16 Things I Learned in 2016

by - Sunday, January 22, 2017

Happy new year everyone! I hope you guys had a great start this 2017. I, for once, already feel so much better to leave 2016 behind. Meanwhile, for being perpetually late in everything, I hope you'll forgive me for not showing up at all in the last month. I keep getting distracted with school, mangas and TV shows. But for now, here is a post that I've wanted to share in a long time

Truth be told, 2016 is probably one of my not-so-favorite years in my 18 years of existence. It brought out so much stress and emotional strain that my nonchalant self could not take - it is probably one of the years that I couldn't wait to get over with. Have I mentioned the crappy things that are still happening in the different parts of the world when it's already the 21st century?

If there is one thing that would describe 2016, it would be the word tiring. But, to be fair, I felt like it has prepared me to face challenges that are to come along my way. With bad (and a lot of good!) experiences come a great deal of learning.

Here are the 16 things I've learned in 2016:

1. Makeup makes me happy.

For so long, I have felt uninspired to do the things that once made me happy (i.e. photography, baking, writing, etc.) I thought maybe this was it; maybe I don't really have a hobby I will ever excel at. But then, I discovered makeup and since then, it has allowed me to feel the passion I once had for doing the things I love. Not only am I able to express myself in a unique way but it has also allowed me to integrate my love for writing and photography through this blog. I am no expert in these three hobbies of mine but hopefully with time, I can improve on them.

Also, nothing feels more satisfying than seeing your eyebrows on fleek and your lashes curled up to the ceiling. There's such a strong stigma against makeup about girls (and guys) using it to satiate insecurities and impress other people, but the truth is, many of us use makeup because it makes us happy! I don't see people reacting badly to calligraphy or painting - aren't they forms of expression as well? Makeup is basically an art form done on a human canvas.

So next time someone tries to bring you down for loving makeup, keep your head up high. Not everyone will understand you but as long as you do makeup for your own happiness and not to conform to someone else's standards, then carry on!

2. I am surrounded by people who care about me.

I was never really one to show what I feel - if anything, I'm that friend who always doesn't have a lot to say about herself. But 2016 really took quite a toll on me, and in my lowest moments, I discovered that I am surrounded by people who only wish the best for me and is always there to lessen the burden that I am carrying. Even though I keep things to myself sometimes, I always feel thankful when friends and family reach out to me when they sense there's something wrong and it reminds me that I'm blessed.

3. Let go of people who bring negativity into your life; you're better off without them.

Friendships end, and it's okay. Sooner or later, you'll realize that maybe losing someone isn't that big of a deal; that maybe, some relationships are just not worth saving anymore. It's much better to have a small circle of friends than hold on to someone who only knows how to bring out the worst in you.

4. It's okay to cry your heart out when everything is a mess.

Again, I am not an overly emotional person but there's just something about 2016 that has turned me into one big, soppy mess. We all have our bad days and we just have to accept it. I learned that crying doesn't make one weak and it's okay to cry if the world is being too harsh on you.

5. A little kindness can turn someone's day around.

I try to be a nice person most days. I remember reading a story wherein a girl battling depression and is suicidal would push back ending her life because of the kind actions that she would receive. This always reminds me to be understanding of people, because they are fighting their own battles and adding more to their burden when it is unnecessary is just nonsensical.

6. Get some sleep whenever you can!

As much as you think checking your social media for 30 minutes before sleeping is okay, think again. Get as much as sleep while you can because college will surprise you with days where you feel like sleeping is a crime to be committed with all the school work that you have yet to finish.

7. Always check your e-mail!

I like checking my e-mails. As much as possible, I want the inbox to contain only necessary information so I make sure to check it on a daily basis and delete e-mails as needed. Ironically, the week where I didn't open them at all was the week where I received a life-changing opportunity and I missed my chance.

I could've become an intern now for the makeup artist that I admire and use it as a stepping stone to get a peek inside the beauty industry, but alas, stupid me missed it all. Lesson learned - no matter how busy I am, always spare some time for checking mail!

8. Seeing old places with a renewed perspective is life-changing.

Be creative. You don't have to ride an airplane or sit on a bus chair for 6 hours just to see and be amazed by new places. Sometimes, seeing old places with a fresh set of eyes is enough. At least, this is what I do. Even though I go to the same places all the time, I always try to find something that I can do - like pet a friendly dog strolling through the park, or try out a new cafe. You just have to look around and go where your feet takes you.

9. Making mistakes is okay so as long as you learn from them.

Growing up in an environment where people expected a lot of me, I have learned not to take it too hard. I have come to realize that it's better to learn from mistakes than to succeed and not have learned anything at all.

10. Face your problems instead of avoiding them.

I was always that friend who would stay on the neutral side just because I didn't want to offend anyone. But this year, I don't know - something just snapped in me that has pushed me to speak up whenever there are problems. It's so much more liberating to smooth out conflicts than to forget it even happened. It's scary to face the truth but at the end of the day, you'll realize that it needs to be done if you don't want misunderstandings in the future.

11. The course syllabus that your profs give out is your lifeline; read it!

If your professor is the type to give out advanced lesson recitations and never reminds you of deadlines, this "life hack" is for you!  Not all of them will tell you deadlines of when to pass requirements so better make it a habit to check your syllabus. If you just can't be bothered to bring it with you every time you have class, write down the important dates on your planner instead so you still have some kind of reminder then you can check your syllabus as needed.

12. Be curious. Ask questions.

Never let your curiosity die down. Being curious means you care; it means you're interested to know what's happening around you.

13. Know what you stand for.

I just hate people who contradict themselves. While I admit to being a hypocrite sometimes (very rarely), I just can't take it when other people say something and do the other. I also hate it when someone posts a political (or any other) thought then share a contradicting post in social media - it just makes them look phony instead of credible. I have a strong admiration for people who are able to voice out their opinions and are accepting of criticisms.

14. Have time to yourself.

So many people think it feels miserable to be alone, but for some people, it's the only time where they can think for themselves and clear their minds; I am personally one of those people. While I do enjoy being with friends, I don't mind allotting time for myself.

Many people are so scared of being alone because they equate it to sadness but the truth is, having the company of other people can make one feel more lonely than being left with your own thoughts. But of course, that's just my opinion. At the end of the day, you just have to experience for yourself the joys of spending time alone.

15. Do what makes you happy.

As long as you're not hurting the people around you, seize happiness!

16. At the end of the day, there are still things I have yet to learn.

It's pretty self-explanatory, so...

That's it for 2016's realizations! I've never done a list like this even with my previous blogs because it requires a lot of self-reflecting and as much as I like doing that, I just don't have enough patience to type them all down. But, I finally decided to challenge myself and write this - and I like the results. It's nice to just sit down and reflect about the past year, and then realize that I've survived when I thought I wasn't going to. I suggest you guys do something similar to this; you'll be surprised by how much introspection you can do.

But of course, I couldn't make it past through this challenging year if it wasn't for the help and support of loved ones and friends (may it be real-life or virtual!). So, if you're reading this, thank you so much and I appreciate everything you've done for me. Meanwhile, expect tons of beauty reviews and more life updates now that I have my camera again!

This will be my first post for 2017 and my farewell post to 2016.  I look forward to sharing more things with you. See you in my next post!

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  1. Love this post, so many important lessons. I learnt the one about crying too. I used to always feel it was wrong, but now I know it's ok to cry if you need to!

    Laura || www.thelifeoflaura.com.au