What Did You Learn in 2009?

Today my Twitter friend @MattFagioli posed the question/tweet: What did you learn in 2009?  Something you didn’t realize in 2008.

I couldn’t answer the question in a tweet because my answer would far exceed 140 characters.

Where do I begin? 

Here are a few bullet points of what I’ve learned this year, but I’m way more interested in what YOU learned this year, so please comment back and let us know!

1.  Not everything goes as planned.  I ended a relationship and moved out of the apartment my ex and I shared only 6 months into our 1 year co-signed lease. 

2. Standing up for what you believe in is worth any and all consequences, expenses and inconveniences.  I moved out within 3 hours of calling my Mother and telling her, “Mom, today will be my last day in this apartment and my last day in this relationship.  I’m not sure how the hell I’m going to move all of my shit out of here by this afternoon, but I’m doing it.”   I moved back to my parents house that day, and enjoyed a four hour/day round trip commute for over three months.  It was worth every penny and minute of inconvenience.  It was not cheap to make this decision (I continued paying rent while I didn’t live there) and it wasn’t convenient either, but it was the right thing to do and my life has changed for the better because of it.

3. Staying true to yourself is freaking amazing. Looking back on that relationship, I realized that a part of me had died.  I decided that was the last time I’d ever invest my time in situations or people which are not aligned with my values.  I decided that from now on, I’m in the driver’s seat.  My personality, ambitions and crazy quirks are not going to change, and if you don’t like it, WAHHH!  Too bad. NEXT!

4. Knowing what you want is so important.  If you don’t know who you are and what you want, you’ll take anything you can get (whether it is in regard to friendships, dating, jobs, etc).  Taking whatever comes because you don’t know what you want will ultimately result in stress, anxiety and feeling lost.  This is every twentysomethings big challenge: trying to asnwer that very question of who you are and what you want.

5. Little things are big things. I can go on and on about this one.  I started a new relationship and a new job in 2009 and it’s crazy how many little things were stressing me out that I didn’t even realize.  Also, the smallest things mean so much to me: emails from you guys, tweets, thank you’s, laughs with friends, (my puppy) Giada’s little tirades.

6. Go with your gut.  Thank God I did.

7. Nurture your friendships and think of them as family.

And my theme for 2010?  Get comfortable being uncomfortable.  If you keep doing the same things, you’ll keep getting the same results.  No need for that.

What did YOU learn in 2009?

Rock it in 2010 guys!

Nicole Emerick

Nicole Emerick founded Ms. Career Girl in 2008 to help other ambitious young professional women thrive in a career they love. Ironically, growing MsCareerGirl helped Nicole transition her own career from commercial banker to digital marketer. Today Nicole leads the social media team at a large advertising agency in Chicago. Nicole also served as an adjunct professor at DePaul University where she helped develop the careers of PR, Advertising and Communications students. Tweet with Nicole @_NicoleEmerick.

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