Things I learned in 2003


Fern in Selby Gardens, Canon Eos

1. That I love being married. That the ritual of a wedding is even more powerful, sacred and deep than I ever imagined. That when people ask the slightly ridiculous question of, “So, do you feel different?” You actually do.

2. That I’m allergic to papayas and if I drink the juice my face gets so red hot and blotchy that my husband will exclaim, “Ew!” and take several steps away from me.

3. That sometimes doing is better than thinking. That being in action is better than plotting, strategizing, planning, worrying and speculating. That one can think oneself into a black hole in about 30 seconds.

4. That it’s never too late to ask for a bright orange basketball for Christmas. (I can’t wait to play HORSE with the drunk guys at the playground)

5. That meditation is difficult, shows no signs of getting easier, and the desire to scream “FUCK!” into the stillness will never go away either.

6. That having faith doesn’t always mean trusting God, or the universe or spirit. It also means trusting yourself, your partner, your friends, your body. That having faith means trusting not only in what you can’t see, but what you can.

What have you learned in 2003?

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Hi, I’m Andrea

On this blog you’ll be learning with me how to use our voices, share our creative superpowers and live life in full color.

As an artist, photographer, life coach + mentor, I’m redefining what it means to be a SUPERHERO — ‘cause in my world, it’s got nothing to do with capes, spandex or sidekicks and everything to do with tenderness, intuition & baby steps of bravery.



  1. april

    1}I doubt myself more at age 29 than I did at age 28.
    2}I plot/plan/strategize/worry/speculate too much.
    3}My old roommate truly has a heart of gold.
    4}My job has turned me into a very bitter, angry person and I MUST get out.
    5}My dad has cancer.
    6}Being politically active DOES matter.
    7}Blog-hopping has become my new favorite hobby.

  2. mitzi

    Life is great because it is a constant learning process. I also learned how much I love being married this year and what a powerful tool for personal growth marriage is (married April 3/03). I learned that you never stop loving your children no matter how big they get or how many “mistakes” they make. I learned that I am much stronger than I give myself credit for. I learned that I can run a marathon (with a little help from my friends!). I learned that a little dog can bring a lot of joy into your life. And I learned that being a woman (in her late 30s) is a wonderful thing and all the responsibilities that go with that that I once viewed as burdens such as working, grocery shopping, cooking and organizing everyone are really gifts – very special gifts because people need me and it is feels wonderful to be needed! Merry Christmas – Michelle – Vancouver Island

  3. Katie

    That I am…In fact an Artist. Just by being. And that, in the journey to find my Art, I must Not be Defined by it, Only Create it.

  4. bmd

    (1) That true love does exist and will stop in your tracks.
    (2) That faraway places will always hold allure and intrigue and visiting them provides plot for the stories I tell.
    (3) That a little sister (not by blood) can open your eyes to play, reading in the kids section of your favorite bookstore, and to dancing in front of strangers.
    (4) The aging process (grandparents and parents) is horribly scary to watch and manage.
    (5) That hope is amazing and precious.

  5. Ani

    [1] That being truly honest and real with yourself and others is the key and so incredibly important.
    [2] That life is composed of precious fleeting moments and that these moments are limited.
    [3] That you should use your best dishes and cups and wear that outfit you would usually save for a special occasion even on “ordinary” days.
    [4] That people in your life come and go…and that it is a good thing that it hurts, because it means you have made a connection that will most definetely stay with you.
    [5] That we never stop growing.

  6. jenn

    Thank you for always reminding me to be in the now and not forget my life is a journey so I need to pay attention. Here is what I have learned this year:
    1) My 1st year of marriage has been 10 times more scary, difficult, exciting and wonderful than I ever could have imagined.
    2) My dad and I really don’t know each other very well, and that makes me incredibly sad.
    3) 27 is my hardest year yet.
    4) I want to be a mother.
    5) Death scares me. I am afraid of my mother dying.
    6) Deciding to go to school to become a pastry Chef was the best decision I’ve made all year.
    7) I love visiting other people’s websites especially superhero designs, katherinedunn, campsark and storypeople.
    8) I struggle with faith. I can’t seem to be able to grasp it in my life, this also scares me. It’s my biggest challenge.
    9) I am so deeply blessed. I am constantly being supported by the universe, with the websites I visit, strangers, family and friends. Support and love are all around me, even from strangers. I feel it. I am so lucky!

  7. Julia

    I have learned that the material things I was ridiculously attatched too really don’t matter….I learned that I need to trust myself more, and care less what others think…I learned that there are times when it’s good to say, “WHAT THE FUCK!!” and just do what feels right to me inside, regardless of all the outside influences…I learned life is too short, political corractness is way overrated, my friends are an invaluable treasure, and my 5 year old daughter’s unconditional love makes even the worst days ok. I also learned that I really like the person I’ve become, and I wouldn’t want to go back to my 20’s even if I could.

