5 Of The Most Valuable Lessons I’ve Learned In 2018

5 Of The Most Valuable Lessons I’ve Learned In 2018 | hawk + pearl

2018 was an incredible, wild, and life-changing year for so many reasons.


It was a significant year of growth, change, and experience in all aspects of my life.


In summary…


I ventured out of my comfort zone, traveled a lot, met so many amazing new people, lost friends who I still care deeply about, achieved huge goals and set new ones, and closed chapters I never thought would end.


More specifically, over the past year…


  • I left a full-time job and devoted more time to building up my career as a freelance writer.
  • I started training Brazilian jiu-jitsu at Maxum BJJ and earned 3 stripes on my white belt.
  • I traded in my Honda Civic in exchange for a brand new Jeep.
  • I increased my spirituality and began studying dreams, astrology, and numerology.
  • I started a YouTube channel.
  • I traveled to 7 new locations and went on a 16-day road trip along the east coast with my best friend.



Related: The Ultimate Guide On How To Plan A Road Trip On A Budget


Through the relationships I’ve built and the things I’ve experienced over the past 365 days, I learned so many lessons that I will apply and carry into the new year and the rest of my life.


Here are 5 of the most valuable lessons I’ve learned throughout 2018:


Life doesn’t always work out according to plan…


…but it always plays out the way it should. No matter how hard you try to plan your life down to the hour, day, month, or year, sometimes the universe has a different plan for you.


Sometimes you need to get completely thrown off course in order to stumble onto the path that’s best for you. Sometimes your biggest goals need to be absolutely obliterated so you can dream up better ones. Sometimes you need to end friendships and relationships in order to meet new people who will shape your life in ways you never thought possible.


Whatever happens (whether you planned it or not), everything always works out for the best as long as you trust in the process and keep your head held high.


Be open and vulnerable.


A couple of months ago, somebody said to me “You want love so badly, but you’re so scorned from your past that you don’t trust anybody.”


Hearing this shook me to my core and had me ugly crying my entire drive home, but once I let the words sink in I realized that what this person said was 100% true. How am I supposed to let love in if I don’t let my guard down? I’ve been working on being more open, vulnerable, and trusting ever since, and I hope doing so will enable me to find both the self-love and the healthy, romantic relationship that I’ve been seeking for so long.


Honest communication is key.


I’ve always been a painfully honest person, but this year I learned to open up to others and communicate my deepest wants and needs in all areas of my life, which was nerve-racking but really empowering.


Be honest with yourself and others. Express how you feel, and own it. Say “no” when you want to. Say “yes” when you want to. And hold your ground. Your relationships and self-esteem will flourish. If you don’t stand up for yourself, your values, and what you believe in, no one else will.


Never settle for mediocre.


I’ve found that SO MANY PEOPLE (TOO many people) go through life accepting the mediocre — relationships, jobs, etc.


Fuck that. It’s better to be single than stuck in a relationship with someone you don’t love. It’s better to be struggling financially doing what you love than working a job you absolutely despise.


Ask for more. Actually, DEMAND more.


How the hell do you expect to be happy if you don’t go after what you truly want? Life is what you make of it. You can create the life you’ve always wanted or you can stay stagnant and always dream of what could’ve been. The choice is yours.


Don’t be afraid to let go.


Change is inevitable — you either accept it and move forward or get stuck behind full of worry and frustration. What’s meant for you will stay or come back around in due time.


As scary and intimidating as it may be, letting go of people, things, and ideas that no longer serve your best, highest self clears the space for better people, things, and ideas to come in… and that’s a lot more exciting than clinging onto the past for dear life.


I’m heading into 2019 a very different person than I was entering 2018 — and I’m so excited about it. I’m looking forward to applying these lessons, learning more lessons, and continuing to share my journey with you over the coming year.


Thank you for reading, whether this is a one-time thing or you’ve consistently read my content. It means more to me than you know.


Cheers to a happy, healthy new year ahead! Happy 2019, everyone.


Read Next: 33 New Year’s Resolutions You Can Actually Set And Keep

Morgan Mandriota is a freelance sex, health, and wellness writer and the creator of hawkandpearl.com and highlyuntamed.com. You can read her content on Betches, BuzzFeed, Thought Catalog, and a bunch of other places on the internet. When she isn't writing, Morgan loves traveling, hiking, eating tacos, and training Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Follow her on Instagram, Twitter, and everywhere else @morganmandriota.

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