What 2021 Taught Me
If there is one word I could use to describe 2021 for me, it is “unpredictable”. 2021 was unpredictable.
Everything that happened wasn’t planned. Everything that happened I couldn’t have planned. The pandemic has changed life paths and goals for a lot of people. Routines were interrupted. Relationships either ended or became stronger and reached new heights. Career choices were evaluated. Families became closer and either grew more acceptance of one another or fell apart. You either fall more in love with your city or realize that it’s time to leave.
For me, 2021 was unplanned. I never planned on living in Paris. I never planned on being here and feeling settled & loved in a city where I don’t speak the language. I never planned on stopping being a nomad. I never planned on being home for so long and to grew so much bond with my parents and sister once again. I never planned on getting back in touch with music so much so that I now regularly host jam nights at my flat. I never thought I would have so many friends within a few months after moving to a new city - more friends I’ve ever had in my entire life and feel so loved and welcomed.
So cheers to the first lesson that I learned in 2021:
1) You can plan your life but life rarely goes as planned. And that is not always a bad thing.
It’s only a bad thing when you keep focusing on how it doesn’t go the way you had hoped. When you do this, you keep dwelling on feelings of disappointments. But, if you could simply change your perspective,
“Hey, things don’t go the way I had hoped but I believe I am being led to something better, more compatible, more suitable, and more enjoyable for me.”
Then change of plans feels exciting, instead of disappointing. The unknown feels like endless possibilities, instead of scary uncertainty.
At the end of the day, the challenges we have to overcome are our own minds. How can we train our mind to not over-worry? How can we train our mind to live in the moment and focus on making today a good day because the present moment is the only moment we can control? How can we train our mind to spot opportunities instead of fears?
2) No matter what happens you will be okay - even if it doesn’t feel like that in the moment.
The pandemic has brought about many changes and challenges to many people. Some of us hit the lowest point we ever thought we could possibly face in life. Some had to go through extreme challenges they never thought they’d have to learn to overcome. No matter what those challenges were that you had to go through, if you’re here reading this, you got through them. I got through them. We all got through them. Through difficulties, we discovered our strengths. We learned to look at things, patterns, and flaws we used to neglect and fix them. We learned to cope. We learned to enjoy our solitude. We learned to adapt. We learned that we are able to change and adapt when we have to. We learned to care and be cared for.
3) We are all more or less the same.
No matter what one does for a living, where they’re from, and what their personalities are, we’re all more or less the same. At the core, we all want to live. We all want to be free. We all want love. We all want to feel safe and secure. We all want to connect with other human beings. We don’t want to feel all alone.
Regardless of what we do on the outside, what we show to the world, our egos, and our upbringings - on the inside, we are still the little girls and boys that want love and acceptance more than anything else who have been conditioned differently by our past experiences, conditionings, and upbringings.
Once you understand this, you can look through all the bullshit, realizing that everyone is just trying their best to feel more whole, happier, and more fulfilled - no matter what that looks like to them.
4) You can never get what you want until you’re “ready” to receive what you want.
There are things we think we want but somehow we never seem to get - like meeting the love of your life, getting your dream career, encountering people you’ve always wanted to encounter, coming across opportunities and offers that you’ve dreamed of receiving. We will never get what we think we want until we are ready for them; until our subconscious mind believes that we deserve them; until other aspects of our lives make sense and the timing is right.
Sometimes we think we want what we want “now” and think we’re ready for it, but that’s not always the case. Things cannot be rushed. And you may never spot the blindspot in your subconscious beliefs until you go through the process and actually “grow to be ready” for what you want.
When that happens, it will all make sense why you never got what you want before. But until then, keep going. I’ll explain in the next point.
5) Everything is a process.
You can’t go from A to E. You have to go from A to B to C, D, and then E. Although when you’re at point A, you might keep dreaming of getting to E, but you can never get there until you go through the other steps prior.
And sometimes, you might not even realize that you want C until you’ve experienced B. And you don’t even realize that you want E until you've experienced D.
There is simply no shortcut. You may think there is, but not if you want it to last. Everything that lasts needs a strong core and a strong core is built overtime.
There were so many things that I dreamed of achieving and doing. At the time, those goals seemed far-fetched. I often forgot that I had those goals as I had to shift my focus to the day-to-day tasks. For example, in the first year of business, I dreamed of having products available based on different topics and themes. At the time, we only had the 100-Day Planner. It was just something I put on my vision board and forgot about. Fast forward to today, we have over 18 themed guided journals and 60 themed printables/worksheets. There are still many things I dream of seeing happening. I don’t know how I’m going to make them come true at the moment. But I know that they will, one day, when the timing is right; when I’ve gone through the other steps that make me ready for them.
Another funny thing is: when I was a teenager, I used to dream of owning a music bar. That dream was put aside as I started embarking on another career path. Little did I know that one day I’d be living in a musical city where I would feel inspired to open a music bar once again every time I go to a really cool music bar or host jam nights at my flat!
What I’m saying is sometimes our dreams may seem so far fetched. But things just cannot be rushed. We cannot be ready overnight. We cannot force our destiny. So you just have to trust that no matter the journey, you will be led to something that aligns with your soul; you will be led back to your nature; you will be inspired to make your childhood dreams come true however late that might be if possible. You just have to trust the process.
When you climb 300 steps to the top of Montmartre to see Sacré-Coeur; when you hike up a beautiful trial, you only focus on the steps in front of you and you keep walking until you reach your destination. That’s how life is.
Life is like a beautiful hike. You have to go one step at a time.
And don’t stress too much about reaching your goals. Focus on the journey, on the everyday journey. Because that’s where the fun is and that’s how you live a rich, fulfilling life.
I hope you’re having a wonderful last day of 2021.
May your new year be blessed with abundance, love, and joy.
Founder & CEO