Lessons I Learned in 2018

fashion blogger wearing tweed hat and faux fur coat
Hello Loves!

I can’t believe today is the last day of 2018. This year has been the best and worst year of my life. Many opportunities came my way especially with brands that I adore. I never thought in a million years that I would have the opportunity to work with brands like Neutrogena and thredUP. There were also many downfalls that strung along the way, which I am quite surprisingly thankful for since I learned so much about myself and what I wanted out of life.

Here are the lessons I learned in 2018:

  • The power of being authentic. Being true to yourself is one step closer to finding your purpose. It wasn’t until I allowed my true self to shine that I found my passions. My passions are what saved me from an unhappy life and is now my motivation to strive for more.
  • Self-care is the best kind of care. This all ties back to the phrase, if you don’t take care of yourself, how can you take care of others well. I have seen the positive outcomes of self-care and it has helped me become a happier, fulfilled person. Through the practice of self-care, I have found my life passions.
  • It’s okay to say no. I have always been a YES person and I thought it would help me live life to the fullest. However, it wasn’t until a few months ago that I realized how my YES attitude was eating away my happiness because I was putting others’ well-being before mine. I pursued a career that I despised and lived a life that was not my own. As I started to say NO, I allowed myself to come first.
fashion blogger styling faux fur coat
fashion blogger styling faux fur coat
  • Stop pleasing other people. In the Hmong culture we are taught to please our elders, however, I’ve come to realize that no matter how much I tried to please my family members, in the end they were always unsatisfied. My mom said something to me that has stuck with me till this day – If you life your life for someone, what will you do if that someone is gone? This question made me re-evaluate how I lived my life and for who I lived it for. When I stopped pleasing other people, I found myself judging my decisions less and I became more content with how I lived my life.
  • Quality over quantity when it comes to friends. I will admit that I’m a social butterfly and I love meeting new people. However, it has come to the point where I have let in so many people in my personal life that it really took a toll on my mental health. I have always understood the quality over quantity concept, but it didn’t click until I hit rock bottom this year and I saw who was there for me and who wasn’t. People come and go, so keep the ones that matter most in your life.
  • Letting Go. Some battles are not worth fighting and some people are not worth holding on to. Definitely check out my “10 Tips to Letting Go” post on how I have let go this year to create a healthier and happier mind set and lifestyle.
fashion blogger wearing lipstick
  • Self-reflection — one of the greatest gifts I have given myself this year. I can’t express how self-reflecting on my own life decisions and feelings have truly helped me become a better person. I have learned to be in-tune with my own feelings more often to prevent future lash outs, since I use to be the person who would hold all of her feelings inside like a ticking bomb. Self-reflection has helped me develop and sustain healthy, positive relationships. Also to not be so hard on myself when I make mistakes. To instead reflect on my mistakes and learn from them.
  • The importance of spending time with the people who uplift you. Life is too short to focus solely on work alone. I truly feel that we were all put on this earth to empower and inspire one another. Spending time with the ones you love is one of the greatest gift to give. You’ve be surprised how much you can learn from a simple conversation.
  • Balance of giving and receiving. If I’m being honest, I was quite a brat in my early twenties and I received more than I gave. I didn’t realized how selfish I have become until I started to surround myself with new people who continue to give without receiving anything in return. Their lifestyle influenced me in such a beautiful way that now I’m the first person to offer help. There is a special kind of magic when a helping hand is offered without being asked.
wisconsin fashion blogger
  • Fake news is very real! I had my own personal experience with it and it played with my emotions in a very negative way. From this experience, I have learned to gather all the facts before judging or making assumptions about any news out there. I respect all news outlets and journalists, but it is very important to do your homework before jumping to conclusions.
  • Law of Attraction. I never encountered this phrase until I overheard my sister and mom talking about it. If you aren’t aware of this little phrase, it basically means “the ability to attract into our lives whatever we are focusing on”. Life is a blank canvas of possibilities, you are in control of what the finished picture could look like. Make choices and take actions that help finish that picture and if you don’t like the picture — Change it!

Thank you for reading! It truly means the world! Enjoy the last day of 2018!

love, gaonou

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