To say 2019 was life-changing... would be an understatement. I ended the year in a completely different position than how I started -- both personally and professionally. New job - new apartment - new state - new beginnings.
Obviously, the biggest change came when I decided to take a job in Austin, Texas. Albuquerque was good to me (for the most part) and the choice to leave after 4.5 years was not easy. But the opportunity to grow my career presented itself... and I took it. Six months later -- I am now feeling more adjusted, more comfortable, and more convinced that I made the right move. (God doesn't make mistakes... and I knew He was calling me back to Texas for a reason.)
Like any year, there were a lot of ups... and a lot of downs. But considering it all, I'm grateful for the hard-learned lessons. Here are my 2019 main take-aways:
1. Prioritize self-care: It's easy for me to burn myself out. Between the charity events, school visits, tough work hours, living away from family & trying to be a normal 20-something year old, I find myself taking on too much, too often. Earlier this year, I finally hit a point where my body & brain were telling me enough. I burned out - mentally & physically. It would be easy to just say "take a vacation"... & pack my bags & go. But given that I'm only allotted 10 vacation days & 10 sick days a year... time off is hard to come by. (And up until this summer, I had actually never used a sick day.)
That changed this year. I finally worked up enough courage to take a 'mental health day'. (Our shop allows us to use sick days for illness, medical appointments & mental health -- it's a use 'em or lose 'em policy.) I finally realized that I needed to start putting more importance on my mental health -- to avoid the burn outs, unmotivated days & the "I give up" feelings.
Whether it was a pedicure, a bible study or simply just doing something that made me happy, self-care became a big focus for me in 2019... and I hope to continue this in 2020. (New Year's Resolution 2020: use all my sick time - not as vacation, but for wellness)
2. Family time is most important. Along the lines of self-care, I learned this year that a week home with family or a weekend visit from sister can make all the difference. It's always stressed me out to have to go to work and entertain visiting family... but this year, I really made an effort to relax when spending time with my my parents & sister. I still get a overwhelmed at times... but I'm happy to think I made at least a little progress in this department this year.
3. Toxic environment = toxic mentality. It's amazing what a life reset can do for your spirit. It wasn't until this year did I realize the effect of positive surroundings. Surround yourself with encouraging, motivated people... you find yourself with a more go-getter, positive attitude. Less trash talk, more heart-to-hearts. For me, it was like flipping a switch. It was that significant.
4. Goodbyes are hard. I've always struggled with letting go. Literally, my whole life. I'm the girl who went away to college but came back after high school graduation to visit my teachers during winter break. I'm also the girl who has looked up guys of past relationships on Facebook / scrolled through their Instagram weeks after a break-up (50% crazy, 50% 'I work in news' & we're nosy by nature). But nonetheless, I prove the point that moving on is a slow process for me. I eventually let go and get on with my life... but given this year's out-of-state move & job transition, I've realized I still struggle with the goodbyes. I'm an "all in" kind of gal... I do everything with all my effort, all my focus, and all my heart. So yes, goodbyes aren't easy for me. And this year certainly proved that.
But with the good and the bad... comes another close of a year.
Thanks for the memories 2019... & look out 2020. #BigThingsPoppin