Alas, 2014 has come to a close.
From missing planes, to horrendous public breakups, shocking deaths, revolutionary protests and a convenient
media distraction “ebola outbreak”, 2014 has been interesting to say the least. What’s interesting to me is that though we saw so many society altering events occur over these past 12 month that felt like we were going backwards in time, 2014 might have set us all up for something great to happen in the impending year.
With that being said, I sat down to reflect on how life altering 2014 was for me on a personal level. I’ve been muling over my year end post ever since we’ve launched (a good 7 months ago now), hoping that I’d have something incredibly profound and motivational to say. But when I opened my laptop on Christmas Day to write this post, I remembered all of the events that occurred and thought about what I wanted to accomplish in the next year of my life, I found that I couldn’t come up with just ONE thing to say. 2014 was filled with many setbacks and let downs, but it was also filled with so much growth, learning, and beautiful memories that I could only share in a series of quick quips.
43 of them to be exact.
Stick with me through my endlessly long list of life lessons learned this year, which is really more of a pep talk with myself. Trust me though, they’re good! Check em out below:
1.) Put your phone down and read more. Like an actual book, ESPECIALLY if you’re a writer. Visit the library (pun intended) and borrow a hardcopy of anything F.Scott Fitzgerald. Your vocabulary will thank me later.
2.) Be patient. It will come. Even when it doesn’t feel like it will. Whatever it is.
3.) Being patient is hella annoying and way easier said than done. And extremely aggravating when you think something is going way your way.
4.) Be patient anyway.
5.) The Library will be the next Oprah of this generation. And yes I say Oprah as if she were an entity, because she is. That was more of a declaration rather than a lesson, but whatevs.
6.) My entire life changed when one of my best friend’s simply uttered the sentence “You have too much heart, D.Howe.” to me earlier this year. You can be empathetic without disregarding yourself. Unless you’re married or have children, YOU are not obligated to anyone or anything. Make decisions with your well being at the forefront at all times until you’re in a position where you are stable.
7.) Make mistakes but make sure you learn from them. And make the same mistake twice, sometimes three times, but never more than that. Then stop, get a drink (or 6), and take the loss. Then find new mistakes to make and repeat the process until you stop making mistakes altogether. Be sure not to make too many of them though. You can’t always correct them.
8.) Respect yourself. Enjoy your casual sex and random binge drinking, but do it for you. Stop when you feel you’re doing it for someone else. Being counterproductive only drives you to insanity.
9.) Beliefs matters. Whether it’s God or Science or The Migos, believe in something bigger than yourself and strive for that.
10.) There are no friends in business. I repeat, THERE ARE NO FRIENDS IN BUSINESS. No, I don’t think you hear me – THERE ARE NO FRIENDS WHEN IT COMES TO BUSINESS. Stop taking shit personally because it will literally eat you alive.
11.) People will give you their word, promise you everything this world has to offer and then suddenly disappear to Pluto. You can be upset about it but you can’t blame them. They were just looking out for themselves and in the end, isn’t that what we’re all doing? What you DON’T do is excuse that behavior – EVER. Hold them accountable, but don’t get emotional. Get better and shit all over their practice with your talents – without ever making yourself seem hurt by it. See lesson number 22.
12.) Build your character by breaking it down, dissecting it, then building it back up again. You owe yourself the chance to see yourself for who you really are.
13.) Honesty is your friend. It will absolutely set you free. And I say that with the least amount of cliche as possible. There is a difference, however, a fine line between honesty and discretion. Learn it.
14.) Emotions are your worst enemy. Ironically, enemies will teach you the most valuable lessons. Tap into them, hone them and they might (read: WILL) help you.
15.) IG is a magical place where everyone is living fabulous and insanely happy lives while they have a professional photographer to document them doing it. Sitting up at 3am falling down the rabbit hole of the “cool kids” while simultaneously feeling bad about yourself won’t get you anywhere. I’m gonna leave that in 2014 too.
16.) Additionally; It’s okay to be insecure at times. Just make sure your confidence supersedes it.
17.) Plus I was told this year people who average more than 100 likes on a pic and have over 1,500 followers aren’t dateable so take that you IG/Twitter honeys.
18.) Stop making a big deal out of the little things. Beyonce said it, so listen to the Queen Creole Goddess of the Divine Muses. She’s always right.
19.) I also learned that Beyonce’s not always right.
