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What’s something you learned The Hard Way?

It seems to me that I make stupid mistakes all the time.  Well, maybe not all the time, just all the time.  What I mean to say is that I often make stupid mistakes all the time.  Well.  I guess there’s just no getting around it.

The truth is that I don’t mind making mistakes.  It’s how you learn and grow.  And it’s how you find out about things that you really, really don’t want to do again.  But I hate being stupid.  I don’t mean ‘being’ as a statement of fact.  One can’t help being stupid.  What I mean is stupid in the moment; not thinking things through, making mistakes that you shouldn’t have.  Doing things and then saying to yourself, “What was I thinking?  I should have known better!”

Some things we learn the hard way because there simply is no other way.  Lessons about friendship and trust, lessons about taking care of our health.  Things you observe and think you comprehend, but don’t really until you experience it for yourself.  Basically, growing up is one big lesson you learn the hard way. And it’s a lesson you never stop learning.  I may be grown, but I’ll never stop growing. 

Here are some things that I learned the hard way:

  • Don’t poke at a woman who’s in the middle of menopause.
  • Don’t stare.
  • Some of your friends aren’t really your friends.
  • Wear sunscreen!
  • People aren’t always honest
  • Don’t cook bacon on a grill.*
  • Always go to the bathroom before you leave.
  • Change the oil every 3,000 miles.
  • Keep in touch.
  • Don’t drive over a tree in the road.

*In my defense, my grilling experience is limited to burning chicken and burning hamburgers.  So…

Here is what some other people said:

Gloria: Earning money.  You learn the hard way.
—Sharon:  Paying bills on time.
Gloria:  Driving…is for me…cause I got in two accidents.
—(collective intake of breath) Sharon:  Oh, really?   Michelle:  You did?
Sharon:  Mine is definitely paying bills.  I use my credit wisely now and I pay my bills.  Learning the hard way…and consequences!

Laura:  When you have frozen meat and you’re trying to get that stupid pad thing off the back, don’t use a knife.  You cut yourself.

Janet:  Something learned the hard way – who to trust and who not to trust…..

Rebecca: I learned everything the hard way, because I’m hard headed.  Like getting married because I didn’t think that I was ever going to find anybody who would want to date me.  I didn’t have the self-confidence and you build – like we talked about earlier, you build your self-confidence the hard way.  Or just pushing yourself out there.  So I got married early because I thought it would be my only opportunity.  And I don’t regret the boys, but I regret learning the hard way that you have to be compatible and you have to…just what a good relationship is and what it is made of and what it takes to maintain a good relationship.  Like I worked around the kid’s schedules instead of realizing that he and I needed to be parents together and we needed to be a couple together, and the boys should have gone to daycare and we should have worked on us. Because kids grow up and leave, and you’re stuck with what’s left.  So we should have been working on communication and doing things together as a family.  We were living like two single people in the same household sharing kids.  I guess learning the hard way to trust my instincts.  Because I had a red flag about T, too, but I just didn’t have the confidence that I could have found someone more compatible…and I just trudged through it.  So, maybe just the confidence, the listening to my instincts, just, you know, life lessons like that.

Krystal:  I learned the hard way that I wasn’t at 20 years old the person I’d be at 30 years old. We’re in such a hurry to be grown ups that sometimes we don’t give ourselves time to grow up first.

Rhonda:  Not to get married when you’re 19.  The person that you meet at 17 is going to grow up a whole lot between the ages of 17 and 25!

Fez:  My girlfriend was actually perfect for me.  It’s just that there was this even nicer looking girl and she laughed at my jokes.  But I was like, no…I have a girlfriend, I can’t do this.  Finally, my brother told me, “Just break up with her and see what happens.”  So I did.  Then I found out that she already had a boyfriend.  I tried to ask out my ex-girlfriend again and she would not take me back.  Because…it was kind of sudden, I had to make up a really lame excuse.  Now I’m like, “Wow.  That was really stupid of me.”  So, I’ve been kind of judging my whole life after that and what kind of stupid decisions I’ve made.  And I still regret it to this day.  (as a point of reference, Fez is 13)

Peyton:  Not to try to beat up bigger kids than me.

Terri: I learned the hard way once that you have to be careful even with those people you think are your friends. In most cases in my life I have been a pretty good judge of character, but several years ago I became friends with another teacher who was close to my age. We talked all the time on the phone.  John and I even went to her home for dinner and had her over for dinner at our house. To make a long story short, something I told her that I thought was in confidence, she shared with the others involved and it ended up blowing up into a huge mess.  My friendship with her ended because I thought I could trust her and I found out I couldn’t.  In hindsight it was probably not a good relationship because she had drama in her life, and I think she wanted others to have drama as well.  She made no effort to continue the friendship either, which said a lot.  The sad part is that it makes me think harder before becoming friends with people, and I think that I closed myself off more. Time has made it better and I know that not every relationship will end up like that one but it does make me think about what I say and who I say it to.

Logan:  I’m just trying to figure things out without going through the hard way.  I’m very cautious with what I do.  Nothing I do is not thought out – I over-think everything.  I don’t like there being a lot of unknown in what I’m doing.  If I’m doing it, there’s obviously some point and value to it, so I’m going to think about it and not just rush into it and mess it up.


Skip on over:

Really Valuable Lessons…can really suck (when a friend isn’t a friend)


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