"What did you learn today?"
It's a great question, and I would often struggle to answer it. Which is ridiculous, when you think about it. A student in school should be learning something (multiple somethings) daily.
In fact, I think even as adults, we should try to glean one new bit of information from each 24 hours we have the privilege to enjoy in this life. It might come from an experience at work, or an article read online or (gasp) in an actual newspaper. Maybe it comes from a conversation with a friend, or an interaction with a client or student. There are things to learn everywhere, from everyone we encounter in our days.
Recently, I sat down for a conversation with my JVC program coordinator. The first few months of 2014 kind of feel like an explosion in my memory - a lot of things happened very quickly, many of them taking me completely by surprise. Others were expected, but stressful nonetheless. I was recounting one particular difficult experience to her, and I just ran out of words. I found myself shrugging, laughing and shaking my head all at once.
"Well, did you learn anything?" she asked me. I was taken aback at the familiar question. But when I considered it, I realized that yes, in fact, I had learned a lot in the last few months. Nothing about science, or grammar, or math; I learned a lot about myself.
Among these lessons:
- I learned that I am much better at dealing with death than I was three years ago - though grief is never something that is truly 'easy.'
- I learned that my family means more to me than anything else I have encountered in this life thus far.
- I learned to trust my instincts - again. This is a lesson I am constantly learning, re-learning and forgetting. I have yet to master how to recognize when my gut is trying to tell me something important.
- I learned that I am in control of my emotions. In the words of the great Macklemore, I don't control life, but I control how I react to it.
I have now exhausted the word "learned" to the point that it means nothing to me at the moment, so I'll leave it at this: Never stop gathering information.