A few things I learned last year.

A few things I learned last year - amber et cetera

I didn’t really make any resolutions. Unless you count giving myself grace as a resolution. But ‘resolution’ seems so…temporary when it comes to something that important.


I can confidently say that 2013 was one of the most difficult years I’ve ever had. Personally, professionally, you name it. I have never EVER been so glad to see a year end.

Here’s a few of the things I picked up along the way.

It’s hard to forgive yourself for things you won’t forgive in others.

You cannot handcuff yourself to your mistakes. They will eat you alive and carry you over the edge right along with them.

There are no “should”s. As adults, we simply have choices. The sooner we embrace that, the more empowered we become.

Have sex with your partner even when you aren’t sure you want to. Perhaps especially then. It fixes a lot of things. Nature knows what she’s doing in that regard.

Have a pet. Have several. You don’t have to get shelter pit bulls from California. But get a fish or something else alive in your house to let you know that there is always another heartbeat nearby, no matter how small.

When someone apologizes and means it, acknowledge it. You might still be hurt. But rejecting a sincere apology is just about as hurtful as anything else you might say or do.

Do things that seem crazy to others but perfectly rational to you. They are the things that shape you most.

Learn to lift heavy things. The benefits of it are far beyond physical.

Don’t forget to breathe. Even if you cry when you do it.

Oh, that reminds me. If you’re a cryer, don’t pretend you aren’t and try to stop it when you need to do it. Just cry. I cry when I’m angry, sad, frustrated, happy, overwhelmed, joyful, relieved. It’s my pressure release value.

Drink the good wine. You may not have the someday. And it’s perfectly okay to drink the good wine all by yourself.

Emotional games are shitty. I’ve  played them, and I’ve had them played with me. Learn to refuse to play. It won’t happen overnight. But learn.

Understand and accept that how you say your words means everything to the recipient, more so than what you say. Learn how to speak with compassion, calmness, and meaning. It doesn’t really matter what you meant to say if you’ve hurt someone in the process.

Most attention is temporary and based on the needs of the other person more than you. Family and partners are often the exception, but not always. Accept the attention, enjoy it, then let it go. Spending your life begging for the attention of others  – whether overtly or subtly — is a recipe to disappointment every single time.

Learn how to be alone. Then, learn how to rely on others for support. Finally, learn that life requires both for balance.

Buy a good kitchen knife for Pete’s sake. And learn to sharpen it.

You deserve to have relationships around you that support who you are. Who you really are, not the person you think you need to be. You also deserve to end the relationships that drain you more than they sustain you. That includes “friendships”, not just romantic relationships. Ditch the emotional vampires.

There is not a finite amount of success or happiness to go around. Be happy for the good things that happen to the people around you.

You are worthy of love and respect right now. This moment. The person who will tell you that you are not more often than anyone else is likely staring you in the mirror. Don’t believe them.

The only irreversible thing is death.

The rest? It might hurt like hell, but it’s recoverable. It’s okay to hate it while it happens. It’s okay to be angry, frightened, and confused. It’s okay to not know how to fix it. It’s okay to question yourself a thousand times over.

But it’s never okay to give up.

Okay, 2014. Give me what you’ve got. I’m waiting.

  • http://www.marketingiteration.com/ jascha kaykas-wolff

    i’m a huge fan of yours Amber. Thanks for sharing.

    • http://brasstackthinking.com Amber Naslund

      Ah. Jascha. Thank you so much for that. I appreciate your reading. Hope all is well with you, and that our paths might cross this year.

  • BakerCreative


  • http://thesocialjoint.com/ Lucretia M Pruitt

    I really love this Amber. Thanks for the reminder on some things and for the guidance on a few others I hadn’t fully grasped myself yet.
    Happy 2014

  • Tina Miller

    Thank you. May you be richly blessed throughout 2014!