43 things I learned in 2015

Not your normal New Year’s post.

In a year of change, with low lows, high highs, and much adversity to overcome, there have been more lessons learned than I could possibly imagine. At this time of the year our society has taught us to make resolutions to “do things better” or “be better,” as if the new year brings in a sparkling pink fairy to make all these things possible when they weren’t before. After many years of creating New Years resolutions to attack my body and self (thanks Western culture for all this positive messaging at this time of year!), I decided to do something different this year. When I left Colorado a year and a half ago, Lindy, my mentor in life read me (and then proceeded to give me) a letter in which she listed the things she wished she knew at my age, compiled from lists she’d written at the end of multiple years. Obviously I cried throughout this exchange and then joked with her that she would be the person to write me a list. Maybe it’s a sign of my maturity, that 18 months later I find it appropriate to sit and write a list, (yes a list Lindy) of 43 things I have learned this year (43 because that’s how many I could think of!). It’s important, real, and pretty dang hilarious, if I say so myself! So enjoy! Maybe there are some nuggets in here that will help you out, or maybe you have had a whole lot more life experience and can revel in the humor of my youthful learning moments.

1. Never buy the scented kitty litter- a sophisticated flowery smell mixed with cat poop is a smell that I hope never to experience again.

2. There is nothing in the world more beautiful than GRACE.

3. No matter how much satan and my editing disorder push me to give up, my tribe and my team will never lose the faith or stop believing in me, and that is a true blessing.

4. A full size, pre-lit Christmas tree, complete with random decorations make a “rustic chic” style that is the true definition or adulting.

Complete with Grey’s Anatomy on the TV and Maps inspecting.

5. The importance of filling my life with those walking with Jesus cannot be doubted nor compromised- for anything.

6. Never underestimate the power of a positive living environment complete with windows and above ground residency, in improving the overall quality of my life.

7. Mama Hart, or more specifically #Mamahart, is considered a social media celebrity by my communities here in Columbus.

8. Starbucks Strawberry Acai Refreshers with lemonade instead of water are always a good idea (especially to reduce anxiety).

9. I won’t ever be adult enough to not find #adulting to be a novelty.

10. I have the gift of writing that can not only help me, but also those who read my work. (Funny enough this was one of the hardest of all these things to write).

11. The defining factor for if someone is your person is when, unknowingly, you both make each other “You’re My Person” hanging frames for Christmas. Abby- you will forever be my person.

The tears ran down both of our faces when we realized we had made each other the same, important Christmas gift.

12. Home is not defined by bricks or mortar, nor by one stationary place. For me, home is wherever my heart is happy and my soul sings.

13. Even the positive break ups that I initiate can hurt like hell.

14. Despite the distance, my proud big sister will always come out hardcore, especially when my little brother is called up to the National team and gets his first GB Senior Men’s Caps. Way to always make me proud, Josephine!

15. When I see a small child my instantaneous response is “I want one.”

16. There are never any guarantees when it comes to immigration, and it will undoubtedly be a huge source of anxiety unless I become a citizen, but I cannot let it impact my health in the way it did this summer.

17. Always pick a milkshake over a boost because come on, it just tastes so much better.

18. It is possible to come home from work each night and talk to the one I call “babe,” even though she happens to be a kitten named after a pancake topping!

19. My real worth and value are determined by my identity in Christ, regardless of what work, society, and my eating disorder may tell me: “I am fearfully and wonderfully made.”

20. Actively participating in recovery fucking sucks, AND staying the same is even worse.

21. God always brings people intentionally into my life for: a lifetime, a season, or a reason. His timing is perfect, even if it hurts and doesn’t seem like it at the time.

22. Beds are for sleeping… And other things.

23. Saying “yes” to help from my mama, even when it means her paying to fly halfway across the world is nothing to be ashamed of, nor is it a sign of weakness. Rather, it shows bravery and me living out my value of being a badass woman. Losing my pride and feeling my mama’s love will always be worth it.

24. You can make fun of selfie sticks all you like, but my selfie stick has totally upgraded my photo taking abilities.

Just look at this candid moment caught on camera haha!

25. Teaching Sunday School to 2 and 3 year olds teaches me more about Jesus, humanity, and loving others than I ever imagined.

26. Though it seems rational that my weakened immune system makes it more likely for me to get sick, it will ever be ironic and oh so annoying that this only serves to make eating even harder.

27. Much to the despair of all those around me, yellow has become my favorite clothing and decor color- i want all the yellow things all the time!

28. If I just keep striving to be strong like an elephant, everything will, somehow, be ok.

Strong like an elephant.

29. Sometimes you can do everything “right” and it still doesn’t feel any better- can you say DBT skills?!

30. When it comes to friendship, age is just a number, but when it comes to dating, it’s a whole different story.

31. Leggings are always the right choice of pants, whatever the occasion!

32. Sometimes you hit rock bottom and then fall another hundred feet, but that doesn’t minimize any previous struggles and the hurt, pain, and suffering that went along with them.

33. I am a basketball coach. I will always be a basketball coach, and perhaps I always have been.

Coaching 7th and 8th graders continues to make my heart so incredibly happy.

34. It really is a privilege to pee in peace- both in a recovery context or otherwise, as I am learning from Maple who likes to watch me pee with her paws on the gaps on toilet seat.

35. When opening a brand new residence hall, airflow, water, and furniture are considered a luxury during training periods, as is sleeping a full night without a fire alarm sounding!

36. I have an amazing tribe who are incredible supports of my recovery, AND I find this really hard to admit or acknowledge, because not only does my ED tell me not to accept help, it tells me that I do not deserve help.

37. It continues to be a travesty that the pool is Zanesville was closed down.

Because sometimes you have to escape the city to laugh, love, and use the 19 year old’s selfie stick to take ridiculous photos.

38. Christian Mingle is just as corny and awkward as the commercial, and all other online dating sites, despite the “smiles” instead of “winks.” (PSA- smiles have the same creepy impact as winks!)

39. If someone tells me they support Donald Trump I instantaneously feel my anxiety rise in the pit of my stomach.

40. If you are a part of the Hart Family, you do not embarrass yourself by wearing running shoes on the basketball court- thanks for the reminder and new kicks to help the cause little brother!

41. Wanda and Cosmo (my washer and drier) have changed my life, and will always be my first favorite appliances!

42. There is a badassery deficit out there in the world, and the more we work to be vulnerable, real, and own our stories, the closer we will get to a badass world full of badass individuals. (Thanks Brene!)

43. The world and our country need Jesus more than ever, as we fight to create peace and end oppression- black lives matter and refuge lives matter, regardless of national origin or religious background. So we must pray. Pray without ceasing.

So there you have it. There will be no resolutions made around here, just reminders of the lessons learned. Happy 2016! Just like me, you can totally kick some 2016 ass (in a badass woman-or man- kind of way)!