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It’s June Already: Reflections on the First Half of 2018

new year reflections hour glass time

Half of the year has passed and some self-reflection is in order. New Year Reflections, Six Months After.

470 days of meditation

As of today, I’ve meditated for 470 days in a row. I miss my 30-minute sessions, but apparently not enough to make them a priority and follow through. See, complete honesty at all times.

“If you have more than three priorities, you have none.”

3 weeks of writing

I’ve written every day for three weeks in a row. It feels amazing and proves what I already knew- I should have started earlier. Happy I made this a priority.

Self-love and self-care

Blamed for loving myself too much, so I’m glad to report self-care and self-love are still top-notch.

Some of my self-care practices include:

  • reading
  • sports
  • movies
  • wine.

They might differ for yours. Make time for yourself and the activities you enjoy, whatever they are. Unless you enjoy watching videos of people popping their pimples, what the fuck?

Reading time

There once was a time I’d read one book a day. Lately, I haven’t been able to read as much (umm, duh). As it turns out, I’ve only read ten books in the first six months of the year, which I find disappointing.

  1. Why Buddhism is True: The Science and Philosophy of Enlightenment – Robert Wright
  2. Difficult Women – Roxane Gay
  3. Hunger – Roxane Gay
  4. The Art of Public Speaking – Dale Carnegie
  5. The Official TED Guide to Public Speaking – Chris Anderson
  6. The Sun and Her Flowers – Rupi Kaur
  7. Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race – Reni Eddo-Lodge
  8. The Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down: Guidance on the Path to Mindfulness from a Spiritual Leader – Haemin Sunim
  9. Notes of a Native Son – James Baldwin
  10. Neuroplasticity – Mo Costandi

After doing the (incredibly complex) math, that averages to two books a month, which isn’t bad.

Still, deep in my soul, I feel the need to read more.

Which reminds me… The thing I feel deep in my soul? That gut feeling? It’s right most times.

Even if, against all odds, it’s not, I try to remember:

“That’s all failure is.


Sports & movement

As for sports, I’ve played a lot of tennis, went running, swimming, worked out, moved my body.

Everyone knows exercise has numerous benefits.

When I’m inconsistent and fall behind on my regimen, though, I quickly remember the most important reason why I workout.

Simply put, my mental health flourishes when I move, and my thoughts start getting dark when I don’t.

I’m proud to have found a routine that works for me, making my psychological state a priority, through yet another tool.

New Year Reflections, Six Months After- People & relationships

My relationships have thrived, despite the people I left behind throughout the years. As we grow, our circles get smaller and stronger, even our concept of friendship changes. At least mine has. I’m grateful especially for two of my friends, who’ve made my life 100 times better this year.


  • I’m still not stable enough to get a dog (or three).
  • Still haven’t made a significant donation to a charity.
  • I still haven’t called out an Italian (or fake Italian) for being loud and rude.
  • Still not enough upper body strength to be good at pull-ups.
  • Haven’t been to a Drake concert.
  • At times, I’m still a little softer than I should, and tougher than I should at others.
  • Still trying.
  • I’ve learned so much, professionally speaking.

Also, this year I’ve grown more than my entire life. That is a bittersweet realization.

In Albania, we often tell kids: “If you don’t get hurt, you won’t grow.”

That’s why I love words, they’re so powerful. You can turn a crying kid into a happy one.

“You fell off your bicycle and broke your arm? That must mean you’re growing extra fast.”
“You were playing basketball and the ball hit you in the head because your coordination is whack? Yeah, this is how you grow!”
“Your heart’s so broken you can hardly breathe? Growth!!!”

“Something will grow out of everything you’re going through, and it will be you.”

I wish I had some statistics for:

  • how many words I’ve written,new year reflections
  • or how many people I’ve helped
  • how much time I’ve spent on social media
  • how many bottles of wine,
  • or hugs,
  • tears,
  • or white lies.
Quite satisfied with how patient I’ve become and the balance I’ve achieved between my spiritual and practical self.

I’ve always wondered whether I’d lose my spiritual, unconventional, “deep” part as I grow, but I smile internally, knowing 8-year-old me would love present me.

Do something today that your future self will thank you for.

That is my goal for the next half of 2018. Make future me proud, repeatedly, consistently, endlessly.

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