Top Ten Things I Learned in 2011
(in no particular order)
10. For every thing you do, there will always be someone telling you that it isn't good enough, you're not good enough, it was okay but it would have been better if you did it this way. If you let those people infect you, you too will become toxic.
TL;DR Toxic people suck, and eventually they need to be cut out of your life like a limb that has gangrene.
9. Just because you acknowledge that things are the way that they are, doesn't mean that you have to be okay with it. You have every right to be upset, angry, and as disgusted. Coming to terms with the situation let's you actually move, and not just tread water. It's up to you if you move forward or backward.
TL;DR Acceptance isn't a synonym for capitulating.
8. My grandmother taught me not to hate people. She told me that it is easier to hate people than it is to love them. "Hate" she said, "is easy. It takes no energy. It is the laziest, loneliest way to live." I can honestly say that I have never felt that way towards anyone... until this year. She was right, HATE IS EASY. It was such a wonderful feeling, and I held onto it. Eventually though, I realized that by hating these people, it meant that I still cared. I was continuing to let them hurt me because I still cared enough to feel anything towards them, even if it was something as ugly as hatred.
TL;DR Apathy is better than Hate.
7) I always say that "loyalty" is one of my negative traits. I love passionately, ferociously and with all of my being. Once you reach the inner circle and I call you friend, I am one of those people that will defend you even when I know you're wrong, and give you the last five dollars in my pocket. I have very friends who don't turn into family, and because once I love you, I give you my power. In 2011, two people used my love for them for toilet paper. After a while, the woman I have loved like a sister since I was old enough to remember, pointed out to me that I was keeping people at arms length, and pushing others away. She told me that I was overly guarded, like I couldn't trust her anymore.
TL;DR Trust is a fragile thing.
6) Even as a child I have loved nail polish (even though I couldn't put any on in the house because my mom is severely allergic and it would send her straight into an asthma attack). They have always been weak, brittle things that pealed. One of the first things I did when I moved into my own place was buy nail polish, and I learned how to take care of my nails so they grow and be strong. It beome a ritual with me: Sunday night was mani/pedi night. Somewhere along the way this year, I just stopped doing it. Sunday just became another night, and I neglected them, night after night, week after week, and am now showing the wear. They are short, and frayed and just over all icky... and I put a coat of polish on them last night. I didn't buff them and smooth them out. I just slapped on a coat of clear and called it a night. But today, seeing them shine a little in the light, just knowing that it's there raised my mood immensely. I couldn't believe that I had stopped ever doing it.
TL;DR Remember to do that one small thing that makes you happy.
5) When there is something dramatic going on in your life, it's all encompassing. It's all you can think about, it's all you can deal with, and you go to those closest to you, just so you don't have to hear your thoughts anymore. You talk with them, they do whatever their designated role is (listen/offer advice/etc.). You might even get a free beer or two out of the deal. Just be careful that you don't end up becoming that one guy at the office, or in your group who tells the same one story so many times that it can be recited it by memory.
TL;DR Shut up, people have their own stuff too.
4) After putting in over 140 job applications for anything and everything you can think of, and not getting a single face to face interview (if the emails saying you don't have the right qualifications to mop the floor don't make you scratch your head, how about the follow up phone call that basically said was that they aren't getting hire you for a dish washer position because your husband is a chef. Yeah, that last one didn't happen to me, but to a friend), telling yourself that your state has an unemployment rate of 9% only works for so long. I did hear about a place, and I went in to talk to the guy. I'm a regular so he knows my face. I told him I needed a chance. He understood that. We'll wait and see, but it has been the most promising of things for a job outside of the house that I have had since I started looking for a job.
TL;DR It really is who you know.
3) The Chef and I have never really had a 2 year old, meaning that what people have described as the "Terrible Twos" I have never witnessed first hand. Pineapple has decided to show us all of the great times we were missing out on. She throws tantrums. She is stubborn. She will make herself cry and blame her brothers. She will make herself cry and blame the dog. She eats one thing at dinner, but has to have everything on her plate. She thinks that "no" applies to everyone but her. She wants what you have until you give it to her, and then she gives it to the dog. She gets mad if you don't do whatever it is she wants you to do Right. This. Second. She will make herself cry and blame her sister. She will ride our American Bulldog like a pony (I blame the dog for this because the dog lets her). She is frustratingly adorable, and there has been many a day this past year that she has made me smile despite all of the problems.
TL;DR A babies laugh can make everything right in the world.
2) When things were at it's worse this year, The Chef and I had many a well wisher say to us, "There's always a light at the end of the tunnel." (It's been turned off due to budget cuts.), "It could be worse" (You're right. It could be. Check back with me tomorrow and I'll tell you how it got worse.), and the classic "Things will get better." (Yeah, I know this, but that doesn't really help me today now does it?) But during all of it, one of my dearest friends reminded me why I love her as much as I do. I was talking to her on the phone, and told her of the latest crisis that had happened. To which she responded with "You're life sucks, Alicia. It just blows." She wasn't being sarcastic, she meant it. She wasn't being mean, she was just stating fact. I can't tell you have happy it made me for her not to blow smoke, and just be with me, for me, 1000% on my side. We have always been candid with each other, and we are always on each other's side.
TL;DR You need that 100% honest friend who will always have your back.
1) We did experience a grand act of kindness this year. It wasn't asked for but offered. It's hard to remember that there is good things, good people in your world, when the universe is busy knocking your feet out from underneath you (did I mention that it likes to point and laugh at you too?). It was something that in the grand scheme of things didn't really matter, but it mattered to us.
TL;DR Even when the light is off at the end of the tunnel, sometimes people come by with a flashight.