It's funny. I was sitting there earlier tonight at dinner (yes, I post-dated this entry so it would match up with the other one) and I came up with a bunch of stuff that I'm kicking myself for not having written down. I guess that's the way it goes - thoughts go in, thoughts go out, but unless you trap them somehow they're probably not going to come back. But I'll take a stab at it anyway.
I've learned that the most subtle of accidents, those that you don't even realize happened in slow motion until well after the fact can teach the most profound lessons. And you'll sometimes laugh yourself silly over them later.
I've come to recognize that if one surrounds onself with too much of something, anything, really, it'll cause one's life to change so that it dominates everything they do, and eventually everything they are. Choose wisely. You can't always choose again.
I've learned that one's daily practice, in whatever form it may take is the one stone upon which everything else can be built. When you feel like you can do it the least is when you need it the most. I've also come to accept that sometimes, at the end of the day when you drag yourself home and fall asleep on the couch your daily practice just isn't going to happen. Absconding for a while and coming back can serve best under such circumstances.
I've learned that if you're going to be larger than life you've got to go the extra distance to not only get there but stay there. No matter how close to the Edge you are, no matter how good you just now were, no matter how many augmentations of any kind you've racked up, if you don't keep up with the basic "this is how this works" you'll slip behind. I've also learned the importance of having one or two demonstrations of the Edge up my sleeve that I can bust out at a moment's notice. Know-how and skill are nice, practice is great, but shock value is still a useful tool. Being a little theatrical can't hurt either (but practice first!)
I've learned never to give away the whole game. Never tell anyone everything you are capable of.
I have learned and am slowly coming to accept that, when life throws you on your head and wrecks your plans, fall back on your backup plan (if you don't have at least two backup plans, drop everything and lay them out right bloody now) and start executing. Your backup plans need to be able to throttle back so you don't wreck yourself. Your primary plan needs to be able to be suspended (not abandoned) and you need to build reasons for doing so into it. Sometimes you need to be gentle with yourself to make it through. Listen to the omens. But never, ever stop.
I've learned that people will dump their bad publicity on you if they fuck up badly. Always cultivate a loyal and observant community around your projects with the closest to unfailing honesty you can manage (secrecy doesn't always allow for this - life sucks like that). You won't have to defend yourself overmuch, your community will compare, contrast, and use their brains when you hope they will the most. During this time never, ever stop making progress. Keep it tight.
Sometimes the code you spent all day writing doesn't even work, and is completely terrible to boot. Blow it away and start over. Don't try to salvage it.
I've learned that the older I get, the less I want to break in a new pair of boots. I'm still working on the Doc Martens that I got for Yule and I can just now wear them for longer than four hours at a stretch. It's well worth getting really nice ones up front, even if they cost quite a bit more just so they'll last longer. I'd prefer to have a pair that last ten or fifteen years so I don't have to go through this every three or four years.
I've learned to always keep a little in reserve just so I can really cut loose if I have to.
I've learned again that while one may be recognized as an expert or a teacher in some respect by someone, one must always remain a student. Everybody has their betters out there; learn well from them. This includes making the mistakes of a student and learning from them.
I've learned that sometimes you just need to get out and dance. Take the next day off to recover if you need to. It's good for you.
I am trying to learn that sometimes shutting up is the right thing to do.