The Growing List

I’ve always seen those lists people make of “Things I’ve Learned Lately” and I’ve always been intrigued by them. I personally love learning new random things, like how very nonchalantly the NYT wrote an article about books bound in human skin. Why would I ever care to know that? Yet, here I am reading with supreme interest. It probably has something to do with my fascination with old things, especially old books, and my horror that some in my collection could be made of unknown materials… ANYWAYS.

The point is, I think it’s a good sign when people are intrigued by new things, places, people, cultures. More than anything I think it’s an ever-growing need to know more, learn more. If there is anything I’ve come to understand about “What I’ve Learned Lately” lists is that they show growth more than anything. They state, “I’m adapting to my surroundings and developing who I am.” So, I thought I would dive in and just share some things I’ve learned lately! I feel like I’ve grown maybe a few inches within these last few weeks as I’ve learned to cope with so many new emotions.

– Taking 3 summer classes in a single session is just a crazy-loco idea. Imagine taking 3 classes that require the same amount of work as a semester long class, smooshed into 5 weeks. Word of advice, just don’t do it unless you actually enjoy getting more pale during the summer from being stuck inside a library or classroom all day. On a happy note- just 6 more months until I’m finished!!! (Oh, and I kind of like my classes…. SHHH-don’t tell anyone!)
– Don’t have expectations for any aspect of your life. That means expectations for people or events or even just goals. One, you cannot change people as much as you both might agree they need to change, you cannot force it. Two, as much as you can control how you approach life, you cannot control so much what happens to you. I feel like it is a huge misconception that you can control events in your life, or at least one that I personally have held for a long time. Of course you can always approach life with the best attitude and make thoughtful decisions, but that does not mean that unexpected things will not happen. Just don’t label them, because while it may seem “bad” today, tomorrow it may turn out to be the biggest blessing (at least that’s what I keep telling myself! haha).
-You cannot fast-forward time. I have been so guilty of doing a lot of waiting recently. I’ve literally crossed every day off my calendar telling myself I’m one day closer to my fiancé coming home. It’s the worse habit for me to get into because I just focus on it for the rest of the day. Then I fall back on my “planning” habit. I’ve tried planning out all the fun stuff we will do, but then I catch myself. “Crap, I probably should not do that either.” So what do you do when you want the days to go by fast? (I admit this realizing the detrimental nature of this type of thinking). My only guess is to pile my days full of life and moments that make me feel good and productive. Those days always fly by and I feel like I was as present as possible. That has consisted of doing things that I would have NEVER thought I would ever do on my own. It’s nice to be proud of myself for doing new things, even if it’s just going to a coffee shop and sitting by myself.
– I may actually be enjoying writing poetry….WHATTTT? It literally took me 3 years of creative writing classes to get here, but here it is. I kind of get it now. Did I mention I forcefully ran away from all subjects of poetry writing, only to go to my new university and be forced to take a Creative Experience class. Lo and behold, we write poetry. Sneaky little devils, but it’s actually working. It probably helps I’m the only English Major in that class… But hey! Maybe it just took that extra bit of perfectionism to be rubbed off to finally just be able to enjoy the process. Do I write good poetry….ehhhh…. probably not. I never thought I would not care.

 

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This is the ultimate lesson I’ve learned. My life may seem small on the outside, but these past few weeks have shown me so much about myself. As I’ve dealt with separation from loved ones and loss of “normality,” as well as having to support myself and my fiancé through the craziest roller coaster of happiness and disappointment, I have learned so much. I’ve had angry tears, sad tears, and happy tears all within a thirty-minute interval. Every concept I’ve ever developed about life has been twisted, stretched, and eventually renewed or destroyed.

Let’s just say, I definitely have something to write about.

So, to learn and grow is one of the best things about being human, which I found was eloquently stated by Miss Alma Whittaker, in A Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert:

“You see, I have never felt the need to invent a world beyond this world, for this world has always seemed large and beautiful enough for me. I have wondered why it is not large and beautiful enough for others– why they must dream up new and marvelous spheres, or long to live elsewhere, beyond this dominion… but that is not my business. We are all different, I suppose. All I ever wanted was to know this world. I can say now, as I reach my end, that I know quite a bit more of it than I knew when I arrived. Moreover, my little bit of knowledge has been added to all the other accumulated knowledge of history– added to the great library, as it were. That is no small feat, sir. Anyone who can say such a thing has lived a fortunate life.”

Have a happy weekend!!
To M if you are reading this: Thank you so much for this awesome journey and beautiful life, it may seem rough around the edges right now, but it’s a whole new beginning that I’m excited to be taking with you! 🙂

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