A Birthday Post: Lessons Learned
It's my birthday, and I'll post my lessons learned if I want to! I have always been one to secretly hate my birthday, but today I'm barging into my 28th year on this planet with a bit of positivity for once. In fact, I wanted to share just a few of the life lessons and tiny thoughts that have floated around in my head over the years. I'll share them with Arya too one day, though I'm sure she'll prefer to stubbornly pave her own way just like me! I've stumbled my way through quite a lot, and it's only recently that I feel more confident in my footing before I even take the next step. By no means do I have this comedy of errors called "Life" figured out, but here are some things that I've learned thus far:
THE WORLD DOES NOT REVOLVE AROUND YOU. AND REPEAT!
I learned this lesson quite early on in life, and it's the one thing that I carry with me everywhere. No matter how successful, how confident, how happy your current state may be -- narcissism and entitlement is unflattering. Celebrate yourself and be your own biggest cheerleader, but be that for others as well. Empathy, love and understanding make the world go round.
To yourself, to your family, to strangers. And not just outwardly, when people are watching. Think nice thoughts too. It allows you the grand opportunity to smile more and is the quickest mood booster I have yet to come across! Also, being a bitch is just plain out of style. Smile, engage, connect - life is so much more enjoyable that way.
EAT ALL THE COOKIES.
Or drink all the wine! Or buy all the ice cream! Forget the self-inflicted guilt and freaking enjoy the delicious life. Some of my favorite moments in life have happened over a shared plate of pizza rolls, or a split bag(s) of Skittles. There is no Boozy Brunch, no Taco Tuesday, no Happy Hour that I regret.
START SMALL, BUT DREAM BIG.
Yes, you're busy "adulting" and sometimes that means doing things you don't necessarily want to do. Holding onto your dreams makes that an easier pill to swallow. Start with something small, and become obsessive about it. Protect the time you get to spend doing whatever it is. Pour into that small thing so much, that it becomes larger than life. That's how people turn dreams into reality!
GET COMFY WITH CRITICISM.
No matter what, someone is going to hate what you do / what you wear / what you look like... the list is endless. Sometimes they may even just hate you. These opinions are bullshit so it's totally okay to disregard and keep it movin'! Don't change or mold yourself to avoid being critiqued -- unless it's constructive. Does it help you to grow further or does it make you feel small? There is a difference and the older you get, you'll get better at discerning between the two.
CALL YOUR PARENTS (GRANDMA/UNCLE/COUSIN).
Ultimately, it's about extending yourself to continue cultivating these relationships as an adult. Enjoy the way that they grow, change and evolve. Get to know your parents as people, not just "Mom" and "Dad". It may surprise you just how much more you understand them.
DO IT YOUR DAMN SELF.
You want it done right? Be apart of it. Don't sit idly by, and then be upset later when something didn't live up to your expectations. Don't be a spectator in your own journey. Get off your ass. Get your hands dirty. Get in the middle of things. Goals will not be served to you on a silver platter, so go and get them.
DON'T SPEND IT ALL IN ONE PLACE.
This one is simple -- get your finances in check. There are apps, websites and endless tools to help. Staying on top of it now is going to help out a ton in the future. Don't shy away from understanding your credit score, your taxes, your 401k, etc!
STOP TRYING TO CHANGE PEOPLE.
No really, stop. When someone shows you who they are, believe them. Even if it's not who you thought they were, it's always better to accept the truth. If you can find a way to remain in each others lives, go for it. But if you can't, that's okay too. I'll repeat that -- if you can't, that's okay too. It's totally plausible that apart, you each may change and grow on your own much better anyway.
TRICK YOURSELF INTO FORMING GOOD HABITS
It's fine -- sometimes you just freaking hate some stuff. Like working out, getting up early, paying your student loans? These are things that are inevitable so employ whatever fancy tactics you need to in order to make them more habitual. Nobody is perfect, but it is not okay to be a 28-year-old who doesn't even try!
FIND YOUR PEOPLE.
They are essential and will make sure that you make it through this alive. And vice-versa. If there's any luck, you'll get to live near each other for years on end. And if not, they're only just a plane ride away.
PUT DOWN THE LIST.
The "to-do" list, or the 5 year plan or the whatever you call it. I just learned this one a few months ago. Stop checking boxes, stop crossing things off, just stop. Instead, go in the direction that feels right. But if you must have a list, let it help guide you along the path instead of becoming a road map. The more you say yes to the unknown, the more you might grow.
...honestly a lot of these I've learned the hard way, but I find so much comfort in knowing that at least I have learned them. What are some of your favorites lessons learned, and what would you add?