2013 was a roller coaster of a year for me. A roller coaster with some serious business highs, lows, and hardly anything in between.
A few of the key happenings were...
There was also a lot of awesome travel, weddings, concerts, festivals, friends, a huge tattoo, these stats, and other things I could talk about... But really, all of those things pale in comparison to what I learned in 2013... and here are some of those things.
How to be less selfish
I've been a pretty selfish person... and a lot of things taught me to get over that last year - most notably, (and inadvertently) my gf, Kari... and being less selfish feels pretty damned awesome.
That I am capable of being patient
It's no secret that I'm not a patient person... and that was compounded exponentially at the beginning of last year while trying to transition into the slow roll of 2013 after an insane 2012. And again at the end of the year when Kari and I had that MS wrench thrown into our (rather awesome) plans. A lot of things shifted and slowed down in 2013 and that ultimately taught me some patience. It was hard, but I became comfortable with it, and I hope to do that some more.
Having a new car is amazing
The world (or at least the midwest) is my race track. I am loving every second of being behind the wheel of my car... and why did I ever think that owning a truck would be something I'd be into before that? 2007 Derek was a big dummy.
Doctors are pompous
and I hate them for it. After 2013, the order in which I hate professionals goes like this: doctors, politicians, basketball players, police...
N.W.A. had it all wrong.
The medical/healthcare world is absolutely broken
Having to finally spend some real time working with people in this industry blew my mind right out of my ear, nose, and mouth holes. It is absolutely astounding how broken and inefficient this system is. We have all of these super smart people that are put into a system that is about as effective as ... well, something extremely ineffective. Everyone managing this industry should be fired. And just for consistency, the order in which I hate industries goes like: healthcare, airlines, tsa, the government, police.
How to compose myself around people battling diseases, disabilities, etc.
Sometimes, dealing with other people's reactions, remarks, and pity can be harder than whatever it is they're battling in the first place. Don't try to ask "why you?", place blame, or start any pity party bullshit. Offer help if they want it. Let them know you're thinking about them if it helps. Give them some space. And really, try not to say weird things.
Shit stresses me out
I hate admitting it, but I came to terms with that fact in 2013, and I still need to figure out how to get a tighter reign on it... I hope to do that this year.
Being fit is important
I mean, duh, right? ...But my body has thrown a few fits over the last few years, and in 2013 I finally came to terms with the fact that it was all due to weak spots and poor posture in my body. I started getting back into things that challenge my balance, flexibility, and improve posture ... and it's helped a lot. Practicing Yoga has been especially eye opening. I need to keep this up for my future self.
Side jobs usually aren't worth it
We had some pretty big money things come up last year. Combined with boredom and wanting to help out some friends, I decided to dabble in freelancing again. It wasn't worth it. If you can get by without that extra cash, there's too much going on in your own life to take on side work. I hope I remember this going forward.
My network of friends and family is absolutely amazing and far further reaching than I ever thought
The way everyone came out of the woodwork for Kari and I in 2013 continues to floor me. I mean, there were friends coming out that ... well, I didn't even know I had. But seriously, friends mean a lot to me. It's amazing to know so many people who feel the same way.
Kari is one of the strongest people I have ever met
Her ability to remain positive and completely step right past this enormous MS hurdle has been nothing short of inspiring. The way she has handled this entire thing was simultaneously mind blowing and also ... totally expected. I mean, duh. How else would Kari Brooks handle something like this? And that's exactly the reason I love this girl. Now more than ever before.
2013 was an important year for me.