Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Things I Learned in 2014

As the year comes to a close, a lot of us are probably writing about either 1. what we've learned in 2014 and our experiences this past year and/or 2. the goals we have set for 2015 and what we hope to change. Personally, I won't be setting any concrete "goals" for 2015 because I know how much can change and how difficult it is to keep anything in a rigid mindset for too long. I have a lot of fluid ideas of how I want my year to go, but I also know that I'm going to do my best to just go with the flow. The one goal I always have is to make the new year even better than the last and ensure that I am growing as a person and becoming who I want to be. As long as I keep that in mind throughout the year, everything else should work itself out. I don't really want to talk about the new year because I want to keep the mystery alive. I have a lot of exciting changes coming my way, many of which I have struggled with and worked really hard to get to this point in life. No doubt there will be ups and downs this year, because that's just how life works, but with each year I take a new set of experiences and lessons that hopefully better prepare myself for whatever life has to throw at me.

2014 has probably been one of the most difficult years of my life simply because of how transitional it was. It was my first "full year" as a post-grad (a very lost and confused one at that) and I had a lot of different experiences. Experiences that were not pleasant but eventually led to lessons learned and a process of maturing. The beginning of 2014 found me once again lost as to which direction I wanted my career to go in (I stopped substitute teaching and decided to put my pursuit of a master's degree on hold). It was also around that time that I started this blog, which was at first meant to be a creative outlet and a way to pursue my life-long dream of becoming an author, but it turned into so much more (more on that later). To keep myself busy and also still make money, I took on a nanny job. Some people may think a nanny job is "easy" or not really significant, but those are people who have never had to be responsible for children or actually take care of them. For the six months I had that job, I didn't even really see it as a "job." I formed a connection with the kids I took care of and they taught me so much about raising children and just life in general. Also, I think my biological clock started ticking thanks to that job, oops...

Fast forward to Spring of 2014, which was probably the high point of my year. I was happy with the job I had, really getting into the whole blogging and social media thing and I was also exploring a side of me that I never had before. Without going into too much detail, I'll just say that although it ended pretty badly, I don't regret it at all. I learned so much about myself, especially how I handle certain situations and relationships, which in the past few months I've been able to start changing to help myself in the long run. It's pretty cliche to say that "everything happens for a reason" but I'd like to think this certain experience falls into that boat. After a lackluster and slightly mopey summer, I was restless again. I needed change and I knew I couldn't stay where I was, figuratively and literally, for much longer.

By the end of September I had left my job as a nanny and was in pursuit of a new job. By this point I had a very good idea of what I wanted my career to be. Blogging helped me discover that. I have a passion for writing and social media (something that is certainly expanding in this technological age) so I started searching for a job in that related field. I spent months applying to places. Months searching. Sometimes I'd even apply for regular administrative positions just so I could have something, even if it wasn't truly what I wanted to be doing. I lost track of how many interviews I went on this fall (I want to say 7?) and obviously all were a dead-end. Unemployment was not kind to me and as much I tried to stay positive, after each rejection I sunk a little bit deeper. I was at the point where I was about to give up this dream career of mine, something I had been interested in for a very long time. I didn't want to settle for the typical entry-level position as a receptionist or whatever else I "qualified" for, but I was beginning to think I had no other option. Then something truly amazing that totally exceeded my expectations happened. But I won't go into it just yet—that is for a different day, different blog post :).

Other things happened these past few months, too, things that have helped me take a look at my mindset and attitudes throughout these past years. I am by no means done learning or changing, but I can happily say I am on the right track. I also think that having this blog has helped me a lot along the way and I want to continue In-Between Life no matter how busy my life may get. Who knows, maybe I'll keep this baby of mine for years to come and I can look back and see just how much things change.
I started out writing this post thinking I would just write a brief summary and then do a kind of list of what I learned this year, but of course the writer in me had to basically write a novel for everybody. If you've read this far, thank you. Thank you to all my readers. Thank you to everyone I have inspired; you've given me sparks of happiness when I most needed it.

Without further ado, a list of some of the things I learned in 2014:
  • Don't give up on your dream, no matter how tough the road may get. Seriously. Do not give up.
  • Don't stay in something that is no longer fulfilling. You'll know when it's time to move on and you shouldn't hold on any longer.
  • You are the only one who knows what's right for you. You're the only one who can truly dictate your journey. Listen to yourself and your intuition first and foremost. 
  • Not only can life surprise you, but you may end up surprising yourself, too. Embrace it.
  • It's okay to feel lost and confused and worried. It may seem like it, but the feeling won't last forever. You also may experience it again at some point in your life. That's just how it is. 
  • Only substitute teach if you have the patience of a saint.
  • Let go of your past and the fears your past has created for you. You're only hurting yourself and not allowing yourself to live your life to the fullest. 
  • Learn to go with the flow. Life tends to get easier that way.

What's the most important thing you learned this year?


  1. I love your list of things you learned and I think all substitute and real teachers are saints.
    Here's to another year of great blog posts and new friends.

  2. Omg we are SO floating in the same boat here. I too am struggling with joblessness and it is an awful awful burden. BUT with the new year comes new chances and new opportunities so best of luck to you and your dreams!

    Happy New Year!

  3. I'm a big believer in go with the flow! God and life have a plan.

  4. Seriously, teachers don't get enough credit. Here's to a year of finding more blog friends and connecting with awesome people over the internet :)

  5. Don't lose hope! It took me months to find a job (I start today, eek). I never settled or gave in to something I knew I wouldn't be happy with, although I almost took that road plenty of times out of desperation. I'm glad I waited, though. Best of luck to you on your job search, you got this girl! If you ever need any help, shoot me an email!

  6. Very, very true. Although it's rather difficult for me sometimes to just relax and let things be. I never thought of myself as a control freak, but I guess in some ways I am, haha! But I'm pretty sure this year will flow a lot differently for me :)