A Year of Growth: 165 Insights That Changed My Life

I remember sitting on my bed a year ago, scrolling through countless jobs because, at that time, I had lost my job ten days prior. 

A job that I had thought that I loved.

A job that I had given countless hours to.

A job that, as it turned out, I sold my soul for. 

It’s funny how you don’t see how toxic something is until you are out of it. You can get so caught up in thinking that everyone else is wrong and that somehow, you will be different. You will change the outcome and in reality, you become the same outcome as all of those before you. 

Now, I won’t get into what happened because it isn’t even worth my time. It has taken me months to get over what was done to me and this person doesn’t deserve any additional thought on my part. 

Instead, I want to talk about my takeaways over the last year.


It was more about the shock of the situation than anything else. I had put myself out there when I took that job because I probably wasn’t qualified for it. I knew that I could do it and I could do it well (and I was) but sometimes that just doesn’t matter. 

Things happen for a reason and there are days I understand that and then there are other days that I still don’t get it. 

What was the point of what I went through?

What was the point of what everyone else I loved went through?

What was the point?

The point was to get me to where I am today. A place where I finally feel like I fit in and where I belong. A place where I am truly given space to grow and learn and show my strengths. When you can find THAT place, you know that you are where you are supposed to be. 

I tried to make this list a list of 365 lessons but that was way harder than anticipated. So instead, you are going to get a list of 165 things that I have learned in the past 365 days. These have made an impact on my life in some way and I hope that you can read through this list and find a common denominator between you and me. A place where we can continue to learn and grow and dig into what we are truly meant to be doing with our lives. 

Because, if we aren’t learning, why are we here?!?!?!


I know that you are here for this list so let’s dive in and talk about all the lessons that have come my way over the last 365 days. Some of these lessons are personal and some of these are lessons that hopefully will help you walk away with something. 

