There are still several months left in the year, but it’s been a year full of change for me. I got accepted into a social work program and started this month; I lost family members to death and life circumstances; I moved (and downsized) to a new apartment; and I quit my full-time job to pursue school because it’s my passion.
It’s been a busy year, but despite it all I’m still moving forward.
One of the biggest lessons and recurring messages from this year was to find my tribe, my people, my support system. I know a lot of people, but not all of them are meant to be my support system. A support system is more than just having acquaintances – it’s having people to encourage you when you’re feeling down and pray for you just because. The support system is a group of people who will give you the truth because they know it will be to your benefit. They will also give advice and guidance because none of us knows it all.
I personally struggled with finding a support system because I did a lot and accomplished a lot on my own. I also made a lot of mistakes because I didn’t want to appear weak and ask for help. The recurring messages to find my tribe was a wake up call because we can’t do everything alone. We do need people to guide, support, advise, and love us.
Another lesson I learned was that people who were with you in the beginning may not always be with you in the end. You know what? That’s okay. People have a season and reason in our lives. I will always be named Alishea, but the woman I am is not who I was 5 years ago and I will be someone else in the next 5 years. It’s all about growth. As your interests change, so will those you interact with. And having separate groups of friends for separate interests is helpful, too.
Lastly, I had to let go of the past and forgive myself for mistakes. I was angry at the mistakes I made, but I didn’t take into account the person I was when those mistakes were made. Being a perfectionist who was a pro at negative self-talk was my specialty. I had to unlearn everything I had done that was contributing to my self destruction and change those thoughts on feelings into something more productive. My therapist helped me to realize it’s okay for me to be an introvert living in an extroverted society. I also learned to practice self-compassion – to be kind to myself and improve my self-esteem.
There is more to come as the year comes to an end. More excitement, more challenges, and more lessons to be learned.