10 Things I Learned in 2015

9:00 AM

1.) I don’t have a black thumb. Crazy, right? I spent so many years oohing and ahhing over plants and flowers, repeating over and over, “I would love to have some, but I would kill them.” Not only have I not killed any of my plant children — fingers crossed, knock on wood — but I managed to bring a few on the clearance table back from the brink. 
2.) Baking is fun. Okay, so being a Domestic Goddess has never been high on my list of pursuits. I can’t sew a button back onto a coat, and actually making a garment from scratch? Ha! Not if you want it to be wearable in public. Cooking has always seemed beyond me, but baking was especially daunting… right up until I got a bee in my bonnet (not literally, thank God) and did it. 
3.) Steamed artichokes are the best thing ever. Like… I’m not even kidding here. If you’ve never had one, go buy an artichoke, plop it in your steamer (or grill it, whatever), pair it with your favorite sauce or just drizzle it with lemon, and enjoy. When I don’t know what to eat? Artichokes usually happen, and they are delicious every time. 
4.) I should read more. While my mom was in the hospital, I lost my motivation to do anything except sleep and cry. It’s only been in the past few months that I’ve gotten back into the habit of reading something every day. I can’t believe I’d forgotten how much I love it, and I’m determined never to forget again. 
5.) Music can keep you sane. I knew this one already, but it was my constant companion when all I could do was curl into a traumatized ball and cry. It’s one of those things you either relate to or don’t. Personally, I can’t imagine not being profoundly affected by music, but we’re not all the same, and that’s cool. 
6.) Traveling is good for the soul. I traveled back to Atlanta this past spring to say farewell to my home of almost eighteen years before relocating to Houston, and even though packing is misery itself, sometimes hotel beds are dodgy, and being in the car leads to eating entirely too much junk food… I love it. I love seeing new places and meeting new people. I don’t like leaving my babies behind, though. Nope.
7.) I need to learn to play an instrument. Seriously, people, I’m almost thirty-three years old, and my musical talent begins and ends with my ability to play Eye of the Tiger on drums. Pathetic. 
8.) Not apologizing to people you’ve hurt makes you a douchebag. Self-explanatory, and I did know this beforehand, but this year I made myself get off my ass and repair a relationship I was responsible for damaging through my own immaturity and stupidity. 
9.) I have a potty mouth, and I’m cool with that shit. A recent study published in the Language Sciences journal finds that those who have an extensive vocabulary of curse words have an extensive vocabulary in general, which is a sign of intelligence. 

10.) “To thine own self be true.” This is quite literally the most important realization anyone can ever make, and I wish I’d done it years ago. I used to have the shittiest self-esteem in the world. I was constantly comparing myself to others. I didn’t meet this milestone at this age, so I suck. I haven’t done x, y, or z, so I’m a failure. Maybe some people think I am, but the reality is that we all make our own way in life. Our way is never a carbon copy of someone else’s, and it shouldn’t be. It’s as simple and as complicated as that.

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