2020 and beyond!

By Ashley Lopez

This year felt like a whirlwind – a stressful surreal series of events that just kept arising. During this time, many people took advantage of being alone and not being able to do their typical traditions on a Friday night while others didn’t. I am writing this to share my year(ly) reflection.

Every day this year I got to know myself better, what makes me tick, what makes me sad, what makes me feel at ease, but most of all, what makes me feel happy. I think this year, although tragically terrible, gave me time to grow, heal and, as crazy as it sounds, actually live.

This year I experienced and accomplished getting TEFL certified, getting laid off, not having gym membership, landing a semi-remote job, letting go of Instagram and Facebook, diving into the real estate industry, relying on unemployment benefits for some time, starting this blog, writing more, walking more, practicing yoga, hiking more, being outdoors more, figuring out I didn’t need the gym, reading more, starting passion projects, feeling conflicted career wise, figuring out what makes me happy, finding new hobbies with my boyfriend, growing emotionally and physically with him and more. This year has become so vital in my self-growth.

I know many people around the world had a devastating year, or some couldn’t find beauty in being at home. If you lost a loved one, I am sincerely here for you in any way that I can be. If you need someone to vent with, please leave a comment below and we can have a private conversation. We are all only human and it’s time we all lend a helping hand to someone in need.

Now, if you couldn’t find motivation while being alone this year or couldn’t fight yourself to be productive—just focus on today and try to make it better. I know finding motivation after it’s lost (or at all) is difficult to find again, trust me, I’ve been there so many times. I actually tend to go through phases, and I’m scared that my self-growth will soon be halted, but instead of worrying about it, I’ve decided to focus on the present. And currently, yo girl is glowing and growing.

I never understood, “Don’t dwell on the past, it’s gone. Don’t stress about the future, it hasn’t arrived. Focus on and live in the present because it’s now,” until now (kinda). Is it even freaking possible to not think out about our past and future? My answer is: NO. Personally, it’s not possible, but I am a lot better at focusing on the now.

Focusing on the present is what has gotten me through this year and my career related nervousness (I’ll dive into this topic in more detail later). I believe I am mentally prepared to take on and challenge what’s to come next. I am certain I found a way in doing so: I want to help others find their inspiration by provoking self-love, self-care and self-growth. I want to keep healing myself, but most of all be someone that can make an inkling of a difference for someone else.

When I think about coming up with a “New Year’s Resolution,” my stomach begins to do somersaults because I have never been one to stick to something, even if I know it benefits me. I can’t even count on my fingers how many resolutions I have broken. So, instead of calling them this, why don’t we call them ambitions and start when you are ready, not necessarily on January 1st. Trust me, you’ll know when to start.

Your mind, body and soul will somehow snap back into place and your internal alarm clock will go off. I guess now the biggest problem is when that will go off and doing beneficial practices that don’t require too much effort while waiting. No, I’m not calling you sluggish. I’m calling you human. Feeling productive is something that is so hard to accomplish on your own. I rely on the help of my personal rituals, friends, family, books, podcasts and more. Don’t be afraid to rely on or ask for help.

Start little. I promise you it’ll make a world of a difference. Have a healthy breakfast instead of a heavy greasy one OR just have breakfast in general (Do you eat breakfast? Most important meal of the day!). Wash your face. Meditate for ten minutes. Go on a short walk. Listen to an engaging podcast. Paint. Color. Journal. Cook. Bake. Practice making cocktails. Do a facemask. Literally, anything that makes you feel the slightest bit productive, but most of all, happy.

A moment of happiness is better than none. Once a moment turns into moments,then you will see all the difference.

It’s hard to get stuck in the mix of all our thoughts, or how I like to call them, mental monsters. So, let’s work together on beating their asses.

Reflect on this year and make changes for today. Don’t beat yourself up because your year wasn’t as amazing as you’d like it to be. Time is a beautiful thing, don’t be afraid of it. Everything takes time.

Start feeling better today.

Start making right now perfect for YOU!

Thanks for reading, xo.

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