Last year in August I quit my full-time job with the desire to be a self-employed freelancer and to go out and learn new things. In hindsight, I think this was a bit reckless of me to do so because I had just moved into a new apartment with my boyfriend and had several bills to pay. I did have a good amount of savings put away, but not necessarily enough to cover everything for a year. All-in-all, it hasn't been the "coolest" year, but I have survived! I have been extremely lucky with procuring steady work and have financially been floating along acceptably.
I thought it would be nice to reflect a bit on the past year in the form of bullet points!
Saying yes to everything taught me how to say no.
This year I really wanted to be completely open to new experiences so I essentially said yes to everything that came my way. In the end, a lot of those things weren't right for me, but I would've never known if I hadn't tried. I also would not have met such awesome people, to whom it was extremely hard to say no to. But learning what I wanted and what I didn't want was probably the biggest learning experience that I had this year. Also, saying no. It's okay to say no. I'm still trying to learn this.
There are miles and miles of internet words on this topic so I'll keep it to a brief case study: I now work out every day (even if it's just for 10 minutes), try to meditate every once in a while, and typically try to eat healthier (cooking at home has definitely helped this). I'm absolutely not perfect at this but making the effort to keep my physical and mental self in shape has definitely made my work life a lot easier.
I thought this only applied to work and clients and I always try to be as flexible as I can be but I realized that I am not very flexible with myself. I would stick to one productivity/to-do list module and get frustrated when it wasn't working for me. I would get mad at myself for waking up "late" and not starting my day at 6 am like some other freelancers do. It took a while (probably within the last 3 months) to realize that I needed to listen to myself and realize what works for other people will not always work for me. I work best in the afternoon into the evening, after a have 1 or two "me" hours in the morning. It takes me a while to get back into the swing of things after a trip so I have to work harder mentally to get myself ready to jump into some work. If something's not working, I should physically step away instead of internet-reading and hoping that my brain will fix itself. Writing these things now it doesn't seem like such a big deal, but learning how to "forgive" myself has been such a recurring theme and I'm trying to pay more attention to it.