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Letter #9 from a Learn-it-all

4 min

Hello fellow learner,

Greetings from Petoskey, Michigan 👋👋

I’ve been enjoying the fresh air going on walks in the woods, finding trails and getting lost. I ended up spotting a deer and countless chipmunks. The little guys make loud shrill chirping sounds that can be heard across the forest.

Here is letter #9 from a learn-it-all, enjoy!

Some things I’ve learned through…


For the first time in my life, I went road biking. Prior, I have always loved biking on my townie cruiser or mountain bike. My dad lent me his road bike and exposed me to a whole new level! The feeling of being more aerodynamic is epic. I grew up in a place with “the hill” so biking with them was a novel challenge. I now know what it feels like to be on a 1.2 mph climb and barely move. And the feeling of the well-deserved breeze blowing on the way down.

I am grateful to have my (3-time Iron Man) brother Mitch to be my coach today. Thanks to him I felt more secure in what I was doing and figuring out when I should shift gears.


I wrote how we are students of life. Since leaving school, I have shifted my beliefs to what it means to be a student of life.

On May 18, 2018 I chose to sit in the rain after waiting four years for this day. It was the day of my college graduation ceremony where I walked across the stage to receive my Bachelor of Science degree in Finance. It was a bittersweet close to this chapter where I grew to be comfortably challenged.

There was certainty in college. I didn’t know what life would be like after leaving the confines of college. I had spent four years in a safe environment to pursue the necessary credits for the guaranteed outcome of graduation. If I checked the boxes of the required courses and received the passing grades, I would come out from Miami University of Ohio with a diploma. This outcome was thanks to professors that guided the way and counselors who helped shepherd me. I felt safe.

The environment of universities makes it seem obvious what we are supposed to do. There are spaces everywhere to study in. A college is a magical place where habits are formed from your surroundings because the norm is to be a student. It is gratifying to be surrounded by like-minded individuals in college. The students are all determined to come out from it with the same goal. This diploma proved that we played the game of school. Being compliant with the preset requirements was rewarded. They proved that we can finish what we set out to achieve. It showcases being a learner. Success is proven at the game of school with the diploma as evidence.

You can read the rest of this post on my blog ➡️


I read my summary notes from The 4 Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. This the first self-help book that I have read, and reread multiple times since leaving college.

The guide to personal freedom is:

  1. Be impeccable with your word. Speak with integrity and not against others or gossip about them. Use power towards truth and love.
  1. Don’t take anything personally. What others say and do is a projection of their reality. Don’t be immune to the opinions and actions of others.
  1. Don’t make assumptions. Find the courage to ask questions when there is something unknown. Clearly communicate to avoid sadness and drama from a misunderstanding.
  1. Always do your best. You will avoid regret, self-judgment, and self-abuse.


I watched the author, Elizabeth Gilbert’s TED Talk: Success, failure, and the drive to keep creating.

Being the author of the successful book Eat, Pray, Love, she felt she had no way to win with her next book. Due to people who either adored or hated her first book. Temptation came to give up writing and quit the game. If she gave up writing she knew she’d be giving up her beloved vocation. She had to have the inspiration to show up to write again.

Writing became her home. Your home is that thing to which you can dedicate your energies with such singular devotions that the ultimate results become inconsequential. The remedy for self-restoration: You have got to find your way home again as swiftly and as smoothly as you can. If you’re wondering what you’re home is, here’s a hint: Your home is whatever in this world you love more than yourself. That might be creativity, family, invention, adventure, faith, service, or raising corgis.

The trick is identifying the best, worthiest thing that you love most, then build your house right on top of it and don’t budge from it. Liz will always be safe from the random hurricanes of outcome as long as she never forgets where she rightfully lives.

Word to define

Home: the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household. According to Liz Gilbert, “Your home is whatever in this world you love more than yourself.”

What it means for me: the feeling of safety, and being my authentic self and less vulnerable. It has layers of my identity and memories associated with it.

Quote to inspire

“I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning how to sail my ship.” —Louisa May Alcott

Question to ponder

What does home mean for you? Has your definition of home shifted since the quarantine?

Thank you to my editors for helping me to make my writing the best it can be: Charlie and Juan David.

I appreciate you reading this! If any of the ideas resonated or you have comments to improve your experience, feel free to reach out to me at or on Twitter @JenVermet.

Never stop learning 😃

Until next week,


P.S. If you would like to have a guaranteed smile to your day, listen here.


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