Last year I wrote a pretty decent note on what I had learnt in 2013. I’ve been wanting to do the same for 2014, but when I start to think back on the year I get that,”there’s so much to say, I don’t know where to start, I better play some Minesweeper” feeling you get when faced with a pile of work. Of course I’ve learnt tons of work things, too many to share and, quite frankly, unless you’re in digital marketing you’re not bound to find it too interesting! So here are a couple of thoughts that I know for sure that I believe will stand the test of time:
“Don’t make excuses for nasty people. You can’t put a flower in an asshole and call it a vase.”
This is one of the last (and the greatest) things I learnt in 2014. My Aussie cousin (who isn’t really an Aussie and not really my cousin) posted it on Facebook and I was sold! I have spent hours of my life being bothered and trying to figure out why someone was rude to me, others or in general, and why? Have I grow from it? Only in the sense that I’ve had to let it go. Learn not to waste my time on people who may be behaving poorly just in the moment or always. The bottom line is the above quote.
You have to be antisocial to be social.
This is definitely something I learnt in 2014; the year I committed to working my ass off. My personal time is short (as you can tell from my dwindling blog submissions) yet I still tried to attend all blog events or social events, wedding DJ on weekends, blog and work full time. Did I manage to keep my head above water? Barely. And when I did go out I found it exhausting as I didn’t have the mental energy needed to be patient, listen to others and actively participate in whatever was happening around me. Even visiting overseas, I found being with people quite overwhelming and didn’t feel I was my best self all of the time. This makes me sad because I want to be the good friend, colleague, blogger, lover I know I am. But without shutting down and having a reboot, I was prone to lagging by the end of the year. Lesson learnt: You gotta be antisocial to be social if you want to do things with heart.
If you don’t ask you don’t get.
This is actually something I’ve known for a long time. My Mother has said for years – “If you don’t ask, you don’t get!” What’s fun about it this year is that I’ve been living by this mantra at work. I’ve been mentioning the thought to my colleagues and they, too, have been giving it a go. Such a simple, leap of faith can have some great results. Hey! I even got R50 off Yoda’s new cat stand that week. I asked for a discount, I got one! If you don’t ask…you don’t get.
Blog for the right reasons.
Yes this is an old, boring line by now but I still found it to be true in 2014. I recall Cape Town Girl tweeting, “If blogging starts to feel like work, it’s work.” And boy was she right! It can get really overwhelming trying to please and reply to PR companies all hoping for a feature (which is unpaid 10-1) not to mention the mission hosting competitions can be, WOW! However, I also want to share some blog magic with readers so that they get spoilt too, so that blogging can be fun for both of us. But sometimes the money (or mission) just isn’t worth it. Recently I worked with a PR company, led by an arrogant owner, with an inexperienced PR (it’s a tough job to learn, I know) and at the end I didn’t bother invoicing them for the payment they had promised simply because I didn’t want to be in the blog bed with them. As busy as it can get, remember that your blog is meant to be YOUR blog. PR’s often think you’re an official magazine who promises to deliver mistake free, deadline driven, perfect work. And while I do personally strive to do things nicely, there is a level between professional publications and blogs. Blogs are liked in spite of typos and if you’re feeling like PRs are expecting too much, walk away. Blogging is meant to be fun.
Everyone’s on another planet.
This is something that I’ve learnt time and time again and I’m pretty sure I’ll have to learn it again. The older you get, the more complex your emotional and mental state becomes. As kids, you’re all similarly growing on the same path. Once you hit 18, the “choose your own adventure” options because massively vast and everyone picks their own experiences, which ultimately change who you are at any given point. What I’ve learnt is that people are never on an equal learning journey. Everyone’s head space is in a different place, sometimes it works for you, sometimes it doesn’t. I don’t have a more solid conclusion than that but can only advise to look at others around you, really LOOK at them and realise, you’re not on the same page. Everyone is going through their own troubles and if you manage to have a laugh with them along the way, enjoy it. Be patient, tolerant and kind. I’m still working on that myself.
Today is day 2 of the new working year. I was so happy it was raining in Cape Town yesterday! It made it SO much easier to go back to work. We managed to make it through day one, good luck for day 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 156, 210, 365!