Allow me to borrow from Spotify’s (a streaming platform that isn’t available in Kenya) incredible feature ” Your [insert year] Wrapped” where they summarise your year based off the music/ podcasts you listened to throughout the previous 12 months. I find this incredible because it is a form of self-reflection and a way to celebrate your personal victories.
A lot happens in a year; sometimes the change is very conspicuous i.e. The change brought about by the pandemic while other times the change is subtle and the effects can only be felt months or even years later. Now if you’re like me, when the situation changes, so does the type and perhaps genre of music listened to.
Music is the literature of the heart; it commences where speech endsAlphonse de Lamartine
As I listened to my 2020 Wrapped, I found myself experiencing the last 12 months of my life again, albeit from the outside. I found that despite how extremely upsetting the year has been , life found the time to sprinkle lessons throughout [Most of which have been extremely uncomfortable to learn].
It has not been easy shedding the different layers of skin, but every lesson has served a purpose in bringing me to this point and so here’s the 6 main lessons I’ve learnt this year:
- Life is fragile, and short
As humans we tend to live as though tomorrow is promised, when it really isn’t. We need make the most of the time we have and live fully. Ashley DuBose says it best in her song Chase It:
““I woke up and I felt a little different today
The sun was in my eyes but a smile was on my face
I didn’t have any plans
But in my mind I began to understand
That today I was given a chance to make something of me”“
2. What you’re stressing about right now, will not stress you forever
It’s so easy to get caught up with things not working out, with deadlines and with life in general. Trying to take on everything at once will only burden you with unnecessary pressure. Taking time to pause will help you realise that most things are completely out of your control and its easier to focus your energy on that which you can control. When I found myself stressed out by what was out of my control, a really good friend recommended the song My Sanity by Thrii. The first time I listened to the song, the following words struck me and have followed me ever since:
” If you can’t control let it go
If you love someone and let them know
And if strong and you know it let it show
And people change, so let them grow “
3. You will most definitely mess up.
Human beings do not know everything and as a consequence we are bound to make mistakes. Life is made up of learning curves and so there’s no need to beat yourself up about a mistake you made when you didn’t know any better. Take the lesson and try your best to move on. (Easier said than done, I know). My new found love for Stormzy opened up the doors for me to experience his song Do Better:
” I know everything is okay
I’ma need you to do better
I’ma need you to do better
I’ma need you to do better
I know everything is okay
I’ma need you to do better “
4. You lose most; You win some
Life can be compared to a card game, where your next move depends on the move of the previous player. Sometimes things work in our favour and we win the game but most times, the game gets changed and we lose or alternatively, we have to keep the game going until the odds are in our favour once more.
Just because you envision certain things or experiences in your life isn’t a guarantee that it will come to pass how you want it. Sometimes, we get exactly what we want but most times life will through hurdles at you until you realise what it is you truly want. You just have to keep going. Kenny Rogers definitely sang it best in his song The Gambler:
” You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
Know when to fold ’em
Know when to walk away
And know when to run
You never count your money
When you’re sittin’ at the table
There’ll be time enough for countin’
When the dealin’s done “
5. If you really wanted to, you would
This was perhaps one of the most violent lessons I learnt this year. If you really want something i.e. to make a change in your life, you would do it. You would put aside all the excuses and just do it. As time goes on your determination will enable you to develop the willpower to overcome any obstacle that presents itself along the way. You eventually realise that you are your biggest obstacle. The song Let Me Live by Kehlani, helps with the reflection. (The answer to the questions is yes by the way)
” Do I have the side
To face what I gotta see?
Do I have this strength
To fight my insecurities?
Can’t hold my breath think I’m losing control
What’s left of my patience is fading slow
Do I have the strength
To get where I need to go? “
6. Time spent in solitude is golden
At the end of the day, you’re all you have; with your flaws and your achievements. Everyone else can choose to come and leave as they please but you can’t abandon self. Do what makes you happy without tying that happiness to the opinions of others. An investment made on yourself will bring you returns in abundance. I relate to Tinashe’s Lyrics in Like I Used to:
“I had to let go
I’m in my bag bro
If it ain’t about the cash flow
I’m sorry got to pass on
I got to pass on you, “
What are some of the lessons you’ve learnt this year? Feel free to share some in the comments below.