The Vulnerable Things

2013:

The year we learned to write things down. All the vulnerable things. Sometimes these things made us cringe. This is okay! We’re getting to know ourselves.

The year we learned that all it takes is one ping! for life as we know it to change. One email. Would you be available to meet…

The year we learned how to surprise people.

The year we learned to spend a lot of time in coffee shops. And hey, actually like coffee.

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The year we learned that we should have dreams. We do have dreams. We’re about ready to whisper them.

The year we learned to call people. Call the people that matter. Even if we’re afraid we’ll be shot straight to voicemail, or even worse, answered.

The year we learned to take pictures of things other than food. Kind of.

The year we learned that transitioning to life after college is, in many ways, just as hard as advertised. And that it takes a lot of courage to go at it alone. Especially when it’s snowy and cold and we’d really like someone to have breakfast with.

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The year we learned how to make new friends, and how to re-connect with old ones.

The year we learned how to say hello to someone who looks interesting. And how to brush it off when we didn’t look interesting back.

The year we learned not to tell the Internet too much. We think, anyway. We tried. (Fine, we’ll make a note for next year.)

The year we learned that yeast is still a scary thing. But carbs are not.

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The year we learned that we shouldn’t talk quite so much about how much we exercise. That this generally just makes other people feel lazy, and that’s not very nice. Instead, we should be obnoxious about LUNCH! And snacks we like.

The year we learned how nice a handwritten note is.

The year we learned that most things are actually not disasters. Also: nobody has it together.

The year we learned how to make really pretty applesauce. With a food mill!

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The year we learned that we must tell the people that we love that we love them. Even if it turns out to be too little, too late. Even if the words don’t come out right, even if we will be bruised and misunderstood.

The year we learned that things are not going to go according to plan. We might move out, move back in, get a job, leave a job, pick a place, abandon a place. There is excitement in all of this, if we squint hard enough.

The year we learned that we need to have a rainy day fund. Backup arrangements are good.

The year we learned that it’s going to take a long, long time to accumulate all of the things our mamas have. We’re going to start small — maybe with a butter knife we really love.

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The year we learned that we must keep writing. Keep writing, keep writing, keep writing.

The year we learned that we need to know how to go about fixing things ourselves. And we need to own some tools. A screwdriver would be good. Also a plunger. We need to pre-emptively buy a plunger, JUST IN CASE.

The year we learned that we shouldn’t stay with someone because it’s emotionally convenient. That being alone gets easier.

The year we learned that everyone we meet, everyone, has something to teach us. And it would be silly not to take notes.

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The year we learned that the stuff we’re good at and the stuff that we’re bad at are really just different parts of the same thing.

The year we learned that we can’t afford to be careless. Not with money, not with people’s feelings, not with any of it! It’s so risky to pretend not to care.

The year we learned how to ask for a business card, without feeling terrifically uncomfortable.

The year we learned how to take care ourselves. (This involved quite a bit of cheese.)

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The year we learned that there are people who echo our thoughts. That there are more people rooting for us than we think.

The year we learned that it’s not all about us. That we aren’t above any kind of work. That we need to prove ourselves. And that we need to pay our dues with good cheer.

The year we learned that finding someone we can be quiet with is just as wonderful as finding someone we can talk to.

The year we learned that we are not in this alone. Also, that pretty much everyone likes food as much as we do.

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