7 Lessons I Learned in 2022

7 Lessons I Learned in 2022

Can you believe that 2022 is almost over? Like…what is time? Does the concept of time even exist anymore? I don’t know about you, but it seems like ever since 2020 (y’all remember that year, yikes) time is just passing and the years are getting shorter and shorter. Truly, if you are reading this article in 2022, you have a lot to be grateful for, even if time is flying in the wind.

Nevertheless, as we’re in this “post-pandemic” era, I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all learned a thing or two (in my case seven) about finances, self-care, politics, pop culture (hey, Bennifer 2.0)…about life in general. I’m so glad I have a space like CGS where I can be transparent and share with you my personal seven lessons learned in 2022.

1.) Money Doesn’t Buy Happiness

I can’t even believe I’m typing this. As I’m looking at my vision board and remember how I posted an image of $100k. I spent most of 2022 unemployed after a slew of unfortunate job situationships (I said what I said), and I was grateful to land a job right before Memorial Day 2022. 

I even manifested that I would have a job by Summer 2022 so I could enjoy Summertime Chi (summers in Chicago are just *chef’s kiss*). I manifested a job with a salary of $85k-$100k, but I would be happy with $85k…well, I got a job with a $100k salary that I didn’t even need to negotiate! Unfortunately, the salary is great…but I don’t like the job. 

Now don’t get me wrong, I am grateful every time my paycheck hits my account, but I guess I’ve always seen $100k as the ideal salary, especially now in my mid-30s and how that salary would just…make my life better. Maybe it was a little naivety on my part, but what a lesson I learned haha! I’m not that happy y’all, grateful yes, happy…meh.

I can’t believe I’m writing this, but I know myself very well, and I’m just one of those people who has to learn things the unpleasant way haha…but, money really does not buy happiness. It’s funny because whenever someone would say such a thing, I would always respond “well, let me find out for myself”. Well, thank you Universe for giving me clarity on that! 

Suffice it to say, my passions outside of work make me happy 🙂

2.) Some Friendships Need to End

Whew, what a lesson that I had to learn, but it was such a bittersweet one. I am so grateful to have a unique situation where I am blessed to have multiple best friends, multiple friend circles, and multiple “purpose partners”, but as I get older and I’m discovering more about myself on this journey, I had to learn when to cut ties. 

Some people just aren’t meant to come along with you to the next level in life, even if they’ve been in your life for years. Even if you never thought you’d live life without their presence…but sometimes, you have to shed dead weight to make going to the next level easier for yourself.

I think I heard in a Tyler Perry play (don’t judge me, I love the character of Madea haha) that sometimes friendships are like parts of a tree. Imagine yourself as the trunk of a tree…some friends are like leaves, they’re seasonal and they fall out each season. Some friends are branches, they’re a bit sturdy, but they too fall out due to time, change in season, etc. Then you have your roots; those friends will be with you forever and will help you grow!

3.) Burnout is Real

I recently wrote an article, “5 Ways Burnout Culture Can Impact Your Finances”, in which I was probably my most vulnerable in a CGS article, but burnout is real. It’s so real that it can be quite dangerous if not taken seriously, and I had to learn the hard way. As we get older, it’s vital that we take care of our whole being, this means knowing your limits and setting necessary boundaries. 

The effects of burnout include isolation, fatigue, brain fog, and can lead to anxiety and depression in a lot of cases. I learned that even though I am “young”, I need to be mindful of how much I push myself…this led me to having a nervous breakdown, and I do not wish that on anyone. Please be gentle with yourself and take care of yourselves. 

4.) A Money+Budget Coach is an Investment

 

This is actually quite funny to me to write because I have been a part of the amazing CGS community for about six years now, but I just invested in coaching services with Raya in March of 2022. Get this y’all…I was unemployed and living off unemployment checks when I signed up too haha!

You may be asking why I waited so long to get finance coaching? Well, I was afraid of facing my finances and having someone tell me what to do with my money. I didn’t want to feel “restricted” or feel like I couldn’t do all the things I wanted to do (be reckless). However, after suffering a devastating career blow, I knew that I needed to do something different, and there was no better time than when I was literally living off the barest minimum. 

I can confidently say that investing in a budget coach like Raya was definitely a game-changer for me, and I consider it to be a part of my “village”, along with my therapist, life coach, and soon nutritionist. It’s definitely an investment and I am so proud of my growth!

5.) The Importance of Boundaries

Earlier this year, I made the decision to remove a few important people in my life. Both were not easy decisions, but I felt that I needed to establish boundaries to preserve my peace. The thing is, I’m such a people-pleaser that it was so difficult to set boundaries when people are so used to having access to me at all times, knowing that I will always be around.

This was detrimental to my well-being and my sanity. I felt like I was there for many folks, but it wasn’t reciprocated…and I just depleted myself. However, I can honestly say that learning the importance of boundaries has resulted in an abundance of peace, clarity, and growth like never before. 2022 taught me that I need to respect myself first in order for folks to respect me.

6.) Societal Timelines are Not Real

Remember when I said I hit a career low earlier this year? I felt like I was a failure and was not where I was “supposed” to be in life in my mid-30s. I would constantly compare myself to what people were posting on IG and TikTok, and see people become engaged, get married, buy homes, go on amazing vacations…you know, all the “adult” things. 

Yes, I know people post on social media their highlight reels, but I still couldn’t help but think “Geez, what kind of adult am I? I don’t even feel like I’m in my 30s”. I had to really take a step back and think though…are those even things I really want now? I love living by myself, I love being childfree, I love being on my own time, and I love being able to call my landlord when something in my apartment breaks haha!

I learned that I’m on my own timeline and I am exactly where I am meant to be right now. Trust me, this is something I have to constantly remind myself of everyday, but I am committed to this. Timelines are just a societal construct 🙂

7.) No One Cares!

Okay, so I know this may seem a bit brash and harsh, but it’s the truth! I saw a post on IG that literally said this twice, but it meant two different things: “No One Gives a Sh*t” (sad face) and “No One Gives a Sh*t” (happy face). See, same sentence, different meaning…MIND BLOWN! 

Basically, no one really cares about what you’re doing, so you shouldn’t care either! Think about it, we live in such a selfish world with lots of people trying to go viral or become the next TikTok star. No one cares about what you’re doing. This can be a very freeing mindset shift, and I just learned this very recently.

Related: 8 Ways to Get Your Finances in Check

Whew, 2022 was a year for me, but it was a year where I learned the most about myself and what I can overcome and achieve! How about you? What lessons did you learn in 2022? Was it a great year or a year of growth for you? Share with the CGS Community! 

-Lena
The CGS Team

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