I decided ~ and I’m not sure exactly when ~ that 2012 was going to be my year.
First, and most obviously, my birthday is 12.12, so clearly, 2012 lends itself to the task.
Second, I’ve now spent two full years in the same place, at the same job, with the same man, living the same routine. To some people that might sound pedantic, but to me, it’s hugely significant. I’m a creature of habit. I, along with the man, have created a life, a home. We have built a family. Through that, I have gained stability, and confidence. Slowly, I’ve come to learn that everything doesn’t have to feel as though I’m being tossed around in a stormy sea.
Things I’ve learned in the past few years ~
1. Friends come in all shapes and sizes. They do not always have your best interests at heart. They are not always honest. They do judge ~ everyone does. It’s okay to disagree with a friend. It’s okay to stand your ground. It’s okay to say, “Hey, y’know what? You bring nothing positive to my life. I don’t want to be friends anymore.” And guess what? You won’t be lonely without friends for the rest of your life. Even if you walk away from everyone. There are people out there who are true friends. And you’ll find them. Sometimes, that’s what you have to do.
2. Family is important. All families are flawed, all families have drama, and all families fight. But in the end, blood is thicker than water.
3. Being at the top can really suck sometimes. You don’t always have the right answer. You don’t always say the right thing. You can’t always be nice.
4. Life is a balancing act. It’s about trusting yourself, trusting what is inherently important to you, and holding onto that, even in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles.
5. Life shouldn’t be a competition. But remembering that is harder than being competitive. Every once in awhile, it’s a good idea to take a step back and get perspective.
6. Cooking should be fun. It should be about making something you want to eat. It should be about breaking bread with friends and family. But take-out is important, too. Sometimes, it’s necessary.
7. You should try all the things you said you would never do. Life is too short, and things are too much fun. So is camping.
8. Save money. Every day. Don’t touch it.
9. Remember that everyone in your life only knows parts of who you are. They may pigeon-hole you in a way you find both insulting and uncomfortable. Try to remember that you probably pigeon-hole them, too. Even if you don’t mean to. And they might not mean to, either.
10. Stand up for yourself. No one else will. People don’t automatically give everyone the benefit of the doubt.
11. Take care of your friendships the same way you take care of your relationship. Be in touch. Listen. Be supportive. Real friends are few and far between. Real friends are as precious as your perfect partner.
12. Live in your choices. Love unconditionally. Maybe people don’t love you back as much; maybe people don’t support your choices. Holding other people accountable for unvoiced expectations is a really bad habit.
13. Acknowledge your flaws. Other people will point them out. As long as you know what they are, it’s a lot easier hearing someone else tell you about them. But don’t allow them to handicap you.
14. No one makes the rules for your life except for you. Make them carefully, make them spontaneously, make them with a twinkle in your eye. Make them so you are happy.
This blog was something I started with a somewhat hazy idea of what it would be. What is has become is a little bit of that, a little bit of something else, and a lot of my soul, typed in black letters across a white screen. It’s helped me get to know myself ~ which is a humbling thing. I think that’s also why 2012 is going to be my year.
That, and John and I expanded our family recently. We adopted the most precious, beautiful, even-tempered, silly, snuggly brindle boxer in the whole world.
And we called her Lucy. 🙂