22 Lessons I’m Taking Into 2023

22 lessons I'm taking into 2023

2022 was an interesting one, to say the least. There were many challenges that came my way, but nothing so mind-blowingly life-altering that caused great suffering. Just challenges. Life stuff. Stuff that definitely knocked me down here and there, but ultimately I was (I AM) okay. More than okay. Because even through these challenges, I’m happy to say that things are really good right now. Amazing, in fact. Yes, 2022 was challenging, but I feel that it helped me grow into myself. Get to know myself better. This new version of myself that still feels anxiety, but doesn’t give it as much energy. That doesn’t dread the passing of time, but flows with it and soaks in every moment. 

I’ve done a lot of work on myself and have grown so much these last few years since Dad died, and I feel like this is the first year I can really feel it making a difference in my daily life. In a way where I don’t have to try to become it, I just am it. And now, looking back, I’m incredibly grateful for the challenges we had this year. Because it was an opportunity for me to prove to myself that I am capable of being okay, even in times of uncertainty and fear. In fact, I can thrive and rise to the occasion and be better for it and someday help others through it because I, myself, have been there. And what a blessing that is. 2022 taught me many things, about life and about myself. Here’s 22 lessons I’m taking into 2023:

  1. Your insecurities will come up in the things you don’t like about the world around you- instead of trying to change what’s around you, change your perspective. 
  2. Even when you don’t feel creative, be creative anyway. This will help you get back into flow. 
  3. You have just as much value to give to the world and just as much of a right to be here. Keep learning and growing and sharing these experiences through your own lens- that’s where the value lies. 
  4. Perfection does not equal worthiness or goodness- some (many) things are much better a little rough and tumbled- this includes (but is not limited to) people, homes, and treasures. 
  5. If you want to really get to know yourself, pay attention to how you show up when the going gets tough. If you want to be better, show up fully and intentionally. 
  6. If you want to practice and master self-love, get clear on the kind of person you want to be, and work to be that person every moment of your life. 
  7. Keep the promises you make to yourself. It’s okay if you slip up, just start again.  
  8. Getting enough sleep is a superpower, so is the ability to rest without guilt or distraction. Doing so will make you healthier, happier and more alive.
  9. Time will keep moving whether you like it or not. View passed time as memories you’ve gotten to tuck away for safe keeping- more life you’ve been blessed to live. This will help in the midst of those existential crises. 
  10. Don’t forget to take stock of your life and remind yourself how far you’ve come. You’ve grown, you’ve healed, you’ve accomplished, and that’s worth remembering- often. 
  11. You really can, and you really will, heal. Keep going.
  12. Nothing can show you how much you’ve healed quite like how you handle the next hardship thrown your way.
  13. You cannot outsmart the bad things from happening, but you can keep them from outsmarting you. Let yourself be freely and foolishly joyful and present with no concern over the fleetingness of something good. 
  14. The very thing you feel most shame around, is the very thing that gives you the gift and ability to connect with and help others who have found themselves on a similar journey. And doing so takes the shame right out of it.
  15. Lessons will repeat themselves over and over until you learn them.
  16. You can start over in your career whenever you want. Don’t be afraid to network, ask questions, to learn something you know nothing about. You never know what opportunities (and wonderful people!) may come your way.
  17. You can start your life over in a new place and, though it will take some time, one day you’ll look around and be surprised at how much it feels like home. 
  18. Loving yourself is a journey, there will never be an end point. That’s a good thing! Also, the more you love yourself, the more love you’ll have for those around you. It’s like one big mirror reflecting back at you.
  19. It’s okay to feel “off” sometimes. It means you’re growing and changing. 
  20. On days that you do feel “off,” like you’re having a bad hair day or whatever, don’t pause your life. Go out anyway. Have fun anyway. You’ll be surprised how much fun you have, and how many people love you just for being you. “Bad hair day,” or not. 
  21. Letting go is good to do. Of people, places and things. It’s what frees you to become whoever it is you’re becoming. Let it happen naturally, you’ll know when.
  22. Don’t stop loving your life just because your timeline hasn’t worked out like you thought it might. There’s so much beauty to be found in letting go and trusting in the bigger picture. In finding the magic in the here and now. And in believing in the story you may not have thought of, but only because it’s so much more beautiful than you ever could have imagined. One day you’re going to look back and this journey will all make so much sense.

If you liked this post, you may also enjoy: 28 Things I’ve Learned in 28 Years

Dress is Something Navy, boots are Sam Edelman. (Boots are sold out, but these are a similar style!)

3 thoughts on “22 Lessons I’m Taking Into 2023

  1. You, Sarah McAvoy Bryan, are a wise and wonderful human! Thank you for sharing this list. It caused me to stop and reflect on the past year, and life in general. You are wise beyond your years.

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