2013 taught me about some things.

1. Love looks like whoever is the least-burnt-out willingly doing the dishes

2. It’s OK to give money to a person on the street. And ask what kind of coffee/sandwich they like, before you buy it for them. And their names.

3. It’s amazing how many doors get opened by asking questions and really listening to the answers. And caring.

4. I understand now why people have to break off relationships for their own mental, emotional, or physical safety.

5. As exhilarating as it is to live in a breakneck-speed world of academia, articles, voices, debates, questions, long conversations, doubts, study, and challenges – it’s lonely. Because you inadvertently fall out of pace with so many people who aren’t in such journeys themselves, or who don’t care about so many things, or so deeply.

6. “Please / I know that we’re different / But we were one cell in the sea in the beginning / And what we’re made of / Was all the same once / We’re not that different after all.” ~Miss Alison Sudol

7. Going back to visit school gets harder and lonelier every time. Life at University is like a Polaroid of golden hour, right at the space where it’s the prettiest, ugliest, hardest, most thrilling, achiest, and greatest thing all at the same time. But that’s it. Teachers and students leave, new faces fill up, new buildings come in, new rules and regulations get set down. Eventually everything you loved about it fades or crumbles away, like when you paint the floor black after a show…erasing scuff marks, tape, tears, sweat, and everything else that went into building the performance. It’s just shiny black, now. Somewhere underneath are your memories, but nothing recognizable remains. Just echos in a familiar space.

8. I might love something so much, with so much of myself, but I can’t do it alone. It takes many hands and hearts to pull off something great.

9. Nothing will break you more solidly than learning you’ve been lied to for a long time.

10. Wanting to help, and not being able to, is the worst.

11. Being open, being honest, is worth any awkwardness or faux pas that tend to come along with it.

12. If you aren’t saying something good, beautiful, wise, or worth my time, I really don’t have to listen to you or accept what you’re saying. Conversely, I ought to listen openly to anyone’s opinion, especially if they are older and more experienced than I am. It’s finding a happy medium between the two that’s the difficult bit.

13. And finally, wise words to live by imparted to me from a world traveller with a T.S. Eliot tattoo on her back:

“You do you. I’ll do me.”