2021 and the art of giving without expecting anything in return

There has been a tough year for everyone. We’ve been through so much and had our strength tested in ways we couldn’t even imagine.

I remember entering 2021 with good prospects, believing that this year will be better. In January, I had some ideas for self-improvement and made a long list of to-do activities. The interesting part is that I completed them all, and the exciting part is that life added some more.

It’s amazing how one can never predict what lies ahead and must instead ride life’s rollercoaster reluctantly. I was so focused on this project that I had no idea that a new position was just around the corner and that I would be chosen for it.

I was so excited and learned ahead of time, wishing to know everything that was to be known of that field and striving to be that great person that they needed. 

Unfortunately, I found out later that the role was not for me. It turns out that I’m not cut out to be a skilled salesperson; my poodle-like, pleasant nature doesn’t exactly attract new clients, and they needed a strong individual to do the job, a man.

During this process, I was able to assist the firm in understanding the customer needs and meet great people with whom I am still in contact. While the new opportunity did not work out for me, it did teach me valuable lessons, and I do not regret any of them.

I was stressed about what had occurred, my dreams had been partially shattered, but I was relieved to move on. Now I’m working on a new project, I’ve met new incredible people for whom I’m grateful, and I’ve got a fantastic team, learning new things every day and working together to accomplish the client’s objective.

I didn’t anticipate all of this to happen professionally; life simply carried me on this path, and I just followed my intuition. I’ve stepped outside of my comfort zone, taken on new challenges, and met new people.

God took care of sending the most wonderful people my way. I’ve had excellent friends along the way who have cheered for me – for which I will be eternally grateful – and who have listened to my sobs, offering their shoulder to weep on. I have my crazy noisy family to encourage me, and a nice partner to rely on.

Conclusions

The year 2021 taught me to break out of my comfort zone and broaden my horizons by being curious and eager to move forward. It taught me to give without asking anything in return, to be good support for others around me, and be more humble. 

Offering a smile to a sorrowful person, good support when required, happily cheering while everyone else is judging, and giving a penny to a homeless person. One random act of kindness at a time.

The year 2022 will have 2021 teachings in it. I will be more modest and loving, include others on my to-do lists, and just be grateful for the challenges of each day. Life isn’t about knowing what’s ahead and being flawless; it’s about adjusting, making mistakes, falling, and getting back up.

And rather than worrying about what other people thought of you during this process, think about how you made them feel. Make them remember you with their hearts. Be famous and unforgivable for your unconditional love. 

Hope in the dark

This week flew by like it was a dream. Another nightmare that sent me on a chaotic roller coaster and then held me back breathless. Even though it is Sunday and a new week of work awaits me in a few hours, I feel tempted to write again.

I believe I’ve become used to always rushing to complete tasks. Hurry to get out of bed in the morning, hurry to do some chores and get to work, hurry to respond to as many customers as possible in a timely, accurate, and courteous manner, hurry to take care of house chores, and then go back to sleep to begin another day.

When I realize this is happening, I try to take it gently and one task at a time, but the workaholic in me comes out and I end up doing more than I planned. Of course, I end the day drained, exhausted, with no appetite, and a mountain of negative thoughts.

I feel as if I’ve lost interest in performing these things because they keep repeating themselves in slow motion, and just when I believe they’re beginning to improve, I’m taught a new lesson. Furthermore, in my haste to always be on time, to be the perfect employee, partner, daughter, and friend, I lose sight of myself along the way.

I believe I’ve just gotten used to looking after myself while helping others. For example, buying the right clothing for someone else and realizing I bought the incorrect size for myself, staying up late cooking, and waking up early to do housework. Or always completing the partner’s tasks and being understanding while he takes care of his work and studies, ensuring that he always has solid advice and steering him in the proper direction.

When I do get to take care of myself, I frequently feel bad about it. Guilty because I took the time to exercise or go out, but didn’t do any housework. Guilty because I wanted to leave an hour sooner, even though I covered that hour and one additional. I’m guilty of spending my salary on things I actually enjoy because I need to feel rewarded, and the list goes on.

You are enough

I just think we end up giving too much, and others around us become accustomed to our methods, so when we withdraw our energy for our own benefit, they are offended and make us feel uncomfortable. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy making good acts and giving my all, desiring to be everything for others around me, but being kind to ourselves should be a habit that is constantly recognized.

Toxic situations and individuals are ubiquitous, and at the end of the day, it’s important to set boundaries and communicate who you actually are and what you want from them if they want to stay around. Get your sleep in order, exercise, eat correctly and know when to say yes and when to say no.

It’s time to accept that certain people are only in your life for a season, and while they’ve been lovely and brought fantastic memories if their toxicity levels don’t drop, you shouldn’t kill yourself to be the ideal person that they need in their life. Maybe you aren’t, and that’s alright as long as you recognize it and begin to love yourself for who you are, investing the time and energy you do in others. 

In certain situations, whether they like it or not, we’ve outgrown the people around us. Don’t force yourself to be someone you’re not merely to please others. Be selective and assert your rights; those who stay are valuable, and those who leave weren’t supposed to be there in the first place.

Close your eyes now and ask yourself what you actually want for yourself and your future; is this what you expect from yourself? Are you pursuing your wildest dreams, doing what you love, and taking risks? or are you overburdened with responsibilities and negative behaviors? Remember that life is short and that there is no time for remorse.