Last May was very busy with finishing up the school year, friends visiting, a college roommate’s wedding in Florida, and also preparing for Camp. Also I had car trouble and my sister had to come pick me up and drive me to Clemson. I bought her a frappe and cross-stitched in the car (see picture below). I didn’t write down many things that I learned but it was a growing time!
What I Learned: May 2017
- Time with friends is helpful even when you think you don’t need it.
- Birthdays can be uncomfortable, or they can be great – either way, it’s one day and then it’s over.
- Life isn’t a book, and the beginning, middle, and end are not clear-cut. You don’t know all the parts going on and conclusion doesn’t always happen. It’s not going to change so learn to deal.
- People need to talk sometimes – even if you’re not really friends, or you have no idea what they’re talking about, sometimes they just need to talk and you can listen.
friendies at Chan’s wedding!
best blonde sister ever
friendies at the State House!
Last April was joyful because it was spring! It was busy because springs are always busy. School was picking up, so lots of meetings and things to do. We had a week of spring break, where I got to travel to PA to see friends and be in Clemson to spend time with my family. Later in April, a childhood friend got married and many of the girls I grew up with were reunited, which was lovely.
What I Learned: April 2017
- It’s a lot harder to break up with a roommate than a boyfriend.
- Being late and missing a flight is not awesome but it’s not actually the end of the world.
- Of course everyone has hard times, but other peoples’ hard times always look easier than the ones you’re in.
- If you’re too tired to keep eating, you can just go to sleep.
- People will tell you things they think you want to hear about your future just to be comforting, even if they have no idea if those things are true or not. Like: that you will get a job you love, or that you will get married, or that “things will work out.” These people have kind intentions but their words have no validity.
family sunrise hike at Table Rock
a daffodil for a nose in Philly!
high school pals!
*Bonus: Traveling alone is super fun, but the un-fun thing about it is that you have to take all of your luggage into the bathroom with you when you have to pee. It gets clunky.
Last March was my first spring in Columbia. School picked up and life got busy, like it always seems to in the spring. I was working on making living plans for this (current) year and preparing to be at Camp for the summer again and enjoying my kiddos at school!
What I Learned: March 2017
- Sometimes the reason you become friends with a new person is because they feel like a re-incarnation of an old friend, just in a different town and life circumstance and body. It’s strange and magical, and it reinforces the idea that people with certain personality types are drawn to each other.
- The people around you are the people who are going to be your friends. In grown-up life, that means your co-workers become your friends. I spent much of my life choosing to not be friends with people who weren’t like me, and I learned that doing that was kind of a jerk move, not to mention unloving and not at all Christ-like and/or realistic. I can be friends with people around me while also being discerning as to who I let influence my choices, and I think that’s what it means to be careful who your friends are.
- Sometimes, it’s easier to do something you don’t mean than to say something you don’t mean. I think this is because articulating seems to make things real (at least for me), whereas actions don’t always necessitate discussion. This is dangerous and also very interesting.
- Young children are not the only impressionable ones. I find myself still very impressionable and I am only getting older here.
Roomie reunion at a bridal shower for Chan
Last February was slow and cold, but it had some bright spots. I finished my first cross-stitch project, the whale! I went home for a weekend and reunited with friends, and went to a professional conference in Hilton Head, which was lovely because of warm air and the ocean!
What I Learned: February 2017
- Logic doesn’t really work on tears. You can tell yourself why crying doesn’t help right now, but that doesn’t mean that you aren’t already crying. It’s a response that’s a mixture of emotional and physical. It’s okay to cry. Refusing to do it just makes you angry.
- When choosing between two perfectly adequate things, having a preference for one does not necessitate a criticism of the other.
- When communicating, assume your thoughts are not implied, and articulate them (it turns out that usually people do not know what you’re thinking).
- There is a difference between someone with whom you are associated experiencing an inconvenience and you doing something hurtful to that person. You don’t need to apologize for another person’s inconvenience unless you caused it – if you do, you are accepting responsibility for something over which you have no control. You can, however, be empathetic, and that does not require your apology, just grace from the Lord and your presence and heart.
- It’s easier to write about your feelings than it is to make eye contact, open your mouth, and talk about them to a person.
6. Having someone coming over to your house is GREAT motivation to clean the gunk off of/refill your soap dispenser. Just saying.
Finished first project!
Together again! (missing one)
Breakfast on the beach in Hilton Head ❤
Last January, life was busy and fun and social – I went to a wedding for some college friends, the Tigers won the National Championship (!!!), I met up with more college friends on MLK Day, and I started a brand new hobby: cross-stitching. Exciting stuff!
What I Learned: January 2017
- You can’t start as an expert. As Miley told us once, “it’s the cliiiiiiiiiiiiiiimb.” It’s okay and expected to not know everything when you’re 22. This is frustrating, but it is normal and okay! And you will learn!
- Jesus is a much better teacher than you. He would not lose patience with students or need to apologize to them.
- A date does not equal a long-term relationship. Remain calm.
MLK Day reunion!
taken by a student
half of my first project!
Last November was full, but not as busy as October. I took lots of pictures of my kids at school (which I can’t post unfortunately!) and read a lot of books and went on a trip to the farm with my family and was with my family again for Thanksgiving.
What I Learned: November 2016
- You can’t always teach yourself the things you need to know. This means that you can’t be 100% self-sufficient.
- Invest in sleep. It’s good.
- Kids are innocent but they’re not sinless. Humans are not born basically good even though they’re born cute.
- It’s good to ask for help, but it’s not the job of the person helping you to do your job for you or make your decisions for you. Don’t ask for help just because you don’t want to make a decision.
- With most positive things: the more you have, the more you want. Use self-discipline.
6. This sounds pessimistic but it’s helpful: It’s better to expect no one to notice that you got your hair cut and be surprised when one person notices than to expect everyone to notice and be frustrated when only person does. It’s a perspective thing.
Last October was busy with weddings and bachelorette weekends and hurrications…and teaching five days a week, too. I had just gone a full year without coffee (an experiment) and was reunited again, yay! Last October was full and exciting and exhausting. Here is what I learned:
What I Learned: October 2016
1. People appreciate you being present and listening to them. Of course, people appreciate more than just being listened to, but it’s a start.
2. Being with old friends is part reminiscing and part making new memories – I thought it might be just reminiscing or that it might feel like we had never been apart, but it was different. It was special because we knew we weren’t often together so that made the time together so sweet.
3. If you don’t write something down, you will not remember it. That’s just how it works.
4. Habits (and not just old habits) die hard…after successfully going a year with no coffee, I decided to see how long I could go without diet coke (so it has now been a year since I had diet coke!), and this was very difficult. Especially the beginning.
5. You can’t pretend you’re not here. Be where you are.
6. Don’t make Wednesday the longest day of your week – it makes the week feel so much longer.