It’s my birthday, and I’m turning 26 today. I have to admit that it’s a pretty bittersweet feeling. I can’t believe that I’m this close to 30, mostly because I have so many things that I want to accomplish. I’ve never been the kind of person that’s content with just sitting still. I love to fill my time with fun, spontaneous activities and with lots and lots of people. My life has been full of unplanned nights laughing with people I love, trips to places I never thought I’d actually visit and memories that I love to relive over and over again.
When I look back at my life, I think about how lucky I am. I’ve been able to live in and travel to some beautiful places. I have friends all around the world who I could call up for a chat or even ask for a couch to sleep on. I’ve experienced things that many people only dream about, and I have so many people in my life who love me.
I’ve had days where I’ve cried for pathetic reasons, and I’ve let people crush my heart and betray me in the harshest of ways, but even through all of the hard things I’ve been through, I know that I have so many things to be thankful for. My 26 years have taught me that I’m such a lucky person. Throughout my whole life, I’ve learned so much, and many of the lessons were learned the hard way, but honestly, I wouldn’t trade any of the hardships I’ve been through for good memories.
A few things I’ve learned…
1// Tell the people you love that you love them. There’s no time like the present.
2// Trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, trust that. Don’t force yourself to do anything you don’t want to do, and never put yourself in situations that make you feel uncomfortable. Stop seeking validation. It’s okay to have an opinion that isn’t the same as the masses. You don’t need anyone to agree with you or tell you that you’re wrong or right as long as you truly believe in yourself.
3// “You don’t have to attend every argument you’re invited to.”
4// Recognize who your true friends are. True friends are the people who are going to be there for you when you have nothing to give them but your time. Keep in mind that you become like the five people you spend the most time with. Choose those people wisely, and spend time with those that make you happy, not those that you have to impress.
5// Live in the moment. If you’re always racing to get to the next moment, you won’t have time to live in the one you’re in.
6// It’s okay to be confused. You’re not supposed to have everything figured out. No one does. Most people just do a good job pretending.
7// Stop worrying about the opinions of others so much, and remember that your opinion matters. Don’t let what others say dictate how you feel about yourself. There’s no one in the world who has spent as much time with you as you, and no one knows your entire story. Not every person who enters your life will be there forever. Do what you want to do because in the end, you’re the one who’s going to have to live with the outcome.
8// Sometimes, the hardest decision to make is also the best thing for you.
9// Fall in love with as many things as possible. Fall in love with your life. Fall in love with your job. Fall in love with people. Fall in love with places. Fall in love with yourself.
10// Sometimes, the reason people hurt you has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them. Some people hurt others (sometimes unintentionally) in an attempt to heal themselves. This saying >>> “How people treat other people is a direct reflection of how they feel about themselves.”
11// Take your own advice.
12// Comparing yourself to others is the easiest way to feel horrible about yourself. Stop worrying about what everyone is else is doing and instead, focus on yourself.
13// You don’t need a special occasion to celebrate. Celebrate everyday. The best nights are usually random and spontaneous. Life isn’t just about the big moments. Some of the happiest and most memorable memories are the small, unplanned moments you spend with the people you love.
14// It’s okay to be lost. It’s okay to not have everything figured out. It’s okay to not know what you want to do with the rest of your life. The entire rest of your life is a blank slate, and you get to decide how those pages are filled.
15// Don’t judge everyone else’s journey. Just because something doesn’t make sense to you, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t right. Everyone’s journey is different, and it’s not going to look like yours. Even if you don’t understand it, that doesn’t give you a right to judge.
16// It’s okay to cry. Trying to hold it together when all you want to do is fall apart can get pretty exhausting. Sometimes a good cry is the perfect medicine to make you feel better. Tears don’t make you weak; they make you stronger. Once you get past the tears, you’ll feel so much better.
17// But…don’t waste time crying over someone who’s not worth your tears.
18// Not everything will go as planned, and that’s okay.
19// Don’t set unrealistic expectations, not for yourself and not for others.
20// Surround yourself with people who believe in you just as much as you do. Be with people who dream as big as you. Spend time with those who will remind you how great of a person you are when you’re at your lowest.
21// Never ever EVER sacrifice your happiness. Ever. Surround yourself with the things and people that make you happy. Remember that happiness is a journey, not a destination. Don’t spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.
22// Some things are best left in the past. Let it go.
23// Never take anything you have for granted. This >>> “Someone else is happy with less than what you have.”
24// Phones work both ways.
25// Sometimes, getting lost is the best way to find yourself.
26// Live authentically and be 100% unapologetically yourself.
Here’s to hoping that this year teaches me even more great lessons. If you want to celebrate my birthday with me, just drink a glass of wine because I know that’s what I’ll be doing.
How did you celebrate your birthday this year?