Personal Growth

Life Lessons From 2019

2019 has hands down been one of the most transformative and most memorable years of my life. It certainly hasn’t been all sunshine and roses; we’ve had our fair share of sad or stressful moments throughout the last 12 months. But 2019 has taught me so much, more than any other year.

In 2019, I’ve seen fear. Grief. Happiness. Opportunity. Growth. Discovery. Vulnerability. And more strength than I’ve had in years. It’s been a tale of two halves. It’s been rock bottom and the highest peaks. It’s been light and dark. It’s been everything. It’s been lesson after lesson after lesson. Here’s some of them.

Not everything has to BE something

Man, this was a tough one for me to crack. As someone who’s a compulsive do-er, who likes to be productive 24/7 and always have something to show for it… yeah, this was one tough. But it’s an important lesson that 2019 taught me. Not everything has to BE something.

If you read a book, you don’t have to review it online. If you watch a film, you don’t have to start a debate about it on Twitter. If you have a hobby, you don’t HAVE to monetize it and make it a “thing”. You CAN just let things be, do things and enjoy things and they’re still as important and meaningful, even if you don’t share it online.

Stepping out of your comfort zone will change your life

It certainly changed mine. I spoke about my relationship with the comfort zone earlier in the year in this post. And in 2019, I stepped out of my comfort zone probably more than I have in the last 6 years combined. I feel better mentally than I’ve done in God knows how long and I really believe that opening my heart and my mind to new things has helped tenfold with that.

In July, I hit rock bottom again with my anxiety and my health anxiety. So I started medication which I’ve put off for years, thinking I didn’t REALLY need it and that I’d prefer to cope without it. I quickly learnt that medication is NOT the enemy and it’s opened up my world again. My life feels full for the first time in years.

Opportunities are around every corner

Since stepping out of my comfort zone more and working incredibly hard, I’ve found that opportunities are everywhere. Sometimes you have to look for them, sometimes you have to put yourself out there and sometimes they just find their way to you. But they are OUT THERE.

I’ve always been big on finding the opportunities in your life – the big, the small and everything in between. Everything is an opportunity if you allow it to be. And 2019 has certainly made me realise that more than ever. My Granddads funeral was an opportunity for me to test my strength. My book contract was an opportunity for me to show what I’m capable of. Everything. Is. Opportunity.

I am the writer of my own story – nobody else

And speaking of my book contract and opportunities – getting offered to have a book published was definitely one of the best things to happen to me this year. Knowing someone out there believes in my blog and what I have to say enough for them to put their trust, money and time in ME, is incredible.

And the experience I’ve had writing my book so far has been great – although it’s only in it’s first draft still, I’ve enjoyed every word. Going back over my journey of anxiety and self discovery in much finer detail has made me notice how far I’ve come and the process of writing my story has made me realise that I’M THE WRITER. Nobody else.

Quality time is everything

As I mentioned in point one, I’ve always struggled with being on the go 24/7 and wanting to be doing something productive ALL THE TIME. So much so that in the past, I’ve sacrificed quality time in order to do work or blog or check emails. It was ridiculous.

This year I’ve really learnt the value of quality time. Whether that’s with your partner, parents, family, friends or even with yourself. Going hand in hand with not everything having to BE something, sometimes it’s okay to just BE. Soak up the moment, with the people you love or with yourself. This quality down time is just as important as anything.

I am capable of anything

And finally, ending on a high note. 2019 has made me realise that I am SO BLOODY CAPABLE. I hit rock bottom with my anxiety in July. I went on medication which helped me tenfold. And since then, I’ve pushed myself further out of my comfort zone than I have done in years.

Anxiety controlled my life for so long. I felt useless. Incapable of basically everything. My world was getting smaller by the day. And I genuinely thought that was going to be my life forever. But it wasn’t. 2019 has taught me that. It showed me the way back to me.

2019, it’s been an absolute pleasure. I love you. I’ll miss you. And thank you – for the memories, for the lessons, for the clarity. For giving me my life back. What has 2019 taught you?

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132 Comments

  1. Wow, a powerful read!

  2. […] I finally bit the bullet and had it cut up to my shoulders. 2019 was a transformative year for me and I wanted to enter into the New Year with a new spring in my step. And I thought a brand […]

  3. […] you read my life lessons of 2019 post, you’ll see how transformative last year was for me. Like, it was A YEAR, to put it simply. […]

  4. Amazing post..I’ve written a similar stuff 😃
    Would be glad if you check it out and give your feedback on the same

    https://mahimajalan.wordpress.com/2019/12/22/22-lessons-from-2019/

  5. thebusinessdude says:

    I am so happy for your astute self reflection and realization. I just posted The Year Turnaround. I hit rock bottom too and then said f it and dug further. Congrats on the book too. I have three pieces in process and hope to build an audience too. But I appreciate your story and that your year was conquered and you see the value is the year!!!

