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Day 26: Lessons Learned In 2018

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The end of 2018 is nigh and it’s time to reflect!

This is a great tradition, reflecting, and I learned it from the blogging community; looking back at the past year and collecting all the things we learned and the things we could do better in the future. Isn’t this the whole point of living a meaningful life :)

This year has been another challenging one with occasional spots of light here and there. But something positive about challenging years is that, if you’re able to evaluate it honestly, there are brilliant lessons always to be learned.

This year I have come to find new sides of myself, which has been surprising for someone who thought she knew herself throughout. But it’s always a welcome surprise when you realize new things about yourself, because it then helps you to muddle through next year knowing how certain situations and events affect you.

Here are my top 3 revelations that I discovered about myself this year:

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I need to pick up the slack

I can be laziest lazy-ass in the whole wide world if I’m allowed to be. And since I was single for almost 8 years I sure allowed myself to be just as lazy as I wanted to be.

Lazy meaning that I cleaned only when absolutely necessary, for example, when friends of family were coming over. I held a lot of parties because that was my way of forcing myself to do a proper clean-up. Or lazy meaning that I preferred buying and surviving on snacks for dinner rather than cooking. Thank goodness my digestive system is made out of cryptonite, because any nutritionist would faint if they got hold of my diet for the past 5 years.

Unfortunately this laziness has also crawled into the goal-oriented Marketing professional side of me. I’ve always had big goals in my life that I wanted (and did!) achieve, but since moving to Estonia I haven’t been able to come up with anything I’d like to set my mind to.

So, now I’m working in the “wrong” industry at the lowest levels of the company, not inspired, not learning anything and I’m just waiting. Waiting for my boyfriend to decide when we move away. WTF?? If I had been told 3 years ago that this is how things will turn out for me I would never have believed it.

I’ve let myself get away too easy, especially on the professional front. And it needs to stop!

I’m quite good at keeping up the pace myself when I get going but I do need a bit of a push to get started. Thankfully I met my boyfriend at a perfect time and he has been my driving force (or more like the forcing force) all year, demanding that I get off my ass and put up this blog, learn some coding, teach myself to run this whole thing myself and see if I could (one day…) live out of this wonderful creative project.

What I especially love about him is that he’s not afraid to point out and go prodding around the sensitive issues as well: he has in fact pointed out that it pisses him off that I don’t do literally anything around the house.

At this point any given feminist would have thrown a brick at his face and told him “I’m not a fucking housewife!” (which I actually did). But I couldn’t ignore the fact that he had a point. I had thought about that myself for years but I needed someone to point it out before I’d do anything about it.

In 2019 I will do better!

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I’m not as strong as I thought…

and that’s okay!

I was raised in a culture where everyone fends for themselves; you do not ask for help and you do not accept help because you’re strong enough to get by on your own.

It’s a harsh world to grow up in. But thankfully I’ve had such happy circumstances growing up that I never felt unsure about myself or my abilities to look after myself.

That’s probably one of the reasons why I was single for most of my twenties; I felt like men were more of a hindrance than anything else. And since my network of family and friends is so strong I had never shortage of people to talk to or to hang on to if need be.

But this year has been mentally draining for me and it has taught me that no matter how well I can fend for myself, it’s okay to ask for support as well. We are all amazingly strong, but we all need a hug (or two) every now and then.

I need to be less of an empath

What’s that? Long story short “Empaths are highly sensitive individuals that can feel and absorb others’ emotions and physical symptoms, sometimes to an extreme.” That rings a bell to me so loud that my ears are ringing.

I can be extremely selfish but at the same time I sometimes make decisions based on what I think is best for someone else rather than what might be best for me. Usually this sort of thinking is completely okay, as long as the decisions that are being made are not exactly life-changing.

3 years ago I made the decision to move to Estonia, not because I particularly wanted to, but because there was a difficult situation unraveling back at home, and I thought me being closer to home could be beneficial for everyone else.

Maybe it was, maybe it wasn’t, I don’t know. But I am now paying a very high price for putting everybody else’s well-being above my own.

Big life changes are always huge decisions and one can’t always just think about themselves. But I think it’s important to find the middle ground.


I think that’s quite enough to go by for the next year. I wish 2019 will give me more than it will take so that I could be the best version of myself to the most important people in my life.

Tomorrow we will start an epic journey around half the world to Hawaii for the New Year. I don’t know if I’m able to report on our travels much during them but I will hopefully have time to post some pictures of what we have been up to while there.

I suggest you follow our adventures on Instagram, @the_teresamaria and if any of you have any tips on what to do or not to do in Hawaii, please let me know :)

On our way back we will stop in New York, so there will be plenty of travel posts coming up on these 2 locations early next year.

Now it’s time for me to get on a bus and get myself to Helsinki and prepare myself for the 26-hour journey.

Have an awesome New Year 2019 all you lovelies! ♥

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