Hi, hello, I missed you!
It’s a new year of life for me and I thought I would end my writing hiatus with 23 lessons I’ve learned in my last 23 years of life. ◊◊◊◊
1. Live with intention. I spent the better part of 22 re-learning who I am and what I want. Far too often we go into autopilot and we wake up not really sure as to where we thought we were going in the first place. I’ve slowly learned to check-in with my happiness and goals regularly to make sure that every day is lived with a connection to who I am and who I want to be in the future.
2. Intuition is real. Trust it.
3. Accept the things you cannot change. I am a repeat offender of looking in the rear view mirror, of thinking about all the ways something could have played out differently, and I can tell you it’s a black hole. For every moment you spend thinking about what could have been you’re not thinking about what could be.
4. Shut up and just love yourself already. When will I have perfect skin? When will I be skinnier? Why can’t I look like that? Why can’t I have her life? Personally, these voices of self-doubt and low self-confidence have defeated me one too many times. Sometimes it breaks my heart when I think about all the time I’ve spent dreaming to look different or have different personality traits. Comparison is the death of happiness and life is just too short for that.
5. People come into your life for a reason…. and the ones who leave are supposed to go.
6. Forgiveness is a process that can only be navigated by you. This past year I have learned a lot about the process of forgiving. I spent a great deal of time looking for someone to tell me how to just accept and forgive, but was continuously frustrated at the fact that in my heart I couldn’t do it. When it comes to forgiving someone you love no one can help you do it but yourself. No one can tell you how to feel about the situation or set a timeline of how you overcome hurt. You are the only one that can navigate your healing process, and sometimes it just takes time.
7. Sometimes you’ll just have to CHOOSE happiness. Not every day is a good day. Not every moment of life is beautiful. Those times you want to throw a pity party, remember that it won’t last forever.
8. Passions are side hustles… until you work hard enough to do them full time.
9. Life will always throw us things we don’t want to handle. Mondays…oil leaks…a sink full of dishes…
10. Don’t take things personally. Some people have a certain way, because that’s just who they are. This is a vital lesson to learn when entering the career field.
11. Invest in your growth.
12. Sharing your life with someone takes a whole-lotta flexibility and getting over yourself. Life is a game of give and take and this is particularly true for relationships. In a healthy relationship not everything will go your way, but that’s a lesson that can help you all through your life. Relationships take flexibility and compromising, admittedly two things that have not come naturally to me -but we’re working on it. 🙂
13. You will most likely always have exactly what you need, nothing more and nothing less.
14. Stop caring about what you look like in the gym. I have been guilty of abandoning a workout plan one too many times because I was too self-conscious about what I look like trying to lift weights or testing out a new exercise. BUT WHY. Who am I trying to impress? You’re only limiting yourself and your health by letting the most-likely-nonexistent-judgment affect you.
15. Know your worth…
16. But know that you are not entitled to anything.
17. It takes a tribe. In my 23 years of life I have had many people I’ve called “parents”, teachers, role models. In a mosaic of life stages and lessons, they have all made me the person I am.
18. Seriously, just be a kind person. Ellen DeGeneres does not just say this for shits and giggles. This truly matters day in and day out. Whether you are ordering a coffee or working with a colleague…just be kind to the people you interact with every day. I am that person that makes it a goal to smile at anyone I pass on the sidewalk during a run, because I know how simple gestures like that make ME feel. I’ve had many customer service jobs and nothing can make you feel like complete trash like a rude customer. JUST BE NICE FRIENDS.
19. There is no end to grief, but there is also no end to love.
20. Friendships become more effort, but also more valuable. It was a huge change to go from living in a college town where all of your friends are a two-minute walk from you, to everyone graduating and moving to different parts of the state/country. It takes a lot scheduling phone conversations, Face Time sessions, and monitoring plane ticket prices to keep those close friendships going. However, you will eventually realize that some of your friendships were one-sided. Let go of these people and feel free, the valuable ones will remain.
21. STICKY NOTE GOALS, I REPEAT, STICKY NOTE GOALS. Write those goals on a sticky note, stick them to the wall and look at them every day. If they unstick from the wall, tape those babies back up there. Set reminders for yourself everyday to keep working towards what you want in life. There is nothing more powerful than speaking things into existence.
22. Don’t say, “This is not for me, I would never do it.” In late high school and my freshman year of college I swore that anything that had to do with politics was definitely not for me. I ran from anyone that brought up the subject. Fast forward a couple of years and I’m interning for congress, working in a job built upon understanding immigration policy, and on my way to getting my MPA. We should all listen to Justin Bieber – never say never.
23. Growing older doesn’t mean you figure out the magic recipe to adult-ing. Growing older means growing to learn that we don’t actually know it all, never will, but we can damn well learn from our mistakes.