10 Life Lessons Learned from a Weird and Wonderful 2016

I can’t believe I’m typing this up with a little over eleven days left in the year. It seems like time is flying by at such a rapid pace, and it’s both terrifying and exciting. A strange sadness (like, where did the year go?!) mixed with a thrilling sense of urgency to do everything now. Do you feel me on that?

When I started 2016, I had a vision board packed with goals. A super-imposed selfie with me and Khloe Kardashian (*cringe*), images of Oprah, and quotes alluding to wanting my own television show. No offense to Khloe or Oprah, and I’d have a glass of champagne with both of them if they called me today, but to be honest with you, I don’t know who the hell made that board. Because it sure as hell doesn’t feel like me. But it was. And I honor the woman who did create it.

But she’s changed.

What I can tell you is that 2016 shifted me. I came in like a raging bull filled with big, glossy goals, and somewhere around the spring I felt like a quiet, reclusive artist, writing poetry in my apartment and dying my hair pink (lol). No, seriously you guys, I was like, who is this bitch? I wasn’t sure, but I liked her. A lot.

I guess you can say I went through a bit of an evolution. A lot of soul searching. A lot of quiet time. A lot of reflection, introspection, and time spent alone. A lot of time thinking about what success looks and feels like to me. A lot of time realizing how important being creative is to me. A lot of time realizing how important art is to me. And more importantly – what art is to me. A lot of time redefining how I wanted my days and my life to look. A lot of time looking inward rather than outward. In fact, I looked outward so little that I actually fell out of the loop with so much of what went on in my industry. And I’m really so okay with that.

All in all, 2016 was pretty cool. A strange time for sure in the world, but I worked hard to remember that no external circumstances can – or ever will – change me. I worked hard to remind myself that I have all the power to create the life I want. We all do.

I had to get over the fact that I did not need to operate like a speeding freight train at all times to get shit done. I had to accept the fact that I could rest a little, and I should rest a little, because I had done the very hard work to earn that right. I also had to learn that the lulls lead to some of the biggest moments of our lives.

I thought it would be cool to do a little round-up of life lessons and other things I’ve learned over the course of this year. So, without further ado, here we go:

Waiting is really, really hard to do. But its a test in your ability to trust the Universe. And when you get through it, patience truly does become a virtue.

It’s so much fun to play with your personal style. Stop waiting to dye your hair a funky color, or experiment with new looks. Normal is boring. Get some balls and have fun!

Never, ever take your health for granted.

Make art, not goals. Meaning, live your life in a beautiful way. Stop racing to finish tasks and instead, learn to enjoy the process. Do things with an artistic flair; eat from gorgeous dishes, immerse yourself in learning new things with your eyes and heart wide open, cultivate your own personal style in the way you work and live.

The only diet and workout plan I will ever need is my intuition. As long as I listen intently to my body and what she needs, I will feel and look my best.

Only do things you really love. Ask yourself each morning, “What will make me feel good today?” and do more of that. If something feels like a chore, either drop it from your life completely or seriously limit your time spent there.

Try new things and try them often. This year I launched a radio show and wrote a book of poetry. I learned so much about myself through both projects.

True confidence comes from being our authentic selves. You develop your self-esteem by trusting your truths. More on this in 2017.

Happiness brings success. Not the other way around! Allow your bliss to dictate your goals.

Trust your gut. Seriously. Trust her. Stop polling people, stop waiting for approval. I made 2 massive decisions this year that will genuinely impact the trajectory of my life and my career and I made them completely alone. And it felt damn good.

I also want to take a moment to thank each and every one of you for your support this year and always. I am grateful every day for your genuine love and kindness, and I don’t know what I’d do without you ladies!

Wishing you an absolutely magical last few days of the year!

With love and bubbles,
Cara

 

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Showing 2 comments
  • Ashlina
    Reply

    Cara! YES YES YES! I love this message. Feels so in sync with whats happened & happening with me.
    So happy you are sharing this with the world.
    xo

  • Yolonda J Washington
    Reply

    Love this…thanks for sharing. Here are my thoughts:

    YOU: Happiness brings success. Not the other way around! Allow your bliss to dictate your goals.
    ME: I completely agree. And hope that I live more like this in 2017.

    YOU: Trust your gut. Seriously. Trust her. Stop polling people, stop waiting for approval. I made 2 massive decisions this year that will genuinely impact the trajectory of my life and my career and I made them completely alone. And it felt damn good.
    ME: I did this in 2016 BIG time. I changed my career. I left my “guaranteed” pay check as a Marketer for what is my dream career. I became a realtor. My dad didn’t seem that supportive of my idea, but I did it anyway. I even got a few concerns from other family and friends. But I can’t make decisions based on other people opinions, in fact I have failed that way. I need to make all decisions concerning me, MY decision. Period. I’m getting better with this. Anyway, I can’t wait to see where 2017 takes me.

    Happy Holidays!
    xo, Yolonda

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