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things i've learned this year

this idea came from another kate who is, in my opinion, a great writer and a very insightful girl. she wrote a list & has since asked people for their lists-or parts of it. i wrote in and told her the biggest thing i had learned last year... odd though, my life has changed so much in less than that time, its just ... huge. i think this is a very good idea, and i started one for 2005- and then somehow or another never published it. which is odd for me. usually things get published pretty quickly. anyway, i've decided to review last years list and alter it as need be... so here is my "what i've learned in 2006". (& a few things from 2005 that are still relevent, in italics, with revisions)

... that i am friends with more females than i thought. i have more girlfriends than i believed i had, and some of them are online friends, but they exist, they're cool, and i consider them connections in my life. thanks ladies. (sareet, dooce, kristy, kate) my katelyn is awesome. and i'm lucky she is my friend. theresa in my pta program has provided me with new knowledge. as well as help in physics. but really, its fun being girly with people. and my future roommate erin is tremendous. she is smart, funny, witty, talented, and insightful. i'm excited about moving into THE HOUSE!
...i do like science. and i am actually really good at it. this is still true now. woo physics!
...i deserve to be paid what i am worth. not telling them how many hours i am putting in hurts me and them. also true. my church devalued me to such a degree... and i let them. and it had nearly destroyed every part of me. and in the meantime, they believed it was ok. and now they are seeing the destruction that has occurred because of it...
...the youth of this diocese, who i also consider my kids, are amazing people. they are smart, talented, giving, joyful, loving, and willing to do crazy things and have fun all the time. they are what i wish all youth groups had, all churches had, all schools had. they are the people who are going to give this world art, music, architecture, medicine, and schools worth having. they are amazing. i love them... amen. amen. amen.
... that my mom is one of my heroes. she's a strong woman, and i am so happy and proud she is my mom. i don't think i could ever tell her enough how much i love her.

so 2006 is almost over. its gone by far too quickly, and so much has changed. i am officially in my physical therapy program, though i best get volunteer hours done so i can stay in it. i've moved already once and am about to again, i've lost my car, i've watched friends say goodbye to loved ones, i've said goodbye to loved ones- in ways that a year ago i didn't think i could do. my life has changed dramatically... i am older, somewhat wiser, a little sillier, less stressed (mostly), and finally feeling like i've grown into my skin. i swear that somewhere i read an interview (looking for it) with meryl streep who said that she always felt that she was an old person... that it took her till 30 to feel like she belonged in her skin. and despite all my freaking out prior to it, i do feel like i am more comfortable in mine.

~ i am more beautiful than i ever thought. with thanks to my peej and sean in particular, i finally actually feel like i am not just sometimes cute, but a beautiful person. i am finally seeing myself the way i see others. finally. to me, this is huge. this of course doesn't mean i am flouncing about behaving as though i'm someone famous or deserving of constant attention and praise... just that i am more than i ever believed. which as mentioned, is huge.

~ when you have a big decision to make, think of it with the 20 year rule. when you look back on your decision in 20 years, will you be ok with it? if not, you probably aren't choosing the right path. (with thanks to mr. vagliardo)

~ i've learned to ask myself- what do i want? and if i'm not getting it, or headed to getting it, then things need to change. i need to change or i need to bring about change, because otherwise it'll never happen.

~ i've learned that people-most all the people in this world-are doing the best they can with what they have-knowledge, intelligence, effort, abilities. when you try to remember that your co-workers, your kids, your parents, the random people on the street aren't out to get you and that they are doing the best they can, you have a lot more patience. i am working on reminding myself of this daily. because i'm still really impatient, but much less so when i think that way.

~ i've discovered that when all is said and done, your true friends, the ones who will be there for you through EVERYTHING- i mean all the really bad stuff and will stand with you on the mountain at the end of your day and applaud your accomplishments, they are the ones who will help you pack your house and move -twice in less than 3 months, they are the ones who will lend you their extra car when yours is flooded, they are the ones who are there through funerals with you, they are the people who really care. and they are few, but they are mighty. and they are gifts i wouldn't trade for anything.


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