I stopped correcting my typos.
What I Learned In 2004 Is…
I learned I am stronger than I ever thought possible and I learned to hold on to that strength and that resolve no matter what.
I learned that cats may be cool, but dogs make far more interesting companions.
I learned who my true friends were and you can be sure I judged harshly here. If you ‘stepped back’, ‘gave me space’, did not come forward or just generally were not there when I needed you, you got bumped to the ‘acquantances’ category. I figure most who got bumped probably don’t mind anyway, but t be clear, if you are unsure where you stand don;t bother asking. If you offered to hide bodies for me (or even generate them for me), you’ll be getting an extra gift when santa comes ’round.
I learned that as much as I hate flying, I hate not traveling even more.
I learned that there’s more than one way to load a dishwasher.
I learned that ‘shmoo’ doesn’t have a ‘C’ in it.
I learned that while you can never be hip enough or thin enough for most people, there are people who like you for your chubby dorkiness.
I learned that too little nicotine and caffeine will give you a massive headache. Same with too much. Having vices is a delicate balancing act.
I learned that there is a very very important difference between Trojan Ultra-pleasure condoms and Trojan Lasting Pleasure condoms. Seriously, the difference between ‘ultra’ and ‘lasting’ makes all the difference in the world and using the wrong ones can cause perplexing issues.
I learned that you CAN measure the caliber of a person by the company they keep and in fact it is probably the best indicator. Relatedly, you can learn a lot about a person by how they treat those close to them.
I learned that the more sentimental value you assign to an object the greater your chance of losing that object later. This was a lesson I learned the hard way as a child and somehow forgot to carry over into my adulthood. I lost a gift that an old friend gave to me, an engraved lighter, something I cherished and now it’s lost. That hurt a lot.
I learned that mirth and joy couldbe found anywhere and you’d do yourself some good to find it and laugh whenever possible.
I learned that I’m charming and I smell like pea soup.
I learned that once you find someone willing to cut your hair as short as you want it you hold on to him as tight as possible. My hairdresser is one of dearest friends (though, to be honest it has less and less to do with my hair every day).
I learned that my body could betray me in ways I never expected and yet when I attack it with cigarettes, caffeine, doritos and chinese food it still manages to breathe.
I learned that parity is possible.
I learned that every day starts with a sunrise and if that isn’t reason enough to get up then you should go back to bed.
It’s time for the end of the year redux where I talk about all that happened in 2004 and what I learned from it. Obviously, the big event for me this year was the break up with my longtime girlfriend. It happened in March and colored most of the events in the following months. I’ll write another post about the other things I learned this year, but this will get its own post for now.
Nine months beore the actual break up was when I checked out emotionally. I remember the day, I remember the moment really. We’d gone to Owatonna after work for a little evening picnic. As we drove in to town looking for the park she said something for me and I knew I was done. It struck me right to the core. I tried not to react, I tried to think about it rationally.
And as we sat there in the park eating our thai papaya salad it occured to me that I was not doing much to contribute to the conversation, my head was spinning a million miles an hour with everything that should have been said but wasn’t.
We drove home quietly, not saying much for there wasn’t much to say about it. I knew then that if anything happened to the relationship I’d not do anything to save it and that was my mistake. My mistake was not walking away when I knew there was no hope, staying where I had no faith. I’d considered it, god knows I thought long and hard about it, but ultimately I concluded that I wasn’t smart enough or strong enough to do it on my own so I stayed figuring it was better than the alternative.
And I was wrong. In March I started to learn things about myself. I learned that I have inside me an enormous well of strength and I can use that to brace myself against anything and I learned that I may not be terribly smart, but I can make decisions and from that get the things that are important to me, without compromise.
And most importantly, I learned that I don’t need to be with someone to feel secure. That one took some grand thought, some real time alone in my head. It’s ironic that I make this statement just as I enter into a new relationship with someone, but what I know walking into this is that I have the luxury of being picky, I don’t have to compromise.
I made a big mistake in 2003, I underestimated myself in a major way and that mistake ended up permeating 2004. Lesson learned. I look forward to 2005 and a new beginning.