Things I Learned in 2018

Alright, so I'm a bit late on this one, but I can't break with my own traditions and better late than never so here we go.

2018 ended rather unceremoniously. Things, many things, went badly. Very badly. Thankfully I made it through the shit storm just as the year was closing, so the very last thing I learned in 2018 was that sometimes things just plain old suck and that's that. You can't do much about it besides get through it, and it happens to all of us.

Anyway, in no particular order, here are some more lessons life taught me (and retaught me) in 2018:

There is nothing wrong with compromising or making sacrifices for people you care about, but it needs to be because you want to, not because you feel obligated or you fear the consequences.

^also stop trying to manage other people's emotions. You'll fail. Miserably.

Your defences and walls are not saving (or even helping) you. They make it impossible to accept real feedback...and also, it's lonely back there.

Nervous is a good thing. Nervous means you're reaching high. Nervous means you want to win. Nervous means you're trying.

Failure isn't the opposite of success, it's part of the path toward it.

There are some benefits to being the second oldest person at your graduation ceremony. Like,

1. You know full-well what life is like "out there"

2. You can honestly tell your fellow graduates that travel is a waste of neither time nor money

3. Instead of impatiently waiting for the thing to end, you reflect on what it took to get there and appreciate each moment for its profundity

^when you finally do something you have been putting off for years, the weight lifted off your shoulders is indescribable.

We're always becoming who we want to be. How sad to imagine a life where we reach a goal with nothing further in mind. No more goals, no more growth. When you stop growing, you start dying.

None of us will live forever. Dye your hair pink if you want.

The first draft is always bad.

^and yet, you still have to TRY. Try your absolute best to try to make the first version good, as good as you can possibly make it.

^the paradox of creating anything new (trying to make it good knowing it will be bad) is a tight rope walk, a career path not recommended for the thin-skinned or faint of heart.

^and yet somehow I am both thin-skinned and faint of heart, but I seem to manage. Go figure.

^don't let your own boundaries get in your way.

Lower the value of being right and raise the value of being calm.

When something (or someone) has served its purpose in your life, let it go. Holding on takes up space and doesn't allow other good things to come in their place.

Life cannot be ruled by something as fleeting as feelings. Feelings come and go, they change with the wind. Make your decisions and choose your behaviour based on things more stable.

^it's still okay to have them and it's totally okay to cry. Feelings should not be dismissed, they are mentionable and manageable.

I don't really know much about anything, and even though I am trying my best, I still feel like a fraud sometimes. Often.

^everyone else is in this boat from time to time, too.

And above all,

Life is chaos. Be kind.

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