Long time no blog! Sorry I’ve been a little MIA lately. Every year I write down some things I’ve learned the past year. Today, on my 20th birthday, I wrote down all the tips I’m leaving at 19 with and (hopefully) applying to my life this year as a 20 year old.
20 of my biggest life lessons this year
- Who you are becoming doesn’t have 2-day shipping. You can’t expect to arrive by just announcing you want to change. The person you want to be will show up day by day as you do, with your head down willing to do the work.
- In this life, you are either acting in love or acting in fear. Stop yourself and figure out which space you’re living in. As Hannah Brencher says, “with love, there’s always more left over. Fear shrinks and shrivels. Fear has an expiration date. But love keeps on growing keeps on giving with more than enough for everyone.”
- Putting yourself first isn’t selfish. Do what you gotta do, girl. Take care of yourself. Make time for books, reflection, writing, meditation, baking, and naps. You’ll be able to love others more when you love yourself more. Care for yourself, then others. A crippled nurse isn’t much help in a warzone.
- Watch what you eat. On social media. On television. With who you listen to, who you go to for advice, and the energy you surround yourself with. What you intake is either poison or medicine for you. Take in things and thoughts and energy that leaves you feeling full in love and peace and positivity, not empty with fear and envy and negativity.
- Confidence and loving yourself isn’t just “feeing yourself” when your outfit is cute and you’re having a good hair day. It’s believing in yourself first, before anyone else, and sustaining that belief even when you’re struggling. Confidence is the choice to be yourself and love yourself regardless of other people’s judgements. It starts with choosing to look at yourself, your good parts and bad, and accepting all of it.
- Take responsibility for your actions. If you can’t admit you’re wrong, you might be missing out on a powerful lesson.
- Mountaintop moments are fun, but the real work is done in the valleys of this life. Dig in deep. Find out why you’re here. Find out who you are meant to become. The waiting isn’t idle, there is work to be done. Our valley moments are where the universe takes us to batter us into the person that we celebrate on the mountaintop. You’re in the valley, welcome to it.
- Your reason determines your reward. Go into anything and everything with your entire heart or not at all.
- Learn to say yes to the tests of your heart. Learn to stop running from darkness and hard times. Learn to love the dirt from which you grow that transforms you.
- “He who is without sin shall cast the first stone.”
- In a world that seems entirely focused on building an image, focus on building character. This is inner work, friends, the work that takes time and has ups and downs. It is work that isn’t found in our Instagram highlight reels, but in the bloopers and behind-the-scenes moments that leave us on floor asking, “Where do I go now? How do I build from this?” And let me tell you, building from the bottom is often the most difficult, but best, place to start.
- Measure chocolate chips for a recipe not with a cup or a scale, but with your heart.
- Root yourself here, in this moment. This present moment demands you be in it so you can enjoy it and learn from it.
- Send letters. Tons and tons of handwritten letters. Buy flowers. Fill notebooks with how much you love people. Show your support, and not in the internet’s equivalent of a side hug in the form of likes and comments. Go to events. Sit with people and laugh. Hold their hand while they cry. Make the people who matter to you a priority.
- Weed your garden. It may look okay one day so you decide to leave it, and then all of a sudden everything is looking a little less lively. Weed your garden daily. Face lies straight on, the lies filled with “can’t” and “won’t” and fear, and replace them with seedlings of truth based in love.
- “This too shall pass” applies to everything, the good and the bad. One day you’ll look back and thank the times you never thought you’d make it through. You’ll also look back on the great days when your cheeks hurt from laughing so much and call them “the good ole days.” Be grateful for both and live in them, as they’re both fleeting.
- You’ll never regret loving with your entire heart. There may be times when that heart gets broken, but don’t let it shrink your capacity to love.
- Don’t let anyone tell you when it’s appropriate to listen to Christmas music. Listen in July if you want to, babe.
- You’re going to have to let go of some things to make room for what is coming. Let the pruning happen. Pruning is defined in the dictionary as “to trim (a tree, shrub, or bush) by cutting away dead or overgrown branches or stems, especially to increase fruitfulness and growth.” The Universe isn’t trying to destroy the tree, it’s helping it grow. Let go of the things in life that are taking up your space for growth.
- Please, please, please just trust and wait. Trust your people. Trust your process. You’ll never know everything, and you probably don’t want to. Be hungry for the long haul and be there for more than just an Instagram highlight reel. Where you are is no accident. Where you’re going is where you are meant to go. Dig in, do the work, and appreciate that work. Don’t waste the present moment trying to get somewhere you aren’t meant to be. You are exactly where you should be. Be where your feet are.