2009 has been a very crazy/interesting/chaotic year. As of late, it hasn't been so spectacular, but I can say that I've learned some very important lessons in the past 12 months. Some serious, some not so serious. If you read my blog because you like to hear about all things Cleveland or vegetarian, I hate to tell you that most of the lessons I've learned have been personal in nature. So let's take a look at my top 9 lessons for 2009. Why 9? Why the heck not? I'm trying to keep this list as positive as possible. I've learned some pretty tough lessons as of late, but I'd prefer to not dwell on the negative. (And if I focused on the negative, my list would be really long.)
In no particular order:
1. No matter how old you are, you still need your mother. She can help you get through any catastrophe because she knows you better than you know yourself. You may not always want to hear what she has to tell you, but in a lot of cases, her advice will be spot on. My mother has been so supportive recently, and I can't thank her enough for helping me get through my life altering chaos. When I wanted to just curl up in a ball and cry my eyes out, she helped me to pick myself up physically and emotionally and keep going.
2. Romantic relationships may come and go, but your friends won't. As long as you don't neglect them while you're in a relationship, they will be there for you when the bottom drops out and will offer poignant, if not painfully honest, advice and guidance. Like your mother, they can see things about you that you only wish you could see. Also, if you are dating someone that they don't like, they will be nice enough to not share their opinion with you until you break up with said person, and will unleash a storm of hatred like nothing you've ever seen if you're "wronged."
3. Don't let a physical setback, time constraint, or misc. drama keep you from reaching a personal goal. Life happens. There will always be obstacles to getting something you want. Your journey to reach a goal might not be an easy one, but it's important to not give up. It took me two years and two injured ankles before I was ready to run a half-marathon this past year, but it was one of the greatest accomplishments of my life.
4. It's never a good idea to eat an entire can of pumpkin (like, the stuff you use to make a pie) in one sitting. Trust me on this one. In past years I've also learned that it's a bad idea to eat an entire can of uncooked sauerkraut, baked beans, or an entire loaf of bread.
5. Vegan desserts can be delicious. Before this year, I'd never had a vegan dessert that I was particularly fond of, but now I almost prefer vegan dessert options. With places like Pattycake Bakery, Tremont Scoops, Terra Bakery, No Whey candies, the Flaming Ice Cube, and so many other businesses offering tasty treats just a mouse click or a short drive away, it's pretty easy to find delicious vegan desserts wherever you are. (If you're not ambitious enough to try and make your own.)
6. Either you love Jimmy Buffet or you hate Jimmy Buffet. There's no in-between. If you're a Jimmy Buffet fan, most likely we will not have anything in common. Period.
7. Cleveland is a really great city. In 2009, I decided to live like a tourist (or the people I work with who transfer into this city) and explored areas I'd never thought to go to in my 28 years in this town. I can't wait to explore some more in 2010.
8. Cats are a good judge of character. If they don't like someone in your life, perhaps you shouldn't, either.
9. There is no such thing as forever, so live for today. Push the envelope and try things you've never tried before. Go to places you've always wanted to go to, even if that means going alone. We only get once chance to enjoy life, so you can either get busy living, or get busy dying.
What did you learn in 2009?