Life lately (10 things I learned in 2017)

Hi friends! It’s been quite a while since I last posted here. Life had me busy and struggling for a bit, but all’s well now. I thought that since it is still the first month of 2018, I’m allowed to reminisce about the year last and share with you what I learned in 2017. Let’s begin!

1. I can’t type properly

I know, crazy. Who doesn’t know how to type with 10 fingers? 26-year-old me, that’s who. It’s embarrassing to admit, but I would usually type using one or two fingers before I actually learned. And this realization came after resigning from a job that had me typing most of the time! What a horror. That’s when I decided that I should improve. I searched for tutorials online. I studied and practiced using some websites, but ultimately stayed with TypingClub, a website that helps beginners practice through creative and colorful challenges and activities. Love their UI, actually. Some typing websites don’t improve their interface as long as they provide typing activities. After a few months of training, I am proud to say that I am typing properly now! Still a bit slow and I kind of make a lot of mistakes, but that’s okay. I’ll learn and improve with time.

2. I’m not a great writer

I’ve always had this idea that I’m a writer – a great one, even. I have six unfinished stories in my MacBook, a few poems and tons of ideas waiting to be put on paper. I thought being a great writer is all about having ideas about so many topics, but it turns out I was wrong. A great writer is not about having ideas; it’s about creating and creating and actually finishing your work, not leaving it to gather dust in your archives. It’s constantly writing, even if you think your work sucks, and actually finishing it. Afterwards, you seek help from friends or editors (sometimes both) to improve what you’ve written. It’s about constantly moving, not being paralyzed by your ideas that they stagnate and end up not existing at all.

3. I am boring

I’m not really a fun person to be with, lol. I cut ties with my three closest friends at the beginning of 2017. I did it primarily because I felt sad and stuck. I felt like I wasn’t growing as a person when I’m with them. I had this dream of meeting new friends who I can jive with; friends who will help me grow as a person. While I did meet a few, I quickly realized how…boring I am as a person. I prefer to stay at home instead of socialize and my main form of communication is online. I’m a hermit. I’m more interested in interior design, arts and crafts, and literature rather than parties, adventurous trips, and social interactions. I wouldn’t say I’m proud of myself for being this way, but I’m sure there will come the time where I won’t be ashamed for liking the things I like.

4. I hate cardio

Part of my 2017 resolutions is to lose weight. I’m overweight so it’s something I should be working on, and I am, except one form of exercise does not interest me one bit. Yep, I’m talking about cardio. I don’t know what it is about cardio that demotivates me. I’ve tried running, cycling, dancing, and others, but cardio leaves me angrier and more famished; I’m gaining weight instead of losing it! This 2018, I’ve been doing body weight circuits instead. I find them much more appealing than cardio, honestly.

5. Web development interests me

As a graduate of a liberal arts course, I did not expect to like coding and web development at all. However, a friend recommended an online course and in my boredom, I took it. And surprisingly, the concepts and the practice interest me a lot. There’s something about creating a website and catering it to my tastes that I find really fascinating. I’m done studying HTML and CSS, and while I’m struggling a bit in Javascript, I may just start with Python and the other languages so I don’t lose the motivation to learn.

6. I love learning French

I took elementary French December of 2016, again, in a fit of boredom, and while I wasn’t that interested in the subject, learning on my own later on fostered that appeal so much that I’m thinking of taking French classes online, the ones where you get to talk to locals to actually practice the language.

7. The best friends are the ones who aren’t always there but will help you the moment you are in a pinch

Losing my three closest friends opened up opportunities for me to make new ones. And I did gain friends; it’s just that I mostly interact with them online and they are not always that present. But that’s okay, because the moment things get rough for me and I reach out to them, they are always willing to listen and lend a hand if they can. And for me, that’s what the best friends are: there for you when you need them the most. And I am very lucky to have met them.

8. Bullet journals are super helpful

Ever since I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I’ve come to notice that I am not always present in the moment. I sometimes forget to do the essential things – take a bath, brush my teeth, comb my hair – and yes, disgusting, but I don’t know. It’s just hard for me to do these things. However, ever since I started my bullet journal where I would list all my habits in a tracker, I can carefully monitor my life so that I can practice these essential activities. I’ve started my BuJo August of 2017, and I am still using it now. Super helpful!

9. It’s okay to not be okay

When I’m anxious or depressed, I berate myself for my lack of motivation and self-care, as if it is my fault that I am this way, and not a product of the chemical signals in my brain. But through therapy and constant dialogue with my family and friends, I taught myself not to feel bad for feeling bad. Not only does it worsen the problem, but it serves no purpose whatsoever. I learned that I will always have these negative lapses, but I just need to ride them out for what will surely follow are moments of happiness, fulfillment, and success.

10. It’s okay to slow down and be patient with myself

In my younger years, I was always rushing and chasing whatever, may it be goals or activities or the simple act of living. I’m clumsy, anxious, and irritable in the best of days if things don’t go fast enough, and I try to make things faster, better and more efficient, regardless of what other people feel. Now, I try to be as patient and as kind to myself as possible. If I’m supposed to do this chore or activity, can I do it fast enough? If yes, well excellent. If I can’t, that’s okay too. I can do it in a pace that’s comfortable for me. It doesn’t matter if I’m slow, as long as I’m improving, that’s okay.

A new year always marks a beginning of something, whether it be a new life, new goals or new resolutions. These are what I learned in 2017. What about you, what did you learn last year?

Love,

J.

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