  • Poetry soothes my soul. I have been writing poetry since Grade 5 and for a long time, I gave it up. I didn’t think that anyone would want to read what I had to say so I decided my poetry wasn’t worth reading. That has changed with the publishing of my first poetry book, Meraki Pages, and now working on my second one, Until We Speak. 
  • Some people just won’t like you. No matter how nice you are, there is always going to be someone (probably many) who just won’t like you. That doesn’t mean there is something wrong with you. It just means that you are doing something right.
  • People will use you to get ahead. And hey, at the end of the day, this is on them and NOT you.
  • I love my new job. Every day is different and it can be challenging but I am learning so much. Plus I have creative freedom to help them with their social media and blogging.
  • I do not do well in toxic places. My last place of employment was toxic. I have worked with toxic people as well and it affects me in so many ways. I do not like it and I have realized that I am not going to stay in toxic places. 
  • Sometimes you can be blinded by someone even though other people warn you. Some people have a way of mesmerizing you and you fall for it. It is okay. There is a reason that they are in your life. Learn the lesson and move on.
  • There are incredible people out in the world. Just like there are people out there who are going to hurt you. There are truly incredible people that you have yet to meet. Keep your eyes open.
  • When someone believes in you, they will fight for your success. I have cheerleaders and supporters in my life but let me tell you, the way that my new boss cheers me on and fights for my future success is incredible. She goes out of her way to recommend me to people whom she thinks I can help. Every day she is telling me that success is coming my way.
  • Change happens for a reason. Just read the beginning of this blog post. 
  • I give my whole heart to those who don’t always deserve it. This is who I am and I will not stop. 
  • I miss my family more than I’d like to admit. They continue to remind me that we can move home at any time. I wish that we could move closer but that isn’t fair to my kids at this point in their life.
  • I really have no idea what I am doing with my life. I am more confused than I have ever been. At this point, I am just going to go with the flow. I don’t really know what that means but I am hoping that I will figure it out.
  • Just when I thought I had parenting figured out, there are curveballs. There is a lot going on and damn, parenting is hard. I have no idea what I am doing.
  • Parenting doesn’t get easier the older they get. Yes, they can certainly fend for themselves more but man, does it come with some challenges that I was not expecting. 
  • I am a workaholic. I love to work. It has been brought to my attention in the past that I am a workaholic and that it is a trauma response. Here I am, just doing my work thing. 
  • I have a lot of healing to do still. There are some days that I feel great and on top of the world and then there are days when I get a new trigger and I just don’t know what has hit me. Healing is a lifelong journey and I am here for it. 
  • Clutter really makes me feel overwhelmed. I can’t be the only one who feels this way. I find that it is getting worse the older that I get. 
  • I don’t take care of myself like I should. I am getting better though. I have a lot of learning to do but I am learning how to take care of myself. Here are the mental health daily practices that I am adding into my life.
  • I give myself to others more than I give to myself. This will never change although I am learning to give myself more.
  • I don’t laugh enough. I was told at work the other day that I have a great laugh. No one has ever said that to me before. I think I laugh loud but it’s time to laugh more.
  • I don’t take enough time for myself. I keep telling myself that I am going to do a few things for myself and I have yet to do them. Here is to learning more about how to treat myself well.
  • I am terrible at saving money. We are finally in a place in our lives where we can begin to grow our savings. I am learning how to do this and I am not very good at it but I am proud that I do have money in my TFSA. This just means I will keep getting better and better.
  • I hate saying that I am good at something. I don’t need to toot my own horn. I am learning though that I have those who support me, who will do this for me. I am not very good at taking the compliment and I completely clam up.
  • When someone compliments me, it makes me uncomfortable. See the above. So very uncomfortable but I do say thank you!
  • It turns me on when my husband helps around the house. And let’s make it clear, when I don’t ask for help. I know that I am not the only one. 
  • I want to travel more. There are a few places on this Earth that I want to see. I have never really traveled much but I would love to start. 
  • Road trips make me happy. I love taking road trips. When we drove to Wisconsin last summer, we had so much fun. The kids did well and I want to see some awesome places in Canada and the U.S. 
  • I HATE winter. I am not a fan of the cold and this hatred seems to grow every year. I want to live somewhere warm.
  • Making friends is hard. Keeping friendships alive is even harder. The things they don’t tell you about being an adult.
  • I don’t really know who I am. Samantha is a work in progress and I have no idea who she is and who she is becoming.
  • People come and go even if you aren’t ready. This doesn’t need much of an explanation.
  • I want another baby but it will never happen. This is a hard one for me to come to terms with.
  • Words come to me at the most inconvenient times. Usually while I am driving or when I am trying to sleep.
  • I am figuring out how to take care of my body. For me this means movement and foods to eat. But even more than that, it means how my period affects me (this may be a whole blog post) and how I can be healthy. 
  • Raising girls is soooo hard! I don’t know how my parents did it with us three girls. 
  • I am not good at putting myself out there as a business owner. I am confident in what I do and what I offer but putting myself out there as a business owner is something that I struggle with.
  • I like the idea of being fit but find it so hard to fit into my life. I now have a gym membership and I am trying to figure out how to add it into my life. I have also started playing tennis with my son.
  • My body craves meditation. I have now completed 53 days in a row and my body needs it daily. It makes such a difference in my life. 
  • My favorite part of the day is when I am lying in bed awake and everyone is still sleeping. There is nothing like the peaceful quiet in the mornings. I absolutely love just laying there and soaking it all in.
