I’m not a celebrity-gossip guru. I don’t watch television. But I read. Last summer, my boyfriend and I went on an old-school movie-date (ironically to the super old-school now-non-existent Park Road Shopping Center theatre…) to the Glass Castle, an enthralling memoir I read years ago. If you haven’t read it, I would highly recommend adding it to your list immediately.

The dad, Rex, said something in the movie that hit me:
“You learn from living. Everything else is a lie.”

I grabbed my phone…I realize this is total blasphemy and I broke the rules…to take note.

I find myself learning from living every day. A trial and error lesson. A lesson from a someone a stranger or a familiar face. Perhaps a lesson from reading.

How open are you to learning?

I must say, in the literal sense, I wasn’t very open growing up. Learning didn’t come easy. I didn’t love school. (Or because I was “bad” at it, how often do we have those tendencies to avoid something because we don’t think we are good enough?) I did okay in school because I showed up. I just showed up. How often do we need to do just that?

As an adult, I don’t know if I find myself yearning to return to an academic setting, but I find myself eager to learn from living. To expand my brain. If I just show up, who or what can challenge my thoughts? My patterns? What can I read to expand my vocabulary? What can I listen to that sounds different from my usual channels? Politically, socially, nutritionally, personally, etc? What am I going to come up against today and how can or will I react? How should I react? What do I need to take note of, so it is a lesson learned and doesn’t repeat? Do I need to show up for someone else in need?

Maybe I wasn’t open to learning academically because I thought it was a damn lie and felt like reading textbooks would lead no where. I’d rather you throw a wrench in my day; watch me pull it out. With, or without help. I’ll show up for myself if you can’t and/or don’t want to. It’s not always going to be easy or fun, those wrenches and the lessons. Lots will suck. Many will be great. And combined, make us stronger.

As a person of routine this takes a lot to say out loud. It’s scary. It’s unknown. But the fact that we are continuously learning by experience-as long as we show up—is a gift. Do we view it as such? If we don’t, I think damn well we should.

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Alexandra Mannino
A late-twenties gal who believes in being well-rounded, Alexandra moved to the Queen City in 2016 from the Northern Virginia area. After landing a job in 2017 that plans nationwide cyber security trainings, it is no surprise that she loves to “health hack” her way through travels but loves calling the QC home. Strictly gluten-free and in a complicated relationship with dairy, when Alexandra isn’t on the road, she is engaging in one of Charlotte’s incredible gyms, experimenting in the kitchen, reading, blogging, or enjoying a vodka Gimlet after the work week. But never all at the same time.