My heart breaks and I weep about the world I live in. The pain a black person has to feel right now. Seeing their people die and be murdered for no reason. It’s not okay. I am so pissed. I think of my niece and nephew and don’t want them to have to live in fear. It’s not okay, not any of it. Tomorrow, I will march, and stand proud to show my support for Black Lives Matter. 

Things haven’t changed. We still have to keep fighting each day for Black Lives Matter. I do my best to learn more about black culture. Reading literature to educate myself on things I can do daily to be antiracists. I follow accounts on social media of people sharing facts and useful resources to keep in the loop of how I can actively make a difference. Look around you, your friend groups, who you interact with on social media, and the people at your church. Do they all look the same as you? Do they have the same opinions and values as you? If so try and branch out from what feels comfortable. We can not learn more about the world, culture, diversity, or how others think if everyone around you thinks and looks like you. If you need help on where to start, please message me and we can chat. Go to the social media page on my website to get in touch with me. 

4.Making yourself a priority isn’t selfish 

People pleaser(check) 

Busy body(check) 

Control freak(check) 

Racing mind constantly (check) 

I legit forget to sit down and take a breath some days. I’ve known for years that each one of those things listed above are part of who I am. This difference is that in the past year I felt myself wearing down. As a highly sensitive person I easily become consumed and exhausted by many things daily. My favorite ways to make myself a priority is through daily personal development and regular self pampering. I have created a pretty consistent morning routine that includes reading a daily devotional, journaling, and reading a personal development book. The current books that I am reading are: 

I Got This by Kelli Bertram: self-guided journal 

Think Like a Monk by Jay Shetty: personal development 

100 Days of Faith Over Fear by Lisa Stilwell: devotional journal 

When I take the first 30 minutes of my day in deep thought, focused inward, I cultivate positive energy and am able to fill my cup full so I can pour into others. Guys I’m a servant of the Lord and thrive best when I serve others. But if I put my mental, emotional and physical health on the backburner I have nothing to give to others. And let’s be real…I become grumpy and moody. 

After having quite the mental meltdown the other week I said to Matthew “I think I just need a pedicure, does that sound selfish? Like I shouldn’t be spending money on myself right now when we need to save money.” He looked at me and without hesitating told me I need to go. That pampering myself is something I need in my life. This man knows me so well. I always feel bad for spending money on myself-extremely guilty. But it’s not wasted money. It gives me an opportunity to treat myself in a way to aids to mental clarity, relaxation, and brings me happiness.

Look at your day and ask, am I making myself a priority? If not, take a few minutes to write down how you can take 5 minutes a day to put yourself 1st. You deserve it-you need it. If you need more ideas on daily self-care comment below or message me and I’m happy to help!

5. You can’t keep doing the same things and expect to see change 

I could write for DAYS on this but I’ll try to keep it short. Fear…simple as that, has stopped me from doing so much. Every day it creeps up in different places, small or big and challenges every choice I debate on. This past year literally forced me to suck it up and makes changes. When the opportunity presented itself that moving out of Illinois was an option I second guessed it. Like God are you sure? Do you pinky promise this is your sign and I’m not making this up? I wasn’t happy with where I was in life. Felt stuck, unhappy with my job, was just over being comfortable and knew for sure this was more out there for me. The more time I allowed fear to take part in the decisions I made the longer I would remain stuck. By having faith, putting God in the center of my decisions, and stepping out of my comfort zone I was able to turn my “I wish” until “it’s going to happen”. I left a job that was holding me back. I moved out of the state where I couldn’t see myself raising a family. I also was able to sign up for a course to pursue a new career path in personal training. I still feel fear sneaking up as I am preparing to take the required national exam to become a Certified Personal Trainer. I make up excuses about how I need to do other things rather than study and have put off taking my practice exam in fear of failing, ultimately saying I’m not prepared. But the longer I put things off the more I allow fear to multiply. So if you’re reading this feel free to message me and tell me to go study. I’ve dreamed of this career and I am the only one holding myself back. If you are letting fear make your decisions for you or you feel like it’s holding you back, here are a few affirmations for you. Write them on sticky notes and put it where you’ll see them everyday.

I am strong.

My confidence continues to grow.

I am capable of achieving my goals.

I believe in myself.

My struggles are opportunities to grow.

I have what it takes to overcome my fears.

My favorite bible verse that I hold close to my heart is also a great one to post where you will see it everyday.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13

I truly believe that YOU can!

This year has been full of sadness, uncertainty, change and celebration. It has provided me with many life lessons that I will carry throughout the coming years. I’ve included a list of the Firsts that 2020 brought. 

2020 Firsts 

  1. Masks are required 
  2. Signed up for a course to pursue becoming a certified personal trainer 
  3. Moved out of my home state 
  4. Said goodbye to my last living biological  grandparent 
  5. Said goodbye to my childhood home 
  6. Joined an adults small group at a church
  7. Was on unemployment and not sure when I’d have a job again 
  8. Living within ten minutes of my mom and sister since we all lived in the same house growing up 
  9. Marched in a protest 
  10. When on medicine for depression 

Thank you for taking the time to visit my blog, it means the world to me! I hope my lessons resonate with you and provide you with guidance. Be sure to follow me on social media! I would love chat and get to know each other.

Truly Yours,

Jer<3

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