The Five Most Important Things I Learned in 2019

It’s here! Happy 2020, y’all! A new decade ends and another begins. I SO look forward to 2020 and the clean slate a new year brings, but I’m also holding onto all the amazing memories this past decade brought. Graduating high school and college, meeting my husband-to-be, getting engaged and married, moving cities (more than once), buying our first home, building a career, the list goes on. This past decade was full of milestones, and I can’t wait to see what the next 10 years have in store. But before I really start looking forward, I always enjoy reflecting.

2019. What. A. Year. Half of me wonders how a year flew by as quick as this one did, and the other half of me has wondered if 2020 would ever get here. Like any year, 2019 was full of high and lows. We had a lot of unmet expectations, but we also blew others out of the water. Kendall got a promotion at work, my best friend got married, my in-laws let us know their plans to move close by, and we traveled (a lot). Our niece and nephew both had their first birthdays. My parents (finally) graduated their last kid from high school. We traveled to a ton of weddings, and celebrated engagements for several of our best friends. I write all of these great and happy moments, but part of me still feels like 2019 was a year of “status-quo” for us. As we move into 2020, there are a lot of things I want to leave in 2019. But here are 5 of the things I’ve learned this past year that I want to intentionally carry with me into the new year.

  1. It’s okay to say no. Say it with me, y’all – it is OKAY to say no. I have always (and I mean ALWAYS) been the yes girl. I wouldn’t say no for the fear of judgment and the fear of disappointing someone. And ironically, saying yes to everything still didn’t please the people I was saying yes to. This year, I learned that it’s more important to regenerate my mindset than to say yes to something I’m uninterested in or don’t have the energy for. When you’re always saying yes, you’re unable to prioritize what really matters. You end up pushing your own needs to the back burner for the hope that you’ll impress or not let down someone else. That’s no way to live, people. Learning to say no doesn’t mean you’re being selfish or rude. It just means that you respect yourself enough to know your boundaries.
  2. Never let someone else’s joy become your sorrow. This has been my monumental mind-shift of 2019. Our generation is so competitive, and I am not the exception. We see everyone else on Instagram living the life we “wish we had” – a better body, a better relationship, a bigger house, a better car, more kids, more money, a bigger friend group, a cooler job, better hair, a designer purse – the list goes on. We also see life events happening for other people that might not be happening for us – engagements, weddings, pregnancies, babies, a promotion at work. This year I’ve learned to have joy for people who are celebrating things that I hope for for myself. There are enough great things in life to go around. I’ve learned to be happy for the girl who finds out she’s becoming a mom. I’ve learned to compliment the pretty girl instead of feeling inferior. Just like we are all physically unique, as is the timing for milestones in our lives. Be patient. Be happy with and thankful for what you have. I promise that your life will be changed when you learn to celebrate others’ wins without turning them into your losses.
  3. God doesn’t always open the doors we pray that He opens. So while we wait, praise Him in the hallway. One day, I want to write a whole post about the setbacks we experienced in 2019. And I will. But for now, just remember that God’s timing is far greater than our own. It took me months of heartache and anger to realize that “God is preparing you for what He Has prepared for you.”
  4. You are not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, and that is OKAY. I am a people-pleaser to a fault. I’ve always looked up to the people who truly do not care what the world thinks of them. But I am not that person – and I don’t think I’ll ever be. With that said, 2019 brought the realization that it’s okay to be different than others. It’s okay to not be best friends with everyone, and it’s okay for people not to like me. I’ve let go of the need to impress, and I’ve shifted my focus to the people who support me and love me for ME.
  5. The worst conversation topic you can have is the one that involves people who are not present. What a horrible habit we as women have formed. I’ve been on both sides of the fence – I’ve been the girl that sparks the negative conversation about someone else, and I’ve also been the girl being talked about. If 2019 taught me anything, it’s this: There is NOTHING you can say about someone else that will make you better. Talking about someone else’s weight won’t make you skinnier. Talking about someone else’s marriage or relationship won’t make yours better. Talking about someone else’s bad choices won’t cause you to make better ones. There is truly nothing good that comes from talking about other people. My advice to myself and to you is this: Stop doing it. Uplift other women. Stop saying things you would never dare say to their face. Speak life. Be positive. We’re all struggling, y’all. Be a light in a dark room.

My hope for all of us in this new year is simple: happiness. We all deserve it, and it may not be the timing we wished for or the way in which we hoped it would happen, but have faith that it WILL happen. Be intentional in your happiness for 2020. Set goals and CRUSH THEM. *insert chest bump* 2020 – we’re ready for you.

XOXO, KATIE

Wife. Daughter. Sister. Friend. Lover of sushi, Prosecco, and the Tennessee mountains.

2 Comments

  1. 1.2.20
    Melinda said:

    Oh my goodness….your top 5 things to leave behind..Wow! I wish I had the wisdom at 26 that you have my friend! Love Love Love your words of wisdom…thank you for sharing!!

  2. 1.2.20
    Aunt Joanie said:

    I loved reading your blog. Wish you lived closer so I could see you every now and then.
    Happy 2020

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