2009 has been a learning experience

So here we go.. a list of 2009 things that I have learned throughout 2009!!

Just kidding… 2009 is a little much.  Instead, I will take out the 0’s and reduce the list to 29 things I have learned throughout the year.

 29 things from 2009

  1. Relationships take work.  I was fortunate in finding Dan, the mate to my soul, the yin to my yang.  It was easy to become comfortable in our relationship since we can practically finish each others sentences, but that comfort kept us from spending quality time together.  Taking each other for granted was probably our number one error of the year.  It’s not that we expected too much out of one another — we simply forgot the importance of things like dates or sweet surprises.  Even though we have a lot of fun with one another during mundane things like grocery shopping trips, we still need to make time to do something like go to the movies together a few times a month.
  2. Music sets my mood for the entire day.  I have always known that if something bad happens to me in the morning (spill coffee on myself, get stuck in traffic, etc) the rest of my day will be bad.  If something great happens (hitting only green lights on my drive), the rest of my day will be wonderful!  It seems that music has the same effect on me.  The better the music I listen to when I first wake up, the better my day.  It’s probably an attitude thing.
  3. I am a dog person.  Don’t tell my cat.
  4. A fulfilling job is just as important as location.  Perhaps it is just my generation speaking through me, but I need a job that allows me to feel like I am actually accomplishing something good for mankind.  Devoting 40 hours a week to a cause that doesn’t exist does not leave me inspired… in fact, it leaves many people feeling very depressed.  To find a job in an optimal location does not mean that happiness will follow.
  5. Good friends are hard to come by – good thing the best ones stick around.  I have lost many of my friends because our lives have led us on different paths.  It hurts each time I have to say goodbye to any of them, but my best friends I still speak to regularly.  I guess some people are meant to stay in your life while others aren’t.
  6. Put myself first.  I have always been kind of a pushover, but this year I allowed myself to say “no”.  As my confidence grows, so does my ability to put myself before other people when I need to.  I’m not talking about refusing to compromise on television shows.  I’m talking about decisions concerning my career, my relationships, and my life. 
  7. Older people aren’t so intimidating.  I don’t know why, but I’ve always been a little frightened by people older than me.  Turns out they’re pretty cool people to hang out with. 
  8. It’s great to accomplish something, but it’s better when other people care.  And it’s best when there are people around you to be excited with.
  9. Oftentimes you need to let go to move forward.  Nostalgia has a time and a place, but its purpose is to remind you of the places and experiences you came from.  It should not keep you from living in the present or for the future.
  10. embarrassment… it happens.  People don’t focus on your mistakes for longer than a moment, so there’s no use in banging your head against the wall about it.  Even the most embarrassing of situations will fade with time as long as you don’t continuously bring it up to everyone you meet.  Accidents and mistakes build character, afterall.
  11. Getting money through loans is not the same as money growing on trees.  I have to pay all of the money back versus planting a few more trees.
  12. It feels good to give.  This was my first real year of donating and it will not be my last.  This includes blood, personal belongings, and money.
  13. Looking nice never hurts.  I have taken to dressing well even when I’m not going anywhere special.  It comes in handy when I don’t have to spend 15 minutes picking out an outfit if an impromptu shopping trip occurs.  Plus, I am more motivated to get things done!
  14. There is more to life than working.  Maybe it’s because I don’t have that “fulfilling job” that I am looking for, but being at home makes me happiest. 
  15. A good home cooked meal tastes better than anything a restaurant can give you.  Well, maybe not anything, but there’s something about knowing that someone put so much effort into making it that makes it tastes so good.  Dan and I have been going out to eat a lot lately, and it’s just not as satisfying as when we stay in and make something on our own.
  16. I am capable of having curly hair.  This was the first year that I embraced my curly hair.  It wasn’t easy, but I put away the hair straightener and threw away at least a dozen hair products.  It was a big lesson in accepting myself the way that I am… curly hair and all.
  17. Working in retail is not that hard, but dealing with customers is not that easy.  I actually really enjoyed working at the used video game store, but sometimes I would have to deal with some really unpleasant people.  I have a new respect for the people who put up with everybody’s crap day after day.  However, I no longer have patience for people working in retail when they are moving slowly for no reason (a lot of customers is acceptable).  It’s really not that hard. 
  18. Eyebrows really have a huge effect on your face.  It’s silly, but hey.. it’s something I learned.  Ask me to elaborate and I will.
  19. I can stick with a hobby for longer than a month.  I honestly didn’t expect this blog to last longer than a few weeks or days.  That’s why I called it “Life at Twenty Two”… I didn’t think it would hang around until I was twenty-three.  This is the first thing I have really stuck by in a long time, and I hope that I will be able to find a few more hobbies in 2010.  Speaking of which, I’m not sure what I will title this once my birthday rolls around and I’m no longer twenty-two… but I have 9 months to figure that out.
  20. Winter in Minnesota is hell on my skin.  It’s so dry here in the winter time.  My humidifier is running constantly, but it only marginally helps.  My scalp is not pleased. 
  21. I like beer.  Did I really just say that?  It only took my entire college career!
  22. An incredible amount of emotional growth is done in college.  By my senior year, the difference between people my age and the incoming freshmen was evident.  A lot of the same jokes just weren’t as funny, and the silly debates with no real basis ended.  Don’t put me in a room with a bunch of high schoolers today – that is a terrible fate.  In fact, I gave a college tour to several high school boys one afternoon.  Do I really need to say how unimpressed I was?
  23. I love my sister.  Okay, I actually knew that one already, but I truly appreciate having her around.  It seems like between the ages of 5 and 16 all we did was constantly fight, but now that we’re older I really like talking to her.  I am sad that we are so far apart and that we don’t talk much.
  24. Making lots of money doesn’t mean that I have lots of money to burn through.  Sticking to my budget is harder than I thought.  I keep finding myself eyeing expensive things (like the $100 sweaterdress I bought at Banana Republic and the $280 coach purse that I am now the proud owner of).  After those purchases, I really don’t have as much money left over as I thought I would.  The two month time span I had planned to pay my credit card off in is moving a little farther away.  Oops.
  25. Living with a boyfriend does not have to end in disaster.  Despite all of the “never live with someone you’re dating” advice I received from friends, family, and total strangers; my living arrangement with Dan has worked out very well.  It is still a bit of a struggle to settle on who will do the dishes and the laundry, but we work it out.
  26. Learning is easier when the lessons aren’t being forced on you.  I find myself more interested in learning about technical things when I don’t have a textbook that I have to read and homework that I have to do. 
  27. I am able to live by myself.  For 6 weeks I was at Kettering finishing my undergraduate degree while Dan was in Minnesota beginning his graduate degree.  During that time, I lived alone in Fenton.  I was surprised to find that I wasn’t bored or lonely, and I was able to occupy my time with hobbies and friends.  Granted six weeks is not a lot of time, but it was enough for me to scratch “living alone” off of my bucket list.
  28. I am not that bad of a singer.  I’ve finally gained some confidence in it – maybe I’ll give karaoke a try one of these days. 
  29. In just one year, my whole life can change.  I’ve started a job, got a dog, and replanted myself 12 hours from where I grew up.  Had you asked me where I was headed in January 2009, I wouldn’t have even guessed at the result.  2009 has been eventful, and I am sure that the end of 2010 will not disappoint me either.
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