A year ago. Damn, my hair was short.
Last year I shared 27 things I had learned while 27, which was both interesting and helpful for me. This year, I’ll be away and out of touch for my birthday, so to preempt that, I’m going to do my learned list a little early.
So 28. Wow. That was… that was a year. It’s strange because so many wonderful things happened, but this heaviness in my heart that I was carrying throughout put a damper on things. Emotionally, it was one of the worst years. Professionally, it was the best. I can’t reconcile those two.
I started the year by taking a break from TTC which, looking back, was really good timing. I went on to have two incredibly long cycles and two insanely short ones, which was enough to push me towards finding an RE.
We lost Crosby, our favorite chicken. Then another unexpectedly died over the winter, so we were down to nine when we offed/donated the rest in June. Losing Crosby made that easier, in a way, because she was our plucky, cross-beaked favorite. After that, the chickens were just… chickens.
I tried the Wahl’s Protocol and loved it, but then backed off when my cycles remained wonky. I started learning French in preparation for visiting Switzerland in the summer. I finished the first draft and edits on my novel. Our marriage became legal in AZ, then the entire country only a few
long short months later. I got to see my grandmother just two weeks before she died. It snowed on New Year’s Eve.
And then the next few months… Life kept stuttering and stopping. I finally sought out a therapist. I finally went to an RE. I went back to Crossfit. I relaxed my diet. I discovered I had PCOS. I got angry. So, so angry. And finally I wasn’t depressed.
Dr Lady won her defense and graduated. I got metformin and an HSG. We went to Switzerland and fell in love with Geneva. Within a week of coming back, I was depressed again. I quit my job. Dr Lady got news about a potential position in France. I got an agent. I laughed. I cried. I cried so much. I lived.
And I learned a lot. Which should be expected. If there is ever a year that I look back and don’t think “wow, I sure learned,” then I need to start school all over again.
This is what I learned:
1) It’s best to avoid cat traps. You know – when they roll on their back and present their belly and look all cute? Yeah, that can only end in blood and scratches.
2) French isn’t really that bad. Actually, it’s a pretty easy language, once you can figure out how everything is pronounced.
3) I need Crossfit, or at least a group activity where weights are thrown around. It is a balm to my soul.
4) Metformin tastes awful and lingers in your throat the entire day for the first few weeks of taking it. You’ll lose weight, like they say, but it’s because you’re nauseated all the time.
5) I can trust myself. If something is wrong and doesn’t go away for years and years and years, then it’s okay not to trust doctors. They only see you for that moment – not all the years that came before. Also they all have weirdass hang-ups, like assuming every PCOS presents as overweight. Yeah no.
6) Some allergies do go away if you avoid the allergen for long enough. Yay for being able to eat eggs again!!
7) There is nothing a long hike cannot solve.
8) I can write, rewrite, edit, beta, and query a book in a single year. With a full-time job.
9) I cannot write more than a few hours each day without burning myself out, though.
10) The world did not end when my brother got pregnant.
11) It is always and absolutely worth the effort to learn some of the language before visiting another country.
12) I need to stop waiting until my arm is broken to go see a doctor.
13) If the henna says “don’t leave on overnight,” don’t leave it on overnight.
14) Completely unrelated, I look pretty decent with black hair.
15) If I get the gut feeling that a blogpost is going to be triggering, I need to stop reading then and there, otherwise the rest of the day will be shot.
16) I apparently have triggers! Who knew.
17) Photography is my creative outlet and I need to take my camera with me more often.
18) People don’t like reading about characters who just react all the time, letting things happen to them. People prefer characters who happen to things. This is also true about life. Make choices. Be proactive. Use your agency.
19) Getting an agent sometimes just means writing another book, then another, and rewriting your query until it sings.
20) My life doesn’t look like my coworkers’, my friends’, my acquaintances, or even my family’s, but that doesn’t make it any less valid. Everybody is in a different place in their journey and the outer shell of their life does not accurately reflect how far they’ve come or how far they have to go. Stop comparing.
21) Sometimes, to make progress you have to quit.
22) You have to make time for the things that are important to you in your life, because the unimportant will just expand and take any extra time over.
23) Every single day can be a new beginning.
24) Achieving your dreams can’t change the fact that you have depression. And that’s okay! Just… don’t expect them to.
25) Don’t ask the universe for anything. The universe doesn’t give a fuck about you. But that’s okay! Do you really want something so vast and eternal caring about you? That’d be terrifying.
26) There is a sunset and a sunrise every single day – two beautiful things that cannot be taken away.
27) PCOS is a journey. Take care of yourself every day.
28) I still have a lot left to learn.