Lessons Learned, 2012

1 Jan

When I started this blog, I wrote a post about what I head learned in 2011. I was sitting in this exact same spot on my parent’s couch when I wrote it, which is kind of funny. It’s here, if you’re interested.

So I was thinking I would write another one of these, because – yay! – I learned things in 2012 too. 

I can move on, there are other fish in the sea, it will stop hurting

So there was this boy. I spent two and a half years absolutely head over heels for him. He was, and is, one of my best friends. He’s stayed at my parents’ house multiple times, he’s one of those people I can text about nothing, we lived together for a year, blah blah blah. We spent a lot of time together.

And he did not feel the same way. He emphatically, certainly, definitely didn’t. And by the time the beginning of 2012 rolled around, I knew that. And I had accepted that he never would, but you can’t turn off feelings like that. So I spent a lot of time wishing, and hurting.

Then there was Pittsburgh. We were both there, with pep band, for the NCAA. On my birthday, all of our other friends were either studying or going to the zoo, and we decided to visit the U Pitt and Carnegie Mellon campuses. We took the bus, explored, got lunch – it was a very date-y day. But then we were walking back across the bridge to our hotel, and I glanced over at him to say something, and I didn’t feel that familiar wishing. I had had a great day, with my friend. Who will never be anything but my friend and I was finally okay with that.

This year, I’ve gotten to be friends with his girlfriend too, something I was never able to do before. He and I are still close. And it is awesome.

I am like-able

I know, I know. Two lessons about boys? Yes, and they’re both really important.

Because of some past experiences, particularly the one described above, I had a really hard time seeing myself as someone a person would want to be with. No one had before, why would that change?

But this year it kind of did. No, I still haven’t ever actually dated anyone, but there were guys who were interested in me, finally. And I know that my self-worth isn’t based on what they think, or my attractiveness, or whatever … but it’s really nice. I was legitimately convinced I would be forever alone because no one had shown interest before — and if no one is ever interested in being with you, how can you believe someone ever would be? Now, when I say that, I’m actually (mostly) kidding. It’s given me a lot of confidence and the ability to bounce back when things don’t work out. So that’s also quite awesome.

Opportunities are where you least expect them

This year, I got a job because I happened to talk to someone who worked for the company (catering) while I was interviewing them for a different job. I wasn’t looking for work that day, but I was keeping my eyes open for a summer job and I found something.

Right now, I’m in the process of applying for a job that I only heard about because I got rejected from a fellowship. They turned me down, but they thought I would be good for this other company, and then I got an email out of the blue.

This isn’t a reason for me to stop seeking things out, but it was another reminder that when something that you thought was perfect doesn’t work out, it’s not the end of the world. Sometimes it will even lead to something that could be better.

People can’t come back if they never leave

This is something I’ve realized over the last couple of years, but it really hit home in 2012. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve had to say goodbye to more and more people. They graduate, they transfer, they study abroad, whatever. And it’s hard. But the thing is, when people leave, that means your friends get spread farther and farther around the world. And that makes travel all the sweeter, because you can spend time with them again.

My sophomore year roommate lives in Boise now. When she visits GU, that’s awesome. A girl I was never close with moved to New York after graduating. When I was there in November, I got to stay with her. Another friend, who I met for those three days in Switzerland, stayed with my family this Thanksgiving. If you’re always in the same place with people, sometimes you don’t realize how lucky you are to have them around. Work and school and responsibilities get in the way of spending time together. But when you know you’re only going to see them for a couple days out of the year, you make a serious effort to catch up. And reunions are the best. So now, when someone leaves, I’m not so sad. I see it as an opportunity to visit them somewhere new, to have a new pen pal, to miss them and then be really excited when I see them again.

I don’t have to be who I always was

So I’m a nerd. I mean, I knit and I swing dance and I’m in the Honors program and write for the newspaper and play in pep band. I’m pretty sure not a single one of those things translates to “cool” in the standard sense of the word. And I still love all of those things.

But I’ve also changed this year. I’ve learned that I really enjoy going out to a bar or a party with my friends – I never did before. I’m more outgoing, I actually drink now – these were all things that I defined as not-me when I started college. But I’m not that same girl. That doesn’t mean that I’ve let go of who I am or I’m trying to be someone I’m not or anything, it just means I’ve grown up. And down the road I’ll have new hobbies, new loves and hates and all of that and I’m excited to see who I become.


I have a feeling 2013 is going to be HUGE for me. I mean, graduating college? Getting a real-world job? This post next year is going to be a loooooong one.



One Response to “Lessons Learned, 2012”

  1. ianmulligan08 July 31, 2013 at 3:31 am #

    “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” Each year brings something new and exciting.

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