On Thursday, July 28, I successfully survived 21 trips around the sun. This is what I've learned.
1. Don't let fear rule your life.
Playing it safe is always a good route. However, what a boring life to live inside the box.
2. Asking for help is not a weakness.
3. If you have nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all.
Super cliched but super true. I used to always want/need/get the last word in any argument, which caused major drama in my life for a long time. Don't say things just to get the satisfaction of hearing yourself speak.
4. Tell the ones you appreciate how much you do.
From friends to family to coworkers, if you appreciate their existence, please tell them.
5. Apologizing is a sign of strength.
6. Improving your lifestyle is the cheapest form of therapy.
Eating healthier, working out, washing your face, taking a hot shower and slowing down to take it all in and breathe will help you more than any medication will. Don't spend money on a gym membership or expensive diet foods. Run outside, lift weights in your room, control your portion sizes and do the small things that cost little to no money. They will show big improvements in the end, while saving your wallet the trouble.
7. 'I love you' isn't as scary as it sounds.
Recently the word 'love' was redefined in my mind. I recently realized that 'love' isn't only for your significant other and it's not all about that scary moment when you're guessing for the right time to say it. Love is a wonderful concept that is a broad spectrum. You can love your best friend, love your dog, love your mom, love your dad, love your girlfriend, love your boyfriend or love the Starbucks barista you run into a few times a week. Love is a form of appreciation and I feel that too many people are afraid of the word.
8. A lot of it is in your mind.
That voice that dictates your every move and makes you constantly worry can be blocked out. You are in control of it.
9. Surround yourself with people who bring out the best in you.
10. Exercise your mind in preparation for tough conversations.
Whether it be personal or professional, it is important that you are able to handle yourself and maybe even your temper in that time of need. Confrontations are difficult, but they can run smoothly if you remain calm and be rational.
11. It's not about the likes.
In today's society, your social standing and popularity seem to matter more than how original and unique you are. Your job is to be a creator. And if your creations only receive a few likes, those few people were touched and inspired by what you posted. It may not have been a big number, but you may have changed someone's perspective, and that's all that matters.
12. Do not set expectations.
Just don't do it. Ever. You will be let down every damn time. Learn to go with the flow, accept people for who they are and enjoy the ride.
13. There is no right way to live life.
Kasey Musgraves sings, "follow your arrow wherever it points," which is so valid. Please, just take a listen.
14. You're always going to be learning.
There is no age where you know absolutely everything. Sorry, but I'm not sorry. If you're a know-it-all or know anyone that is, I hate to break it to you angel, but you got a lot ahead of you. Until the day you die there will always be someone who knows more than you.
15. You will have bad days.
16. Do not let the fear of other's judgments stop you from being you.
It doesn't matter what they think. They're not the ones wearing it, doing it or living it. You are.
17. Put at least $15 of every paycheck in your savings.
18. Spring clean every year.
Go through your closet, drawers, cabinets, basement -- everything. Throw or give away anything you haven't touched in awhile. Go through your pantry and toss any food that has passed the expiration date.
19. A sense of humor will go far.
A good quality to have is to be able to laugh at yourself, or find humor in any situation. Don't be so serious all of the time.
20. Learn how to balance life with a significant other.
Those friends that you're fed up with because every time you try to make plans they ditch you for their significant other? Yeah, toss them and forget about them for a while. Make time for the people you appreciate without your significant other joining the moment. Sorry, but I wanted to hang out with you, not you and your boyfriend. And I wanted to catch up with you, not hear about what your boyfriend has been doing.
21. Everything changes.
Recently I had an old friend who I haven't seen in awhile tell me that I have changed and that I'm really different than I was four years ago. She brought this on like it was a negative aspect, only because it wasn't what she was used to. Sure, I've changed. I have all new friend groups and have experienced all new things now. I'm constantly changing. Everyone and everything is. If you have a hard time accepting change, then good luck in your future.