Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Life is Life, Fight for It.

Without a doubt, 2011 has been the most tumultuous year of my life. I remember last year, writing my resolutions or my new years post, and having so much hope and faith for a positive year.

Things don't always turn out the way you hope though - the lows of this year were incredibly low, particularly with the death of Poppy, which has left a hole in my heart that hurts me every single day.

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While I could sit and focus on the negative - which is a ridiculously easy thing to do no matter what life throws your way - I've learned so much this year, that I feel is what I should be focusing on, rather than complain and bring in the new year on a negative note.

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Without the bad times, we'd never know how truly beautiful the good times are; without the bad friends, we'd never realize how blessed we are with the ones who are there for us when we need someone - and the positives are what I want to focus on for 2012.

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Things I've learned in 2011 (that I want to apply to 2012):

1. Your own needs are important.

I'm a people pleaser, and I'm constantly putting the needs of others ahead of my own. This year, I learned that it's okay to talk about my feelings, or the things that are going on in my life - it's not a burden, it's a reciprocal friendship. If you need sleep, turn off your phone - other people's problems can wait until the morning; if you need a shoulder to cry on, call up a friend - they'll be there for you.

When I ended my two year relationship last January, I realized how long I'd been pushing myself off - how long I'd let someone else become more important than myself, and that I pushed aside all the bad feelings or things that weren't right in order to make him happy. In 2012, I promise to myself that I will be better about finding a balance between my needs and the needs of others.

Don't let people walk all over you - know your worth, and know that you deserve more than to push aside your emotions, feelings, needs for anyone else.

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2. Don't let the past define you.

We all make mistakes - stop beating the shit out of yourself for those mistakes. Learn and grow from them, and don't let them happen again. You are NOT the one mistake that you made, and don't ever let yourself believe that.

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3. Stop living life with hatred in your heart.

Grudges, bitchiness, judging - it all eats away at you. How can you be surrounded by people who will bring you up, if all you have is negativity surrounding you?

4. Quit using "I'm fine" as an escape mechanism.

It's okay to not be okay. This is something that I'm still working through. As a perfectionist, I like everything to be wrapped up with a nice little bow, but that's not life. Sometimes we lose control, sometimes we hurt, sometimes we cry and are ugly and broken. It's in those times that we need to be honest with ourselves and with others. I can't tell you the support I felt from my friends during all the hard times I went through - it was freeing to not be in total control and trying to micromanage things.

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5. Don't try to convince yourself.

If something feels wrong, trust your instinct. Don't try to convince yourself that something is okay when it isn't - with relationships or "potential" relationships, don't pretend that you're okay with things if you're not. If you want a relationship, don't act like you're okay with a friends with benefits/casual sex kind of thing. If you just want to be friends, don't worry about hurting anyone's feelings.
If you lie to yourself, you're only hurting yourself. It's as simple as that.

6. Learning who your true friends are is very bittersweet.

I cannot tell you the number of times that I was there for people, listening to every single problem (white girl problems or real problems), and offering advice to them - investing my whole heart into their situation. I always thought those same people would be there for me no matter what - friendship should be reciprocal, right? Wrong. It's not that they're bad people, they're just too focused on their own shit to care about yours with the same energy you gave them. Learn from that - take time for yourself and give 100% of your energy to the people who really matter.
Just because you're a good friend to someone, doesn't mean it will be reciprocated when you need it.

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7. Find happiness within yourself.

If you look to others for your own happiness, you'll never find it. Find things that you love to do alone, that bring you joy - if you love yoga, do a yoga class; if photography is your passion, go out on the weekends by yourself and pursue it. Be happy, be content, and find your own happiness - when you're happy with yourself, you'll draw others to you and they can share that happiness with you.

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8. Success is between you and you only.

Life does not need to be a competition. Set goals for yourself, and be your own competition - stop being jealous of others and their success. Instead, find what you have that others could want from you, try to make yourself a better person, and stop worrying that someone else might be better than you.

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9. Enjoy the little things in life.

My Poppy was a pro at this - he loved life so much, every single second of it. He always told me that when you look back on the little things, sometimes you realize that they were more significant than you really thought.
This year - with all the shit that happened - has also had some of the most tremendous times of my life. Nights out with friends that were spontaneous ended up being some of the most fun I've had this year.
A little visit to the hospital after babysitting one afternoon, where I sat on the end of Poppy's hospital bed and he gave me advice about teaching, ended up being the last conversation we ever had. Treasure these things, focus on them when things seem to start spiraling out of control. These are the things that matter.

I love this picture, because even though no one is paying attention to the camera, he looks so happy.
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10. Tell people that matter to you that you love them.

I am so, so grateful for my friends and family. I tell them whenever I can how much they mean to me, how much fun I have with them, and how grateful I am to them for carrying me through this year. Don't take the time you have with people for granted.

I'm so, so lucky - these are just a few of the people I have in my life (because I'm already going way too picture crazy).
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Never forget - you are beautiful, special, worthwhile. You have people who love you, and things going for you. Don't let anyone hold you back or drag you down - you're in charge of your own happiness!

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Love you all so very much - you're all such lovely, special people to me. Can't wait to catch up on your posts now that I have some time without work/lesson planning! <3

Currently listening to: I Give You Bass - Fukkk Offf

26 comments:

Couture Carrie said...

Beautiful and inspiring post, darling!
Love all these fabulous pics and quotes!
Hope your 2012 is spectacular :)

xoxox,
CC

Diane said...

great post! i'm really taking what you wrote to heart. 2011 had to be one of the worst years of my life...but i'm trying SO HARD to be hopeful of what 2012 will bring.

amy b.s. said...

this is an amazing an inspirational quote. and there are a few things you listed that i too am trying to work on for 2012. i'm hoping this year, finally, i will meet some of those goals.

