Did You Learn Anything?

As part of Tiger Woods’ comeback from his sex scandal, Nike came out with this bizarre commercial comprised only of a close up of Woods and featured a posthumous (and creepy) voice over monologue from his father ending with the poignant question: “Did You Learn Anything?” I’m not sure whether Tiger learned anything. I know I certainly did. Importantly, DO NOT hook up with waitresses at Perkins. They’ll snitch on you to TMZ or US Weekly. For some reason, unbeknownst to me, that question also pops into my head after any difficult personal situation. Yes, I even hear it in Earl Woods’ voice. (Thanks a lot Nike!)

I officially moved back to Chicago this week. And I can safely say the last 16 months have been the most life-changing, challenging and depressing of my life. That being said, if break-ups, unemployment and moving from Chicago to Washington DC and back to Chicago are the worst problems in my life, then I’m not doing so bad.  I’m still in the midst of a major life transition but it does certainly feel as if a long arduous emotionally wrenching crappy chapter has closed. As the door is shutting on the crappiness that was the last 16 months, the elder Woods has appeared in the back of mind once more to ask simply: “Did you learn anything?” (Ugh, Earl. Stop that!) So to answer Earl’s question, here’s what I’ve learned:

  • Shit Happens – I do not believe that everything happens for a reason. I do believe that shit happens for no damn reason and the true measure of our lives and who we are as people is defined by what we do when faced with adversity. No matter how much you try to control an outcome, life happens. It’s just that simple. And, frankly, sometimes there is no rhyme or reason for why certain things happen. Therefore, all you can do is pick up the pieces and carry on.

  • You don’t know what you’ve got ‘til its gone – The past few years I’ve spent so much energy trying to find something to make me feel better or happy. I wasn’t actually living. I was holding on. I didn’t recognize the fairly amazing life I had put together. I didn’t appreciate Chicago. I didn’t acknowledge how lucky I was to have my job. And, importantly, I didn’t respect or nurture one of my relationships.  As a result, that relationship is over and it still makes me sad. So, to answer Earl’s question, I learned that I must open my eyes and acknowledge that my life is good and appreciate special people who enter my life.
  • I’m pretty good at making friends – This one sounds trite, I know. But, I hadn’t been single at all during my working adult life. I had no clue how people would react to me as me, just being me, all by myself. Surprisingly, people seemed pretty okay with it. I threw myself into a lot of uncomfortable social situations solely for the purpose of meeting people and it worked out pretty well.
  • I should have been a Basketball Wife – Life may have been a little easier if I had foregone law school stayed in Los Angeles, worked out 2 hours a day, gotten extensions and figured out how to score a basketball player. I can see it now…
  • It’s truly okay to decide that you just don’t like someone – For the most part, I don’t dislike anyone.   I’m very laid back and it takes a lot for me to dislike a person.  But I’ve decided that I do actually truly dislike one person and I never want to hear from that person again. And that is perfectly fine.  I know there are some people reading who are thinking, “I write people off all the time.  What’s the big deal? Cut ’em off and keep it moving.” Well excuse me, Negative Nancy. Some of us try to see the good in people. Even people who do crappy things or disrespect us.  But for the first time, I’ve decided that that I’ve had enough disrespect and negative energy.  God speed and good riddance.

  • I have an amazing support system – I’ve received phone calls, texts,  emails and cards from friends and family all over the country. Some people I had lost contact with years ago. Some people I just met in Washington, D.C.  The only things any of these people had in common was that:(1) they knew me and (2) they cared.  That’s pretty cool and it makes me hopeful and happy.

  • Network sitcoms aren’t that bad  – With the exception of Scandal (#TeamJake), I don’t watch any network television.  A friend recommended the Mindy Project to me and I immediately became hooked.  As I’ve mentioned before, if its a show about a professional woman who is a hot mess, it’s right up my alley.  I also decided to let go of my negative feelings about Zooey Deschanel and watch New Girl. I’ve always been slightly annoyed by her because she looks like the type of person who drinks sweet wine out of mason jars while browsing Pinterest. I then realized that I do that — except my wine in red and, in addition to Pinterest, I also browse Tumblr.  Also, I own multiple tutus and sparkly clothing, so I clearly can’t hate on Zooey Deschanel. So in words of Princess Elsa, I “let it go” and gave New Girl a chance.

So, the transition continues. I need to find permanent employment and a place to live.  But until then…

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