2 Important Life Lessons The Year 2017 Taught Me

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Although 2017 wasn’t so much a personal struggle as 2016 was for me (here’s why if anyone’s curious about my emotional turmoil…), I feel confident enough to say we can agree it kinda sucked in other departments. But as with every new year, it’s important to look back and see what we’ve learned in the past 12 months so that we can turn these life lessons into positive changes to go forward with.

Sorry in advance that this post is a LONG one, filled with emotion that I’ve kept to myself and my close circle, but I believe showing this degree of personal vulnerability will hopefully shed some light with regards to a situation you can relate to, or might have witnessed for someone else.

Looking back on 2017 (and without getting into the obvious or the political…), here are 2 major moments that this year had me face head on & personally learn from, and here is how I’m moving forward while embracing these life lessons when going into 2018.



Stop Wishing, Start Doing

Before I quit my 9-5 job in October, I complained for several months (to close friends & family) how unhappy I was. My efforts to perform my job were neither appreciated nor rewarded by my boss, and I often found myself getting blamed for things I wasn’t associated with nor responsible for. Eventually, I felt like getting any sort of “thank you” via email would qualify as a gold medal; they might as well have come around every 4 years. No matter the degree of effort of my first-rate performance (over the course of 3+ years), I had to accept that I would forever be low man on the totem pole and relatively “unworthy” of earned respect. 

Although I knew I had to make a change at some point to maintain my sanity and happiness, I let that personal “deadline” of resigning continue to get delayed from a combination of both personal and professional apprehension. My salary was secure month-to-month, I was good at my job and although my boss made each day very tough for me, the job itself was something that came relatively easy to me and I genuinely enjoyed. I was willing to stay a little longer because I also felt like my presence was needed at our small company. I felt guilty over the idea of leaving and in a sense tossing all of my responsibilities onto someone else’s desk when she was facing a handful of her own already.

When the time came where I finally grew a pair and put in my two weeks notice, I was devastated to find that my boss showed zero concern that I was leaving. This made me feel terrible not only because of what I had been putting up with emotionally, but also because I had already been feeling guilty leaving our small, dedicated team of 14. Every team member’s work in this boutique firm made a difference, so when one person leaves the entire team feels the weight of the work increase.

So when my boss showed lack of sorrow or even a sliver of “disappointment” when hearing my decision to resign, it genuinely broke my heart. After all my hard work, patience, tolerance, and continuous effort for 3+ years, she didn’t give a f*ck I was leaving.

Ultimately, I had to stop wishing things would get better on their own and had to start doing those things (aka quit my job) to feel that happiness I once had within myself again, that had been suppressed for few too many years. Even though I wasn’t “mentally” ready to go out on my own turning my blog into a entirely full-time business, I knew I’d never entirely feel prepared to be my own boss; I had to bite the bullet and just do it, and have faith I’ll learn along the way.

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True Friends Know The Difference Between Fact & Fiction

Here’s a personal story that affected me since this past summer and STILL comes to mind now because I genuinely miss this person in my life. However, I feel more at peace with the matter since recognizing how to move forward from it. No name(s) will be mentioned, as I don’t believe in publicly bashing other people for feeling the way they did; we all have the right to feel the way we did at the time and maybe still do. Regardless, they will know who they are if they read this post anyway.

I once considered this girl to be one of my really good friends. We worked together, we had the same interests, and we could confide in one another with emotional confidence. For me, that’s someone I can put my trust into and call a friend. She started a blog the spring of 2016 with her sister and I was SO EXCITED to have someone to work on our “side hussles” with. After 2 months of launching her sister blog, she made the decision to quit her job with the company to focus on growing her sister blog full-time.

Although I was genuinely happy for her (which I truly was and still am for both her and her sister) I couldn’t help but feel a little resentment only in the sense, in that same time, I had been working for 3+ years towards that same goal and she was able to achieve it so easily, and only 2 months after starting her blog. Nonetheless, I NEVER wished ill-feelings or anger towards her, her sister, or their blog; I was just personally jealous that they found the success I had been struggling to find, and so quickly.

Fast-forward one year to summer 2017 and we’ve kept in touch throughout the year pretty consistently, although most of our communication came via Instagram & Snapchat. Around this time our company celebrated a co-worker’s birthday during Happy Hour at a bar near the office. My entire office knew I had a blog, so it was never a secret that it was my side hussle to help me afford my NYC rent & the overall cost of living in the city. The “birthday co-worker” casually asked me in polite conversation how my blog was doing, and how I made money doing it, etc. She then mentioned the name of my friend (who at this point had left the company a year before) & recognized her blog was growing and finding quick success since beginning. I agreed with her because it was true, she and her sister were doing super well with their blog already. The conversation then changed to summer zodiacs & horoscopes…

…HERE IS WHERE THINGS GET MISINTERPRETED FROM A 3RD PARTY OBSERVER…

Another co-worker of mine, only 2 years older than me, known for stirring the pot, and NOT involved in this 2-way conversation I was having with the “birthday co-worker”, overheard us talking about the business of blogging and my co-worker’s mention of my friend’s and sister’s names. Keep in mind that during this 2-way conversation (as explained above), there was nothing negative of ANY SORT spoken nor exchanged on either end because 1) she’s my friend and, 2) who in their right mind would talk poorly about someone once involved with the company, let alone at a company party…? However, this eavesdropper felt it necessary to cause a little drama by shooting a text off to my blogger friend, falsely informing her that, “Tilden is talking shit about you & your blog at our company happy hour…”

