As 2013 draws to a close, I’ve started thinking about the things I have learnt, gained and lost in this past year, because what’s a better time than this to get all pensive and reflective-like?

Some of the things I wanted so much to happen, didn’t; and some things I didn’t expect to happen, ever, did. Life is, as they say, full of surprises and seems to be one of those things we all have a love/hate relationship with. It can be interesting to take a step back and take a look at all the things that have transpired in the last 12 months and see if we’ve become older and wiser, or just older. In thinking about my own year, I’ve realised that some of my ‘Lessons Learnt’ have proven some of the most overused expressions to be true. So it goes, four cliché life lessons that I have found to be true in 2013:

1) Time heals all wounds. I know, ew. This is a cliché to the point of blinding irritation when someone tries to say it to you while you’re in the throes of some sort of emotional hardship, but it’s true. Some wounds take a lot of time but eventually they do heal, or at least become easier to live with. Time is a funny thing; when we’re having fun, we want it to slow down, when we’re trying to meet a deadline, we wish we had more of it, and when we’re struggling, we just want to fast-forward to the time when we’re fine and happy again. Alas, time mocks, “It doesn’t work that way, kiddo.” Perhaps some of the fun is in the struggle, because without it we wouldn’t appreciate the good times. No? Too much?

2) Surround yourself with people who make you happy. Pretty self-explanatory since energy robbers can be a huge downer. Be around people who lift you up and support, encourage, and love you for the weirdo you are.

3) Life really does begin outside of your comfort zone. Whether that’s travelling, opening yourself up to dating someone wildly outside your “type”, pursuing a dream, or even just trying a new food. Until we push ourselves outside of the familiar we can never really know how good things can be, how strong we are, or how much fun we’ve been keeping from ourselves.

4) Don’t fight for someone who isn’t willing to fight for you, even a little bit. I can, and have, fought long and hard for someone until I realised that the only person I was fighting against was the very person I was fighting for. It hurts like a motherfucker and it takes a very long time to accept, but it’s a realisation worth having sooner rather than later.

Learning the lessons is only part of the battle, remembering them is another! Here’s hoping 2014 is a year that we can remember, and not re-learn these lessons :)

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