Ten Things I’ve Learned in 2021

I frequently think of a line from Leigh Stein’s collection, DISPATCH FROM THE FUTURE: Life is only too short if you’re having a good time. I want it to feel short, I want to feel a bit breathless and excited.

A good friend and I collaged this week. We were reflecting and planning after a big year leaving our past jobs for new opportunities. I felt compelled to memorialize my meandering thoughts in blog format. They’re a mix of running, creativity, chronic illness—you know, my life.

1. I have missed collaging. Through workshops with Cinder Hypki and making more cards this year, I plan to bring the practice back more frequently in 2022.

2. People will let you down. It’s not your obligation to change them.

3. I like books that can be frustrating. Well, I already knew this, but it was very clear when I read the new Sally Rooney. I kept wanting to scream go to therapy!!

4. I love racing for the comradery, but I am perfectly happy exploring running routes with no races to come.

5. I can paint a house in color.

6. A chronic illness is forever, but it’s not my full identity. I’m still working through this. Now that I’m not in daily pain, I’ve been learning how to manage my symptoms and set boundaries that prevent flare-ups.

7. I can make big changes, even if I can’t project exactly how they will change the future.

8. Calendar invitations are my love language. Send three dates and times, then let’s pick one. I can’t stand the back and forth of “I’m free whenever!” You’re not. I’m not. It’s stressful. Plus, as we’re still in a pandemic, I like to have my social time planned out so I am factoring in time between seeing people.

9. I would like to never feel obligated to sit in a loud bar again. My brain can’t process the background noise and focus on a conversation. Let’s sit outside forever. It’s beautiful anyway.

10. I process through lists and that is just fine. My favorite poems are in lists. Maybe everything is a poem.

Books I’m thinking about/recently read:

  • Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney
  • In the Belly of the Mirror by Tafisha Edwards
  • Dispatch from the Future by Leigh Stein

Stay sweaty and glittery. Black Lives Matter.