  8. erika

    This is a very good question. Here’s what I’ve learned so far:
    1.) Not to depend on another person for your happiness or vice versa
    2.) Life is not a race, marriage is not a race, having kids is not a race, etc. Life changing events will come at the right time
    3.) To be aware of what I’m doing and what motivates me and to plan accordingly
    4.) I’m capable of many things. This year I learned how to salsa, knit, work in Illustrator, re-design my website 98% by myself, go back to school, find my niche (photography), and act in an independent film.
    5.) I need to travel more
    6.) Anything you want is just a question away. Don’t be afraid to ask. You are entitled to just as much as the next guy
    7.) After all the hubub about Starbucks and not understanding why, I found I love Starbucks too. Chai tea lattes are my nicotine
    8.) I am truly blessed

  9. alexa

    I have learned:
    1.) Its not about whether true love exists or not, its about handling it when it comes, and treating it in such a delicate and caring way so as to keep it alive forever.
    2.) There are some things that are just destroyed beyond repair and it is useless to decieve yourself into thinking they are, no matter how much you want them to be.
    3.) Some things cant be defined or explained. they just are.
    4.) it is possible to fall out of love
    5.) Sometimes hurt is good, because it makes you grow as a person. if you didi not know how it felt to be sad then how would you know what its like to be truly happy? How would you be able to decifer the good times from the bad if there were no bad ones? you need pain in order to undersatnd how blessed you are.
    6.) Some people never change as some things never change. But respectively some do.
    7.) Shit happens, and you deal, because you have hope of it getting better. hope is what keeps us living. without hope we have nothing, but fortunately, there is always hope.
    8.) In a realtionship it is not about the frequency of arguments or conflit, it is about how they are dealt with.
    9.) (from moulin rouge) The greatest thing you will ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.

  10. Meg

    Thanks for that list…
    What I learned in 2003
    1) That beliving in myself is possible, and it can be the most powerful tool I have. And that when you can’t belive in yourself listen to your friends and family that do. They love you, and they know.
    2) That using art in a selfless way (working with kids, volunteering etc.) can give me the strength to do powerful, personal things with my art. And that when you are using art in the ways that feel most selfish (acting for the shear joy and necesssity of it, for example) that joy and purity can reach out at touch others.
    3) Sometimes you need time off. Sometimes time off is the incubation period for huge creative projects. The trick is to have the courage to take it, and the patience to wait it out.
    4) Surprising and wonderful things can happen!
    5)Watch for the people that spark joy in you… even when you don’t understand why…
    Thanks for your wonderful web log all year, Andrea. It has brightened some drab days at work, and somehow you often speak to just what I was pondering… I love it, I appreciate it, and I send joy and blessings your way for the New Year. Watch out, here’s a intense burst of posative thought coming right at you. Feel the breeze?
    Much Love,
    Brooklyn New York / South Pasadena California

  11. pt*:)

    Some things….
    Life is the reward for the journey…It’s given to us each second the second that we realize that we are alive.
    I want to be perfect: Perfect to my specific specifications*:) Always reverting to “Nobody’s perfect” or “I’m not perfect” is a cop out. It’s striving to be perfect that is what counts. Perfection is relative to each person’s idea of perfection.
    I don’t want to be afraid of taking risks, and less afraid if I fail because it’s inevitable that it will happen. Imua—Go Forward. Onipa’a–Stand Firm.
    That there is beauty and kindness in people around me that is just waiting to burst forth when the chance is given, and that I have to be willing and wanting, and accepting of it and still, I find, it is an exquisite heartbreaking pain, the kind that is only felt from the deepest joy, of the giving and the receiving, because I am so beside myself to be moving within the dance.
    Life is sweet, even on the darkest days when I fear the worst, battle the hardest, fall into the deepest despair, and worry myself to distraction.
    Life doesn’t always move at lightning speed…sometimes, doing nothing is the most productive thing to do.
    We can’t see everything, we weren’t meant to. We should just keep on keeping on the best way we know how.
    Angels all around us, most don’t have a pair of wings or a halo and are, sometimes, the most unlikely people we could have imagined, but we come around sooner or later.
    All these things and more I could say, knowing full well, they’re halfbaked ideas, the deepest things I think, I believe, I feel, things that are private and silly, but I do.
    I close for now with a thanks for sharing yourself. I so appreciate it, more than you’ll ever know.

