Wednesday, February 4, 2015

what i've learned in the past however long

photo by Kendall Hanna Photography
I used to do these "what I've learned" posts at the end of each school year. But since that is no longer the calendar I use to operate, I realize I haven't been keeping track of my life in the same sort of way.

Additionally, I haven't kept up with this blog with any sense of regularity or consistency, with no excuse other than the constant toll of other responsibilities. But here I return, with my heart overflowing with words to release to the world (or at least to my minor, yet so loved, audience).

The months, nay years, since my last post of this structure have been filled with more life lessons than I care to admit, clearly elucidating the fact that I had so much to learn, and I still have so very much left to learn. There have been heartaches and hospitals stays and life changes and travels and new friends and a whole lot of love.

So without further ado, a small few of the things I have learned in the past however long (I am guessing almost two years?) are:

- that I maybe like dogs. Maybe. Or at least one dog. Okay, two.

- that although hospitals (still) suck, sometimes they can be the places of greatest joy.

- that I fall more and more in love with Houston every single day and take great pride in sharing my love of it with non-natives.

- that I like (love) photography.

- that, even though I like photography and probably have a photo of me (taken by my mother) for every day of my childhood, I will never feel at home in front of a camera.

- that some people don't grow out of clumsiness (myself included).

- that car accidents are horrible.

- that when it rains, it pours.

- that a quarter life crisis can manifest itself in any multitude of ways.

- that age matters a whole lot less after college.

- that at times you have to stop asking questions and realize that these immediate connections you have with people are because you are supposed to have those people in your life as soon as possible.

- that there is always hope. Around every corner, in every situation, there is the hope of better days no matter what. 

- that the friends you make outside of your bubble (whether that's race, neighborhood, religion, industry, age, class) can teach you more than any book can.

- that taking balloons to a cactus store is as bad of an idea as you think it is.

- that the best way to learn how to refine your creativity is to surround yourself with other creatives. 

- that you'll never regret carrying an extra set of stationery in your bag.

- that filing for a non-profit is not for the faint of heart.

- that motherhood is deserving of every accolade it receives.

- that there is inspiration EVERYWHERE, you must be purposeful in noticing it. 

- that many secrets are shared over cups of coffee.

- that intentional vulnerability is worth every ounce of discomfort it may have.

- that the news of a new book from Harper Lee is enough to brighten the gloomiest of weeks.

- that nothing rivals a little kitten in the cuteness department.

- that having neighbor friends feels like living in a dorm all over again (without the shared bathrooms or twin XL beds).

- that it is worth your time to master just one dessert recipe and make it your signature. 

- that entering friendship with your parents (and even your friends' parents) as you enter true independence and adulthood is the coolest transition. 

- that an early bedtime is sometimes incredible.

- that helping to make art free or more accessible is always worth your time or money.

- that discovering a new beloved author or poet is like striking gold.

- that mustard-based chicken salad is a crime in every way.

- that all it takes is a little intention and a warm smile to get to know someone. 

- that organ transplant recovery is a weird and long process.
photo by Kendall Hanna Photography

- that a new hairstyle can be just the change needed for a renewed sense of self.

- that Martha Stewart's personal instagram account is a source of endless entertainment. 

- that eating dessert first is all it's cracked up to be, especially among friends. 

- that working retail is not for the meek.

- that I demonstrate how much I enjoy someone's company by how comfortable I feel making fun of them. 

- that 24 feels super adult. 

- that having your best friends live across the country is the pits.

- that God is at work in your unremarkable days.

- that being roommates with your best forever friend is the best kind of forever sleepover that you can ever imagine.

- that there is never a good reason not to go to NYC.

- that the Coppola family owns the movie industry. Just look it up. There are more of them than you think.

- that Trader Joe's is the best place to get snacks if you're hosting a last-minute party. 

- that a stink bug inside of your car is a MAJOR liability if I am behind the wheel.

- that I pride myself on my gift-giving abilities. Holy cow, I can pick out the perfect one. 

- that having a friend who speaks truth to your heart, that is truly to have found immeasurable treasure.

- that people outside of Texas just don't get things.

- that pen addictions are totally okay. 

- that sometimes, there are places that you don't want to be a regular. Like the car repair shop.

- that it is possible to have strep throat and the flu at the same time and it is as miserable as it sounds, especially when you are working the entire duration of the illness.

- that hearts are poured out over long car rides.

- that nothing humbles you so much as dumpster diving to retrieve your cell phone.

- that when the entire contents of your car are stolen, the greatest losses are the, journals, ticket stubs- the things that hold the dreams and memories.

- that almost all of life's big questions can be answered through a solo vacation.

- that Jimmy Fallon is a freaking genius, and the innovation he has brought to late night tv is amazing.

- that mornings never get easier. But coffee is nectar of the gods.

- that a radio station which plays only Beyonce is the best thing that exists.

- that sometimes you have to see the ocean as soon as possible, and living less than 100 miles from one is awesome for that reason.

- that surprise broccoli attacks are the WORST.

- that there exists a species of animal known as a miniature racing mule. No lie. They like to get in the way.

- that my life is not suited for last-minute black tie events. I need at least a two-day head time to get everything together.

- that purchasing your first domain name makes you feel really professional.

- that above all else, family (however you choose to define it, by blood or not) will be there for you until the very end.

all my love,

Read more posts like these: what I learned my senior yearwhat I learned this summer, what I learned junior yearwhat I learned sophomore year


  1. Great writing, as always. Loved reading this post. And re-reading it. Proud of you!