5 Things I’ve Learned In 2015

1. Abuse Can Come From Anywhere

This year I experienced quite a bit of emotionally abusive and toxic behavior from unexpected sources. When I found myself recognizing emotional abuse in a professional environment, and controlling behavior from someone have known all my life I learned that abusive relationships are not only romantic. You find it in professional settings, academic environments, in the legal system, in family settings, and even in societal discussions of race or oppression. Protecting yourself from all of this is exhausting. If you are able to recognize it early, you can get out of the situation before it takes too much of a toll.

2. Trust Yourself

Trust yourself when you get a nagging feeling that something isn’t right. Trust yourself when you get an idea that you want to bring into fruition. Trust yourself and your ability to learn and persist when you start something new. I have started many new things this year – the difficult thing is starting something new is that you’re not always good at it. But that’s the point. You need to trust the process, that you will learn and become better. Put in the work and trust yourself to produce the outcome.

3. Mental Health and Self-Care are Important

This year, in reaction to some of what I mentioned previously, I experienced an increase in anxiety and emotional distress. As a result I’ve had to focus extra attention on protecting my mental health and being kind to myself. Mental health is not something we speak about as openly as we should. Psychological wellbeing is tied to and just as important as physical wellbeing, and we need to prioritize our wellbeing if we are going to reach our potential in this world. We cannot afford to ignore our own health.

4. Community is Everything

My community has been the most important factor in my enjoyment of the best and coping with the worst of 2015. From your immediate family to your chosen family, who you surround yourself with is a major part of your wellbeing. Actively supporting each other and being present for one another is important in building community. It’s not always easy but it is worth it. Community is everything!

5. Do it Scared

Did I mention my anxiety? I feel fear and worry almost constantly – but what I’ve learned is that fear does not have to keep you from doing amazing things with your life. Having courage does not mean not being afraid, it means doing what you have to do even if you are afraid. Learning to trust myself and to ask for help from my community when needed has been two of the most valuable lessons I have learned which has helped me launch into my dreams and open doorways. I have learned to leap and build wings on the way down. Sounds scary doesn’t it? It is. The fear and anxiety may not go away, but neither do my ambitions and dreams. I have learned to feed my dreams with my actions rather than feed my fears.


These are five of the lessons I’ve learned this year. Not all sweet, not all sour; 2015 has helped me to focus on balance. I hope you are able, in the next few days to reflect on what you have learned in this past year and bring that growth with you into 2016.


Special note: As I take these lessons into 2016, I will act on one of them and call on you, my community, for support. One of the things I have launched and am building wings for is a project called ColorReel. I am fundraising to help make this amazing platform a reality. Please check it out my GoFundMe campaign  and if you like the idea, please support. Thank you! I want to wish everyone a joyful and prosperous new year. Thank you for all your love in 2015!

© 2015 Kelene Blake, All Rights Reserved