Practicing imperfectly today instead of waiting to start perfectly tomorrow

Photo by Sigmund on Unsplash

There’s a big difference between the idea of learning something and the practice of doing it.

Many times I’ve thought of things I’d like to learn — speaking foreign languages, playing instruments. I told myself that when I was ready, I would find and plan the right steps. Then I would learn the skill completely. But I wouldn’t start until I knew what the proper steps were.

Thinking of it this way absolves me of doing anything today, because today I don’t know the perfect way. It always ends up being better to wait until tomorrow. …


My now-obsolete summer job

A vintage car parked in a gravel driveway in front of a house.
A vintage car parked in a gravel driveway in front of a house.
Photo by beuwy.com Alexander Pütter on Unsplash

In the early 2000s, digital cameras existed, but not everyone had them. People needed to sell their cars. People wanted to buy cars. Auto Trader magazine was the solution, and I was one of their photographers.

“Sell your car fast! …We’ll take the photo!” — Copy from the cover of a 2005 issue of Auto Trader magazine

In one of the summers when I was in college, in 2004, I applied to be a part-time field photographer for Auto Trader.

Auto Trader still exists as a website, but it used to be a magazine filled with ads of people’s cars…


What it is and why it matters

Several rows of movie theater seats
Several rows of movie theater seats
Photo by Paolo Chiabrando on Unsplash

This week I’ve been remembering my friend Brian, who died a year ago from Covid-19 complications. Brian loved movies, as do I.

He was blind. In 2005, when we met, the options were limited for him to go to a theater and enjoy a movie without a friend explaining what was happening onscreen.

We went to quite a few movies together back then anyway, and either I or another friend tried our best to whisper to him to explain the movie’s visuals. Trying to explain the action of a mindbending movie like Inception, especially over the loud soundtrack, was quite…


Tips from a cat owner

Photo by Roxanne Desgagnés on Unsplash

Once a young guy in his 20s who worked at my apartment leasing office asked me if I thought he should get a cat. I told him, honestly, maybe not. And then I shared some things I’ve experienced in 11 years with my cat. He decided not to get one.

I do want pets to be adopted, especially from rescue organizations and shelters. I got my cat from the SPCA — there are so many animals out there that need and deserve someone to love them. And there are many great reasons to get a…


When eating is painful, watching what you eat takes on new meaning

Photo by David Beneš on Unsplash

Our culture doesn’t have the healthiest relationship with food, and neither do I. We’ve all heard or said things like, “I want to eat that [cupcake, ice cream, burger] but I won’t because then I’ll [gain weight, keep on eating, break my diet].”

After a quarantine year with less physical activity than I’d like, I’ve sometimes found myself slipping into the mindset of — I shouldn’t eat this because it’s bad for me, I shouldn’t eat that because it might make me gain weight. This food is bad, and that food is good. Rigid, linear thinking.

This kind of thinking…


I’ll never be able to give myself a haircut as bad as some of the ones I’ve paid for

Photo by Sherise VD on Unsplash

I don’t remember the last time I’ve had a professional haircut. And it’s not because I have no respect for stylists. On the contrary, I’m in awe of good stylists. I just haven’t had much luck in finding them.

When I cut my own hair, I know that my results will be average. But I also know that, no matter what I do, I won’t charge myself $60 and a tip for creating an unwanted mullet.

The pandemic hasn’t slowed down my ability to get a trim. It just made me feel more accepted because we were all either growing…


During the agonizing rollout, you needed to ignore the rules or just get lucky

Photo by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash

Yesterday Target and Nintendo decided to put Animal Crossing New Horizons fans through a 2020-style gauntlet. All we wanted was to hand over our money in exchange for Sanrio amiibo cards, which held the promise of six new villagers and accompanying delightful, twee furniture items for our now year-old Animal Crossing islands.

I planned all week (okay — for weeks). I carefully read the instructions from Target on how to get the cards. They would be sold online only, but for store pickup. They would go on sale on the site at 9:00 am Eastern on March 26. …


A few things I’ve learned since Covid-19 changed everything

An old-fashioned windmill standing out starkly against a dark background.
An old-fashioned windmill standing out starkly against a dark background.
Photo by Kent Pilcher on Unsplash

In March 2020, my friend and I texted about how he was sick. He had a cold or the flu. I didn’t want to let myself think it could be Covid-19. He had been feeling a little better in the last few days, he said.

He was 52 and otherwise healthy. I was sure he would get better. I had been sick myself with the flu in February and gotten better. I couldn’t imagine any other outcome. I was naïve.

Soon he would check himself into the hospital, and in April, he died of Covid-19 complications. The world lost him…

Vanessa Resler

New writer on Medium. Here to read and learn.

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