12 Things I’ve Learned Are Actually Totally OK


My parents did a kick-ass job of raising my sisters and me.

I thank the stars every day that I was born to two well-educated, logical, kind-hearted, funny, and fair people. And so I in no way blame them when I say that I was hit with a lot of strange truths when I wandered into the real world, away from my parents’ shelter. 
But the fact is, there are some things you have to learn in life from making mistakes and gaining real-world experience all on your own.

Here are some things I’ve learned aren’t terrible or only done by the weak or ignorant. They are totally okay, because we are all human.

  1. Completely failing at something, admitting that failure, and moving on.
  2. Quitting. A sport, a hobby, reading a book halfway through. If it no longer brings you joy, it’s not worth your time.
  3. Asking for help, even when you think you shouldn’t need it.
  4. Feeling lonely. Loneliness is not a big red sign that something is wrong. It is common and normal and, like every other emotion, will pass. But it reminds you that human relationships matter.
  5. Not feeling lonely. Sometimes your own company is enough.
  6. Saying no. To anyone about anything for any reason. Saying no is a form of protection.
  7. Being in love with someone who is not in love with you. Accept it, find what joy you can from it; as long as you have no unrealistic expectations or pain, love is never a bad thing.
  8. Putting your needs in front of someone else’s. As a people-pleaser, this one is still on my To-Do list. But it is critical to my own happiness.
  9. Having sex with someone you are not in a romantic relationship with (or married to. Thanks, Catholic upbringing).
  10. Eating an entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s in one sitting and not feeling guilty afterwards.
  11. On a related note, not having your ideal body at all times. Fluctuations happen.
  12. Feeling like you have no idea what you’re doing. Here’s a secret: No one has their life properly planned out, and most “adults” I’ve spoken to don’t feel like adults. Go with the flow.

As Ms. Frizzle says, “Take chances, make mistakes, get messy!”