Things I learned in 2013



To be honest, there would not be enough money in the world to pay me to redo 2013.

When I think about mistakes I’ve made, I find it hard to dwell on them, but not for the reasons you’d think.  Most people would assume that the reason I wouldn’t want to think about it is that it makes me feel vulnerable, or perhaps, It makes me feel sadness, pain, or anger.  But really, I find that it’s something different.  In Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, there is a line that says, “I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.”

That is something I relate to a little too strongly.

I suppose for context for this essay, you must understand that 2013 was the first year I lived outside of my parents’ house.  And I could only afford to do that if I lived with people. It was an unpleasant, judgmental, restrictive environment and I was miserable.

 Do you know how most people can’t wait to go home after a day of work?  I dreaded going home.  I would sob in my car when I got off work or wander around nearby stores or eat in my car to avoid being there.

I felt trapped.  I couldn’t afford to live anywhere else, and the other parts of my life had me so stressed out that I was making myself ill.

 In 2013, my grandpa was sick with cancer and died in the summer.

In 2013, the long-standing friendship I’d cultivated with a few people crumbled, but not because of me, because of some differences between my sister and them.  But it trickled down to me.

That year, my best friend was pregnant with her daughter and gave birth, also in the summer.

All those balls I’d been juggling were knocked out of my hands.

Somehow, 2013 is a turning point in my life.  Before that year, I was trying too hard to be what everyone wanted me to be, but completely failing. I also hadn’t learned how much I depended on my family until I no longer lived with them. I realized that regardless of what anyone says, I am going to want to write, and if that’s my goal then I should do it.

Make no mistake, I’m still kind of lazy about all those, “adult” things, and I only care because I have to. I am not the most proactive about things I don’t want to do.  And I still have a lot of learning and growing to do, but here are some things I learned in 2013, or because of it.


Things I Learned in 2013

  1. This too shall pass.
  2. Good things can come out of bad things.
  3. I am stronger than I ever thought I was.
  4. Sometimes, you have to listen to other people and take their advice.
  5. Other times you need to not listen to them because they’re wrong.
  6. Listen to your heart or the universe, or your gut… whatever. It sounds cheesy, but you have an intuition that’s there to help you, so you should use it.
  7. I’m allergic to hydrochlorothiazide and it makes me very sick.
  8. Cherish your loved ones because you never know how long you’ll get with them.
  9. That being said, it’s ok to cut toxic people from your life…
  10. It sucks to cut people out of your life.
  11. There will always be people who try to tell you who and what you are.
  12. If you’re putting in eighty percent or higher into a friendship and the other person/ people are putting in twenty percent or less, then maybe it’s not a great friendship.
  13. Sometimes, you have to let go.
  14. Sometimes, you have to stick to your guns.
  15. You cannot fix other people’s relationships.
  16. If other people don’t care enough about their friendship, there’s nothing you can do but listen, and try to advise if they ask. Butting in does no good.
  17. I will always care more about certain things than other people.
  18. It shouldn’t always be me putting in the effort in a relationship just out of fear of losing something I craved.
  19. There are times when you have to take a long, hard look at your life and realize that you can’t be the one coordinating get-togethers and who is riding in the car with whom. You are not their fun coordinator and travel agent.
  20. I was put on this earth for a purpose.
  21. Sometimes, it doesn’t matter to you at the moment whether or not something a person says to you or about you is true. What’s important is that at that moment, it feels true. The trick is not to dwell on that for too long and to remember that not everything someone says about you is true. Self-reflection is a good way of determining this. Also, therapy helps.
  22. Stress affects me profoundly.
  23. Sometimes, the one thing you’re, “not supposed to do” is the thing that makes you feel alive and gets you out of a bad situation.
  24. I have to stand up for myself.
  25. Friends are great, but ultimately, you have to rely on yourself.
  26. Sometimes, life is unfair, but you can’t let that stop you from living your life.
  27. Just because writing is hard and it often doesn’t pay well doesn’t mean I can’t do it or that I shouldn’t. I just have to work with it and try to make it into a career or figure out how I can do something else which allows me to have enough free time to write.
  28. No amount of friends in your twenties can make up for the empty lunch tables of your childhood.
  29. Stop holding onto something that’s already lost.
  30. There is a such thing as remembering something painful, pinpointing why it hurt, why it still bothers you and choosing to move past it.


(this is very rough)

Cindy Miller
Writer, Blogger, Amateur YouTuber