Thursday, December 31, 2009

The Year 2009

As the new year approaches, there are a slew of new years memes going around. Best Of's, daily blogging about the past year... I've looked at them, but really, haven't found anything I want to actually do. Because what's really been on my mind, while thinking of the past year, is what I've learned. Not everything I've learned, obviously. To try and encapsulate the learning from an entire year into one blog post would be a wee bit difficult. But the things I've learned that really stuck with me, really resonated with me. The things I really want to take note of. So that's what I'm going to do.

10 Things I Learned in the Year 2009

I've learned that judgments of people, made too quickly and harshly, are very often wrong.  I keep thinking I've figured this out already, but then I find myself doing it again: dismissing someone because of an opinion they have; deciding someone's mean because of one comment.  I hate that I do this, and I don't want to do this, because most of the time, it turns out that the person is really incredibly cool.  This reaction stems more from fear than anything else, and I finally seem to have figured this out this year, so I'm getting better at meeting people with an open mind and heart.

I've learned that grief has a strange beauty to it, despite the pain.

I've learned that arguing with people really isn't worth it.  I have my opinions, and I'll state them.  The person I'm talking to can state theirs, and I'll listen.  But when it starts to turn into a *debate*, I no longer want that conversation.  Debates are simply a contest to prove who's *right* (as if right-ness was somehow objective) by contest of who has better debating skills.  I can debate reasonably well, but I hate it.  It seriously stresses me.  So I've learned that while discussions and conversations are wonderful, whether or not the person I'm talking to has similar opinions, debates just end up leaving me stressed without actually accomplishing anything.

I've learned that there are a ridiculously large amount of absolutely amazing people in this world.  I can't believe it took me this long to realize just how many of them there are!

I've learned to be proud of myself.

I've learned that "becoming an adult", by turning 18, opens up a whole new world of pressure and expectations.  Yikes!

I've learned that if you take someone for granted for too long, something will come along that shows you just how important they are.

I've learned not to take things for granted.  I'm still having trouble putting that into practice, but at least it's something I'm conscious of...

I've learned that I'm actually a pretty capable person.

I think I learned this one a couple of years ago, but it took a while to really get processed, and now I can say that I've learned, as hard as it is, that I can't make other peoples decisions for them.  It's their life, and all I can do is give opinions and be supportive.  The rest is up to them, no matter how bad the choices they make are.

I've learned that I'm not nearly as alone as I often think I am.


It's been rather rocky year.  My grandmother was diagnosed with uterine cancer in February, and she went through an operation, chemotherapy, and radiation, followed by a no-more-cancer diagnoses, during the course of the year.  She's the only grandparent that I'm close to, and it was hard for my whole family.

Our dog of many years, Flora, passed away in August after being sick for much of the Summer.  I've had furry family members die before, but only when I was very young.  It was a hard time.

I also went through a lot of emotional turmoil this year, over the big question What Are You Going To Do With Your Life?  I'm afraid that that turmoil is following me into the new year...

I don't want to give the impression that this year was all horrible, though, because it wasn't.  This was also a year of some truly wonderful times: the Northeast Unschooling conference was wonderful fun, and I felt truly accepted in a large group for the first time in my life at Not Back To School Camp.  I also spent countless hours of time with my family, in deep discussions, silly giggling, and quiet companionship.  They mean so much to me.  I've also realized that although I may have very few local friends, the ones I have are very precious to me, and are truly wonderful people.

It's been a mixed year.  One of many challenges, but also much beauty.  I'm looking forward to this coming year; wondering what it might bring, what places I'll see, what people I'll meet, what good times I'll have...

Wishing everyone the best in the coming year!



    1. Lovely post Idzie! I've been learning a lot of these same lessons this year, so this really resonates with me, especially the part about reacting out of fear. I hadn't quite pinpointed what used to make me lash out so much but I think that's definitely what it was.

      Happy New Year! (And new decade!)

    2. Great post! I know what you mean bout judging people. I learn to judge less and less as time goes by.

      Thanks for stopping by my blog. You can check out our unschooling blog over at

      Try not to stress too much about what your going to do with your life. I turned 30 this year and I'm just now figuring that out. HA!

      Happy New Year!

    3. Ugh! iPod Touch-written comments are annoying to create! This is the second time I write my comment.

      You know, I'm glad differing opinions can thrive with little debate. Discussions are good, but many debates become a "Who has a point" competition.

      I'm glad you learned things. I can say the same. People also suffer, but that brings me unity with you and others. Some think they're the only sad people, not realizing the guy beside them could be sad as well. In my case, I felt experienced unschoolers' lives are more perfect. Sadness happens, but why angst and depression, well, at least the angst some mainstream teenagers get? They don't have schools, peer pressure, teen culture/media, and ignorant parents hurting them. But I
      was wrong, so wrong! You, Stella and other unschooling/unschooled bloggers prove how human everyone is, regardless of walks of lives.

      Thanks for your wonderful post. I wish you and everyone else a Happy New Year.

    4. I think i've learned just about the same things...and continue to learn them.

      Maybe that's what I've really learned: I'm never done learning something. As soon as I think I've got it, some new layer reveals itself to me.