This year has without a doubt been the year of greatest learnings for us. It has been a whirlwind, we’ve been through highs and we’ve been through lows. And that’s an understatement. This year has thrown us SO many curve balls and as such, it’s taught us a lot of important lessons.
To summarise the year we decided to reflect on 5 things we learnt this year and share them with you guys.
1. Be grateful for what you have
This year was shit for us. Now before you read this and go ‘yep, yep, we’ve heard this all year but they never actually talk about it’…. we’re finally ready to talk about it because we’re out of it. We worked through it and we’re out the other end better, stronger, wiser people.
We had lawyers reach out chasing us for $25 000 from a car accident that Wehan was in 5 years ago (and wasn’t at fault, but could not prove), Wehan got kicked out of uni and we had a family member die. Yes, our situation could have been much worse, but damn did it freaking suck. We both fell into a depression, we both started doubting ourselves and our futures, and we both repeatedly broke down either in yelling outbursts or hysterically crying. Yup. We hit rock bottom.
We had months of this. Months of unhappiness. Months of breaking down. But you know what pulled us out of it? Being grateful for what we had. We went on our trip down to Denmark in the thick of all the crap we were going through and it made us so much closer. We talked about everything we were grateful for; our house, our job security, our health, our two beautiful boys and of course, each other. We realised that we had so much to be grateful for and both the university termination and the debt had been a blessing in disguise. The university termination pushed Wehan out of a degree he wasn’t meant to be doing anyway but would never have taken the leap himself to leave and the debt taught us how grateful we were for what we did have. It also taught us our next point….
2. Happiness is so much more than material objects
We think this is a belief we have always had but this year really firmed it up. Material items mean absolutely nothing. The debt taught us that. We slowly began to realise that we had so much to be grateful for and we were ruining our lives over money, money that we would go on a payment plan for and would pay off over the years. It was not worth ruining our lives and our happiness over. Yes $25 000 is a lot but in the scheme of things what is the point of living, is it for happiness or money? We sure as heck weren’t going to let money ruin our lives.
In conclusion, as this is the last time I’ll mention the debt in this post. We accepted the debt, we accepted that we’d be on a payment plan and we’d be paying it for the years to come. But after months and months and months and months of trying to argue with lawyers (and trying to negotiate) we gave it one last shot and offered them just $3000 to get the debt out of our lives. And they accepted it. We couldn’t believe it. After all the heart ache and pain the debt was finally over. A lot of people would whinge about how annoying that is, but honestly, we’re glad we went through the pain and heart ache, because look at the affect it had on our mindset. $3000 is a small price to pay for the mindset we have today.
3. Following your passion is the most important thing
So regarding Wehan’s university termination. He failed one of his units which resulted in him being kicked out the degree (Curtin has strict rules like that for Engineering degrees). Wehan immediately appealed the termination. But. Ready for another curveball? Even though Wehan put in an appeal for his university termination, Wehan has decided to no longer studying engineering. Yep. You heard that correctly. He put in the appeal simply to put him in good standing in case he ever wants to return (and yes he did get readmitted) but he will not be continuing his studies. Wanna know why? Passion and happiness is more important. Was Wehan passionate about getting a job in engineering? Did Wehan enjoy his degree? Did Wehan see himself being happy working as an engineer for the rest of his life? NOPE, NOPE and NOPE.
Life is way too short to not follow your passion and spend your life in a ‘comfortable’ 9-5 job that you hate, only to retire and look back on your life and realise that you didn’t truly live. We’re still working things out on that front at the moment but Wehan currently works full time and is now pursuing a career in photography (so if ever you need a photographer, you know who to contact).
4. Time is valuable
This one may seem obvious to you guys cause so many people promote how valuable time is. There are endless quotes out there about how ‘time is valuable’ and ‘everyone should appreciate the time they have’. But it’s one of those things that you hear constantly but may not actually take in.
Prior to moving into our house we worked out butts off and never saw each other. Lydia would work a full time job during the day and Wehan would work and study throughout the day only to then work another shift in the afternoon/evening. It was hell. We never saw each other, we were lonely, we were burnt out and we were less connected than ever. We saw it as a temporary situation while we’d build up the deposit for our house but we moved into our house and the same cycle continued.
We knew something had to change. This year Lydia started a new job at a digital marketing agency that has a brilliant work life balance, with flexible starting hours and no requests for completing work outside the office. Wehan then recently changed up his working hours at his job so that he’d work the same hours as Lydia during the day. We now have our evenings together and it’s completely changed things for us. We finally have time together to get work done, relax together and connect with each other. Additionally, Wehan has recently stepped down from his role as sound engineer at his church, a role he’s had for over 6.5 years, giving us additional time together on the weekend.
5. Don’t be afraid to cut out negative people and things from your life
We’ve learnt how important it is to get rid of any negativity in your life, whether that’s things or people. Because of all the crap we’ve been through this year we’ve really been hyper focused on how we could get through it all and maintain our happiness during our tough times. We focused our attention on what things/people in our life brought us down and made us feel like crap and what things/people in our life uplift us and make us better people. Anyone or anything that brought us down we took a massive step back from (or removed completely from our lives).
We stopped hanging around people that brought us down, we ‘unliked’ or ‘unfollowed’ any accounts/pages that made us have negative thoughts (like jealously or anger) and we surrounded ourselves with people and things that support us, that uplift us, that motivate us and/or that believe in us. The result? Significantly happier Lydia and Wehan’s. It may be a hard thing to do but analyse who/what brings you down and work out a way to cut or reduce them/that from your life. You’ll be a much happier person because of it.
And that’s it for the 5 things we learned this year. We hope our post didn’t come across as too ‘preachy’ and we hope you guys learnt something or felt inspired by our post. Make sure to let us know in the comments what you learnt this year and whether any of our 5 learning points resonated with you.
We apologise that it took this long to tell you about all the crap we were going through this year. Foodie Couple Adventures is about showing the honesty and reality of our relationship and what our lives look like. But we wanted to be out of the other end of it and in the right mindset before we talked about it.
Also as we enter the new year we just want to say, thank you for supporting us. We really appreciate the love and support we received this year and we can’t wait to produce more content for you guys in 2020.