  • I love listening to the birds chirp in the morning. When we were in Wisconsin at my parent’s house, the birds were out at about 5 am. I love listening to them because it is so incredibly relaxing.
  • I don’t always keep my word to myself. This is something that I am working on.
  • I love teaching women how to blog but I don’t know how to make it profitable. I have tried and I just don’t know how to move forward in my business.
  • I love working outside the house. I love having a job outside of the house. It gives me a purpose other than being a mom.
  • When I get home from work, I need a moment to decompress from my day. My kids have a habit of running to me and talking a mile a minute to tell me about their day. I love that but I just need a moment to take a breath. 
year of growth
  • If you treat me well, I will jump through hoops for you. I am here to make the lives of those around me better. 
  • I love to grocery shop. I just wish it didn’t cost so much. HAHAHAHAH!!!
  • I am learning that dressing up makes me feel great. There is something so powerful about dressing to impress. 
  • I need to cut myself some slack. I like things to go perfectly and well, life isn’t that way.
  • It doesn’t all have to get done in a day. I am learning this very slowly.
  • One year goes by incredibly fast. I don’t know where the last year has gone. 
  • You have the right to walk away when something feels wrong. 
  • My house will never stay clean for longer than an hour. Kids are fun. 
  • I dislike clutter. There may be a few lessons on this one. 
  • I may be too organized at times. Is this a thing? Can you be too organized?
  • If I don’t write it down, I forget it. I have so much going on in my head that if I don’t write it down, it escapes me. 
  • When I go to the library, I can’t just pick one book. I will come home with stacks of books. It is just something that happens. I can’t control it.
  • I love thrift shopping. I have found some pretty awesome clothes and the girls and I have fun going together. 
  • I forget how much I love to cook. Sometimes I get so caught up in having to do it that I forget how much I enjoy it.
  • I really love sandwiches. Did I ever tell you that if I won the lottery, I would open a food truck and call it, Samwiches? It would be a food truck and a bookstore all in one. 
  • My period messes with my body. This is part of the health things that I have been struggling with for many years. No one can seem to find an answer and so I am here, trying to figure it out on my own.
  • I’m not going to get closure on certain things. I have to be okay with this.
  • New triggers are gonna pop up and throw me off my game. I am here to fight these triggers with everything that I have. This is where I save myself.
  • My self-care routine needs to change. I am trying to figure out what is going to work when it comes to self-care. My needs have changed and the discovery stage is fun.
  • I question if I should write a memoir. I have it started and I am really not sure if I should write it. 
  • I am terrified to read my poetry out loud. However, I did read it for a radio commercial. How exciting is that?!?!?!?!
  • I’m not where I thought I would be. Will I ever be there?
  • When someone sees your worth, they remind you. These are the people that you want to surround yourself with.
  • Not everyone will see your worth. Those are not your people. Find the people above and your life will only get better. 
  • Don’t put effort into something that won’t change. This is something that I have been struggling with for a while now. 
  • Forgive the people who don’t deserve it. The forgiveness isn’t for them.
  • Forgive them for yourself ONLY!
  • People will lie about you to make themselves look better. Those people aren’t worth your time or energy.
  • Only you can decide what is best for you. Even if you don’t know yet what that is.
  • Life is too short not to buy the good smelling lotion. This is a form of self-care. Buy the lotion that makes you feel good.
  • When people show you who they are, believe it. This I have learned the hard way.
  • Confidence grows with age. One of the many benefits of getting older. 
  • When someone takes a selfie, it is a moment where they feel beautiful. Take a moment to tell them how beautiful they are. 
  • Remind those in your life what they mean to you. Life is short and we often don’t say the things that we should. 
  • Learn to say yes. Yes to things that you want to do. Yes to things that scare you.
  • Learn to say no. No to things that you don’t want to do. No to things that don’t make you happy.
  • Celebrate the small things in life. Why do we feel like we can only celebrate the big moments? Start celebrating it all!
  • Don’t let anyone silence you. Your voice deserves to be heard.
  • Don’t be afraid to show the real you. This can be a hard thing to do but believe me, it is worth it. Don’t dim who you are because someone doesn’t like it.
  • If you want something then figure out how to get it. No one can stop you except for you!
  • Excuses are useless. This is something that I am working on. If I want it, I need to work towards it.
  • Meditate every single day. It changes your life for the better. 
  • Feeling weak is a strength. Just look at those around you. The strongest people have let weakness in and allowed it to teach them something.
  • Eat the chocolate. Because it is chocolate.
  • Creativity is freedom. Choose to use it in some way every single day.
  • Life has a way of taking pieces from you but replacing them in unexpected ways. You never know who you are going to be tomorrow!
  • Take naps when you can. I wish I would have taken one or two this past weekend!
  • I care deeply about things that I shouldn’t. It is just who I am and I accept that.
  • Your life has endless possibilities. Keep digging to see what is possible.
  • You need to make time to do the things that you love. If you don’t, no one will give you the time. 
  • Growth only comes when you challenge yourself. How can you challenge yourself to grow this week?
  • Lingerie makes you feel like a Queen. Buy the pretty lingerie and wear it just because. 
  • Power is when you learn who you are. No one can take that away from you.
  • Take risks because life is boring otherwise. No one wants to live a boring life.
  • Have sex often. Because why not?!?!
  • Say I love you every day. To yourself and to those you love.
  • We can get so caught up in the everyday things that we don’t realize how important they are. Life goes by and can feel mundane but those moments are the ones that matter.
  • Get healthy to be healthy. Not to fit into some standard that someone else set.
  • Wear clothes that make you feel incredible. Whether that is jeans, fancy clothes, or leggings. 
