Yes, I’m 28.. and this post in no way means that I think I know everything, but life is a learning process and everyone discovers different things along the way. Here’s 28 truths I’ve come to know:
1. Attitude is a choice. In life, things will happen that you cannot control. But what you can control is how you react to things. When you make an effort to find joy in every situation and learn from the hurt, your whole life will change. I promise.
2. Success means more than making money- I used to think that in order to be successful I had to have a high paying job or at least a high status one. While this may measure one element of success, I’ve learned that true success in life is much bigger than career aspirations. One of my favorite quotes of all time comes from Emerson. He states, “To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” The truth is, at your funeral, your loved ones probably won’t be talking about how much money you make. Instead, they’ll speak about HOW you lived your life and what kind of person you were.
3. Family is everything. And you only have one… Simply put, they are the ones that no matter what, will be there. Don’t take them for granted.
4. Money is NOT everything. I work in the Trust and Estates department for a law firm where some of the wealthiest clients come in to sign their wills. One day, an older gentleman came in. He had just recently lost his wife and one of his daughters in two separate instances. He sat there and spoke about how he had taught at the best universities in the world, had more money than he knew what to do with, and had every physical object he desired, but how that didn’t mean anything. ”The women in your life,” he said, “are what make life rich.”
5. “Me” time is essential Take time for yourself. This sounds simple enough, but if you are a people pleaser like me, you know that this can be difficult. Learning to say no to other things and yes to myself has been hard, but it’s incredibly important to take the time you need to just “be”.
6. Your health is your life. It seems obvious, but until I got sick I never realized how much how you feel physically affects every single aspect of your life. If you’ve ever come down with the flu, you know how that changes your day and limits what you can do. Now imagine having the flu for months or even years.. working through that barrier to live a ”normal life” can be crazy.
7. Honesty is still the best policy- One of the things I love about children is how honest they are… at least until we teach them not to be. As I get older I appreciate the people who have the honesty of a child-that tell it how it is… This does not mean that it’s ok to be rude… But if you are sincere, people will notice.
8. You should ALWAYS dance. always always always always.. it’s good for the soul… the rhythm is going to get you and you should let it.
9. It’s important to fail.. and fail well. Failure is a part of life… everyone does it. Learning to be a gracious loser and how to get back up after a fall is essential.
10. People will always relate to the human part of you far more than the perfect part of you. Have you noticed that? I always thought it was better to appear perfect and together but looking back I think that pushed more people away than drew them near… Perfect isn’t relatable b/c no one is. Realizing that is one of the most freeing things you can do.
11. Giving back is one of the best things you can do for YOURSELF. I found that one of the most rewarding things you can do is give to others. When you do, it helps get your own priorities straight by remember what’s important. Plus, there’s nothing better than seeing the smile of someone you’ve helped.
12. Kindness plus hard work will take you further than intelligence.
13. If you ever feel alone in any circumstance or situation, go online. It’s true. If I’m ever feeling misunderstood about living with type 1 diabetes i simply type #diabetes on twitter, instagram or google and I’m reminded that I am not alone and that many people are going through the same thing I am. It justifies what I’m feeling in the moment and helps me get through.
14. Being grateful makes all the difference. Gratitude takes what you have and makes it more than enough. It’s easy to feel entitled to have things.. But when you realize that everything you own is not guaranteed and it’s truly a gift, it changes your daily outlook for the better.
15. Beauty is all around you. It really is everywhere. I notice this especially around Christmas. Sure, there’s a lot of hurt and evil in the world, but more powerful than any of that is the kindness and hearts of others. It’s hard not to find stories of charity, sacrifice, and honor when you pay attention to those around you.
16. People will disappoint you at some point. You’re human and I’m human so with that comes disappointment. Learning that people (including myself) are flawed has been freeing.
17. Everyone deserves a 2nd chance but maybe not a third one. This goes with number 16 above. People disappoint. People make mistakes. They deserve 2nd chances… I’m glad I’ve gotten some and definitely glad that I gave others them as well.
18. Time is Limited. After the death of Apple’s Steve Jobs, an old video surfaced of him giving the commencement speech. The whole speech is amazing (I highly recommend that you watch it) but one of the things that really sticks out to me is this: Steve states, “If you live each day as if it was your last, someday you’ll most certainly be right.” …I have looked in the mirror every morning and asked myself: “If today were the last day of my life, would I want to do what I am about to do today?” And whenever the answer has been “No” for too many days in a row, I know I need to change something.” Your time is limited too.. on earth and with everyone you encounter. Are you ok with how you are using it? If not, don’t settle… change something.
19. True friends are hard to come by. A hard fact about life is that when things get tough some people run. In the end, it leaves you with the ones that you know will always be by your side.
20. You can never love someone too much. This is actually something that I’m taking from my sister. Recently, when asked about marriage advice during our brother’s rehearsal dinner, she said that in marriage it’s important to continue to be affectionate and show love everyday… Life will cause you to be busy but to never that love for granted b/c you can never love too much.
21. Everyone you meet is better than you at something. With that being said, it’s more beneficial to listen than talk. If you listen, you have the chance to learn something new from someone who might just do it better.
22. Yelling always makes things worse. Patience and thinking before you speak may hard in the moment of conflict but it will always make things easier in the long run.
23. It’s ok to not be ok… If life is throwing you curveballs and getting you down, it’s ok to NOT be ok. You don’t have to be sunshine and rainbows when you are stuck under a storm cloud and the world is crumbling down on you. It is completely ok in those moments to grieve, to be angry, to be confused, to be frustrated, to not be ok… as long as you come out of it sooner or later.
24. You’re destiny can be a day away. I’ve spoken with a couple of people who say that they are envious that I do photography and work with Lovegrows and wish they had something that they felt passionate about and felt like they were meant to do. Yes, I love photography and LoveGrows. I truly feel like those two things are a big part of what God wants me to do on earth, but the thing is, I only began to discover this about two years ago. Who knows what you’ll discover about your journey in the days, hours or even minutes ahead.
25. Comfort will hold you back. I don’t believe that we are meant to be comfortable in our lives.. at least not completely. Comfort can keep us in a safe place, in the same job, doing the same old thing day after day. I believe we are called to take leaps of faith and sometimes wander outside of our comfort zone. As they say, with big risk comes big reward.
26. Everyone you meet deserves to be greeted with a smile. Everyone.
27. Writing helps. I can’t tell you enough how therapeutic it is to just get things down on paper. When I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes a year and three months ago, writing helped me get through it all. It also helped to read what others had written about their experiences/life with the disease. It let me know that others understood even though those directly around me didn’t. Plus, it’s also encouraging to look back at the times when I was at my lowest and see that things worked out ok.
28. God is Good… all the time. When things are good, God is God and God is good. When things are bad, God is STILL God and God is STILL good.
There goes.. I could go on and on but I’m not sure you’d stick with me for 28 more… Feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you’ve learned.
Merry Christmas, Everyone!!!