  12. jss.

    to get ideas down on the page and out in space
    to trust others’ love (this is a perennial favorite)
    in design and in life, to trust it and to go deep
    to make ginger sorbet, veggie chili, mjeddra, bread, skillet cornbread, borscht, margaritas, killer guacamole, and frittata
    to cook for 1 person, 18 people, 40 people, 100 people
    to stay committed to doing things that make me feel good
    that home is something you take with you and make
    to be generous with myself
    to fight myself less
    to laugh a lot
    to be myself and let other people deal with it
    to send good gifts
    to build 9-foot-tall trees out of cardboard
    that i can be a designer
    that design is an instinct
    that everyone else is scared, too
    that i’ve got a lot of joy
    that i take beautiful pictures
    that photography is a way of seeing
    that i can do anything
    that i am a powerful person
    that it’s okay to be scared of that
    that once you start seeing, you can’t choose not that the only real answer is love

  13. soren

    -that i’m not as afraid of heights as I thought I was
    can i ask you something about meditating? do you feel like it’s doing something for you anyway, will you keep on doing it? it doesn’t get any easier for me and i’m wondering whether i should keep on trying or give it up as just something I’m not meant to do!

  14. Claudia

    I learned:
    1)… To keep my family close. My friend lost her mother this year and I realized, how quickly life can change. Also that family isn’t always something we are born into but the people we choose to be a part of our lives.
    2)… The world is a far bigger place then I imagined. I traveled a lot this year, even if it was just in the US, and discovered I wasn’t afraid of trying something new.
    3)… Its never to late to try or learn something new. Seek knowledge and it will be found. I struggled knitting this year and found that I am my best teacher and worst student.
    4)…you don’t know what you have till its gone.
    5)…that after five years, I love my husband more then I ever have. I know now we are in it for the long haul.
    6)…finally, I learned that baby’s are beautiful, even if they are not your own, and can get very messy. With our nephew’s birth, I learned that jealousy is a very bad thing and patience is its just reward. If its meant to be it shall be. I am hoping this coming year will be our year to have a family of our own.

  15. Evina

    Just few things from my list ..
    * must live my own life not somebody’s else idea
    * shouldn’t pretend feelings I don’t have
    * the less I own the happier I am
    * must believe in myself more because I am better than I think
    * don’t want to raise a child on my own
    * am lucky because I met “superhero A.”

  16. sophie

    main thing i learnt?
    that you don’t always get what you want. even if you’ve want it more and for longer than you’ve ever wanted anything else.
    i also learnt that maybe, sometimes, that isn’t such a terrible thing.
    happy new year.

  17. m

    wot I have learned
    sometimes things will not ‘just get better’ I need HELP.
    I am driven to succeed to make myself feel better about myself.
    I am a perfectionist ( and that is not a good thing)
    I live with a lot of ‘shoulds’
    I have a lot of lovely friends irl but still wake up in the night feeling totally alone – I have lost my oneness with myself.
    Perhaps you should start a tread about how things will be different in 2004?

  18. m

    sorry I meant THREAD!!!

  19. angela

    i’m almost at a point, that i can take this year with a final glance back. i like to think that every now and then, i will find something in this year to hold on to, something that will make me stronger. but it’s the new year and chapter that i am welcoming.
    i think this year was about…
    learning to let go. sometimes it’s letting go of dreams, sometimes of love, and sometimes just an old piece of paper. but each letting go lessens the load and makes room for something new.
    the power and the love has to start within. no one is going to change your life, if it’s not for you.
    one of the most beautiful things in life is sitting by the sea in silent understanding with a friend. feeling the sun on your skin and the wind caress you, as though it were the very first time.
    the fear of failure can be overwhelming. it can suffocate you. but i think now, it’s the fear. because there is no failure, not if you took the chance. and each leads to a new strength. walk thru the fear. walk thru it.
    friends are the most beautiful inspiration. and this year was about new friends and new chapters. and i really believe that everyone we meet has a reason and a gift. something we need in life. to learn. some of these chapters are only fractions. some of these chapters are an entirety. [and andrea, i seriously believe you are one of these chapters. and i thank you, for you].
    decesions. no one is responsible for your own decesions, but you. and every day we are given a decesion. we can say yes. or we can say no. we can let something overcome us or we can overcome something. i have decided that i will find my happiness, my dreams and in that, i think we find love.
    having a picnic on the rhein, watching the barges go by are the most simple, but the most beautiful things in life. and it is these things we have to take more time for.
    make 2004 something good, something beautiful. make it you.

  20. lena

    1) I love being married too.
    2) Being married is very, very difficult. Like Gram says, the first 50 years are the hardest.
    3) To hold my family closest.
    4) That only I can find my one happiness and that too takes an awful lot of work.

  21. kat

    I learned….
    **that I CAN knit!
    **that I do want to fall in love.
    **that you need to take risks.
    **that true friendship will always survive, despite distance.
    **that letters are much better to receive than emails.
    **that I want to go to grad school.
    **that friends grow apart, and it’s okay to let go.
    Happy 2004, and thank you.

  22. Jo

    while watching the discovery channel, i learned that even extremely destructive fires can be essential to maintaining nature?s balance. and also that some of the best growth in a forest (taller trees, flowers in plentitude) takes place after a fire.
    i was burned (in the heart) badly and 2003 was spent re-building and renewing. the greatest lesson i’ve learned is that healing is possible and i’m really thankful for it.

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