Today is the last day of 2018. This year, at least for me, was full of exciting events with an abundance of interesting happenings, which I feel makes me a better person going into 2019. Here are some of my experiences in the past year.

Loneliness can’t hurt you, if you don’t want

Actually, I learned it a couple of years ago, but sometimes you can forget about something important so much that maybe it will not hurt you. Loneliness is one the most daunting challenges I have ever had in my life. From when I was a child until now, I’ve always felt lonely. But a couple of years ago, I asked myself why loneliness has the power to make me sad. Then I realized, if I couldn’t be happy with myself, I would never be happy with someone else. So I started to list all the things that would make me happy and then began to achieve them one by one. I was just curious, what was it like to be alone and happy at the same time. At first, it was hard not think about loneliness, but after a while I understood that I’m happy without even thinking about loneliness. Actually I learned to be my best friend and take care of myself, is would be the best thing I can do for myself because no one is going to do it for me.

Big companies can not bring you joy and happiness

As a software engineer, like many others, I would like to work for big companies, and this year, I had a chance to work for one of them in Iran. At first, I was passionate about my new job, and every day I went there with full energy and worked from my deepest heart. However, after a couple of months, when I saw how my managers acted in stressful situations, and how they (some of them) could be rude and unsupportive, I realized that we cannot expect people in charge, to act like professionals. The only thing you can learn from them is not to act like them. Therefore, the best thing you can do is try to discuss their behaviors with them. If this doesn’t work, then find another job and leave.

My (and probably yours), feeling diagram is like Sin()

I’m not a psychiatric or medical doctor, but I figure that my feelings about life, work, society and everything else is like a Sin() diagram in mathematics.

Almost every one of us has had some days, or even months, feeling excellent about everything and vice versa. In my case, I found out these feelings changed regularly and transformation from the excellent to awful happened very fast. For example, some days (or in some cases some hours) I had very passionate feelings about life, society, people or work but these emotions changed with extra little events. As you may guess, I was in an awful state most of the time, but I decided to change it. The most important thing I’ve learned about the diagram is, it’ll pass, whether you are in an excellent mood or an awful one. Now, I’m trying to do some things to keep me above the x-axis. Even though I find myself below the x-axis sometimes, I will never be hard on myself, because I know it’ll pass.

We can learn from everybody, if we listen to them

Maybe, one of the main friendship rules is, find someone who thinks like us and accepts us for what we are. But I thought, having a conversation with people who don’t have anything in common with me, is waste of time. I was always struggling with talking to strangers or being in a group of people who I don’t know. I have always thought they are mean, and because of this I’ve never approached them and never listened to them, and rarely start a conversation with strangers. One day, one guy who never met him before, told me: “every person comes to your life to teach you something. If you can’t learn something from him or her, it’s your fault, not them.” After I heard it, I thought maybe this guy is right, let’s give it a try. Then I started to make contact with others and listen to them and found out how many things I can learn from their thoughts and their experiences.

“No man is your friend no man is your enemy every man is your teacher” - Florence Scovel Shinn