Things were complicated when I was a child and I thought if I could only just grow up, everything would become clear.
I thought as soon as I reached that ‘grown up’ age a white light would hit me and the world would suddenly all make sense.
But it didn’t.
Sometimes I wish we could just have a users manual. Like that book in Beatlejuice, ‘The Handbook of the Dead.” Except I would want a handbook of the living, turn to chapter 3 and it will all be explained to you.
So I have decided to write my own chapters.
I’m turning 27 in a month and I wanted to share with you what I have learned about life in these 27 years. Feel free to add some of your own life lessons.
Things I have learned in life so far:
1. You must accept change.
It is inevitable. You will dread it, you will love it, you will run from it, but it will find you. Change is a part of life and a part of growth.
2. Only the strong minded survive.
Don’t tell your self you can’t do it. Don’t push yourself down. Stay strong. Living your life with a ‘I can’t do it’ mentality will get you nowhere. The minute you open your mind up you will be amazed at the opportunities that will come your way.
3. Guys hate clingy girls.
The more you cling, the more they want to run away. Be your own little miss independent. If he can’t handle you- he’s not worth it.
4. There is a right and a wrong path.
You know when you reach that t-junction. You can go left and you can go right. There IS a right way to go, and you know it deep in your heart. So choose the right path.
5. Sometimes love is not enough.
You can love someone with all your heart but that doesn’t mean they are right for you. Love is blind but don’t be so blinded to put up with shit you shouldn’t.
6. People come into your life for a reason, even the bad ones.
Even the people who have hurt you are suppose to teach you something. What did you learn about them? What did you learn about yourself? Have you ever met someone who you just instantly clicked with? Have you ever talked to someone and after about 5 minutes just been like- wow are you sure we haven’t met like back in 1982? Hold these people close. Let go of those who feed off your energy like hungry wolves. They aren’t worth your time.
7. It’s the simple things that make life beautiful.
A sunset walk on the beach, a yawning furry puppy, a butterfly on a spring morning, the first snowfall…these are the things that make life worth living. If you don’t open your eyes, you won’t get a chance to experience them.
8. We all have armor but sometimes you have to let it down..or let it up.
I have a lot of friends who have this guarded armor up and don’t let people in. On the other hand I have some friends who don’t know when to stop letting people in. You have to reach a balance. Know when to let people who you trust into your deeper, inner soul. You also need to know when to not let people in and those are the people who will inevitably stab you in the back. It’s ok to have a wall just don’t build it too high..or too low.
9. Don’t be judgemental. You life is not like theirs and their life is not like yours.
This one is the toughest one to learn. As humans we are just so used to comparing ourselves and judging people. I hate doing it and yet I do. I have come to learn that this is useless, bitchy and hatred filled. As my good friend Laura says, “So what? Who cares?” Let other people live their lives the way they want to. Its none of your business.
10. Travel. Meet people. Learn cultures.
You never learn more about the world, people, and life until you embark on your own worldly travels. Talking to people of different cultures and languages helps you to recognize the bigger picture. We are all in this game together.
11. Don’t let injustices go.
If you see a child being beaten, or a man throw a racial slur or a starving dog wondering the street…do something about it! If we all just stand by and watch- then we are no better than scumb.
12. You can’t care about someone that doesn’t care about themselves. (And visa versa).
The first step to a loving relationship is loving yourself. You can’t love someone if you hate yourself. And really what is the point of hating yourself? We are who we are, and that is all we can be.
13. Music is love.
It doesn’t matter where you are from and what your background it- we can all connect over good music and it makes us happy, sad, excited, laugh. Music is amazing. Music is love.
14. Don’t ride in cars with strangers.
This goes for guys and girls. Just don’t do it. Um, hello? Have you watched Forensic Files?
15. If you don’t like something just say NO.
This one is SOO hard for me! I’m still learning it. And it’s good to be nice but don’t put yourself in harms way or get taken advantage of. If you don’t want to do it- just say NO, not maybe, not I’ll think about it, not yes…just NO.
16. You don’t have to like the same things as other people. And they don’t have to like what you like.
So what? Who cares? You don’t like it…and your friend is ecstatic about it. That’s cool. That’s life. If we all liked the same thing, same guys, same ice creams, same clothes, same music, same movies…how boring would life be?
17. We are unique and we must love our uniqueness.
If you have a sixth finger on your right hand…you better be damn well proud of that sixth finger. Noone else has one. Lucky you! I mean seriously, let people judge all they want and when you get into a bar fight with them. You can just use your sixth finger to poke them in the eye more when you win the fight.
18. Some friends will be your friends until you are old and gray and toothless.
They are only a select few, but they are the most awesome few. Other friends will come and go but the besties will stay forever.
19. Communication is KEY. And so is trust.
In any romantic relationship there has to be honesty, truth and trust. If you do not have those elements you will fail. You cannot brush everything under the table. You can’t love someone you don’t trust.
20. Confidence is sexy.
Nothing is sexier than a woman who says to herself ‘You know what? I’m sexy and I don’t give a sh*t.” Next time before you are about to go out, seriously look in the mirror and say that to yourself. Then also slap yourself on the ass and give the camera some kissy lips. There you go, you little tart.
21. It is what it is.
Stop over analyzing everything!! It is what it is! If he doesn’t call- yes he doesn’t want you. If he calls after 11- yes that is a booty call. If he comes home smelling of perfume- yes he is cheating. Stop analyzing it! You know what it is. It is what it is.
22. A good laugh cures all ailments.
I mean a real laugh. A belly laugh. Sometimes even when I am crying if I get a really good laugh in, I really do feel better.
23. Stop and look at the stars.
Looking at the stars and looking at your feet. Sometimes I do this and it is all so overwhelming. How big the world is, and how I am planted here, on this very spot. The earth and the sky are great ways to remind you who you really are.
24. Some things don’t last forever- and that’s ok.
This one is really hard for me to accept. But it is the TRUTH. It’s not the end of the world when things come to an end. Whether these things are relationships, lives, journeys. It’s ok when things come to an end.
And so this list has come to an end (NOOOOOOO). But I hope you liked it. And learned something from little old me.
Please feel free to add some thoughts! I want to know what you have learned over the years.
The songs I listened to while writing this post:
“Where are you going?
With your long face
Don’t hide away
Like an ocean
That you can’t see but you can smell
And the sound of the waves crash down.” – Where are you going? DMB
“Little darling, it’s been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here
Here comes the sun, here comes the sun
and I say it’s all right.” – Here Comes the Sun, The Beatles
“She said I think I’ll go to Boston…
I think I’ll start a new life,
I think I’ll start it over, where no one knows my name.” – Boston, Augustana
“There’s too many things that I haven’t done yet
Too many sunsets
I haven’t seen
You can’t waste the day wishing it’d slow down
You would’ve thought by now
I’d have learned something.” – Many the Miles, Sara Bareilles