some things I’ve learned

theory — Danielle on June 23, 2008 at 10:46 pm

I have had a rough week. It was not a bad week, just excruciating.

Some nice things happened. Ray and I celebrated six years together. I saw a funny comedy show and laughed a lot.

Some crap things happened. I had a bad freelancing experience at the start of the week. The bad feeling still has not worn off.

The same old stuff happened. Did a regular job for a good client. A lot of admin stuff this week. Tried to keep up with Rags and Mags.

Some peculiar things happened this week too. It wasn’t any one thing, and I don’t want to talk specifics either. There were three events throughout the week where I made mistakes of varying degrees. None catastrophic; but all of them were hard to deal with, and my own actions made them worse.

Now I am looking back thinking I won’t do it that way again and wondering why I have to learn things the hard way so often?

Six years ago I was very socially anxious, entering fashion school. Wrong clothes, clueless and I knew it, intimidated by the other girls. I spent a lot of time alone in the library, methodically working my way through the fashion section, working in the dark archives by myself, worrying, and generally avoiding human contact.

I have changed. Now I am perceived as very outgoing, and I am. I like meeting new people, I enjoy the occasional party, I have made many friends that I am so grateful to have. I have found lots of opportunities, and tried many, a few with success. I have achieved a level of confidence I have never had before, and sometimes I even go too far and get arrogant in my ignorance.

While I am still a very flawed human being, I have managed to learn some things in the past few years. Just enough to give me hope that I can continue to improve with effort. These are all basic lessons, mostly learned by doing the exact opposite.

  1. Other people are human beings. They all have inner lives, feel things, eat food, sleep, think, try, struggle, make mistakes, get lost and confused, escape, suffer, strive, thrive. We are all alone, together.
  2. I am no big deal. Most of the world does not care about or even notice what I do or what I say, and that is okay. It is often a good thing; my gaffes go mostly un-noticed.
  3. Make mistakes. It is the only way I can get experience, there is no easy way. Success rarely comes the first time. Try anyway.
  4. Be confident. Accept myself, be myself, enjoy myself. Never rely on the approval of others.
  5. Make an effort. There is no such thing as perfect; but it is important to strive for the best.
  6. Be positive. Focus on what I can offer, not what I can take. Be creative, not critical. Cultivate enthusiasm. Pursue happiness.
  7. Patience. It takes time to find my voice, it takes time to develop the confidence and skill to be audacious. It takes time to get to know people. The good kind of success takes perseverance.
  8. Trust my instincts. I tend to over-think all sides of a situation. Yet I get my best results when I remember to listen to my intuition.
  9. There are no limits. There are always more opportunities, there are always second chances. Things always change.
  10. Keep it real. Be honest. Eat well. Sleep well. Take care of my surroundings and myself. Be good to the ones I love. Be thankful.

Simple lessons. A bit of common sense. Yet it took all my life up to now to discover and appreciate all of these insights. My life is better than it has ever been, even with all the ups and downs. I am more sure, less overwhelmed. I have a greater sense of perspective.

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    10 Comments »

    1. I think I was about 25 or so when I realised a lot of those things – you always learn something new about yourself and those around you every step of the way. It only gets better.

      :)

      Comment by Gail — June 24 2008 @ 12:11 am
    2. Hi Danielle,

      I think you’re wrong on no. 2; I for one think you’re a big deal :)

      Hope you have a better week this week! Looking forward to seeing you.

      xox

      Jan

      Comment by janet — June 24 2008 @ 8:30 am
    3. Ahh humble pie. It can be bitter but’s it’s good for you in the end. Sounds like a tough week. I suggest finding a sunny spot and enjoying a coffee with a splash of bailey’s. Works for me at any rate.

      Comment by Jesse — June 24 2008 @ 9:22 am
    4. Danielle, hope you’re enjoying your road trip and getting some peace. I’m sorry about your freelancing experience, and I hope you know that there are good people out there who are honest and willing to pay for good services. Keep learning and striving for happiness and success!

      Comment by Tiff — June 24 2008 @ 1:21 pm
    5. That really sucks about your bad freelancing experience – but at least now your wiser – can’t say that I wouldn’t have done the exact same thing – twice! lol.

      I think your lessons are so true – for me. It’s good to read that someone else feels the same way I do.

      Comment by Christy — June 24 2008 @ 1:47 pm
    6. so right on. plain and simple as pb & j ….
      If it makes you feel any better I have yet to get paid for my independent contractor gig… ; )

      Comment by Jen Bennett — June 24 2008 @ 6:58 pm
    7. […] are back from the road trip.  It was good for me to relax in the passenger seat after last week, but the trip had bittersweet moments.  Uncertainty is in the distance, and objects in mirror are […]

      Pingback by final fashion » Things I Love Thursday — June 26 2008 @ 5:35 pm
    8. Thank you all! Your comments made me happy when I came back and read them.

      Comment by Danielle — June 26 2008 @ 5:36 pm
    9. I love your list- so simple, yet so true. Thanks for the little reminders. :)

      Comment by Nubby — June 26 2008 @ 9:45 pm
    10. That’s fabulous that you and Ray have been together 6 years! So sweet!

      Comment by Rachel — June 27 2008 @ 10:05 pm

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