16 Things I Learnt in 2016


2016 was the first year of my marriage. It was the year I moved away from everyone and everything I knew and started over in another country. It was the first year I had all the time in the world. It was the first year I got an actual job. It was the first year I was not in formal education since the age of five yet it was the first year I felt compelled to write a list of all the things I learnt.

  1. You are so much better unfiltered. That’s it. Stop trying to impress other people because you will only truly impress them when you’re not trying to. Be unapologetically you.

  2. Being away from family means you talk to them less but appreciate them so much more.

  3. Having all the time in the world is all fun and games until the second week. You will eventually wish for a schedule, for work, for someone to depend on you. The things you thought you would get done, don’t end up getting done. Learn to discipline yourself to be consistently productive, no matter what the routine.

  4. Realize that other people don’t always react the way you would. Somebody can be quietly excited or sad while smiling.  Don’t assume they are feeling a particular way just because you wouldn't react like them.

  5. Starting full-time work means waking up early and coming home tired and questioning the meaning of life.

  6. Sing like nobody's listening. You sound so much better.

  7. Stop depending on other people to get things done. Realize you control your life and that means being self-dependent.

  8. You sound way more interesting when you talk without stopping to think what the other person is thinking of you.

  9. Nearly every single time, the best excuse is the honest one.

  10. Teaching is one of the most tiring, mind consuming things you can do but one that makes you feel indispensable.

  11. Being productive is not about doing one thing all day, but doing many things all day and doing that one thing in the spare hour that you cherish to spend with that thing.

  12. Learning physical skills like skiing or biking or all the same. They seem fun before and after but are seriously hard while learning.

  13. When you can't work, you will wish you could. When you are working, you’ll wish for a break.

  14. Prayer works. Ask for specifics and know that what you ask might be so much better if it comes to you later.

  15. Take the time to be grateful when something you prayed for actually happens. Whether you asked for it yesterday or five years ago.

  16. It’s always better to admit you don’t know how to do something rather than pretend you do and mess it up.