10. How to change a flat. I resisted bicycle maintenance for a long time.
9. I eat a million times better when I avoid grocery stores. After a summer of farmer's markets and a fall of shopping at Reading Terminal, I feel so much better. Quality produce makes such a huge difference.
8. Blush. Voila, cheekbones! Voila, I don't look so tired and pasty and hungover! It's a makeup miracle.
7. The neighborhood I live in has significant implications for the life I lead. I am glad that I live close to friends, lovely bars, and good public transportation. Although it means a slightly longer commute (which is good for staying fit and having a little longer to decompress), my quality of life has improved greatly. Put succinctly: god, what a good time I'm having in South Philly!
6. I need beautiful language. The book of e.e. cummings always on my desk at work and the prose of Updike always next to my bed have eased my mind.
5. Something about men and agency and what I want from my life and having a voice. I can't say exactly what I've learned about those things, but the tension between them is finally coming into view and has brought with it some needed clarity as I consider what I want and expect from relationships, who I want to be in those relationships, and who I want to be with in relationships.
4. I don't think America is really being governed in a way that is constitutional. My readings for graduate school have made me aware of this, but haven't presented any clear solutions- but I'm pretty sure a solution would involve an immense collective rethinking of federalism, a reduction of the powers of the court and policing systems at all levels, and an intensive expansion of the number of positions in legislative bodies... or something.
3. There is a small way to reconcile my work with how far from home it takes me. It's called doing research on where I'm from. I can't wait for that brilliant idea to pay off next summer.
2. The present is all we have. We can value and learn from the past, and we can anticipate our futures, but now- now is it.
1. Reciprocity. As my nieces get older, I'm finding that they love me as much as I love them. I don't know why this shocked me, to suddenly feel aware of who I am in their lives. Their generosity of spirit is disarming. It's not just that they fill my life with a big love- it's that they teach me to expect nothing less than a big love.