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a blog by @captainsafia

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Things I learned in 2017

So it’s December 29th. I’ve been seeing a lot of people write up “year in review” posts. I figured I would throw my hat in the ring for this, despite how weird it is for me. I don’t usually mark my years, goal and accomplishments-wise, by the start of a new year in Georgian calendar. I actually center most of my career and personal goals around my birthday. I make intentions like “On my 22nd year on Earth, I want to X, Y, and Z.” It makes the whole experience a little more personal and helps me mark the passing of time in delineations that are more meaningful to me.

My birthday is on July 25th, so it’s been a little over five months since I set my “yearly goals.” I’ve made some decent progress on them but I figured I’d take the time to share some things I learned over the past calendar year instead of what I accomplished.

  1. Never forget where you came from, but don’t let it hold you prisoner either.
  2. You will buy a pair of 8 pound dumbbells because you think you can handle it. You should buy the 4 pound pair instead. Know your limits.
  3. Switch the brand of shampoo and conditioner you use every bottle. Hair loves change. So does your body in general.
  4. Whether you like it or not, there are a lot of people who are reading what you post on Twitter. Tweet accordingly.
  5. It’s OK if you paint outside the nails on your right hand, you can just clean up the edges with nail polish remover afterwards. This applies to other things in life too.
  6. Regardless of your own opinions on your self-worth or intelligence, people respect and value your opinions and insights. Speak accordingly.
  7. Love is not given or received. Love is made through hard work and commitment.
  8. Read all the instructions before you assemble your new dining set. Get informed before you embark on anything.
  9. Everyone is too busy worrying about their own shortcomings to penalize you for yours.
  10. Your hair will grow back from that awful short hair cut you thought would make you look more sophisticated. Likewise, given enough time, you will recover from most mistakes.
  11. Not everyone has to like you, just the right people.
  12. Forgiveness is overly romanticized. You don’t owe it to everyone and anyone.
  13. Being copied is the highest form of flattery. It’ll also irritate you a little bit. That’s alright though.
  14. Your originality and perspective are one of the few things you can confidently rely on.
  15. Work that you love doing is still work.
  16. A checklist is not the answer to all life’s problems (unfortunately).
  17. The line between bragging and self-promotion is not as thin as you think it is. Self-promote away!
  18. If you don’t fuck it up the first time around, it probably wasn’t worth it anyways.
  19. Appreciate the things that fade away to the periphery. The roof over your head, your warm winter coat, your abundant stack of wool sacks, your full fridge, the companionship of good friends.
  20. You don’t have to share your opinion on everything with strangers on the Internet.
  21. The nicest customers shop at the Dollar Store.
  22. Better things come to those who wait.
  23. Few people notice the changes that matter because they happen very slowly.
  24. There’s as much value in knowing what won’t work as there is in knowing what will.

Here’s to another spin around the sun!