I will come clean, 2013 was not a banner year for me. It went by very quickly, but it was very tiring. 2013 seems to have been my first year of adulthood, one where I tried (and failed) to stay on top of my finances, one where I turned 28 and was, for the first time, confronted with the very brief nature of life, in a big way. That said, I’m glad this year is over, and while much of it has been difficult, I’ve also learned a lot, and grew emotionally. So, in summation, here are the life lessons I learned in 2013:
1. Life is too short to be afraid. Whether it’s being afraid of saying what you feel, or the consequences of your choices, either you’re doing it, or you aren’t. But there’s no sense in being afraid of it.
2. Don’t assume everything is ok. It’s not. You might be able to fall asleep at night telling yourself it’ll all be okay, or that nothing is really wrong. You’re lying to yourself, find out if it’s ok. Find out how to make it right.
3. When in doubt: paint. My roommate and I painted our apartment in 2013, and it has made life significantly more pleasurable and beautiful.
4. Let go of your FOMO. If they didn’t invite you, they don’t wanna hang out with you, and you’re probably better off.
5. Accept that you can’t please everyone. To the people I failed to please in 2013, I am sorry. To the people for whom I was an antagonist in 2013, at least I was thorough.
6. Take your medicine, literal and figurative. (All of you.)
7. Stop worrying about what films you did or didn’t watch, or what books you did or didn’t read. I wasn’t given this magnificent brain to use it to keep up with everyone else’s taste.
8. When someone tells you they’re in love with you, and you feel it too, just do it. Ignore all the naysayers, all of your emotional scars, let go of your misgivings. I don’t care how crazy it looks, for fuck’s sake, you’re in love, you’ll figure it out.
9. Wear whatever you want. Those hot pink short-shorts? Yeah, they’ll be back next summer. And these hemlines ain’t getting longer, folks.
10. Make peace with your body. You have nothing to be ashamed of.
11. Take pleasure in little, simple things. (Ok, so this isn’t new. I’ve always done this, but I swear taking pleasure in gummy bears, sparkly earrings, neatly arranged books, and an active imaginary world keep even my darkest days bright.)