This semester and my finals are coming to a close on Friday. This means the year is coming to a close as well. I’m kind of sad to see it go. 2010 has been a very good year to me,and above all else, a growing and learning experience. Here’s what I’ve got and where I’m at that I wasn’t last January:
“Handle them carefully, for words have more power than atom bombs.”- Pearl Strachan
I’ve become more honest and up-front this year, a confidence I believe school has helped me with. However,privacy has also become much more important to me and I honestly start blushing seeing some of the things I used to publicly write. I’ve also learned that sometimes it’s best to keep quiet when it’s most tempting and dangerous to speak and/or write. If you’re not sure if someone is reading, just assume they are. (Testing to see if they are is an especially stupid idea.) On a previous blog, I’ve hurt more feelings than I ever meant to, including and most regretfully, my family’s. I’ve learned words go much further than you think they will and something aimed at one person will usually shoot a multitude of people. I’ve practiced this year on saying only things to bring somebody up and put a smile on their face. No matter the circumstance, I do not want to be the cause of someone’s bad day. To think that I’ve done that before makes me cringe. I’d like to go back and tell myself that someone hurting you does not mean you need to hurt them back. This year, as I tried to keep much more to myself and I haven’t privately journaled too much, song lyrics have become a lot like a diary to me. Instead of saying things I regret or keeping it all bottled up inside, I’ve learned to run out all of my feelings, jogging with the mp3 player in tow. This has done wonders for me and probably my relationships as well. No one gets hurt, and I stay in good shape too.
I used to feel so alone in the city. All those gazillions of people and then me, on the outside. Because how do you meet a new person? I was very stumped by this for many years. And then I realized, you just say, “Hi.” They may ignore you. Or you may marry them. And that possibility is worth that one word. ~ Augusten Burroughs
I’ve found this year more than ever, that I have a deep love and fascination for people. I want to get to know everyone, I want to hear their story, I want to stay up until 4am giggling and drinking wine and hearing what made you,you. I want the romance of getting to know someone. I want the beauty of knowing and understanding the world. Partly in an attempt to understand others, I’ve even changed my major to psychology. Because of my engrossment with the world and everyone in general, I’ve learned I sometimes neglect the most important people in my life. Sometimes I’m selfish and sometimes I’m just oblivious, and I’m lucky that people in my life see that my intentions are good. In ’09 I lost the remainder of my homeschooled awkwardness and became really good at making friends. I’ve learned this year that this does not mean I should or even can be friends with everyone. I still believe in the value of having many friends, but there was a time I had to stop and realize the difference between making friends and being a friend-player. Friends are not baseball cards. Collecting them is not okay. Friendship, if symbolic to something, is more like a garden. (except gardens don’t help you keep your shit straight.) It needs time and care to blossom to its true potential. Leading to a few others things I learned this year: Don’t make so many friends that you forget your roses. And sometimes, no matter how hard it may be, you have to sort out the weeds. Losing friends is okay and a normal part of life. Sometimes it’s even healthy. Don’t hold onto things that are bad for you, no matter how hard letting go is. Know that it’s okay to shine and that you shouldn’t have to feel bad for being happy. If your other friends are warning you about someone in your life who is simultaneously always trying to make you feel like the bad guy, don’t let yourself feel like the bad guy. Don’t try to constantly ‘fix’ yourself if someone else refuses to admit their shortcomings. Finally, if a person is affecting your relationship with other friends who have never been anything but good to you, it’s probably time to get out of there. Picking out the weeds is a crappy process, and you’ll lose some flowers along with those weeds. But it gives way for the new, and gives all of those who have always been there the chance to grow into something even more beautiful.
On the rest of life stuff:
You’re alive. Do something. The directive in life, the moral imperative was so uncomplicated. It could be expressed in single words, not complete sentences. It sounded like this: Look. Listen. Choose. Act. -Barbara Hall
More than ever, I treat everyday like an adventure. A treat. Something to look forward to. I am alive and I have all of my senses and there is always a joy out there that is easier to overlook. I am constantly on the look out for new life experiences, and this keeps everything exciting, always. There are so many little pleasures I’ve found joy in this year. I’ve started to like cooking more. I’ve even gotten kind of good at it. I made green cookies the other day, and they were actually supposed to be green. Owning a house has even made cleaning a must, as I can’t stand coming home and finding a mess I know I left. Travelling has become even more important to me, and I become antsy if I don’t at least go somewhere new frequently. I have this constant itch to expand my boundaries. I take better care of myself, and I’ve learned a hairbrush can go a long way. I look at old pictures and wonder what I was thinking and how I let myself out of the house like that. I’ve stopped picking so many stupid fights with my husband, and started realizing more and more how blessed I am to have him in my life. I take him for granted less and I am contantly finding another reason to appreciate and love him a little more. I’m slightly more organized, as in I’ve been able to keep up with all of my assignments and turn them in on time. However, I can’t read my own handwriting and I am constantly asking classmates for a pen, which I also manage to lose within the hour. It’s a work in progress. I’ve become much more focused and motivated. My future matters more than it ever has before and school has become a huge chunk of my life. Not just the good grades, but my on-campus radio show,new friends, and my new sense of school spirit have kept my spirits high. Joining a mentoring program and in general helping others more has also kept me a happy girl. I feel more aware, a little less selfish, and good about what I’m doing. I feel good in my own skin. I still have a lot to work on in 2011. I could be a better friend, stop losing other people’s pens,eat more fruits and veggies, see my family a heck of a lot more, learn to take positive criticism better, stop being so scared of doctors and go get my girly exam done, and take better care of technology and my things in general. But overall, 2010 has been a huge learning experience and I’m proud of where I’m at right now. The more I think about it though, accidentally stealing people’s pens is really rude. I’ll start working on that now.