It’s the end of the year. Like my financial administration, it is time to make up the balance of my personal activities – or rather, life lessons. Written down in English, so I can share this with everyone: 5 things 2014 has taught me.

1. ENJOY HAPPINESS. I think the most wonderful thing I’ve learned this year is to not envy others for their happiness. To not feel annoyed by the obvious love statements of couples that seem too happy to be true. (you know, those Aaron Paul-like love things). But rather embrace it, smile about it and let it be, without judgement or response at all. Because happiness never lasts forever and we should enjoy every single bit of it when it occurs, even if it isn’t ours. It makes life as a whole more enjoyable.

2. FRIENDSHIP IS THE STRONGEST RELATIONSHIP THERE IS. You can miss your best friend when she’s on the other side of the world, not in moments where you’d wish she was here, not at times when you think it’d be more fun if she was there. No, I miss her in a lingering way, a tingling gut-feeling that makes me feel like there’s a part of me not present and keeps me looking for it without knowing what it is I’m looking for.

3. YOU’RE ALWAYS CAPABLE OF MORE THAN YOU THINK. I’ve learned to make decisions and stand by them. From choosing to love my love even more than I did before and not going anywhere, no matter what, to choosing a certain path in my career (that of the freelance writer), which was the scariest thing I did in my life. To voluntarily choose insecurity, in income as well as concerning my own skills, has shown me what a tough person I am. I rule. And so far, everything has worked out and business is going better than I could have dreamed of. Choose to do what you love. It literally pays off.

4. INVESTING IN YOURSELF IS THE WAY TO GO. This was going to be the year of change, I’ve established that in January 2014 with the other best friend, who is not on the other side of the world. And what do you know, it actually was. There are quite a few people, including myself, who decided to turn things around this year. Themselves, most of all. Taking a step back from the racetrack that this world is nowadays, seeking time to truly look at themselves, deciding what is right for them and what is the best way to get there. I feel overwhelmed with pride and gratefulness to be amongst these people. They are my world and I truly believe that they will find whatever it is they are looking for.

5. TIME IS ALL WE HAVE. I’ve experienced the benefits of taking my time. Because apparently (and this came as a surprise), I can’t do everything I want to do. Really, I can’t. It breaks me down every time I try. As I go along, I’ve learned to give myself more space, to cancel appointments when I don’t feel up for it, to say goodbye to things I once loved and worked hard for, but that no longer give me the satisfaction it once did, to stay at home and do nothing but listen to my thoughts and heartbeat. I’ve learned to appreciate the weekend again, without working 24/7, without having to do anything. I force myself to make choices, and what remains is the energy and freedom to enjoy the things I want to do the most and take everything out of it.

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