Four Lessons Learned in 2020

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What lessons did you learn this past year? How have you grown and improved?

This time last year was the beginning of a pivot point for me. I entered it feeling like I was in the last thirty seconds of a mixed martial arts fight, and I was pinned to a metal fence. I was exhausted, hurting, and trying desperately to keep things from sweeping my feet out from underneath me while I waited desperately to hear the bell that would signal the end of the round.

In 2020, the bell rang, and I sprinted hard for that safe corner. It was one of the best moments in the corner I’ve had in my life. Looking back on the past year, here are four things I’ve learned:

  1. Mindset and perspective are everything. Be careful of where you let your thoughts linger. Reframe when possible.
  2. You can’t change the whole world, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do something anyway. Be kind when you don’t want to be. Give when you can. And for me, live into the “Love Wins” part of The Abbey’s tagline.
  3. Fire (my anxiety) is going to do what it wants. Find more tools that make it possible to work with it.
  4. When being braver than you think you can be, remember that you are not alone. Look for the others that are out of the boat with you or reach back to help someone get out. Also, bravery doesn’t mean everything is going to be perfect or that you won’t be afraid. It just means that you sucked in a deep breath and did it anyway.

Last year, I found joy.