1) Guys are immature. Period. A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with a male friend of mine about some of the guys I dated or was interested in this past year. I told him how one of the guys didn’t know what he wanted in regards to dating and relationships, to which he responded: “What guy does?” Then I told him how one of the guys didn’t have his shit together, to which he responded: “What guy does?” Finally, I told him how one guy was three years older than me, yet not mature at all, to which he responded: “What guy is?” Hmm, point taken.
2) Who my true friends are. I had a lot of experiences this year, both good and bad. And throughout those experiences, I had friends who were there for me 100%, friends who were there for me about half of the time, and “friends” who weren’t there at all. Seeing those varying levels of accountability made me realize I have friends in my life whom I can count on no matter what, friends whom I shouldn’t expect too much from, and “friends” who aren’t friends at all.
3) Yoga is good for you, especially Cardio Yoga. I started practicing yoga at the end of 2009 and fell in love with it not only because of how it helps me with my strength, flexibility, and balance, but because of how it helps calm me when I’m stressed (which can be often). Over this past summer, I tried Cardio Yoga and fell in love with it as well because of the “cleansed” feeling I would receive after each class. If you’re looking for a great way to get in shape, detox, and lower your stress levels, Cardio Yoga is the way to go.
4) Comfort Zones are for chumps. So is quitting. This year, I did something completely new and out of my element: I changed my minor to Dance, which meant I would be required to take a variety of technique classes and perform in a couple of dance concerts consisting of dance styles I wasn’t used to: Modern, Ballet, and Contemporary Jazz. As a Lindy Hopper, a social dancer, I can’t even begin to tell you how much I struggled and how much frustration I felt in my classes and rehearsals. But even though I was so far beyond my “dance comfort zone,” I never gave up, quit, or said “I can’t do it.” And because of that, I grew as a dancer this year. Tremendously.
6) Living with a roommate can be fun. In April, I moved in with my roommate Brigette. I was excited about this move, but also a little apprehensive because not only had I never lived with a roommate before, but all I had heard about roommate situations were horror stories and how living with a friend will ruin the friendship. Luckily for me and Brigette, that hasn’t been the case. These past eight months have consisted of wine nights on our balcony, late-night heart-to-hearts, and developing a special closeness that only comes with sharing a living space with another person. I’m really happy to say that my first roommate experience has turned out to be a positive one.
7) Change is scary, but good. I’ve never been a big fan of change: I like familiarity and being comfortable with where I’m at. However, if we start to get too familiar and too comfortable with where we’re at in life, then that’s when we stop learning and growing. We become stagnant, which can eventually lead to unhappiness. This is what happened to me after working at the same restaurant for six years, so I made a huge change over the summer that consisted of my finding another restaurant job to replace the one I’d had for far too long. I was really scared to make the change at first, but as it turns out, the change was a good one, because now I’m working at a place where I’m constantly learning and growing. And I love it.
8) You are what you eat. It seems like more and more people are developing terminal illnesses these days, and a lot of that has to do with poor diets consisting of too much junk food. So this year, I changed my eating habits dramatically: no more soda, fast food, and meat. Instead, more veggies, fruits, and local, sustainable, and organic foods. The result? Looking and feeling healthier, as well as lower risks for terminal illnesses. Sounds good to me.
9) The rules are there are no rules. When I turned 25 earlier this year, it was really hard not to evaluate where I was in life, and it was even harder not to freak out about it: Shouldn’t I be done with school and have a full-time job by now?! Shouldn’t I be married with kids by now?! Sometimes it’s easy to compare ourselves to “Life Timelines,” or to the people around us and where they’re at in their lives. But the important thing to remember is that those “Life Timelines” don’t exist anymore. These days, everyone’s finishing school, finding jobs, and starting families at different points in their lives: when they’re ready. And that’s okay.
10) If life was easy, then it wouldn’t be life. This year, I watched my mom die from cancer, and it was the hardest experience I’ve ever gone though. Sometimes, when we least expect it, life will throw us a huge curveball, but it’s all for a reason: to give us a wake-up call, to change our perspectives, and to make us stronger. So when life throws those kinds of curveballs at you, don’t worry, because you’re going to get through it and become a stronger person in the process. I promise.