2018 was probably the most dynamic and crazy year of my life: getting my actuarial license, quarter life crisis, career change, new job, lots of travel (4 countries/30 flights!), changes in friends, changes in myself…what a year!
Through this craziness, I also grew the most out of any year so far, and I wanted to share some things that I learned. These lessons are very unique to my experiences and not meant to “preach” or anything, but rather for me to process and reflect – I would love to hear your experiences too!
What’s important in life
One of my biggest takeaways from the year is that there is SO much more to life than chasing money and prestige, which is sometimes hard to see in the SF tech bubble I live in. I spent most of my life putting a lot of pressure on myself to reach achievement after achievement…but something in me “clicked” this year, particularly after I changed careers. I basically but my head down to study for actuarial exams over the past 5 years without looking up to evaluate what I really wanted in life. It took until I got a few letters after my name (that unfortunately aren’t useful in my new career) for me to finally make the change that I needed.
It makes me a little down whenever I think about all the time and sacrifices I made to get my exams done; I know nothing is ever a true “waste,” but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel like I wasted time chasing the wrong thing…but at the same time it’s a huge lesson and motivator to live my life to the fullest from here on out. Of course, I’m going to work hard in my new job because that’s just in my DNA, but I’m not going to put as much pressure on myself to viciously plow ahead like I use to.
The money we make or the title at our jobs aren’t what define us. Our character, our decisions, and how we treat others and ourselves are what do. For the rest of my 20’s (and beyond), I want to constantly look up and enjoy what’s around me, reevaluate what’s important in life, and invest time with loved ones.
Travel = priority
I’ve taken 3 amazing solo trips this year (Thailand, Colombia & Guatemala). I don’t want to be “that” person…but each of them have changed my life tremendously. Travel will be a huge priority for the rest of my 20’s. It will be tough with the limited vacation days I have with my new job (versus my old job when I could kind of do whatever I wanted), but I’ll definitely make the most of it.
I also know within the next few years, after I save more money and get into a good spot in my career, I want to take time off and do an extended solo trip, which is really motivating to look forward to.
So many life lessons I’ve learned from traveling: putting prejudices aside and appreciating different points of views, gaining courage to try new things, being my own plug in tough situations, that every person is equal in this world –> all mindsets I’m actively implementing into my daily life as well.
Take the plunge!
Sooo many life changes these past two years, two of the biggest ones being 1) moving across the country from NYC to SF, and 2) changing careers.
Not gonna lie…I’m not good at making decisions. I deliberate for a long time (try 2 years of going back and forth thinking about moving to SF!), I rely on my friends, make a decision, reverse the decision…ultimately for both cases I just needed to take the plunge and DO IT. All my thinking just slowed me down, and of course, both things ended up working out anyway.
Through all this, I learned this year that life is too short to not relentlessly fight for happiness. Now my thought process is: if what I want doesn’t hurt anyone else and keeps me financially stable, if I want to experience something and think it will add value to my life…there’s no amount of pain or fear that will stop me.
Stop comparing with others
Everyone is on their own journey with their own set of struggles, even if on the outside or social media says otherwise. I basically stopped comparing myself to others this year, and that has done wonders to my happiness.
Friends come and go…but it always works out the way its suppose to
2018 was a tough year because of many changes in my friendships…many of my good friends and I had a big conflict at some point, which led to a lot of stress and uncertainty; there were moments I felt really lonely and not sure how things spiraled so out of control.
One thing I’m taking away is even in the toughest situations, I need to have faith and trust that things will work out. In most cases, my friends and I were able to work things out (even if it took a few months to get there), and in the cases that it didn’t, I truly believe that both of our lives will improve, even if in separate directions…
I look back and remember all the anxiety I had about the people I loved most, and I almost find it silly how much I worried since I truly believe that every single one of my friendships are in the state of equilibrium that it’s meant to be in. I’m super grateful for all my friends that are in my life currently and feel our friendships are stronger from overcoming our problems.
Let’s talk about boys…
Before this year, I would say the majority of my worries came from whether I was going to meet a guy to have a family with. But this year, I had an “a-ha” moment (inspired from my travels) where now my “worry” isn’t about whether or not I’m going to find someone, but whether I will do all the things I want to do and see the place I want to see before settling down.
I have big dreams for the rest of my 20’s (particularly around travel) which have now taken front seat, and if I meet someone along the way, then great! I believe self-love is the answer to everything…and as long as I’m exhibiting that, being kind to others, and doing what I love…I know things will work out.
How’s that for a running blog? 😉