At-Large: 10 Things I Learned in 2016
Reflecting on a year of love, pain, and adventure, here are some of my fresher dispositions on life. Take them as a grain of salt. I’m still growing.
10. Apologies only count if they’re real.
You can only apologize for something if it’s truly an accident or a regret. This year brought much attention to the authenticity of an “I’m sorry.” Much like the words “love” or “hate,” a real apology should be just that: real. I find myself asking apologetic friends, “Are you really sorry, or is your apology a distraction from a decision made in the first degree?”
9. Sleep is important.
It’s elementary, but it’s real. Like many of you, I heard from my teachers, my mom, the internet, and now I can say it out loud: getting sleep is a must. As a natural night owl, sleep has never been a priority, until now. Earlier this year, my health suffered greatly as a result of too much work and not enough sleep. As someone who lives for the hustle, it took a big nudge from the physical being to put my mind in check.
8. Think about what you want to leave behind.
This year, I traveled to San Diego to pack up my deceased uncle’s apartment and help my mother deal with his affairs. It was a bittersweet experience, but above all it was impactful to go through the sum of a man’s material possession. The whole experience left me wanting to be more conscious of what I leave behind both in legacy and in stock.
7. Snapchat is Satan.
Literally. You can make your face look like that of Satan’s. But figuratively as well; Snapchat perpetuates the narcissistic culture we live in; it encourages us to promote ourselves doing meaningless shit to an audience. Not only did you waste your time recording “the perfect video,” but you also wasted 10 seconds of every extremely bored person in your contacts.
6. Everything in moderation, including moderation.
I’m all for healthy lifestyles, but every once and a while, I need to let loose. It does something for my soul to just completely let go for one night. In fact, I’ve actually started to schedule these party nights on my calendar, once a month. Mandatory fun. Yikes. Am I really that boring? See, this is why I need to party more.
5. You need to do what you love.
When my peers started becoming employed, I was envious of those with the big, corporate jobs (well, really just the money). But now, five years later, those same people have told me that they wish they were in my spot because I’ve been doing what I want to do. If you continue working a job you don’t love just for the money, then you’re only prolonging your existence so you can continue to do things you don’t want to do.
4. The world is going to end.
I can feel it; the end times are upon us. Too many impossible things happened in 2016 for the apocalypse to not be right around the corner. There is still some time left, though, so do not fret. No but seriously, you’re all going to die.
3. Get the Alaska roll at Raku Sushi.
Salmon, avocado, cucumber, and tobiko. So simple, so healthy, so tasty. I had one of the best dates I’ve ever had there and I ordered the Alaska roll which made me look like I knew what I was doing. You know what they say: if you’re good in the eats, you’re good in the sheets.
2. Make your mental breaks physical.
I used to count a break as sitting and mindlessly scrolling on Facebook (time I wish I could desperately get back). Now when I take breaks I get up and walk around the block, leaving my phone behind. I do this and try to clear my mind, seeing where it goes when it’s free. It’s a nice way to help prioritize and it helps me actually feel refreshed (which is the point of break).
1. Let that shit go.
Earlier in the year, someone broke into my car and stole my sunglasses, the only thing I owned that could be labeled “expensive.” It took me a few weeks, but I had to learn to let it go because I was not going to get them back; it was out of my control. But what I could control is whether or not I was going to waste time hating that person. My sunglasses? Maybe. My time? Eff you! So, if something bad happens to you out of your control, let it be water off the duck’s back and just keep moving.