In Which I Discuss Some Things I've Learned (AKA: You Could Get Hit By a Bus Tomorrow)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Annnd surprising no one, I missed the actual Blog Every Day in May post yesterday. To be fair, I had to go to class and after class, Ken and I went out to dinner with a couple of friends and we didn't get home until after 10, and my brain was fried so I just showered and watched Hannibal and went to bed. 

Yesterday was a wildly unproductive day, mainly because the database that I use was down and unusable, so I tried to find other things to do (rather unsuccessfully). Although, I must admit that I wasn't trying very hard. Class totally fried my brain, because somehow, despite having gotten my BS in Biology and taken (and passed!) med school biochem (with an 89, thank you very much!), we are doing something in this 200 level cell bio/biochem class that I have never seen before. I had a completely useless freak out (are any of them ever useful, actually?) about how going back to school was a total mistake and how I was clearly not smart enough to do this... but I think I'm getting over it. I spoke with the professor after class and I felt better, although not totally convinced that I wasn't a complete moron. As my friend Julie said, though, "Well that's the point of classes, right? Learning stuff you don't currently know? You were bound to not know something at some point!" which is totally true (even if I don't want to believe it, haha).

Anyway, speaking of learning, not all of it happens in the classroom (thankfully), and the post I was supposed to write yesterday was about things I learned outside of school. So... here are some things that I have learned from life.

The Holstee Manifesto
For those of you who don't know, that is the Holstee Manifesto. It hangs on the wall in our apartment, and I look at it every day. It reminds me of the important things that Life has to teach me, even when most of the time, I think Life is bent on elucidating the many ways that people at large can be a vastly annoying group of organisms. So yes, the Holstee Manifesto is great. It's also quite idealistic. Most of what I've learned from life is far less poetic.

People are stupid, or at the very least, will do stupid things. Often. Do not be surprised. Anticipate.

This sounds horrible, but it is really true. My dad always tells me to remember that, "Most people you will encounter are not as logical or as intelligent as you and the people you hang out with..." which... is true. I am not an overly confident person, but I do know that I am quite intelligent and logical (although last night, I was skeptical of that). Because of this, I spend a lot of time smacking myself in the forehead (physically or metaphorically) saying, "What the actual fuck is wrong with people?" when something stupid happens. However, people seem to like to do a variety of dumb things, for example, spending money in ways they shouldn't, driving like it's the first time they've ever been in a vehicle and they decided that doing so blindfolded was a good idea, or dating someone that treats them like crap... and that is just a few of the many examples one could probably come up with, unfortunately. So, what is one to do about this intensely high concentration of stupid in the world around us? Well, first of all, stop being surprised when something stupid happens. In fact, expect stupid things to happen, and when they don't, you'll be pleasantly surprised. At least, that's what I'm trying to do. It helps to keep my blood pressure down, haha. Also, just because people are acting stupidly doesn't mean that they're trying to make you have an aneurysm, at least... not most of the time.

Sometimes, you have to cut toxic people out of your life. 

 One of the hardest things I've learned is that sometimes, the people you think are your friends turn out to be not such great friends. That doesn't mean they're horrible people, either, as I'm sure most of us try not to be friends with horrible people. (If you're trying to be friends with horrible people... I hope you're either doing some kind of bizarre social experiment, or you should probably look into getting some therapy because you don't need to befriend horrible people!) Anyway, people change, needs change, opinions change, and as a result, relationships can (and often do) change. Someone who you were best friends with in high school might be a totally different person 5 years later, and so will you, probably! (Hopefully! Who wants to be the same person they were in high school? BLECH.) It's really hard to end a friendship, or to watch one collapse slowly (like a flan in a cupboard), because you have all of these memories of when things were healthy and fun and mutually beneficial. Unfortunately, that isn't always the case. There's also something to be said for not putting up with people's bullshit longer than you have to, and if you find yourself going, "Why am I friends with this person?" or making up reasons why you should stay friends with them... it's probably time to end it. Growing up is (still) hard to do.

You cannot control everything. You can control how you react to things.

I am still learning this. Every day. Every minute of every day. It seems obvious. I know that I cannot control the weather, the economy, or the fact that Comcast is the worst company in the history of companies ever. I cannot control when people do stupid things (See #1) or when they make decisions that make you want to punch them (See #2). However, I can control how I react to all of these things. Because of this, I fully believe in grabbing your own life by the horns (or the balls, if you are so inclined and you think life is a dude) and controlling your own destiny. I can control how I react when people make insanely self-destructive decisions, whether that's counseling them against said decision, or deciding to keep my mouth shut because no matter what I say, they're going to reject the reality of the situation and replace it with their own. I can control how I do in my classes. I can control how I react when people are angry, when work gets nuts, or when people cut me off in traffic. I cannot control any of those things, but I can control my reactions. This is something that more people need to realize, because it will help to prevent that thing I ranted about the other day (people not taking responsibility for themselves and their actions).

You can, and should, say "No".

I am the worst at saying no. I hate disappointing people, and more importantly, I like making people like me, so when people ask me to do things, I like to try and comply. However, this leads to entirely overbooked schedules, too much on my plate, and general melting down. Like I just said, I totally believe in grabbing life by the horns and getting as much out of life as you can, I also have learned that I have limits, I cannot do it all (especially not if I want to do anything well), and that contrary to popular (okay, maybe just my own) belief, I am not expected to do everything. Saying no may feel gross in the moment, but in the end, it will save your sanity.

Don't lie.

Ok, so I guess we kind of learned this in school, but I'm talking more about not lying to yourself, moreso than not lying to other people. I spent the last 4 years lying to myself about not wanting to go back to medical school and I wasted so much time doing a hundred other things instead of what I really wanted to do... which was go back to medical school. So, don't lie to other people, because that's mean, and don't lie to yourself, because that's stupid.

You could get hit by a bus tomorrow.

Seems out of place, and truthfully, you could get hit by a bus today, but I started saying, "Well, I could get hit by a bus tomorrow..." to remind myself that bad things can happen without warning, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't try things. Or, you could get hit by a bus tomorrow, but you shouldn't stay in your house to avoid getting hit by a bus because then you'll never get anything done. And also, there's a ton of stuff in your house that could probably kill you, too, so... there's that. That being said, life is scary and new things are scary and the possibility of failure is scary, but not doing anything and accomplishing nothing is way more scary... so get out there and do something.

And now, a few things that don't really need explanations, but are good to know, nonetheless:

- Don't touch things when they're hot (I do this all the time. Don't be like me.)
- Don't let your laundry pile up, because it will take over your life.
- Always keep tissues in your purse. Or pocket, if you're a dude.
- Always keep napkins in your glove compartment (does anyone keep gloves in there?)
- When in doubt, order dessert.
- Don't stand on the edge of a ceramic tub in socks
- Always, always, always  put a mat in the bottom of your tub (I didn't. I fractured my spine. Don't be like me.)
- Laughing hysterically or a really good nap can fix most problems.
- Don't be a passive-aggressive weirdo. Tell people how you really feel. (That goes with DON'T LIE.)
- But seriously, tell people you love them. You never know, you might get hit by a bus!

Check what other people have learned at the link-up!

- A


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