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Sunday, January 5, 2014

Tests and Lessons

In school, you're taught a lesson then given a test.  In life you're given a test that teaches you a lesson.

How true is this?  I mean, think about it.  When you are in school, the idea is that you are constantly learning new things and then being quizzed to find out if you gathered all of the knowledge you are supposed to have.  I was never all that good at that part.  I enjoy learning, for the most part.  But, when someone told me I had to read something, it became much less enjoyable and I probably didn't learn everything I was supposed to get out of the lesson.  Often times, when they test you on something in school, you spit out what you need to get a good grade and you move on.  That's what I did.

Throughout my life, I never realized how much the second part of this quote completely describes life.  If you really think about how many lessons you've learned without even realizing it at first, you'd probably lose count pretty fast.  I know I would.

As I've gone through the last (almost) year and started to see my past, present and future with so much more clarity and purpose, I can see all the lessons that I have learned with all of the things I have experienced even when I didn't know I was learning something.

I've focused enough on my past in this blog.  Suffice to say, everything I've gone through has led me to where I am today.  And, now that I know it is possible to be truly happy and looking towards the future with anticipation rather than dreading it, I am so thankful for all of it.

With that, throughout this past year, there are still tests that I have been given in which I have learned a lesson, or two, or ten about myself and/or the people around me.  At the beginning of the year, there were several situations I experienced at work where I didn't always feel appreciated.  I am one of those people who will always go in and give my all.  I'm always willing to help with anything at any time.  But, as I've mentioned a little bit before, that sometimes bit me in the butt.  Now, as I look at those situations, I realize how much stronger I am because of them.  I learned that not everyone has to like me in order for me to be successful, do my job or just be myself.  I also learned that, no matter what the situation, you should continue to give 100% because it shows your true character.  I would have been mad at myself in those situations if I didn't always do my best.  Also, in the end, I believe it showed (and still shows) the kind of person I am along with my work ethic and values.  And I wouldn't trade that for anything in the world.

I have also experienced a couple of frustrations with my weight loss, even though it may not show.  Well, actually, that hasn't happened until very recently.  And, although I have had a few moments where I've gotten down on myself, I talk myself out of my funk and focus on the positive.  I've found that these struggles are teaching me a lesson about going for what I want.  I can't give up.  Sometimes I will have to change my strategy or rethink my goals but I can't focus on what I haven't done.  I'll get there in time.  I HAVE to focus on everything I have done.  I've achieved so much this year.  Weight loss, finding myself, getting a new job that I absolutely love and meeting people that I believe are meant to be in my life for various reasons.  Every achievement and rough patch has taught me so much about myself.  If it doesn't teach me a lesson about something I needed to learn, maybe it helped me realize that I am a lot stronger than I give myself credit for.  That is one of the greatest lessons I could ever take away from this test we call life.

I believe by learning these lessons about myself and surviving these tests,  I found so much strength, self-confidence and belief in the world around me.  I saw these this week and I feel they completely describe my life right now.  And forever.

I am so thankful.  Happy 2014 all!