Cheers to another year and lessons learned

I originally wrote this piece in December 2016 and today I reread it as I reflected on my two year anniversary of being back home and my time at CoalCreative. It is still relevant, true, and important.

Thank you to anyone who has ever believed in me.

I’ve been trying to decide how to celebrate two whole years of something that has forever changed my life and that has brought such incredible human beings into my world. Thinking back on why I decided to create Project Wednesday in the first place felt like a good start.

I wanted to help people. I wanted to help myself. I wanted to help myself by helping people. It felt right. I couldn’t imagine I was the only person who wanted to connect with other people who might be feeling a little lost in their lives too. To me, there was no way I was the only person who needed some inspiration week by week – even day by day. I knew it had to be done, so I did it.

With that being said, I want to take a different approach today and share with you 52 inspirations I have personally taken away from experiences and conversations I had the opportunity to have with other people throughout this past year. Read them daily, read one each week for the next year, or tuck them all away somewhere and pull them out when you really need some inspiration – whatever is best for you.

Before I share them, I would first like to say thank you from the very deepest part of my heart and soul for your continued support and belief in Project Wednesday. It means more to me than I will ever be able to put into words.

I hope these help you in some way, shape, or form:

  1. Create the things you wish existed.
  2. Be the person you needed when you were younger.
  3. Struggle leads to strength.
  4. People need people.
  5. Sometimes you need to get lost, accept that time will always pass, and trust in the way like works itself out: no matter what.
  6. Sometimes it’s not the story itself, but rather the process of telling the story. Allowing yourself to confront things you keep locked away in the depths of your mind. The power of a story can easily be the process you have to go through to be able to say, “This is me. This is who I really am.”
  7. The world needs you, yeah, but so do the people closest to you. You can make a difference in the lives of your loved ones. You just have to make sure you’re there for them. Simple as that.
  8. Each time we find ourselves deciding upon something it sets in motion the next choices we will need to make in life. Sometimes we choose to do something so randomly, quickly, without really any consideration and we find ourselves wondering how we got to a certain point in our lives. Sometimes things end up great, but other times it feels like we made all of the wrong choices along the way. Either way, find peace in this: Everything will be okay in the end. If it’s not okay, it isn’t the end.
  9. Our lives are allowing each of us the opportunity to see things within ourselves and within the people around us. We all appreciate different things. We all take different lessons away from experiences we share together.
  10. Life is so cool when you own it. It is even cooler when you add or subtract certain things in your life to create your own version of it.
  11. We are all puzzle pieces. We are all playing a part, even after the puzzle has been taken apart and someone else has begun putting it back together again. The pieces may look the same each time, but the way the puzzle is put together again can be significantly different.
  12. What are you thinking about right in this exact moment that’s making you feeling something? Whether it is happiness that you did it or anger that you have yet to even try. Channel your current emotions. Embrace them. What are they telling you?
  13. Everything changed when I started failing. I learned so much about myself. I learned so much about the strength it took to keep my head up. I learned so much about what it meant to attempt that same thing again and conquer it. Failure is one of the best teachers in our lives. It is simultaneously one of the most important lessons in life.
  14. Wherever you end up, you are going to make a difference. Your presence is one that cannot be ignored and your determination to succeed will continue to inspire those around you.
  15. Our interests are constantly changing as we go through new and different experiences. What once made you happy might be the one thing holding you back from a newer happiness. Reflection is key to gaining an understanding of ourselves and the lives we lead.
  16. We are not always given second chances. Make the best of things the first time around, be open to learning a different way of seeing or thinking about things, and embrace the hardships just as much as your good fortunes.
  17. Sometimes people truly do not realize the affect they have on someone. Let them know how they have helped you, guided you, supported you. Let them know of their importance and how vital their existence is to this world. To your world.
  18. Be human. Face your hardest days with your head held high. Know and remind yourself often that you are 100% capable of getting through whatever it is. Things are not always going to make sense in an instance. Life will keep moving forward, so please make sure you do not get left behind because you’re hung up on the what ifs and unexplained whys of life. Smile and choose happiness. Better days will always come along. You are going to be okay.
  19. I have learned how to be alone and how to deal with the not-so-good emotions that come along with those times. I have learned that money is absolutely not everything. I have learned how I really like to spend my time. I have learned that I am terrible at keeping consistent sleeping patterns. I have learned that experiences like this make you ask a lot more questions – internally and externally. I have learned that anything is possible. I have learned that one person can make a difference in one person’s life or in many – there are no limits.
  20. Sometimes you just need to leap. Sometimes you will have no idea if there will be water deep enough for you to land in safely at the bottom, but that’s where faith comes in. Your faith in life and everything it has to offer. It doesn’t matter your religion, in any sense of the word. You just need to believe in all that you are. You deserve everything you’ve ever wanted. I promise it won’t always be easy, but it will always be worth it. Your ultimate life demands hard work and you’re the only one that can do it. You’re the only one that can provide the means to your happiest self.
  21. It takes a village to raise a person. You are who you are because there have been some pretty awesome, and some not-so-awesome, people that you have encountered in your life. All of your experiences and interactions with the people around you are helping shape who you are.
  22. Give yourself permission to tell your story.
  23. Whether we realize it or not, there is significant importance behind someone believing in us as individuals. I believe that what we learn about ourselves and what we learn about others goes hand in hand. We are all part of something larger than ourselves, and we make decisions every day that affect exactly how each of our lives are going to turn out. That really is a bigger deal than most of us will ever realize.