  • You don’t need to change someone’s opinion of you. It isn’t worth it.
  • Learn to have fun. Life is too short to be serious all of the time.
  • Learn to garden and have plants. I am terrible at this and hope that someday I will figure it out.
  • Vacuuming is my favorite chore! Anyone else love to vacuum?
  • Sending flowers can give someone you love a beautiful moment. I sent my mom flowers for her birthday for the first time and I loved getting the phone call that said she loved them. 
  • You can feel the energy in a room change. Be the reason it changes for the positive.
  • Your goals can significantly change. There is nothing wrong with that.
  • There is nothing wrong with not knowing what you want. It will eventually come. At least, I hope so.
  • Self-care is necessary. It doesn’t have to be crazy or expensive. Learn how you can give yourself time during the week for self-care. 
  • Speaking to a professional is nothing to be ashamed of. There is nothing better than speaking to someone who can help you.
  • The words you use in your head matter. Make sure you say the right ones. 
  • Learn to love who you are in this moment. She will change so quickly.
  • Take all the pictures. You want to remember even the every day moments.
  • Take selfies when you feel incredible. They are great to look back on when you are struggling with self-worth.
  • Read as often as you can. The books in this world are endless and it’s time to pick them up and read them.
  • Turn off the TV and sit in silence. It will do your body and brain good. 
  • Touch the person that you love. Sometimes we all crave that.
  • Share your stories of growing up with your kids. They need to hear your memories.
  • Even when you feel you are failing, you are doing something right. Even if that something is small, you are still doing it right.
  • Life has a way of teaching us lessons we may not think we are ready for. That is the only way that we learn. 
  • People will disappoint you and that is okay. You will disappoint other people as well.
  • Learn what your triggers are and find what works to help you through them. It will be trial and error to figure it out but it is worth it.
  • Sleep is important. Very, very important.
  • Take those shoes off and ground in nature. It is such a powerful way to connect yourself to nature.
  • Sometimes you need to cry in front of someone you aren’t prepared to cry in front of. Three months after I started my current job, we went on a girls’ trip to my boss’ cabin. This was the time that I found out that my current boss had told the Government of Alberta lies about me. I broke down and I ugly cried. I couldn’t stop because I had been dealing with the aftermath of the firing and the lies for months at that point and it just kept getting worse. She hugged me and said that it was okay to break down and I did. I am so grateful that she gave me the space to do this.
  • Learn how to move your body in a way that makes you feel good. I have started playing tennis with my son. I am loving it. 
  • Ask questions if you don’t understand. We don’t always need to figure things out on our own. 
  • People love to teach you what they know. Learn to listen.
  • Some people crave negativity. Stay away from those people.
  • Being positive doesn’t mean you don’t have bad days. It means that you can see the bright side and work through the bad days.
  • Find someone that you can complain to. We all need to find that person that we can reach out to when things are going wrong. 
  • If you don’t like something, you have the power to change it. 
  • Sit with your sorrow to understand it. That is the only way that you are going to understand what is going on.
  • Your life is up to you. Choose what you want and chase after it.
  • Surround yourself with those who cheer you on. It makes life more fun.
  • You need to be your own powerful force to make things happen. Now is the time.
  • It’s okay if you don’t know what the next step is. Just put one foot in front of the other and figure it out. 
  • Your kids will remember the moments you took to spend time with them. Make those memories because the years go by way too fast. 
  • Eating dinner as a family is good for everyone. Even if it is frozen pizza, sit at the table and talk.
  • Your kids want you to talk to them. Have conversations with them and get to know who they are.
  • Teach your kids the things that your parents didn’t teach you. If you can’t, learn it with them.
  • Life can be brutal some days but that doesn’t last forever. Days will get brighter. 
  • Stop doing and just be. Learn to live in the now.
  • Time is more valuable than anything else. Learn that when you are still young.
  • You need to learn to be happy without the support of others. You aren’t always going to have the support of others. 
  • Wear the beautiful lingerie for yourself. There is nothing better than feeling sexy in your own skin. 
  • Declutter your space to clear your mind. When your space is cluttered, so are the other parts of your life.
  • Sometimes it will seem like you are the only one who cares. Don’t stop caring during those times.
  • Learn to listen to others. It can make such an impact on those who don’t have anyone else that listens to them.
  • Cuddle with your kids while they still want you to. Soon they will think you are uncool and want nothing to do with you.
  • Read books with your kids. It is so much fun to read out loud with your kids.
  • Sunshine really makes a difference in your mood. Get outside and enjoy that sunshine.
  • Boundaries are really, really hard to establish. Learn how to keep your boundaries.
  • Self-care is never wasted time. It helps you to refresh and be your best self.
  • Feeling stuck in your life is confusing and can make you feel useless. Sit in the stuckness and listen.
  • Surround yourself with people who don’t make you question yourself. Find support that will help you when you doubt yourself.
  • A king-size bed is not big enough if you have kids. I haven’t slept a full night in 8 years. I am one tired mama.
  • There is nothing better than fresh sheets and blankets on a bed. 
  • Comfy underwear is essential. Buy the underwear that makes you feel comfy.
  • Stories have the power to change the world. Share yours.
  • Learn to love yourself through your own eyes. Everyone is going to have different reasons for loving you. What are the reasons that you love yourself?

Is there one of these that you understood more than the rest? I’d love to hear which one it was. 

Mental Health, Motivation and Inspiration




A Year of Growth: 165 Insights That Changed My Life

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27 days ago

This is such a wonderful list! So inspirational and honest. I am so proud of how much you have grown over the past year.

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