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19 Things I Learned in 2019

1. We're not always okay and that's okay.

2. The surest path to regret is assuming you know anything about anyone.

3. That I'm allergic to so many things I've been unknowingly exposing myself to for years.

4. Yes, we adapt, but too often we adapt to tolerate toxicity, normalize it almost, as the good & healthy become rare visitors.

5. When you're a woman of color, people will underestimate your power & expect less of you...but they'll also overestimate your power & demand more of you. This makes us everyone's easy target.

6. Hold space for your emotions but don't hold onto the ones that don't serve you (learning the difference is a process).

7. How to keep a plant alive and know it's as alive as those you've loved and lost were once alive. How to care for it as you wish you could've cared for them.

8. When you're an introvert, even things you love doing will require so much rest. Happiness is still energy running through our bodies.

9. We are more than a word count; we create so much more each day.

10. We are not always reacting to the present, but the past in the present, too.

11. The names of more of my ancestors. A small path to their stories.

12. Sometimes we need to hold onto our thoughts and ideas, give them time to take root. Too often we let something out too soon (yes, on Twitter) and that idea lives just half, a third, a quarter, a fraction of whatever life it could've lived.

13. Sometimes writing an essay means you’re rewriting your entire narrative, unsure of the truths you thought you held. (Do it anyway, maybe even because of it.)

14. Rod Stewarts's "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?" is the song about consent we all need.

15. From Saeed Jones, in his beautiful essay about his mother's laughter: "I feel I owe it to grief to honor its pleasures. To recognize what love gives us, and makes of us, even as it takes."

16. People who are hurting are so much stronger than we can ever know.

17. If you've won a game someone rigged against you, but then you don't try to change the rules for others like you, you've switched sides.

18. I'm proud of my scars, but I know that some will use them as a mark for where to strike next. That's their weakness, not mine.

19. Where anxiety manifests in my body, but also, where joy and bliss live.

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