Chevon J. - La Bella Vita said...

This is such a beautiful post. Grandparents truly are a blessing. They spoil us, but there comes a day when they go to be with the Lord and all we have left is memories.

Thanks for sharing this. And also your personal words of wisdom and inspiration. May 2012 be a wonderful year for you. Full of love, laughs, and great times.

Ash said...

I think I'm going to be the first to say this: great, inspirational post. :P.

I think we all need to take the time to do all the points that have been brought up in this post. Can you imagine what it would be like if everyone did these little things? Life would get so much better. That sounds so cliche', but I really think it would get just that bit better for each and every one of us; giving ourselves more time, prioritising ourselves more, hearing a friend telling us how much we mean to them. Would be good times inbound, I think.

And also, the very last picture/quote you posted -- holy shit, that was awesome. That shook me in an almost revelationary, epiphany-esque way. Well played ma'am, and I'm stealing that picture, ha.

Again, great post (as usual, yeah?). And again, hope you had a really great Christmas.

Em [The Writer] said...

I cannot begin to say how wonderful your advice is, it really opened up some ideas for me that I either never thought of or just shoved away. You are truly an amazing girl and you will have a great 2012 (I can just feel it!) and I cannot wait to see those posts next year! Oh and I'll definitely keep you posted! And if you don't post again before New Years well then Happy New Year!

HiFashion said...

Love all the reflections in this post. I'm a total people pleaser, so I'm going to spend 2012 working on that. It's always better to focus on the positives than the negatives.
Hope 2012 is amazing for you.

Little Ms. Fun said...

I love this post!! Talk about deep...haha

I'm really sorry about your Poppy. I know that's rough, but you're strong and genuine. I'm sure he's very proud of you, especially after all those great goals!

As for learn who your true friends are, you're right! It can be very bittersweet. I had a huge falling out this year. Kind of feels like a break up...

Hope that you had a great holiday and an even better New Year!

just tututiny said...

Very inspiring post. I am sorry to hear about Poppy! My father passed away last year and I missed him dearly as well. Glad to hear you have great family and friends by your side.

P.s I love that quote from FRIENDS!

Elle Sees said...

such great advice and things to think about. i lost my grandfather in sept, and the holidays have been rough!

The Dainty Doll's House said...

Ahh..this was a beautiful post & it made me tear up :)) Thank you for all the words as I feel them very much and find myself needing to put them into action!! I've spent a few years dragging myself out of a hole and finally now feel the confidence to stand on my own two feet, so this gave me an extra boost to face the New Year finally full of the confidence that I need!! You are a gem & I know your Poppy is watching over you & very proud!! Lots of love and happiness for this new year!! xox

Nicole Linette said...

Ally,
In spite of the challenges you've faced this year, you always seem to rise above even more! I admire you so much, and I believe some retrospection over the year is due for me as well. #6 about friendships appears to be a common theme. But it's true, though we can't predict what the next year brings, we can always hope for the best and take life as it comes!

I wish all the best to you, send out 2011 in the right fashion! My glass will be held high for everything we've been through.

Love,
nicole.

Amin said...

Hello! Beautiful post for think about...

Amin said...

I wish all the bests to You in 2012!!!

Diego R. Wyatt said...

This is such an inspiring post and such a perfect way to wrap up the year. Each lesson you presented really hit home with me, particularly separating your real riends from the others and enjoying the little things in life.

It's always been difficult for me to move forward drom the past: relationships, the way people treated me, what people would say to me/about me, but it is so freeing to not dwell on it and move forward. What other people think of us is none of our business (A jewel I picked up rom Oprah lol)

I hope you had a fabulous New Year, full of fun, love and good booze. You desere it darling! Cheers to 2012 being your best year yet!

Diego
www.howtozipyourfly.com

Kimberlee said...

Aww such a beautiful post :) I hope 2012 is a better year and you can remember everything you posted about!

Katherine Krieg said...

totally, totally LOVE this post. your words are so true and so inspiring. you are an incredible woman and i am so excited to be able to follow you via this blog!

Carol {Everyday Delights} said...

Hi sweet friend! Long time, no see! I've been so neglecting my Reader in December! Such a sweet, moving post and I think that 2012 is going to be an AMAZING year for you!! I'm excited to see what's in store for you! xoxo!

Kristin said...

I hope 2012 is beautiful for you lady! And I agree...Life wouldn't be the same without true friends!

Leeann @ Join the Gossip said...

Such a great post. My mission for 2012 has been to be happy. Last year I felt that I wasn't good enough, it was too late to change, and I had wasted my life. Then I realized, I'm only 28 and there's plenty of time to make a change. This year is going to be great whether it wants to be or not!! :)

lauren @ la petite fashionista said...

i know its been a tough year hun. I think you have a good perspective on it.i hope 2012 brings a fantastic year for you & you get all the wonderful things you deserve!

xoxo

monica said...

i wish you all the best in 2012

J said...

omg this is a wonderful post. so many great things learned in the past year and so many new things to learn for the future. i especially love the quotes by mother teresa. thank you for sharing your lessons in life allison! here's to a fab new year to come!

Ashley said...

I know I'm like SUPER late in commenting, but I'm just catching up on posts now, and I couldn't NOT give you some love... you know, since I loved this post and all. Perfect. Your list is so true, and so necessary. Thanks for sharing, girl! Ps. your pictures are great! You're adorable!

Amin said...

Hello! I wish all the best to You! Good lucks! When You begin blogging please inform me! I wait...

OhioGirl said...

Such an inspiring post! I am so on board with the Churchill quote - you don't get anywhere focussing on the negative, so whats the point??