Looking back at the year that was, it’s evident that I wasn’t in a good place in January 2012. I was coming off my lowest-ever financial year—when I realized, quite painfully, that I should stop accepting freebies and GCs (gift certificates) as payment for my work because they won’t pay my bills—and I somehow didn’t have the confidence to dream and plan for myself.
How did I get here? I often asked myself.
Ah, because you didn’t fight enough for yourself and your right to fair compensation, was my Wiser Self’s quick, smart-alecky retort.
My Wiser Self was right. Up until that point, I had always thought of money and compensation as a “bonus” to doing what I loved to do. “If you do what you love, the money will follow,” I used to remind myself. My experiences in 2011, however, taught me that I should always ensure a fair financial exchange especially when I was doing what I loved. I could take psychic rewards, but my bank, the utility company, and the supermarket won’t. GCs can feed you for a meal (at a certain restaurant), but it won’t give you the basics that you need to live. It was obvious, but I had to learn it the hard way.
That realization, and a few more, set the tone for my 2012. My dreamboard for the year showed me that I needed to learn to value myself and my work, and that I needed to create a safe haven for myself in order to unleash my creativity and be at my best.
Here are other things I learned along the way.
- Learned how not to settle for less than I deserved
- Saw that, if someone wants in their team badly enough, they’ll find a way to give you what you need in order to perform at your best
- Realized how much I truly value freedom and creativity—and gave myself permission to unleash my creativity
- Got a great gift from the Universe in time for my birthday, and saw that if you ask hard enough for a miracle (and truly want it), you will get it
- Learned to dive into the (relatively) unknown and accept new challenges
- However, started to get violent reactions from my body (an acne breakout in my 30s???), telling me that some things were wrong inside and out. The take-out: Always listen to what your body is telling you.
- Realized how much I truly love working with others, and how much speaking in front of an audience is a gift that I must continue to cultivate
- Surrendered to the fact that I just love traveling to work and learn new things. If traveling (and getting the best service in the house) can be a regular part of my work, I’d be so happy.
- Realized that writing, teaching, and bringing people together are what I do best. These truly are non-negotiables in my life.
- Happily saw that financial goals can easily be met if one has a clearly defined target and the discipline and focus to follow through
- Learned a very painful lesson in humility and relationships, and about the value of never taking for granted the people that you love the most
- Learned to stand up for myself in a different arena
- Realized that, sometimes, the world can choose to pull the rug from under your feet just to test your resolve and teach you new lessons—because it so easily can
- Learned the true meaning of forgiveness and unconditional love
- Learned, too, that we should give ourselves time to feel, grieve, and heal. Things don’t get stitched up overnight
- My most nerve-wracking month in 2012. (See Part 1 of my year-ender HERE) Was in my element editing, packaging publications, and giving talks—BUT learned the painful lesson that the person who juggles too much is, in the end, a clown who will drop some very important balls.
- Saw how truly patient, understanding, and supportive my husband is of my work
- Is grateful for the opportunity to get away (even for just a short while) and rediscover just how blessed I am to be with somebody I love THIS much!
- Reconnected with the importance of family—through thick and thin!
- Saw, again, how much traveling—especially with those I love—truly lifts me up and inspires so much creativity in me
- Learned the sometimes-painful value of honoring one’s commitments
- Saw why it is truly important to sharpen oneself up every day, so that when opportunity strikes—BOOM!—you strike with it
- Gained the confidence the dream big and BIGGER (!!!) for myself and my work
- Once again, was fueled by travel and the opportunity to connect with different people from different cultures
- Saw that confidence is contagious and attractive—but it shouldn’t make you feel cocky
- Realized firsthand that money cannot buy integrity, and that one shouldn’t be blinded by perks and prestige
- Was humbled with the realization that, if you take good care of your people, they will save you’re a** (especially where K-Pop is concerned :P)
- Realized even more how much I truly, TRULY love my family; found great joy in making sure their needs AND wants were met this year
- Overall, learned to love and treat myself better 🙂