LOL okay…anyone who feels the need to do something like that is clearly 1) very insecure and 2) very bored with her own life. Also, this drama queen co-worker is someone who has been known to something like this TO ME in the past but not at such a desperate measure like this act. The sad part about this entire situation is that I never knew such a text was sent until 2 weeks later, when I sent a funny Snapchat to my friend (the one I “talked shit about”). The response I received from her was a novel of a Snapchat message (the kind that disappears after x’ing out of the screen…), stating her disgust that I would even think to snap her “after what I said…” Clearly, I had NO IDEA what she was even talking about until she explained that ‘someone from the office’ accused me of such a nasty thing & “gave her the heads up.” Luckily, there was only one person in the office who would do something so pathetic so figuring out who it was didn’t take rocket science. Nonetheless and just as quick as a snap message, my former friend cut me out of her life without any sort of chance on my end to reconcile.

One major takeaway that caused me so much pain at the time when I think about how my former friend treated the situation is that she never approached me upfront when this lie was made to her. If someone told me one of my friends was “talking poorly” about me, I’d probably not believe it if it came from an unreliable or dramatic source; and if I was skeptical of the news, I would then say something to that friend directly to clear the air because regardless if it were truth or a lie, I’d care enough to know from the source because this is someone I see value within and having in my life. I wouldn’t wait to have such a conversation over something so impersonal (one-and-done Snapchat message).

I continued to be friendly to her, knowing I didn’t say anything negative and yet still apologized for what she was falsely told. That only led to her, her sister, and her family I became close with as well to passive aggressively “unfollow” me on social media. Petty but somewhat effective at the time…

Today, I realize why she reacted the way she did and why it hurt me so much – she and I valued our friendship very differently. Where I would be investigative over the source of information spoken and want to hear from all sides before forming a response, she cut right to the conclusion she wanted to believe instead. Where I would’ve been more understanding and aware of who was providing such information, she didn’t want to be. That’s when I had to accept that we’d no longer be the friends I thought we were. Our friendship was never going to make it past the changing tides that either breaks or strengthens them overtime.

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The Year 2017 Has Taught Me To…

Know My Worth & Know Who I Am

Different types of people will enter our lives during all stages of development, from childhood adolescence to young & older adulthood, and with that comes all sorts of personalities we are faced to deal and/or co-exist with. Some people are meant to stay in your life, and others are not. Nonetheless, these people all enter your life for a reason and there’s a lesson to be learned from every one that crosses your path whether it’s for a moment or forever.

Although I was angry that my boss didn’t care I was leaving which left me feeling like I had wasted those final months with the company, I had to recognize that there is a reason the course of my life had me stay at my 9-5 longer than I probably should have. I learned how to tolerate someone who was not only my superior, but also someone who would NEVER respect me no matter how hard I worked for it. Regardless if I had left earlier than I did, I would have received the same lack of appreciation and lack care over my decision to resign no matter what. Finding peace with the fact that I’ve done my best while learning how to work alongside with a personality such as her’s without jumping out a window felt like a huge accomplishment itself.

Seeing how quick my friend was to believe someone else’s words and cut me out of her life without hesitation, HURT ME SO BADLY for several months until I recognized that our friendship wasn’t as strong as I led myself to believe. When compared to my friendships I’ve had and cherished since high school, there’s a reason why those lasted and why the one I had with her didn’t stand a chance. Ultimately, the effort to maintain it didn’t match up on our own sides. Like any relationship, the participation of both members is required to make it work; when it becomes one-sided, that’s when they end. And now that I’m at peace with recognizing that, it’s completely fine & fair for her to have felt the way she did and thus react the way she had done. To each their own, as they say.

Looking back, both these major life moments led me to have a firmer grasp on my personal worth because I know how hard of a worker I am, both professionally with my career(s) and personally with my valued friendships. I’m a natural-born people pleaser, so I give everything involving the emotions and well-being of others 110% percent of my effort. Unfortunately, we live in a world where the self-less often receive the short end of the stick when faced with choosing others over themselves; and I was finally tired of coming in last…

The person I should have been focusing on pleasing was myself. As soon as I switched mindset gears, my life has become a much happier and productive one that I’m proud to take into 2018!


Please advise that I have no ill-feelings towards anyone mentioned in this post. In fact, I’m thankful for how it all played out looking back on it now. I chose to be vulnerable putting this out there, and I chose to let go of all negative feelings associated a while ago. My heart is very full & happy. Thank you for understanding.


Embellished Sweater: H&M | Shorts: ASOS | Booties: Free People (also have them in white) | Bag: Coach

Fun fact: this bag is same one that was in 2007 Nancy Drew movie (below)


2 Comments

  • Reply Christy Peeples DuBois January 3, 2018 at 10:44 pm

    Wouldn’t it be nice to just wake up one day and know what we know without having to go through the emotional stages we have to go through to learn and grow as a person. To get to happiness, contentment and serenity within has to come from within and above, for me anyway. And it takes, as you shared, all the people that is placed in our lives for ever how long to get us to where we are today.
    Thank you for sharing this. I can certainly see how emotional these situations were and with reason and thank you for sharing your positive outcome. It does inspire me and can’t we all use inspiration. Or I know I can. Thank you again.

  • Reply Helena Kuhn January 13, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    Your 20s are hard, but you learn so much! Thanks for being so honest and sharing these universal experiences on your blog.

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