It has been some time since I’ve sat down and let my fingers do the talking hasn’t it? While I would usually apologize for the inconsistency, this month I’m giving myself a free pass. Why? You may ask. Because IT’S MY BIRTHDAY MONTH!
While a lot of you probably don’t like celebrating your birthday because you’re “getting older” I have a strict tradition of celebrating ME for an entire month! Narcissistic, you may say, but birthday’s for me are a time to reflect, even more so than during the New Year in my humble opinion. Another year has passed, another turn around the sun, another opportune moment for self-reflection, goal-setting, and recharging for the year ahead. Unlike most people, I’m not ashamed to share my age (granted I AM still young), but I will never be and that’s a promise I can keep! With age comes experience. Memories. Living. And that is something I am so very proud of.
I’ve been seeing a trend recently in social media on the (insert number) things I’ve learned by (insert whatever age) and I thought, “hey, this would be a great way for me to a) take a moment to think back on all the wonderful lessons I’ve learned, mistakes I’ve made, and opportunities I’ve been blessed to have and b) this could be a great take away for you all in your personal journey’s as well. So here…we…go!
- Be your best advocate—no one is going to have your back in this world better than you will. So stand up for yourself, be confident, and don’t rely on anyone else to make you feel whole. Fulfill your own happy.
- Pick and choose your battles—in life there will ALWAYS be another test, another obstacle in your way. Don’t dwell. Fight for what matters and let the rest roll right off your shoulder.
- Understand that not everyone thinks the way you do—accept it, accept them, move on.
- Be a learner of life—I cannot stress this enough! Look around, question situations, people, your surroundings. Be curious (but be safe). Ask people what they do, what they’re interested in. Just because you may not be sitting in an uncomfortable wooden chair with a chalkboard in front of you, does not mean class is no longer in session.
- Buy the damn shoes!—if you have your eye on something, but are worried about the financial repercussions of it all, just BUY THE DAMN SHOES! Money will come and go, this I can promise you, but a pair of good heels will give you the confidence to take on the world.
- Don’t kill the messenger—I can say no more.
- Give back to society—get up and get out there. Volunteer at a soup kitchen, adopt a pet, donate to that GoFundMe you keep scrolling passed on FaceBook. Even if it’s the last penny you have, life has a beautiful way of returning the favor 🙂
- Change is scary, but it’s necessary—nothing good ever comes out of staying stagnant. So get comfortable with the uncomfortable and challenge yourself!
- You aren’t always right—be open to other people’s perspectives and put yourself in their shoes. Your world is in a different color than everyone else’s.
- It will pass—this is one of the toughest ones to fully come to terms with. In times of despair and heartbreak, repeat these words to yourself and accept that things take time. So buckle up, take on the storm ahead, it will pass.
- Follow your intuition—EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. I’ve mentioned this in a previous blog post…our gut is considered our second brain, so listen to it like your life depends on it—when has it ever lead you astray?
- Love is not enough—this may sounds very crude, but it’s true. Love is a verb, an action. Therefore, without effort love cannot be.
- Quality over quantity—in every regard!
- Always take the road less traveled—pick the hard right over the easy wrong.
- Life is not black and white—this was a hard pill for me to swallow, but once I did, my eyes were awakened to a whole new reality. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe there is a general right and wrong, but everything is circumstantial if you look at it from a different point of view. Live in the grey.
- If you’re deciding between going to the gym or skipping, ALWAYS GO—10/10 times you’ll feel so much happier that you did!
- It’s never over, until it’s over—this little pearl of wisdom I picked up from my Dad and it’s so true. Things are always changing and evolving so don’t “plan” for anything—just do.
- If you’re always waiting for the “right time” you’re never going to find it. Period.
- Making mistakes is human and OKAY—but what you choose to do and who you choose to be after the mistake is made is what will define who you are as a person.
- You are a direct reflection of the people you spend most of your time with—I’ve touched on this in my blog post “The Big 5”, but I cannot stress this point any more than I already have.
- NEVER JUDGE—you never know what someone is going through or has gone through that led them to be where they are right now. Everyone has a story. Understand that.
- Save dat $$—now I know this is contradictory to point #5, but there is a balance between both! Life will surprise you and you want to be prepared.
- Que Sera, Sera—whether we like to believe it or not, everything happens for a reason. You may not understand the why and how in the moment, but the truth will always come to fruition in some shape or form.
- God will never throw you anything you can’t handle—yes I am a spiritual/religious being, so if you’re not, take this however you may—call it life, call it a higher power, you will never be handed something that you are not 100% capable of demolishing, so don’t be afraid. Find pride in that!
- Communication is key—stronger than love, stronger than trust. If you can learn to communicate your thoughts, emotions, and perspectives, you can get through anything.
- Be unapologetically you—no ifs, ands, or buts. No regrets, no questions asked. You are perfect in your own unique imperfection. Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise.
And there you have it! 26 lessons I have learned by 26 and there’s still so much more to learn. So take some time and think about everything life has opened your eyes to–what have you gained on your time here? It is important to remember that our time is limited, so make every moment tell its own beautiful, unique story.
**For more in depth conversations on this post and many more, tune in to ‘Ever Forward Radio’ on Apple Podcasts and Spotify (or your favorite Podcast player) every third Wednesday of the month!