what i learned in 2012.

it’s hard to believe that it’s already March. seriously, where has the time gone? it seems like just yesterday we were complaining about how late midnight is at 9pm on new years eve. anyway, i’ve had two months to process 2012 (and i admit i actually have 2 posts about my 2013 resolutions sitting in my drafts folder… someday) and some of the big lessons i learned.

men

one of the biggest lessons i’ve learned about guys in 2012 is that every guy is different. different when it comes to personality, style, character, quirks, communication, history, experience and passions. from where they came from to who they will become, growth and change is so different for every single one of them. why was this a huge lesson i learned?

i realized that when i got to know guys, i would associate them with someone i used to know (specifically, someone i used to date) and would impose expectations on them based on who i assumed they were. this became an issue because it’s really not fair to do that. i’d hate to have expectations put on me based on someone else’s past experience, especially if those expectations are ones i am not.

for me, the expectations were almost always negative. one bad experience with a guy meant that every guy i met in the future would be assumed to be the same way. for example: a guy leads me on, therefore i assume that any guy moving forward who wants to spend time with me will eventually lead me on as well. again, a bad pattern and really unfair to the guys who are NOT the guy that initially disappointed me. granted, there have also been a few instances where the pattern did exist… only cementing in my delusional belief that all men are the same. but they really are not.

honesty

ahh the overemphasized phrase: honesty is the best policy.

well, people don’t just say it to say it – it’s actually true. 2012 was the year that i realized just how much i appreciate honesty. now, i’m not talking about blunt truth that is hurtful. no no no no no. as someone who constantly thinks about how actions and words will impact relationships, i believe that there is always a tactful approach to being honest. now, there’s always the exception where harsh reality is necessary to help someone see the big picture. but let’s be serious, it’s always better to be upfront instead of wishy-washy.

specifically. i have come to appreciate guys who are straightforward. it’s such a breath of fresh air. somewhere along the line, guys came to believe that girls would rather hear a sugar-coated version of whatever it is that’s going on, than what actually needs to be said. i’m pretty sure that we women have encouraged that line of thinking with our oftentimes irrational and extremely over-emotional reactions to things (embarrassing). but for real. guys who can be honest? they are gems. just say what you mean and mean what you say. if you are interested, say it. if you aren’t interested, say it. if you can handle our response, we can handle what you have to say.

clarity

there is no word i came to love more in 2012 than the word clarity. i dare say this love has spilled over in 2013 (but more on that later). i hadn’t really thought about clarity before, mostly because i haven’t been faced with a lot of uncertainty before. but as life continued to throw curve balls at me, i realized just how much i needed clarity from the Lord.

with that, i learned how important it is to be constantly in communication with God. i was never really a big prayer person. i mean i understood what it was (to some extent) and i understood that there was great power behind it (to some extent). but it wasn’t until the later half of 2012 that i began to know what it meant to pray and to treasure it. it’s funny how frustration and disappointment can push you toward God. we should be content in Him in the good and bad times, but it often takes the bittersweet moments to recognize the need for His grace.

i think at one point i was just chanting “clarity” out loud to God because i was so desperately seeking it from Him. and the beauty of it all is that He gives clarity. James 1:5-8 promises that when we ask for wisdom in faith, He gives it generously. i mean, WHAT? beautiful.

even more amazing, there were several instances where He provided undeniable clarity when i asked. granted, it was not what i expected in ways i did not see coming, but it was clarity. no doubt about it.

so… 2013? it’s already here. only 2 months in and i’ve already had a doozy of a year. learning lessons and seeing things start to take shape as i tackle one of my biggest insecurities. maybe i’ll save that for the next post 🙂

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