    Following

    1. Thank you very much

  6. 2019 was my life’s turning point, because that’s when I realized my life’s meaning and what I’m supposed to do.
    After around 5 years on blogging just for hobby on WordPress.com and blogger, I used to write everything but never realized I could be a writer. Just one person I met in my office in October who made me realize my own worth. I cried that whole night and I couldn’t sleep because only one thing was in my mind… “I want to be a writer and write about everything I’ve ever experienced in my life and observed in others.”

    Now I know what I have to do and a message from me to everyone here:
    It’s not hard
    You can do it
    You have the power
    You have what it takes to do what you’ve always wanted.

    God bless everyone

  7. Such a good read!
    I done a 2019 post as well.
    2020 is going to be a good one!

  8. Thank you for this great post. It has been very inspiring! Hopefully 2020 will be as good as 2019 for you or better!

    1. Thank you very much x

  9. Beautifully written and lovely photos, thanks for sharing!

    1. Thank you x

  10. I’m so glad that 2019 went well for you and it’s really exciting that you have a book contract! 2019 has been full of challenges for me and I wouldn’t say an overly positive year, however I’ve also found me it’s shown me my capabilities which I’m really going to use going into 2020. I hope you have a wonderful new year (and decade!).

    1. I’m glad you got something out of 2019 xxx

  11. Glad 2019 went well for you overall! I love these life lessons. I agree with stepping out of your comfort zone. This is how your life will transform. I love the mantra that you are capable of everything. Hope 2020 will be another exciting year for growth and opportunities!

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

    1. Thanks so much x

  12. I’m so glad to hear that 2019 has been such a great year for you. Congratulations for everything you have achieved and learned! I hope the good things continue and 2020 is an even better year!

    1. Thanks so much – same to you!

  13. I loved reading about the lessons 2019 taught you! For me, 2019 was an eye opener to the fact that everything I do wrong with my health, sooner or later, will catch up. There were more lessons learned obviously but this is one which has had a very big impact on me.

    1. Wow that’s quite a powerful thing to learn!

  14. I loved reading this!

    First of all, I’m so proud of you for continuing on despite the hard times! And that’s great you’ve found help in the anxiety medication. I started an anxiety and depression medication for the first time this past year. I was nervous and didn’t want to have to take medication, but now I’m so glad I tried it because I feel like a whole new person! It’s been so helpful in getting my anxiety and depression to a more manageable place.

    I also totally related to what you said about feeling like everything you do has to have a greater purpose. I’m a productivity monster and am learning a similar lesson in letting myself just do things for the sake of it–for fun. Not everything has to BE something. So I was nodding my head so much in that section.

    1. So glad to hear that medication is working well for you too. It’s also made me feel like an entirely new person – I didn’t have to worry at all!

      A productivity monster is the perfect way to describe how I feel haha! That’s a hard one to crack z

  15. Hi Jenny! I have been reading your posts and watching your progress, and may I say well done you for taking control of your health and congratulations on the book contract!

    2019 for me was one of bereavement and emotional challenges. My husband still refuses to try medication for his own anxiety, and continues to punish his family by being largely absent as he obsesses about being at work. We cannot change him, and he refuses to ask for help.

    My work dropped off towards the end of 2019, and I need to make an effort now to be proactive. I spent a lot of time practising reiki healing therapy, both on myself and on friends and family members, which is very important, but now I really do need to earn some money!

    Happy New Year! 🙂

    1. Awh thank you so much, that’s really kind of you to say. We all have our struggles – I hope your husband opens up to the idea of help as it’s so beneficial. I’ve always wanted to try Reiki!

  16. 2019 was a year of spiritual growth for me, and for hat I am so grateful. I’m entering 2020 feeling so renewed in that area, and I’m excited to deepen my walk with Christ this year! Other than that, it was sweeter than last year, and that is such a blessing. I felt so much joy this year, and I know life won’t always be so easy, but it’s wonderful to know that I will have the most beautiful memories to hold tight to when the trials come xx

    1. Beautiful – I’m so glad to hear that!

  17. Ahh Jenny, this makes me so happy! You know I think the absolute world of you, and getting to watch you change your world and take such huge steps forward has been such a privilege, I can’t tell you. You have been so incredibly strong and brave in 2019 and I am just so excited to see what happens next for you. It’s going to be an amazing year!
    Beth x Adventure & Anxiety

    1. Literally all your comments make me cry xxxx

  18. Quality time is definitely so important x

  19. What an inspiring post Jenny. So well written.
    One of the best things I read was how you can do anything. Because this is so true and I admire how you are teaching others to do the same.
    Happy new year lovely.

    Love Alexa,
    http://AlexaJade.co.uk

    1. Thanks so much Alexa, Happy New Year! x

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