10 Things I Learned in 2017

I call 2017 the year of absolute adulting. It was good in many aspects and bad in many others. It wasn’t a year of big changes, but overall I am content. I even learned a few things.

1) I love every tiny piece of myself. And I am an ambidexter.

Cutting off a piece of my right index finger made me much more aware how happy I am with my body – and that I indeed love it. I don’t ever want to lose another piece. Although the finger looks okay and the flesh has indeed almost totally reproduced, I can still feel the scar. I still find it hard to push small buttons, and even when typing on a keyboard (like right now), the fingertip hurts a little.

The interesting part of my accident was of course that I hadn’t known until then that I was an ambidexter. I am still fascinated to find out how one-handed people are restricted in their movements. I really don’t care which of my hands cuts paper with or holds fork and knife or throws dice.

2) A GorillaPod is a cool invention – but you must fasten it properly.

Huge lesson learned. I liked my GorillaPod very much until I used it in Toronto and watched my DSLR camera falling and breaking. It was my own fault for I hadn’t checked if the GorillaPod was really tightened. The whole experience was utterly painful and even though I love my new Canon 80D, my bank account still hasn’t totally recovered from this purchase, which hadn’t been planned and shouldn’t have been necessary. I still haven’t tried my GorillaPod with my new camera – also because it is much heavier, I might need a bigger size.

3) Sometimes it only gets better after I’ve already given up hope.

Like when I found my current roommate on the last day possible of extending the rental contract. By then I was pretty certain that I had run out of luck and would have to move. There had been enough people interested, but they all declined in the end. I didn’t believe anymore I’d find a new roommate.

By the way, I think this year though is the time for me to really move. After three years in a shared apartment, I would love to live alone (well, with Canavar of course) again. I hope I’ll find something affordable and nice.

10 Things I Learned in 2017 | janavar.net

4) A car is useful – but it comes at a price.

In May I bought my used Dodge Neon. This purchase made me happy because not only is it my first car, but it also saves me about one and a half hours on every work day. I can also drive to the supermarket and more importantly drive groceries home. And I can leave Boston whenever I want to and explore more. I am absolutely grateful that my old car kept up when I went on a twelve day long roadtrip up to Toronto and back in summer. In total I drove almost 1,500 miles (or 2,400 km).

Driving an old car is at the same time adventurous as I learned when on the way to the Finger Lakes the check engine light went on for the first time; and the engine started stuttering about 30 km before I returned home. A sensor was broken. Fortunately, I made it home without any problems and I always go to the same great garage. In November my car stopped while I was driving – a wire apparently came loose every time I hit a pothole – and believe me Boston’s roads are full of them. Oh, and even though this is already 2018, my car right now won’t start. This must be due to the horribly low temperatures. But next week I (or rather some nice AAA person) must make it work again.

5) It doesn’t mean anything when the first date is great.

Phew! Dating in the U.S. is not my thing. I am too European and believe that by the time people meet for a first date, it already means that there is a certain chemistry or connection between them (although for all I know thanks to all those dating apps that might have changed in Europe as well). In the U.S. instead a first date is nothing really. I learned, even though I don’t even go on many dates, that it could be the greatest meeting ever, but that’s it. Afterwards, there are also all those rules about who messages whom and so on. Really not my cup of tea!

6) It is good to go to the doctor.

Last winter I fell sick all the time. It seemed like I got one sinus infection after another. I could only lie down and sleep because my head was so clouded all the time. Eventually my health insurance allowed me to see an ENT specialist and from then on everything improved. First of all, my physician introduced me to nasal douches, which I believe by now might be the greatest invention in the world. Second, I was tested on several things and it turned out that I am allergic to something. So antibiotics never helped me anyways. After another bad allergic reaction in fall, I think I might be allergic to lemons or lemon peel or the pesticides on it. In self-attempt I stay away from all citrus fruits this season – and I haven’t felt this good in years.

10 Things I Learned in 2017 | janavar.net

7) Be brave and cut your hair short.

In 2016 I found my favorite hairdresser. She knows what I want and how to make it look good. So last year in summer I was a little bored with my haircut and we cut it short. I wonder why I hadn’t done that earlier. It is an amazing feeling. It is easy to style, and I can easily style it in different ways. I have also received many compliments for my short haircuts. My hair grows quite fast so if I ever want longer hair, it will take me only a few months to grow it out.

8) I can’t do or have it all.

I often want too much. I am a perfectionist although I try to pretend I’m not. In the end I end up being stressed or making stupid mistakes because I feel exhausted. Now that I realized this, I hope I can learn from it. This school year I definitely get enough sleep because I have learned that I get more things better done. I also try to find more structures that I can easily change, e.g. for the last few months I taught a class for four lessons a week without any book. Preparing 180 minutes every week takes much time, so I finally asked if I could purchase a certain book (which I already worked with in Istanbul) – and I could.

10 Things I Learned in 2017 | janavar.net

9) I don’t like rodents.

I hate them. Full stop. I don’t want to share my apartment with them and I don’t even like them when they are dead – in my apartment. It all started in August when Canavar caught his first mouse ever. Unfortunately at night in my room. Ever since he caught one more, some died in traps, the exterminator visited us twice. In December I bought a small device sending out electromagnetic waves that are supposed to scare rodents away. I believe (or hope) it works.

10) When everything fails, I listen to Jake Bugg and Teoman.

I listen to music all the time. At home, in my car, even at work when I am at my desk. My absolute favorite in 2017 was Jake Bugg whom I saw live twice now. To alternate, I also listened much to Teoman, a Turkish singer. Listening to music always helps me to improve my mood. It is as simple as this.

© janavar

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