10 Things I've Learned in 2018


2018 has been one weird year.

However, it has also been a year of adventure and growth full of many ups and downs.

I wanted to write down the top 10 things I’ve learned this year without being too cliche and cheesy. (hopefully they’re not)

I like to cook

Before living on my own, I never really cooked. Just the thought intimated me. With the help of Pinterest, I slowly began to experiment and create some damn good dishes. I also became obsessed with watching Bon Appétit’s “From the test kitchen” YouTube videos where I learned how to make rigatoni with vodka sauce. That’s currently my staple dish since it’s such a huge hit with everyone.

I’m sorta a clean freak

I always knew I needed to have my space clean in order to operate, but now it’s more evident than ever. I’m constantly cleaning around the house because I cannot stand messes. Basically, antibacterial spray and a broom have become my best friends this year.

Cats are cool

In my post about becoming a cat mom, I mentioned how I was never a cat person. Adopting Hugo has not only made me like cats, but I’ve learned some can be really fun. I definitely lucked out with Hugo because he is such an easy cat. He’s just a five pound little cuddle buddy.

I’m bad at directions

Even though I grew up right outside of Philadelphia, I never really visited the city. Now that I am living in Philly, I find myself often times confused and lost. I’m not afraid to admit I heavily rely on my GPS even though I know how to get to my destination. I always have the fear I’m somehow going to get lost, but I’m making it a point to become more familiar with my new city in 2019.

Impromptu plans are sometimes the best plans

I was never a fan of last minute plans. However, with a new lifestyle change, I’ve come to embrace them. Sometimes the best moments are the product of unplanned events. I love those days of wondering around and deciding on plans on the fly. They add excitement to our lives.

Laughter heals everything

It’s a cliche saying; however, it’s really true. This year has been hard, but laughing through the tough times helped me keep my sanity. I’m extremely fortunate to have a significant other who can always find a way to make me laugh. I wouldn’t have made it through the year without those outrageously silly, stupid laughs.

It’s refreshing to go makeup free

I have been a huge makeup fan since I was in fourth grade and makeup tutorials were emerging on YouTube. I used to wear makeup pretty much everyday until this year. I started going out with no makeup on and it felt amazing. My self-esteem actually went up and I felt more comfortable in my own skin. I used to think I had to hide all my imperfections like my many acne scars, but they’re really not a big deal.

Love myself

This year, I began to work on loving myself. It seems like a simple concept, but it’s pretty damn hard sometimes. Doing smalls things like journaling allows me to reflect and dedicate time to myself. I’ve learned it’s important for us to be kind to ourselves and that’s something I wish to work on in the new year.

It’s okay to not have answers

I used to believe I needed to know all the answers in life. However, that greatly changed a few months ago. I reached a point where I had no clue what I was doing. I had to take life day by day. I’ve learned this is perfectly okay. We don’t need to figure everything out in order to make it through rough times.

I deserve to be loved

I had to save the heaviest one for last. The biggest lesson I’ve learned this year is that I deserve to be loved and I should accept it. My beloved support system has taught me that. I am beyond grateful and fortunate to have these people in my life. They definitely made 2018 for me.

Cheers to the new year!



Alisha Donnell