20.) NYC is just a hard place to live and grow. It will literally beat the shit out of you. It’s also the greatest city in the world. Embrace the wonders of it all. And if you’re not living here, you should be.
21.) Let go. Let go of your pain. Let go of your hurt. Let go of your grudges. That only holds you back and blocks out the positive moments. And if 2014 taught us anything, is that positive moments are hard to come by.
22.) You’re stronger than you think. Write that down, tape it to your mirror and never forget it. Helps more than you think.
23.) You are not, however, as impervious as you think are. Eat better, drink better, live better. Stop driving drunk and shit. You were raised better than that.
24.) Leave cheap vodka and Bacardi in 2014. Please. Pick up a bottle of (good) whiskey and love yourself.
25.) Stop accepting dissatisfaction. And DO NOT accept micropenises and ppl who don’t do kegels. Life is too short for that.
26.) Hennessy will give you a great time and the worst (physical, and probably mental) hangover of your life for a multitude of reasons. Mostly because you can’t stop drinking it once you start. Also, chopped cheeses make you feel like you ate an entire McDonald’s establishment. They should end once you reach 22, but they won’t because, drunk.
27.) Don’t blindly support someone or something just because they’re popular or “known”. At the same time, give your friend’s mixtape more than a listen. They might just surprise you.
28.) Your friends are important and you rely on them more than you realize. Tell them you appreciate them and all that they do for you, and do your honest best to keep in touch as much as possible. Conversely, if you outgrow certain friendships, that’s nobody’s fault, no matter how long you’ve known them. It happens – not everyone is meant to be in your life forever.
29.) Don’t let anyone make you feel guilty about that either.
30.) This is perhaps the biggest lesson that I learned this year – Love is important. And I miss it. You miss it too. 2014 was the year of the single heartless life and while it was fun – it was not as fulfilling as I thought it would be. If I make one resolution in 2015, it will be to work on the ability to give love and accept it when it comes along.
31.) Being emotionally closed off isn’t as cool as one might think. It causes the heartache and disappointment that you were trying to avoid in the first place.
32.) Speaking of: Depression is a VERY real illness and it can be extremely debilitating. I’ve been there and 2 years later, I’m still working my way out of it. We all have issues; don’t shame someone for having them just because you don’t understand. And if you find yourself feeling this way, I want you to know that it’s okay to seek help. You’re not by yourself, no matter how lonely you feel.
33.) It ain’t cool to flake on plans anymore. It also ain’t cool to be late. Answer your phone/texts/emails on time because you WILL miss out and you WILL immediately get humbled. I learned this the hard way this year. Sorry guys.
34.) The weight of the world is not your problem. Every thing sucks, but your only responsibility is to make it suck less with YOUR actions. Change starts with 1.
35.) Stop being afraid. Email and pitch to whoever the fuck you want to. Stop being afraid. You ARE that talented to do so. Talk to who’ve you wanted to. Fear is a real limitation of you let it be. Don’t be afraid to ASK for it. Don’t be afraid of no. Let go of your insecurities of being embarrassed. It can be gut wrenching to take an L but take it with stride. You’ll never know where you can get if you never ask.
37.) Day dream and envision your life. But, don’t stay in that warm and fuzzy place by living your dreams inside your head. Find a way to bring them to fruition.
38.) I cannot stress this enough: Leave accepting less in 2014. Leave it right there. Be on the constant search for more until you find the more, the something big, that you want. And do not apologize for the process.
39.) Work your hardest. Party your hardest. Appreciate it all even more than that. Unfortunately our parents were right; the days are flying by faster and faster the older we get. Don’t waste it by just existing.
40.) Smile as much as you can, even when you don’t feel like it. People love your smile.
41.) Just keep swimming. You might get some water in your lungs, but you’ll get there. Remember that one daily as well.
42.) Fuck em! Awl dem fools who told you can’t! Because you can, you will, and you probably already did. Apply that to whomever first popped into your head.
43.) And lastly appreciate your supporters and compliments. They don’t have to do it. Don’t cheapen it with an awkward joke either. Really appreciate that shit because without them, you’d be nowhere.
On that note, anyone who has shared, read, commented, retweeted a link, or just simply mentioned us in passing, I love and appreciate you way more than you could ever imagine. It’s been an incredible journey this year and The Library wouldn’t have been possible without your support. With your continued help, we’ll take 2015 and beyond to levels we couldn’t even imagine.
Have a blessed, safe, and happy new year and thank you again. I’ll see you in 2015 for the next phase of aweomeness!