It is scary to me that today I turn 25 and have now been on this earth for a quarter of a century. Birthday’s for me have always been weird. I have never been able to fully capture into words what today means to me personally (especially when trying to share it with others) and that is in part due to my discomfort in the day being all about me. Birthdays are not really a celebration for me, but more of a reflection and an introspective look into the course of the year or in general just my time here on earth. It is a day for me to plan on how to be better going forward for myself but more importantly the people around me.
This year I thought that I would bring others into this process. Instead of doing a solely singular reflection I would share some of the things that I have learned over the past 25 years. I decided (amongst the popularity of these posts) that my gift would be some of the wisdom (while far from complete or mastered) I have gained over the last quarter of a century.
- Treat Others How You Want To Be Treated. This doesn’t mean that they will return the favor but there is something to be said about being the bigger person, even if it might kill you to do it.
- Your Opinion Is The ONLY One That Matters. No one is living your life and as much as others can try to sympathize, they will never fully know what you are going through. Never let the judgment of others change your mind or your truth. Live your life for YOU!
- You’re Hair Will Always Look Its Best When You Aren’t Trying … and you will never recreate that perfect messy up-do when you actually want to.
- Trust Your Parents On The Big Things. Their wisdom and “I was right” smugness might kill you but at the end of the day, they did live through it once before.
- But Learn To Make Your Own Mistakes. If there is anything 25 years has taught me, it is that trial and error is my best friend and while, yes it would be easier to just learn it by observation, I need to make the mistake for myself for it to really stick in.
- Junior High Sucks and So Do The Teenage Angst Years. You will get through it and come out better for it at the end of the day, plus the true friends you make along the way will likely be there for years to come.
- The Easy Route Is Never As Much Fun. Or as rewarding. Nothing great in life ever came easy, it is the struggle and the hustle that makes you appreciate it so much more and makes for a better story at the end of the day.
- Live Your Life For You, You’ll End Up Coming Back To It If You Don’t. This one has taken me more then one try to get, but every single time I do something for someone else I always regret it, back track and end up doing it for me in the end. It would be a lot shorter if I just did it for me to begin with.
- A Family Size Bag of Chips Tastes WAY BETTER Than Skinny Feels. Life is too short to guilt yourself about what you do or do not eat. Be Healthy, Exercise and ENJOY your life, who gives a crap about the rest. We are all going to be flabby in our 70s anyways.
- Never Take Yourself Too Seriously. What is a life if you can’t laugh, especially if it is at yourself. If there is one thing my Grandma taught me and left me with, it is an amazing (sometimes crude and questionably weird) sense of humor will get you further in life than most things.
- It’s Okay To Change Your Mind. I am the queen of changing my mind, but at the end of the day it is my life and I have to live with the decision, no one else. So it is okay to change it and make the right choice after all (even if it is the second… or hundredth choice).
- Heartbreak Is Inevitable. Sometimes you have your own heart broken and sometimes you break others hearts, it is going to happen at least once in your life. But it is worth it, even if it does not seem like it in the moment, because it meant that you cared and that it mattered. Sure it hurts like H%&*, but you will come out stronger and better for it in the end. And the next time you find love it will be deeper, stronger and even more special, meaning more than it even meant before.
- Life Is Short, Make The Best Of It. As 25 years have already managed to fly by in an instant, I can really attest to this one. Don’t dwell on the past or worry about the future, Live for today because it can all change in the blink of an eye.
- Be The Person of Your Own Dreams. Don’t wait for the hero to come save you, save yourself and be the person you dream about TODAY! You are stuck with you for life, so be the person you dream of and want to be.
- You Can’t Take Any Of This With You When You Go. So make it all count. Save for the rainy days but enjoy it while you have it. There is more to life than the number in your savings account and yes it is important to have security but it is also equally important to do what makes you happy and live to the fullest NOW.
- Life is Not A Linear Pathway. And no one wrote the rules saying it needed to be a certain way. It is ups and downs, twists and turns, growth and stagnated periods. Go with the flow, have a ducks back and learn to love the process because it is the journey that makes it worth it in the end.
- Growing Up Is Not Easy and Adulting Is Hard. Nobody knows what they are doing. It is the reason we are told as kids to never be in a rush to grow up and one of the reasons I dread my birthday every year. But the good news is, life is a mess, so we don’t have to be perfect all the time (or ever for that matter), just fake it till you make it and pretend like you have it all together (or just be the mess you are, because that is what I am doing).
- Give Back More Than You Take. Every single person has so much to offer this world and sharing that with others means so much more than keeping it to yourself! Don’t be greedy, share what you have been blessed with. Trust me on this one, next time you have a bad day, give to someone else, it will add more to your life and make your day better than it would be by fixating on yourself.
- Sometimes Candy Is Just Not Good For You. Like when you eat a whole tub of blue whales and puke blue for two days straight or when you are driving and reaching for the bag in the far corner (needless to say this rule could also be Don’t Be A Distracted Driver).
- Jealousy Is Never A Good Look. No two people are the same and their lives will not be the same either. Be happy and blessed instead of comparing yourself to everyone else. Spending your time wishing you had what someone else has, won’t get you any closer to achieving it. Don’t be petty towards others because your life is not like theirs and don’t spend your days wishing for something someone else has. Make it happen and count your blessings in the meantime. We all have our own struggles, but more so we all have our own blessings.
- Apologize More Than Humanly Necessary and Love More Than Humanly Possible. It is better to say sorry and I love you than never at all. Sure some people may not deserve it, but then go back to number one on the list and be the bigger person. Show love and compassion for everyone, we are all struggling here, but more so we are all human beings!
- Good Habits Take Long To Make and Bad Ones Are Hard To Break. So choose wisely before you decide to break the good ones and take up the bad ones. I mean this especially when it comes to training for races because lord knows I curse myself everytime I quit training and then start up again.
- Make A Plan and Then Throw That Plan Out The Window. If there is one thing recent times has taught me it is that NOTHING goes according to plan. Sure it is great to have goals and a guideline but don’t shove yourself in a box that you are forced to stick to.
- Love Yourself and Be Your Own Best Friend. You are stuck with yourself no matter what in this world. You can change everything else in your life, but you can’t change the fact that you are stuck (or better yet, Blessed) with being you. So never spend your days hating yourself. You are number one, so LOVE YOURSELF!
- You Are Never Done Learning and You Will Never Know Everything. So, learn like it is your life purpose and take every opportunity to grow and expand your mind. Be overly curious, ask too many questions and never settle with what you already know. Always be the student, never the master and most of all, never look at the world through the eyes of a know it all.
With that being said, I ask you now, is it finally acceptable for me to have a quarter life crisis (…because that is a thing my generation came up with)? Wishing you all a wonderful April 26th and an even better year to come!