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8 Hard Lessons I Learned from 2019

As the end of 2019 is approaching I only have one thing to say – THANK GOD YOU ARE LEAVING, GO AWAY AND GOOD RIDDANCE!
Okay. Maybe that was three things but trust me the other version had more expletives.

Before you go on to read this blog, let me start by saying this was hard to write and this is some fucking truth bombs from me. This isn’t a feel good piece. These are the HARD lessons.

I think it’s fair to say that 2019 has absolutely been a full year and equally challenging.
I’ve cried more than I ever have in my entire life.
I spent 10 months living out of a suitcase and 6 months overseas.
I’ve grieved the loss of great love and the greatly loved.  
I have never felt freer and never felt more like I have no what I the hell I am doing.

It’s been a challenging year but these are the things I take into 2020.  

8 Hard Lessons I Learned from 2019.

1.       Life is very short

In 2019, the world lost some pretty incredible people, including my Grandma and my Uncle.

A bunch more people were diagnosed with some pretty shitty things, including my Dad.
To put that in some perspective – 384,701 people died per day. 7 people died while you read this sentence.
Time keeps ticking and we keep thinking we have this time and we honestly have no idea how long we have.

Welcome to the cosmic joke.

There is no remedy for this but if you take this information and make it a motivator, your life can change overnight.

So, 2020 plan. I’m living like every day is my last.
I’m telling people how I feel.
I’m not living with regret. I’m going for it.

For more watch the time you have left in Jellybeans.

2.       Divorce isn’t just about losing your partner

My divorce is thankfully almost over and losing my partner was a difficult part of this process but that actually wasn’t the worst part for me. It was everything else.

I lost so many family members who after 7 years were mine as well and annoyingly, I really liked some of his family.
I also lost a lot of friends. This was really difficult.
Some people didn’t know what to say and therefore, didn’t say anything.
Some people took sides. Some other people were just too much to be around.
But by far.. the worst thing that happened was I had to grieve a life I never even got to live out and needing to find my new life  and a new story.

But my new life, is looking pretty good.

3.       You have to save yourself

You have be your own advocate in all situations.
You need to fight for yourself and what you deserve.
You need to have an opinion about what happens to you and the other people around you.
We might be all in this together but you are responsible for your own safety, welfare and your rights.
No one is coming to save you. Save yourself.

4.       Your health should NEVER be ignored

I got really sick in Lake Tahoe, California.

Like, didn’t get out of bed for five days, kind of sick and while I travelling for almost six months – I never fully recovered.
Sure, it got about 75% better after I took some antibiotics but it never fully healed. I
 was travelling. I was partying, I was meeting new people, I was going out all the time… and when I got back to Australia and half collapsed through the doctor’s door the following morning, I was diagnosed with pneumonia and the doctor was amazed my eardrums didn’t burst on the flight.
What followed was antibiotics, pain killers, x-rays and eating all the fruits and vegetables.
I’m feeling much better in 2020, my health will not be an afterthought.

5.       Do It Scared.
Most of 2020 for me was done through grit teeth.
But it was almost always fine.
Being scared doesn’t mean you should stop.

6.       You don’t always have to tell people what you are up to.

I’ve been painfully quiet about my 2020 plans.
My Mastermind starts on 1st Feb 2020.
I’m finishing off Book #3.
I’m pitching to publishers.
I’ve almost finished my first ever screen play.
I’ve been cast in nondescript thing overseas next year.

And the more time I spend telling you about what I’m doing, the less time I was spending working on it.
Do the fucking work and shock people with the results.

7.       Surrender to the process

This is an obvious statement to those who know me but I like controlling things.
I want to know the things. Give me the process, timelines and outline when things will happen, I want to know all the things right now!

And 2019 did not give a FUCK what I wanted. Every time I tried to force something, I made more of a mess of it. Every time I trusted the process and just let it ride out, it was a lot easier.

This year I learned surrendering to the process which is and continues to be no easy feat.  

8.       Say YES to more things
Leave your hotel room.
Stay with people who offer you places to stay.
Go on the dates.
Try the weird food. Visit the tourist monuments.
Go dancing and learn the two step in a Honky Tonk bars.
The YESES will change your life.

This concludes the hard things I have learned in 2019. I hope they can help you.
But seriously. Watch that jellybean video. It’s going to change your fucking life.

Love you. See you in 2020.

JA x


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  1. Elizabeth Hickey says:

    Love this Jem. So true on many fronts.
    I think one of the things I have learnt this year is to stop apologizing for getting the job done and stepping on people to do so. While I stressed about stepping on toes people around me ducked up and I still ended up having to clean up the mess left behind.

    Have an amazing 2020 and keep rocking it.