My journal for the year was titled, everything you thought you knew. Given how fitting it is, let’s go what that. A Year in Review: 2018. 22 things i’ve learned this year.
Choosing to live at home was the greatest post-grad decisions (well, besides coming back to Chicago) I could have made. Ohhh the money you will save.
Humility is a beautiful thing especially in the time of social media , but if suppressing your success is rooted in how other people might feel about you or about themselves, you are doing it for the wrong reasons. (Practice intentionality behind what you share and why you share it.)
You will lose friends. (I have a tendency to keep people in my life for fear of being seen as a bad or mean person. Or I tend to hold on when it is time to let go. Release the things not meant for you.)
If you are not scared or nervous at least two times a week, you are not living outside of your comfort zone.
Show gratitude and appreciate the little things; like the darkroom at Tjaden at 9 pm on a Thursday night or an afternoon spent by Lake Michigan.
You can, in fact, give up (with a bit of cheating) Instagram for a year. And it is 100% worth it. (My connection with the present moment has intensified. I no longer find value in likes. And I have spent more time actually talking and connecting with other human beings.)
When you choose a place to work, you’re not only choosing your job, you’re choosing the people that you work with. My co-workers have made my 9-5 a zillion times better.
There are experiences in life you will never be able to plan for. Graduating. Starting a new job. Death. The end of relationships. Ease into them. Talk about it. Write about it. But do not let the stress or anxiety consume you.
Friendship = vulnerability + showing up
On getting feedback. When someone tells you about yourself, the instant response is to get defensive or make excuses. Don’t. Listen. Take what you need, and grow from it. (Still working on this one.)
There aren’t so much bad people (though there are!) but rather bad processes that don’t include equitable or justice focused voices at the table. In order to transform society, transform the processes which create the structures, instructions, and systems that we seek to overturn.
Jokes rooted in someone else’s insecurities are not funny.
Take the job you love, over the job that makes more money. You will be happier because of it.
Ease into tension. We often avoid the awkward, tense, or uncomfortable conversations that need to be had with friends or family when someone makes us upset, sad, uncomfortable etc. Have them.
Appreciate the kindness of other human beings. In November, I was backstage at a summit and Zadie Smith, a writer that I love, walked right by me. As I expressed my excitement at her walking by, someone who worked with the summit asked if I was interested in being introduced to her. Of course, I said yes, and we went over to Zadie Smith. He introduces me, and I share how I love her books and read NW and Swing Time. Then, a gentleman that I had met and spent some time speaking with backstage, offered to take our picture. (Of course, I wanted a picture but would have never asked!) Because of these two kind human beings, I was not only able to chat briefly with a writer I admire, but also snag a picture with her. THANK YOU, KIND HUMANS.
Miscommunication creates complications. Do not make assumptions and be honest and open up front.
The Office is as funnier and even more relevant now that I work in an office. MuauahhhhHAHA.
Write (and share) more. I write not only to share what I’m thinking about, but also to connect with other people. I’ve had people reach out to me over the course of the year for things I’ve written or shared in here and in the world and have had beautiful side convos because of it.
When you realize that most people, to survive, are pursuing their own self-interests and the decisions they make have absolutely nothing to do with you, it will free you from unrealistic expectations about what people owe you. (Time, attention, etc.)
You will feel incredibly alone at times… this is your mind playing tricks on you. People will disappoint you and you them; it is not the end of the world.
Be more conscious, mindful, and aware. (Meditate more.)
Time will pass and you will turn 23. And everything will be okay. You are alive.
I’m sure I learned more. And most of these lessons I learned in the latter half of the year (memory pulls from what I can closely remember.) Many lessons are also missing. (Many pictures are also missing!) But something inspired me to begin looking at life as a classroom, a place where I can learn something from every book, every relationship, every interaction and experience that I have. So. To more of that.