10 Things I Learned in 2019

Happy New Year! I can’t believe 2019 is over, but I am so glad that this chapter is finally ending. This year has probably been the hardest year of my life, but with all the discomfort came growth, new sense of adventure, and the best friendships I’ve ever had. Before the year was over, I wanted to share a few important lessons I’ve learned this year.

  1. Take Care of Your Space

I used to not care about the decorations in my room or the furniture in my apartment. For the entire time I lived in my previous apartment we had a whole empty room with one bookshelf, and I didn’t care that there wasn’t a dining room table. I always saw it as well I’m never home and I don’t want to be home, so why I would I spend energy?. Something shifted in me when I moved into my new apartment. Even though it was fully furniture, I wanted to make my room somewhere I wanted to go — I fully worked on getting new bedding, a tv with a tv stand, storage and organization bins and it has completed changed how I feel about being at home. Everything has a place and I feel so in place. I mean, after all, I do pay to live here I might as well make the best of it.

2. The Year of Boundaries 

Creating boundaries is a topic that comes up during almost every therapy session I’ve had. In the past 8 months, I have learned how to create boundaries with everyone, even the people closest to me. By creating boundaries, I’ve learned to say no and only give people what I can give people. I can’t take one other if I don’t have enough in my cup for myself. Words are important when it comes to creating boundaries, but it is all about the action and sticking to your gun, which for me has been the hardest part.

3. There is no excuse for being a bad friend

To say this year has been a very hard year is an understatement, but I always made sure I was there for my friends, and when I couldn’t be there I communicated that to them. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case for others. At first, I thought it was because there was something wrong with me and I wasn’t being a good friend, but from seeing some other friendships, I learned that it wasnt me. Friendship is a two way street.

4. There is no shame in medication

At the peak of my depression this year, I finally discussed with my doctor about getting on antidepressants. For years I was always against the idea of going on medication, but as time went on and nothing has changed. To be honest, I felt defeated. I felt that my depression had won. Through therapy and opening up about my journey on Instagram, I learned that just because nobody talks about it doesn’t make it bad. Today, I feel the best I’ve felt in a long time and a big thank you to my medication.

5. You can change your mind about ANYTHING.

Whether it be where you live, your degree, you career choices, literally ANYTHING you can change your mind about. You don’t have to stick to one path.

6. Blondes have more fun.

‘Nuff said ; )

7. Advocate for your needs

This year in therapy I really worked on advocating for my own needs. I tend to put the needs of others first without communicating my own which only results to an empty cup. This year I learned how to tell others what I needed, and put my needs before others. It is still a work of progress, but I feel so much freedom in doing so. 

8. Every death brings a different kind of grief

This year was another hard year with the death of my [grand]mom. I was still grieving my Abuela, who passed almost three years ago, so I expected everything to tackle on my back. This time was different and I felt different. I can’t quite explain it, but it was a different kind of grief. I’ve learned to honor how grief makes me feel and to feel it out. I learned not to judge the differences.

9. The beauty of change

Changes don’t have to come when something is broken, or when the universe forces you out of something. Changes can come just for the sake of something new. This past year I moved into a new apartment and changed my serving job, and it was such a healthy change. Changing my environment and routine has been so healthy for me and helped my mental health tremendously.

10. It’s okay not to be okay, and it takes time to be okay.

Everyday I’m working to be better than the last. Some days are better than others, but I’m stronger than before, and everyday working on myself. This year I’ve been so grateful for my mental health journey. 

Well that’s all kids, this year and decade are coming to a close. Thank you all who supported Cafecito in Chicago. I am so excited for all the amazing things that are to come in 2020. I wish you un prospero ano with many grapes, pots and pans (classic Cuban tradition to ward off negative energy), and amor! 

Feliz Ano Neuvo, 


Follow my Cafecito in Chicago adventures on Instagram!

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