Lessons of 2015

I don't like to do a yearly wrap-up post or even any sort of regular writing, but 2015 was a year of necessary and drastic change for me. This is my personal list of "lessons learned" and may not even apply to anybody else. I'm archiving this here in plain sight of anyone bored enough to look - so that I can keep myself honest in the years ahead.

  • You can't make a relationship work by sacrificing yourself.
  • True friends will always be interested in how you're feeling and why you feel that way.
  • Authenticity is the best present you can give yourself.
  • Superficial relationships are fun for a bit, and a chore afterward.
  • Sometimes you find yourself in crazy situations you'd never expect - roll with it and make the best of whatever happens.
  • Sometimes bad things happen, but neither bad nor good things last forever.
  • Sometimes awesome things happen, but neither good nor bad things last forever.
  • Good and bad are an illusion of absolutes provided to us by our perspective at the time.
  • Do things with the people who are important to you before you can't.
  • It hurts to let go of the parts of yourself that work against your own best interests; it's worth it.
  • Surround yourself with people who make you feel more like you, and less like an actor in the play that is their life - even if their spiritual/political/whatever beliefs aren't 1-1 with your own.
  • Don't be afraid to talk with your friends about your problems, but do not burden them with your secrets.
  • Anxiety is a very real thing, but also something that can be manageable.
  • Sometimes the most important thing is to be there for someone with a big warm hug, and let them know you care about them.
  • Love unconditionally.
  • Set boundaries so that you do not give the power to define yourself away.

I'm sure there are more things I've learned that I've since forgotten, or maybe they're just things that aren't on the top of my head right now. In either case, I figure they will pop back up when I need them again. This past year has been transformative for me, and I feel like I am better for taking an active role in these changes. Thank you to everyone who has thus far helped me along this journey we call life.