Things I didn’t learn in 2014

Earlier today I saw a little blurb on my newsfeed informing me that my friend Colby had published a lovely blog post called Things I learned in 2014. I read the post and found it brilliant and charming, and became profoundly annoyed that I hadn’t come up with the idea first—particularly because my own blog has been fairly unexciting thus far. I told him as much, and he encouraged (demanded) that I write a New Year’s post too—but I was so taken with the “lessons learned” thing that I couldn’t think of any sort of list-style post that could possibly be better.

Which is why I’m going to copy him, by not-technically-copying him, by writing the opposite.

Without further ado, here’s a list of things I didn’t learn in 2014:

Anywhere near enough about English literature

…but don’t tell my Professors I said so. In spite of the fact that I graduated in May with a bachelor’s in English Lit, I get a bit anxious when people talk about books—because there are so many of them, and I’m supposed to have heard of/read/studied/memorized the details of all of them (or so I’ve somehow become convinced), yet it just so happens that I may have missed one or two. Ugh, guys, I’m a phony! What will I do if the world finds out I haven’t memorized the entire English literary canon?! (Oh, wait. I just told you. Whoops!) I guess I’ll just have to keep reading. And reading. And reading… Eh, actually, that doesn’t sound so bad.

It's written all over that face: "Joke's on them! I never read Dante's Inferno!"

“Joke’s on them! I never read Dante’s Inferno!”

To love nonfiction

Speaking of books, it’s my understanding that as a real adult working at the business factory I’m supposed to embrace nonfiction. As it turns out, people love writing about tech culture. They love writing about startups. They love writing about marketing, and about being a successful businessperson (and especially a successful businesswoman). There are five billion metric tons of nonfiction books out there about what I do and the industry in which I do it, and while I’ve read the first 20 pages of a dozen of them, the only one to hold my attention was Zero To One. What a failure I am.

How to code

From 9-5 at aforementioned business factory, I’m surrounded by engineers. And as much as I love English words, I would love to speak their language just a little bit. And coding just seems fun. And gratifying. And cool. And in spite of this, I have not learned how to do it past taking all the HTML and CSS lessons on Codecademy (which was technically refresher anyway, because back when Neopets and MySpace were things that people actually did, I taught myself these languages in order to have the sickest looking pages ever). Check back in 2015, though, and I’ll definitely be a billionaire engineering genius.

How to make a lid for a clay body

I can’t build apps, and it turns out I can’t build ceramic lids either. I can build mugs. I can build vases. I can build bowls. I can build things-shaped-sort-of-like-plates-but-maybe-that’s-more-like-a-bowl?-I-dont-know-what-do-you-think. And I’m so psyched about how far I’ve come in my totally mediocre ceramic-building adventures. But in spite of two classes (number three starts this January!) and many hours (and holy shit many dollars, because ceramics studios do not fuck around with the fees), I have never managed to build a lid for anything. I’ve tried. I’ve failed. And I have every intention of succeeding come that January class. Clay is a fickle bastard, though. That’s one thing I have learned.

See that? No lid.

See that? No lid.

My own address

I recently moved. I have no idea what my address is. I have to google it every time someone asks. I’m sorry. This one’s dumb.

Independence from my cat

In a similar vein, my cat did not come with me on the move. I am so devastated that all I do is sit in the middle of my floor and cry for hours.*
*This is a lie, but it’s still a bummer. I’m sorry again, because this one is also dumb.

We're best friends.

We’re best friends.

How to be an adult

Turns out that a life in which tests, homework, a tiny University campus, and thousands of people your own age are replaced by a full-time job, an apartment, a massive city, and seasoned coworkers isn’t just liberating—it’s also scary. Don’t get me wrong—life is magical and exciting and wonderful right now. But there’s something to be said for how different it is. As a creature of habit, I mourn the loss of homework. I really do! I feel strangely out of place as a “professional”; my ears perk up when I hear the word “student,” “exam,” “lesson,” because I am a master of those things. But that’s precisely why I had to say goodbye.

My life has undergone some hugely dramatic changes this year. And it is stupid how much I’ve learned as a result; not just about an industry which I am so damn thrilled to’ve been swept up in, but about who I am, about who I want to become, and about how Your Floor Doesn’t Vacuum Itself And You Will Have To Pick Up That Receipt And Throw It Away Eventually Because The Cleaning Fairies Don’t Live Here. But I’m nowhere near settled. I’m nowhere near comfortable. And I’m nowhere near done learning.

There is much more exploration to be had, and there are many more mistakes to make. So with that, bring on 2015.


Want to join the conversation? Follow me on Twitter.