It’s been easy to allow other people’s assumptions, opinions and narratives dictate how I respond to life in my body, in my skin, in this world. This gap year gave me the time to isolate my own thoughts and feelings from those of others, and to listen to my intuition. The following is a list of life lessons I’ve recorded along my journey this year. Despite how many of these are cliche, they are my personal truths. 

1. It takes me two weeks to warm-up to a place, especially new places.
2. I like walking on the sand with water shoes. I love the squishiness inside the shoes, and the resolve of freedom for prickling things like broken shells and sea urchin spines. Ouch!  
3. When I’m in a funk, a place of disenchantment, I must compel myself to look for the extraordinary in the ordinary. (Thank you Naomi!) I will sit my tail down, and log three things I witness (with intention) that demonstrate magic, humanity, or love each day.
4. I can make room for my attention deficiency even in leisure. LOL! I am a person who enjoys bouncing between activities. (Draw in the sand, play the ukulele, read, etc.) 
5. I instantly smile while playing the uke…even though I can barely play through a You Are My Sunshine).
6. The greatest sense of freedom I’ve ever felt is wanting for nothing. This is not to be confused with being able to get all I want. 
7. I do not want to know the measure of time, numbers, intervals, etc. it takes to get something done, I’ll just do it blindly and thrive. 
8. “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” (African Proverb)
9. “Be intentional.” Apply this to love, life, and happiness. (Thanks Tiffany!)
10. I am a wild woman. (based on the publications of Clarissa Pinkola Estes)
11. To bleed also means to have flesh. (Women Who Run With Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes) Letting go, leaving friends and family, releasing experiences to memory hurts. But this body knows so much living, and I’ll honor every bruise.
12. I am content to stay in my room…as long as the door is open. 
13. My mantra: No toilet! Twelve! Toe!
14. I have my own rhythm. It doesn’t make sense to anyone else nor should it. Trust it! Respect it! 
15. “Do not make decisions out of fear, make them out of love” (Jim Carey)
16. I must nurture my “playful mind” forever and ever. (based on the lectures of Jim Carey)
17. Meditation occurs when I am learning something new. It is the only way I know how to quiet my mind. 
18. When I can’t stop thinking about something and want to, I must focus on something else.
19. Hapana kazi! (No work!) I never want to work again.
20. A home isn’t worth having if I can’t share it. 
21. The things I do when I don’t have to, are what I should be doing more of.
22. Visiting other people’s lives is nice, but only for just a moment. 
23. A healthy community offers purpose to all of it’s members. That’s what I want.
24. Black people–this obsession with personal space and lenience toward germaphobia are lesser known evils of white supremacy. How the hell did we get so afraid to touch each other? 
25. White supremacy hurts white people too. 
26. An easy way to restore my yen is to drink water. Who’d a thunk it?
27. Privacy. Eh. How much of it really is the desire to function without shame. 
28. I have a deathbed mentality.
29. Our birthright is to realize our “potential”. (Quotas from The Monk who sold his Ferrari)
30. Don’t take myself so seriously. Geeez!
31. Live in the now.
32. Happiness is a journey not a destination.
33. Vacation is an act of the mind. Disconnect. 
34. Friendship, like all things living, has a cycle. 
35. It’s good to be a part of something bigger than myself. 
36. Avatar was right! God lives in the hivemind.
37. “Real love” doesn’t make you lose your goddamn mind. Hollywood, please stop with your bologna. Sheeeez!

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