Top 5 Things I Learned In 2020…

2020: A Lesson In Vulnerability And Everything In Between

I see you. I know that 2020 has been an ass kicker. Deep breath… here is a list of what I learned this year. Well ok, we learn things all the time. But this year, has been life changing, hard hitting lessons that sometimes I couldn’t believe and it seemed like I was in an Oscar worthy movie.

1 – V is for Vulnerability.

Faced with having to pivot businesses, starting and running a new one, working with a life partner (oh what drama!) and everything in between… I had to go there. Yes, I had to be vulnerable. Ok, so now what? Well what I learned is it’s ok to be vulnerable but to not over correct. There is a fine line about being vulnerable and also seeing and being aware that people may take advantage of you and situations. I have struggled with vulnerability in the past I will admit this 100%. And I had my own personal reasons why. Do I think that taking the bold step into vulnerability had been a good decision? Yes in general, yet I still have my doubts because of the way things unfolded for me in 2020. Being vulnerable and trying to change certain behaviours were a killer at times. Where I felt like I was in a game of Jumanji and in survival mode. This affected my decision making, moral compass and what I viewed as important in life. The lesson here for me: It’s ok to be vulnerable, but don’t mistake this for being feeble. Still stand your ground and speak up with conviction. Yes, you can do both.

2 – Traditions aren’t always what they seem.

I have always been taught in my culture to respect elders. Meaning someone who is older than you or have a status in the family that requires this. For example, your grandparents or your Aunt even if she is younger or close in age, generationally she is still your Aunt. Well this year, I have been really trying to be kind in general. Not that I wasn’t before, but this year I really made an effort to ensure that I was following this golden rule. What I learned here is that no matter who it is in your life, if the person wants you to do something that doesn’t sit right with you from the get go. Politely and kindly tell them to fuck off. I made decisions that got me sucked into drama and did things that I normally wouldn’t do just because an “elder” made a plea to me (since last year actually) that ended up in such a shit storm of betrayal, mistrust and lies. This experience compromised a lot of values and beliefs, and key relationships in my life. Yes, I chose to participate in this fully and yes I have learned my lesson, the hard way. Enough said, let’s move on shall we? Never again.

3 – The little things matter. They always have.

Toilet paper? I think at one point in 2020 toilet paper was more valuable than BitCoin. Back in March, my partner came home one day with toilet paper instead of flowers. Now, I don’t know what your love language is, but at this point that was the most considerate thing and really showed where our mindset was during that time. Did you ever think that at this day and age we were going to be hoarding toilet paper? You have got to be kidding me! However, this also highlights the fact that it’s the little things that matter. I mean did you want your partner to come home with an Aston Martin for you one day? Ah yeah that would be nice, but you know what did you really need an Aston Martin that day? This act really showed me he was aware and caring and was trying to protect and provide for our family in what was the start of this pandemic. I have always been consciously grateful for the little things but what I learned from this is, the little things are what makes the big things.

4 –  Your tribe has your back. Believe this.

I’m grateful to have a lot of friends. Yet historically, I was more of a lone wolf especially when it comes to business. I just power through to get it done so to speak and then move onto the next. Effective? Sometimes. Sustainable? Not really. In my personal life, I have always kept my trusted inner circle small… do you see why vulnerability was so big for me? Ah yah. Ok, so that being said I was not the person who would usually go to people for help. I don’t know why and I’m still learning but this year I had really stepped out of my comfort zone and asked for help. A lot. I am cringing as I type this. Call it pride or whatever but usually people come to me. A friend once said, “wow this must be really important to you as you never ask for help! People usually ask you.” Me? Who am I, the great Grace Lanuza? Oh my word, I assure you I am just still fumbling my way in life. This year, that really showed and you know what? I don’t care. I know that the learning in here and the lesson is that it’s ok to ask for help. And you see who your tribe is because they drop everything and step up to help you. And that I am so grateful for. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of awareness.

5 – Mental health is a priority.

Quarantine. This is  a sick joke right? Even if I have co-founded a personal protective equipment business start up that is considered “essential” by the government, I’m still required to quarantine upon entry back into Canada. 14 days. 14 days of being inside and at the mercy of Amazon and InstaCart deliveries. The low point? When I forgot to get the Christmas tree and décor out of the storage unit we have and I came home and while in quarantine had to order a tree and everything on Amazon. Face palm moment here folks… but you know what? It is, what it is. While in quarantine, I made sure (as I write this I am in another round of quarantine, long story, next blog post!) that I followed my usual daily routine of getting up between 5am and 6am, got ready and faced the day. Why? Because there were a lot of low moments and frustrating moments and sometimes yes I didn’t want to get out of bed. I know that if I stuck to my usual routine minus the driving range, then I had somewhat of a chance of being kinder to myself and others. I have a new therapist, because I’m aware enough to know when I need to have a different perspective on what is going on this world and in my life. That I’m aware enough to get vulnerable (omg there’s that word again!) and seek help and support when needed. That I know therapy is a healthy thing to do and my mental health is a priority.

2020 has been an ass kicker. But it has also made me stronger, yet broken at times and for that I am grateful because now I know where I need to still grow and level up and where I was in alignment all along.

How about you? What lessons have you learned in 2020? Leave a comment below!

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