My Top 5 Lessons from this Winter…

Time flies, I’ve got to say. Time really flies. It seems like just yesterday when I boarded a New-York bound Kenya Airways airplane — I can’t believe that that was almost 2 months ago. At the same time, I’ve really missed home, and I’m excited for the upcoming two-week spring break in a week! Ah! How I can’t wait for Friday when I can finally board the same airplane back home and see my friends and family. Nevertheless, this has been an easy yet simultaneously hard winter for me. Compared to the past two winters, it’s definitely been significantly easier, but it’s also been coupled with some hard decisions that I’ve had to make, all of which are undoubtedly for the better.

On a totally unrelated note, it’s been the warmest winter I’ve had yet! While this is not necessarily a good thing, I really dislike the cold, and I think that this has definitely played a role in this winter being slightly easier for me.

But, without further ado, here are my top 5 lessons from the winter!

1. Take risks – So, I wrote a whole 6-page essay last year on this idea of realism v idealism and my father likes joking about it (reach out to me if you’d like to read it and/ or talk about it). But in the broad scheme of things, he’s more of the idealistic type, and my mother and I tend to air on the side of caution. While being realistic may sometimes prove beneficial, I acknowledge that I have a lot to learn from my father because a lot of times, the decisions that I make are driven by fear: What’s the safest option? How can I best guard my heart? I choose fear and guaranteed safety, and when I need to most, I lose my trust and faith in myself/ God. This is definitely one of those lessons that I’ve had to re-learn countless times, but it truly is so amazing that just when you decide to trust that it will work out, it does. As you may already be able to tell, I took a big risk this winter, and so far, so good, but I’m still uncertain about how things will play out in the end. However, I’m so glad, for many reasons, that I took that risk. I may talk about this more on a future blog post, but I really am coming to the realization that if we don’t risk (when it’s warranted, of course), then we’ll never know just what amazing opportunities lie on the other side. Risk ….. sometimes!

2. There is dawn after dusk – My dawn definitely came as a result of taking the said risk above. Again, I may expound on this in a future blog post, but I know that we’ve all been in some form of dawn that was preceded by a period of intense dusk. I had it really rough late November to December last year, and I honestly was so devastated. Just last week, upon receiving some good news and informing my parents, I remember my father saying, “Your tears from *** are now gone and forgotten!” It’s quite hard to imagine that the same person I was in December, crying for hours, is me today. And so, I truly believe and have learnt, this winter, that there is always dawn after dusk, and sometimes, it’s much better than you could’ve ever imagined it to be.

3. It’s okay to say good bye because you deserve the best – It’s taken me such a long time to come to terms with this realization, but I’ve decided that it’s only for the best. This is another one of those lessons that I constantly have to be reminded of: don’t force friendships, at all, ever. It’s hard, and that’s the very reason I was afraid to let go for so long. But then there comes a time when you realize that it’s more unhealthy to have that person in your life than to let go — at least with letting go, the pain is only temporary, before you move on to something so much better. I may also expound on this in future, but I did need a little help to come to this decision, and I remember one of my closest friends constantly assuring me, “You deserve the best, and nothing but the best.” And so, today, I truly believe that I deserve the best, whatever that may be, and you do too. This doesn’t mean that I’m not scared, but I’m still waiting for my dawn, and I know it’s coming!

4. Your mental health comes first, and it’s okay to take that break – I think ‘Dasha’ two years ago would be very surprised with ‘Dasha’ today. This is a lesson that’s been a long time coming but it’s so very important to listen to your body. I’ve pushed myself so much in the past to the brink of breaking down and I will definitely expound on this in a future blog post, but realizing that you don’t have to do something every single minute of the day is transformative. Of course, I finish all my assignments on time and make sure that everything else is done, but as I’ve been frequently saying, “As long as my work for tomorrow is well and done, I’m going to sleep, or depending on how early it is, perhaps even catch up on some YouTube videos or Netflix shows.” Somehow, being on this mindset has enabled me to complete a lot of my homework days ahead, more so than when I was constantly lamenting over what I had to do next. Consequently, I’m so much happier, and undoubtedly content with the times when I take a rest, because the truth is that we all, at some point, do need to rest.

5. The gym is life-changing – Following the previous sentiment on healthy lifestyles, this mid-January, I set it upon myself to go to the gym, and I think it’s definitely one of the best decisions I’ve made. Before, I used to think that I had no time to ‘waste’ at the gym, but once I realized how rewarding it is, I now make the time. And indeed, I’ve been consistently going to the gym at the very least 3 times each week for about a 40 minute moderate-intense workout (sometimes slightly less, and sometimes more) with a primary goal of simply just being more active. I can detail my normal gym routine and the rewards in a future blog post (if anyone would like) but one thing is for sure: it’s amazing! And I think that absolutely everyone should be going to the gym regularly. I look forward to keep making time for it even as the year proceeds.

6. Bonus: Take more photos 😝 – For making it this far into the blog post, why not just throw a sixth one in the mix? I recently realized that I barely have any decent photos, so something I’m hoping to work on this spring is taking more photos!

Of course there is so much more to take away from this winter, and merely just everyday experiences, but these are the 5 that have really resonated with me. What are the most significant lessons that you’ve learned during various seasons of your life and carried along with you even beyond that?


Thank you for reading this entry, and be on the lookout for more content soon, including an expansion of my 5 main lessons from this winter. As always, check out my other blog posts, and click here to reach out to me anonymously (or not) about anything and everything. See you soon, and next time, I’ll be at home 😃, but in the meantime, wish me luck on my finals next week!

P.S. The featured image is a photo of me taken 1 or 2 winters ago, but I thought it looked cool, so bear with me. 🙂

– Dashushka ♥

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