2013 was a year of new experiences and opportunities I couldn’t have anticipated before. I found myself going to places I’ve never been, dealing with issues from my past that I hadn’t dealt with in years, and having to rise to the occasion to represent on levels that I never dreamed of. I did a lot of living and I learned a whole lot about myself, about life and about personal success. Whenever I’d have a personal revelation, I would share it on Instagram or Facebook or Twitter – whatever platform was the handiest or seemed most appropriate. Looking back on these personal realizations/revelations/Aha moments is like thumbing through the pages of a diary. The failures, successes, and experiences I’ve had helped to shape my last year and will shape my next year. Allow me to share the things I learned. Maybe my lessons can help you too!
1 – I learned quite a bit about relationships, expectations, and how to try to find a balance that will protect my emotions while still building new friendships and possibilities.

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2- I had some major personal realizations about fitness and exercise. I realize what it can do for my body and also for my mind and spirit. I came to learn that I am more capable than I thought I was.

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3 – There were some amazing opportunities that worked out for me in 2013. There were also opportunities that fell through, and times where I felt dismayed at things not working out, or opportunities that I wanted not happening for me. But I had to come to realize that there comes a time to accept, to check your ego and your expectations, and trust that the universe is unfolding as it should. 


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4 – The road map of my career is unpredictable and the nature of what I do comes with a lot of trial and error. I’ve had to learn to dream big and be ready for whatever adventures lie in wait. And to know that I am capable of so much more than I think I am capable of.

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5 – I learned that I have a tendency to self-flagellate. I tend to be very critical of myself, and I also tend to absorb the negativity of people who I work with or have in my proximity. I’m trying to curb that, and to recognize my successes as well as my shortcomings.

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6 – I learned that sometimes, the people you’re working with on a project may not be the right fit. I’m trying to be a better judge of character in that regard. Also, trying to stay strong within myself and know my limits when it comes to meeting deadlines and achieving goals.

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7 – I already knew this life lesson, but 2013 reminded me of the power of community. I’ve created a wonderful board of directors for my life. I’m part of a brilliant community of people, and we all should celebrate each other’s successes and lift each other up.

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8 – I realized that I have a tendency to deflect criticism instead of considering what the criticism means. Sometimes you need a little introspection to guide you to become who you’re supposed to be.

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9 – I already knew this, but I realized even more that true beauty is NOT about physical appearance. It’s about how you treat others, how you live your life, and truly walking and living in beauty in every aspect of your existence.


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10 – I learned that I really, really need to get focused to achieve my goals for 2014. It’s not a game anymore!

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So the answer to that question posted above is yes, probably.

Those are just a few of the life lessons I learned in 2013. I’m facing this new year with a fresh perspective, and a stronger understanding of who I am. I’m ready for whatever 2014 has in store!

What did you learn in 2013 that’s steering you into this new year?


Lisa says:
January 8, 2014, 12:58 pm
I learned that I should stop expecting people to be the kind of friend to me that I am to them.
mariedenee says:
January 8, 2014, 1:11 pm
I LOVE YOU. This is all.
bella says:
January 8, 2014, 2:45 pm
Manage your expectations and protect your emotions. Happy New Year!
bella says:
January 8, 2014, 2:45 pm
I love you too! <3
Sherry Blossom says:
January 8, 2014, 2:46 pm
Yup! What Marie said. All of it. Done.
Erin says:
January 8, 2014, 3:48 pm
I pinned the heck outta this post. Thanks for the bits of wisdom!
Ashley says:
January 8, 2014, 4:47 pm
I love your blog and you Afrobella! I'm a Guyanese living in Toronto and you inspire me in many ways. Thank you so much for these words of wisdom and motivation. Happy New Year and continued success to you!
pets says:
January 8, 2014, 4:50 pm
Real. Believable. Workable. Comforting. Thanks for mirroring some of what were my own 2013 moments and helping me to become a better person in 2014.
Spinster says:
January 8, 2014, 7:42 pm
Rox says:
January 11, 2014, 3:34 pm
What an amazing year in review! I'm glad you had the opportunity to reflect so you could learn and grow from your experiences. I can definitely relate to dealing with plans that fall through yet trusting the universe throughout the journey. That's not easy to do. Keep up the hard work with your health and fitness and best wishes in the new year!
Debo says:
January 13, 2014, 4:32 pm
I learned that I will continue to age. How mature I become is determined by me, not my age. I learned that it's finally time to start speaking up about my wants, not the wants of my family, my boss or my American society; but mine. Your posts continue to inspire me. Thank you.
Valentine says:
January 22, 2014, 12:08 pm
These are a beautiful set of lessons and I especially agree with the one about self-flagellation. I would only add that sometimes you have to be your own advocate - be it with friends who don't meet your expectations or colleagues/employers who won't see what you have to offer. Easier said than done, though =) -Valentine Flux: Encountering Adulthood www.fluxforum.com
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