  24. Inspiration, motivation, stimulation – call it what you want. It is the fire that needs to be fueled from your own self to remain lit and to spread to the surrounding logs until the fire is no longer containable. Life is not meant to be lived within four walls. Break them down and see what is on the other side.
  25. People can and will choose to stay – no matter how much you convince yourself that you do not deserve anyone’s love or support.
  26. I like to think we all have a little bit of warrior inside of us. We face internal and external challenges daily and in order to overcome them, we have to tap into our own minds, past experiences, available resources, and more. As human beings, we are gaining the skills and knowledge at all times to survive. We might not need to use all of our skills at once or very often, but the more skills and knowledge we can acquire throughout life, the better off we will be when we are facing a true obstacle.
  27. When someone hurts you, you are allowed to feel whatever emotions come into play because you are human and that is your right. Although, the outcome from thereafter ​is up to you. You can choose to dwell. You can choose to hate. You can choose to forgive, but not forget. You can also choose to understand that we sometimes make mistakes as human beings. You can choose to move past the pain and be more careful with your own words and actions. You can turn any negative energy into positive energy. You have that power. You have that right. You get to decide because you are in control.
  28. We need to stop ripping ourselves apart because of someone else’s idea of what make us perfect, acceptable, and worthy. We need to start outlining our own definitions of what it means to be these things.
  29. Our image of ourselves is the truest of images out there. No one knows you the way you know yourself. No one thinks your thoughts. No one else feels what you feel. Stop apologizing for these things. Stop allowing these things to get in your way of what you would define as a successful and happy life. Set your own finish lines. Reach your goals on your own time by following your own path.
  30. What is your passion? I am not asking what you do for your next paycheck. I do not want to hear about what other people have told you to be passionate about. What do you get out of bed for in the morning? What is it that makes you feel every emotion at once?
  31. If you do small acts of good, wake up and try to be a better version of the person you were yesterday in smalls, if you smile out into the world, then the world will smile back in small and big ways.
  32. We are in a society that is always wishing things and time away. When it’s summer, we want winter. When it’s winter, we want summer. We need to be more intentional with embracing the now. We need to stop “being done with things” and truly enjoy the days we are given.
  33. It’s important to stop and think: “What am I working on to further myself?” every once in awhile. It’s our own responsibility to ensure we are doing something for ourselves, especially when our focus is to give so much of ourselves to others.
  34. When transitioning in life, it’s okay to need a minute or two to take a look at where you are, where you want to go, and how you want to get there.
  35. It’s okay to wonder “What if?” even when you’re happy with your current life. It’s normal and expected. Aim to be completely satisfied and don’t settle for anything less.
  36. Make your bed at the beginning of every single day. That way, you start every day with a small win! One small victory to get you motivated, feeling good, and a comfy, clean bed to climb into after a hard day of work.
  37. The world is as you will it. It’s whatever YOU want it to be.
  38. You never really know who is in the audience. Take that opportunity, do something a little extra, don’t miss out on a chance you didn’t even know existed!
  39. It’s okay to not be okay. If we see someone else is not okay, let them know they’re not alone but don’t force it. Be present, be available. Even if they don’t take your offer, just know you probably helped them feel less alone for a little while.
  40. Surround yourself with people that make you want to become an even better version of yourself.
  41. We owe it to ourselves to explore any part of ourselves we have ever hidden, felt ashamed of, or swept under the rug.
  42. Being givers is okay as long as we remember to also give to ourselves. There is nothing wrong with filling up our own cups too.
  43. We are constantly telling ourselves what we can’t do rather than what we can do. We should be focusing on the latter more than anything else.
  44. When you go through something, especially when other people are involved, it’s important to accept the blame on our behalf as well. It’s important to own and recognize your actions and how they play their part in all of our relationships.
  45. Find your passion and do everything you can to pursue it with all of your heart. You shouldn’t stop smiling when you talk about it. You should barely be able to contain your energy when you tell someone else about what you’re passionate about.
  46. Expect the unexpected. Embrace change. Stop and really think about your life every once in awhile. Take charge and take full responsibility for your happiness.
  47. Be okay with being uncomfortable. A couple weeks of feeling uncomfortable is worth it if that means you get to be intensely happy for the next 20 years. A worthwhile exchange for sure.
  48. If you don’t step back and examine where you are at and your very own perspectives every once in awhile you will stay stagnant. You will not grow.
  49. When we write we have power. With that power, we have an inherent responsibility to do good with it. People should be able to take something good away from it. They should be able to connect, learn, and grow.
  50. You don’t have to love everyone you speak to, but you should speak to everyone like you love them.
  51. Keep in mind: In 5 years a majority of the people in your life right now won’t be there anymore. The only person you need to be okay with is yourself.
  52. We all have a story to tell. We are not the labels that people give us though. We are not only our past. We can define our futures. I think you’re only helping yourself when you’re writing or sharing bits and pieces of your own story by being honest and admitting to yourself, ‘This is where I’ve been,’ and being OK with that.
Holly Pilcavage

Born and raised in Northeastern Pennsylvania, Holly K. Pilcavage, or simply hkp, is the founder of Project Wednesday and is also currently the Director of Business Development & Operations at CoalCreative, an Internet Marketing Company in downtown Wilkes-Barre. Holly was named a 2017 Top 20 Under 40 by the Northeastern Pennsylvania Business Journal, is a recent graduate of the 2018 Leadership Wilkes-Barre Core Class, as well as a Forbes 30 Under 30 Nominee and TEDx alum. She serves on the Board of Directors for Dress for Success of Luzerne County and attributes her additional time as a servant leader for various organizations throughout Luzerne County. Her truest passion is people. With a background in Business Development, Higher Education, and Life Coaching, Holly focuses her energy on the impact we are all making on one another and the inevitable ripple effect it causes throughout the world. She is currently on a mission to see all 50 states before the exciting age of 30 which means Holly travels as much as possible while taking the time to learn more about people and how we all fit together as individual puzzle pieces.

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