Tomorrow I turn 32.
32 comes with a great deal of knowledge, love, lessons, and happiness.
I want to share with you 32 things I’ve learned over the last 32 years – and I hope that some of you can take something from this.
1) Love wholly, completely, and selflessly. When you meet someone, listen to your gut. It never lies. When you get that can’t eat, can’t sleep, reach for the stars, over the fence, World Series kind of thing. When you look at the person and feel at home; you feel safe. And when you talk about them, you say all the good stuff. You are equals; you don’t feel superior. And most important: they truly inspire you to be more ambitious and to do better in life. Don’t settle for anything less – you are worthy of great love and respect and all things wonderful.
2) Your friends are there to lift you up. Lean on them. Support them. Cherish them. And don’t settle for friends, either. Find the good ones and hold on tight.
3) Love yourself as you are. We all have little differences and that is what makes us unique. One day, we’ll be old and wrinkly alike… and what matters is your heart; your kindness and compassion. THESE are the things that make you a beautiful human.
4) Eat the donut. Or the cupcake. It’s not going to kill you.
5) Treat your body with respect. Fuel it with good things and positive energy. Speak to yourself as though you would speak to your daughter.
6) Trust your heart. If something doesn’t feel right, walk away.
7) Your past doesn’t define you. How you carry yourself after, is what makes you YOU. We all have a story; you have the power to respond to that as you may choose. So choose your path wisely.
8) You are stronger than you think. Physically and mentally; you’ve made it this far. Isn’t that quite the accomplishment? *pats self on back*
9) Your mother was right.
10) So was your dad.
11) Physical beauty won’t bring you happiness. You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig. Take care of your soul first and the rest will follow.
12) You CAN swim after you eat.
13) Wear the sunscreen. A tan is nice, but it’s only temporary. Your skin will thank you later.
14) Learn to control your emotions. Yes, we have emotions. Let them happen, feel them, validate them, and then look at the big picture. Bad days happen, and then will happen. Own them, and remember: it’s just a bad day, not a bad life. Your emotions are yours; they are not meant to control someone else. Nor should you let someone else’s emotions control you.
15) Do the speed limit. Driving like an asshat doesn’t get you there any faster. It just makes you look like an asshat.
16) Write thank you letters. People DO appreciate them.
17) Credit Cards are a privilege, not a right. Spend mindfully and carefully. And live within your means.
18) Take that vacation. You’ll appreciate the memories so, so very much. (Remember: it’s a privilege, not a right)
19) Ask someone before you pet their dog.
20) Speaking calmly, and respectfully is more like to get your point across rather than yelling. You’ll get more flies with sugar than with vinegar.
21) Selflessness is an understated quality. People deserve more of you, than you deserve of them.
22) YOUR MOTHER WAS RIGHT.
23) Blue eyeshadow and thick eyeliner is a right of passage. You must first fail before you succeed.
24) Always be on time. For dinners, for appointments, for interviews – just be there ON TIME.
25) Take pictures. Not only take them, but be IN them.
26) Read books. Read alllll the books.
27) Never underestimate the power of a clean home. Declutter, let go of things you no longer need, rearrange your living room. Sometimes you just need to shake things up.
28) Call people. Don’t just text or email. Call them.
29) Take control of your life. You get to choose your own adventure. You are responsible for YOU and your own happiness; not anyone else.
30) Trust everyone until they give you a reason not to (I’m still working on this one…)
31) You don’t need an education to be successful in life. Your passion and drive matter more than a diploma.
32) Always look at things from someone else’s perspective. They may treat you poorly because they are having a bad day, not because they are a bad person. AKA if the cashier is snippy, don’t be snippy back. Just be a good human.
Next year maybe I’ll come up with 33 things, but DANG… 32 was hard enough.