(originally posted on 28 February 2017)
IT’S MY BIRTHDAY. THE BIG TWO-ONE! I am so dang excited to finally be 21! I am the baby of my friend group so I no longer have to be the party pooper when everyone wants to go to the bar! Also, I can finally buy my own wine!! As the big day crept closer I knew this was a piece I wanted to write and a piece I wanted to be very meaningful. I have put a lot of thought and hand-picked each of the 21 lessons listed below. I hope they help you in some way, you can relate to them in some way, or you can learn from them in some way.
Here’s to 21.
1. Be kind.
I know sometimes being mean, or rude, or sarcastic is portrayed as being “cool” or “funny” but it’s not. So just be nice to people.
2. Change is going to come whether you like it or not. Whether you’re ready for it or not. So embrace it with open arms.
3. Always take too many pictures.
Pictures are priceless, they always stay the same even if the people in them change or leave. Take pictures of yourself, of your friends, of the cute boy in the park, of the dead dandelion on the side of the road. Take pictures of everything you love and cherish the memories.
4. Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.
5. You can never say “I Love You” too much.
Life is extremely short and unpredictable. You do not know how long you’ll have the people who you love around, so tell them you love them while you can. Your friends, family, significant other, your dog, your grandparents, your co-workers, everybody.
6. You’re not always going to get along w your family. Your parents, your siblings, your aunt, whoever. But they are still your family. Love them, appreciate them, and cherish them. Even if you have to do it from afar.
7. Bad things are going to happen, there is nothing you can do about that. How you react to these bad things and how you let them affect you will define who you are. So act wisely.
8. Comparison is the thief of joy.
9. Forgive, don’t hold grudges.
“Forgiveness is something that you gotta know, cause if you hold on forever it’ll hurt your soul, that’s why I’m learning how to let it go” -Kane Brown (Letting G0). At the end of the day, holding grudges or hate against someone else is only going to hurt you. Forgive the people whether they deserve it or not, for your own piece of mind.
10. Your views are allowed to change.
Just because you’ve believed something your entire life doesn’t mean you have to keep that same mind set forever. If you want to change your mind about ANYTHING, then change it. (For me second chances comes to mind.)
11. Celebrate and live for the little things in life.
12. HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE!!!
It really is!! I know you hear people say it all the time, that happiness is a choice, but I believe that is true with my whole heart. You can not always control what happens to you but you can always control how you react to it. Wake up each day and decide it’s going to be a great day, and then make it a fucking great day.
13. Eat that piece of cake.
I’m not saying indulge in junk food everyday of your life but when there’s a party or a celebration or you just want a damn piece of cake, eat it. And do not feel guilty about it.
14. Find good friends, and hold on to them.
Friends are an important aspect of anybody’s life, especially if you’re living away from home. You find people who you love and those people turn into friends and those friends turn into family. They’re the people who with listen to you cry after a tough day, the ones who you’ll celebrate your happy moments with, the ones you’ll spend the holidays with when you’re unable to go home. They will become a huge part of your life, so find good ones.
15. Find a healthy outlet.
Whether it be running, or writing, or going for a drive, or taking a steaming hot shower; find an out let. Life is hard. You will get sad, or upset, or stressed. It’s important to have a go-to when you need to mellow out.
16. Make your own decisions.
This is your life. You get to decided how you live it. Not your boyfriend, not your parents, not your bestfriend. It is important to take their opinions and thoughts into consideration (usually they are just trying to look out for you). But at the end of the day, do what YOU want to do. Also, p.s. it’s okay to be selfish sometimes!!
17.Life is short, buy the shoes.
A few weeks ago I saw these gorgeous heels at Rue 21. I couldn’t stop staring at them in the store and yet, I didn’t buy them. Weeks later I was still thinking about them. So after work one day I decided I was going to buy them. I got to the store AND THEY WERE GONE!!! And still, I can’t stop thinking about them! So if you fall in love with the shoes, buy the damn shoes.
18. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
And you can define this as whatever you wish. For me, it’s as simple as wearing something (a piece of clothing, a pair of shoes, or an entire outfit) that I like, but is out of my comfort zone. Or I’m not sure it looks good. Or whatever. Watch how your style unfolds and develops and how you confidence skyrockets.
19. JUST DO IT.
Be spontaneous! (But don’t be stupid). Go get that tattoo you’ve wanted for months, find the first Claire’s in the shopping strip and get your ears pierced, buy that funky piece of clothing you’d typically never spend $80 on.
20. Live a life you are proud of and be who you are unapologetically.
If you were to die today, would you be happy with the way you’ve led your life? Would people speak of you in a manner that is true to who you are, or who you want to be? Would you be portrayed by others the same way you’d portray yourself? If not, make a change.
And last but not least.
21. Start and end each day with a grateful mind, body, and soul and you will always feel fulfilled. Gratitude is crucial.