As we leave 2019 to enter the roaring 2020 (get it?), I am taking time to reflect on what a year 2019 was and how fantastic, dope, wonderful, fearless, great and fun I want 2020 to be.
2019 challenged me. I turned 27 and entered my return of Saturn age. You may be rational and not believe in astrology and that Jen and Brad will get back together, but the return of Saturn hits in your late 20s (helllloooo 27) and forces you to really grow up. After I graduated college, I moved to New York City and devoted myself to my career. Now, I am thinking, “Is this what I really want?”, “Am I on the right path and do I want to be on this path for the next 10 years?”, and the most epic question of all, “What’s my life purpose besides getting Jen and Brad back together and performing Raspberry Beret at karaoke clubs?” This age has hit me like a ton of aperol spritzes and most of the year I felt confused, frustrated and alone.
While I did complete all of my New Years Resolutions (yes, I make ‘em and stick by ‘em), I still ended the year feeling unaccomplished. During the year, I developed new dreams and goals, but came up short by the end of 2019. I also hopped on Instagram and BAM felt inadequate when compared to everyone else’s shining accomplishments for the year. While I pride myself on always being a ray of sunshine, no one is immune to these icky feelings – especially when you’re in your 20s, have an Instagram and live in one of the most competitive cities in the world. It’s so easy to forget all of your accomplishments and happy feelings when you see that Maria from high school is a published author, was just promoted and had a dream Caribbean wedding. DAMN, Maria.
We live in a society that praises career, financial and beauty accomplishments. There’s some good to this, it pushes you to succeed, dream big and make that money. However, what about the accomplishments that can’t be easily measured and defined? Achieving happiness is a BIG triumph. Looking in the mirror and liking what you see is HUGE. Feeling good about yourself is CRITICAL. Building positive relationships with colleagues, friends and family is IMPORTANT. Finding and keeping love is LIFE CHANGING. Giggling and having a jolly time is NONNEGOTIABLE. Why don’t we equally celebrate these moments and feelings? They are hard to achieve, but so crucial.
According to the 2019 World Happiness Report, Finland is the happiest country in the world. The survey, conducted by Gallup, uses a three-year rolling average of survey responses around six factors: GDP per capita; social support; life expectancy; freedom to make life choices; generosity; and corruption levels. Finland scores well on all factors but particularly strongly on generosity. Finns feel good about their community, environment, life-work balance and overall wellbeing.
While America has the world’s highest GDP, economist Jeffrey Sachs, one of the report’s authors, said worsening health conditions and declines in social trust and trust in government were making Americans less happy. Any wellbeing benefits from rising incomes in the US were being offset by growing addictions to social media, shopping and consuming unhealthy foods which were causing unhappiness and even depression, he said.
I totally feel this. Social media influences how I view myself and others. It’s human nature to compare yourself, but social media expands this. It’s almost like when you read a fashion magazine, you suddenly feel the need to buy clothes and makeup you can’t afford because you’re an unfashionable mess. After decades of reading magazines, we all know this isn’t true, but with social media we aren’t as savvy yet. If you use social media, use it responsibly. Put those blinders up, unfollow people that disturb your wellbeing or make you feel less than the gem that you are.
2019 was the year of ACTION for me. I am a doer, I like to get things done. 2020 will be my year of JOY. I want to do more things that bring me pure JOY. I still want to DO and achieve my goals, but I also want to live for JOY and spread JOY. Wearing pink brings me joy, so I shall wear more pink in 2020. Meeting new people makes me smile, so I shall network and make that smile happen. Feeling fit as a fiddle gives me a happy feeling inside, so I shall go to more 305 classes. Going on adventures and feeling breathless gives me a whole lotta JOY, so I shall go on more trips and try new things.
I sincerely believe that if you’ve been hustling and putting in the work this year, 2020 will be fruitful. I believe that it always comes together, everything will happen in due time and that a positive attitude – despite the bumps and social media usage – goes a long way for you and others.
Cheers to the roaring 2020 and feeling more JOY. Come on get HAPPY!