Here are a few things I’ve learned in the past year:
1. When I compare myself to someone else, I can only compare my insides to their outsides. And it’s not a valid comparison. Most people look waaaayyyy more together on the outside than they feel on the inside (myself included).
2. Hurt people hurt people. People who say and do hurtful things usually learned it from someone else.
3. Most people don’t wake up in the morning thinking, “I think I’ll be an asshole today.” I’ve said this before, but I’ll say it again: most people are just doing the best they can.
4. Shame is a bitch of an emotion. You can’t see someone else’s shame, because we all mask it with other things, like anger and frustration, because shame is so shameful that we’re even ashamed of being ashamed. I think a lot of really bad behavior comes from shame, but it’s so hard to recognize it in other people.
5. It’s kind of stupid to worry about things that are going to happen in the future, because it never works out exactly the way you think it’s going to. So all that dress rehearsal was just time wasted.
6. There’s nothing you can do to change the past, so you might as well learn what you can from it and then let it go (or at least try to just think about the good stuff.)
7. You might as well beat your head against a wall trying to get someone else to do something they really don’t want to do. This is true if they’re 3, or 43, or 93. You may have leverage, but you got no control.
8. Riding in a car with someone who’s just learning to drive is a really scary experience.
(Sorry, had to throw that one in there.)