I turned 30 earlier this month. I had big plans to hit publish this post the morning of my birthday. But that didn’t happen because, whelp life got in the way (see lesson #7). I thought about almost canning the whole post since my birthday is long gone. But because I’m (a) stubborn and (b) believer in the better-late-than-never motto I was determined to finish this thing.
So here’s the list that was 3 decades in the making: 30 lessons for 30 years (in no particular order).
1. Be kind. A simple smile and a helping hand go a long way.
2. Take the leap of faith. Some of my choices might not make sense to others, but I believe the 85-year-old me will be happily looking back on my life proud of the risks I took even if it meant falling flat on my face.
3. Sometimes (ok many times) I need this reminder:
4. Wine is glorious.
5. …..but tequila and me are no good together. Thank you freshman year of college.
6. Working out keeps me sane. It also make my butt look nice.
7. Life doesn’t follow your best laid plans. There will be twists and turns that will make you want to hide under the covers and wish for it all to be over. But those I-think-I’m-gonna-throw-up rollercoaster rides will make you grateful for the fact you’re still alive and able to smile.
8. Travel is essential. Every trip I’ve taken (big or small) has had a lasting impact on my soul.
9. Music is a godsend. Shawn Colvin, Indigo Girls, Grace Potter, Ray LaMontagne, Sara Bareilles, Counting Crows, David Gray, Dave Matthews, and of course my girl Britney have gotten me through some tough times.
10. I love celebrity gossip. It’s meaningless brain candy that I gobble up like Britney on the last bag of cheetos. Don’t judge.
11. Laughing is a must:
12. Getting a PhD is as much fun as getting dental work done. It’s painful, lengthy, costly, and half your face will go numb and you’ll wonder if you will ever recover movement in your left eyebrow again. But miraculously it ends and you have a nice shiny set of chompers…or back out into the job market with other overqualified applicants. (I didn’t quite work out that analogy, but you get what I’m saying).
13. Get out of your hometown (for at least a little while). Moving to California was one of the best decisions I ever made. Moving back to Baltimore was equally as rewarding.
14. Write, photograph, document, create. Do something to preserve those everyday moments.
15. My hair has a mind of it’s own. When it wants to be curly, I gotta just let it be curly.
16. I apologize too much, I blush easily, I overanalyze everything, I bite my nails constantly, I’m awful at budgeting, I procrastinate daily, and can’t tell you anything that’s happening in politics. But I love BIG.
17. Everyone has a story and it’s got some baggage. If they haven’t inherited some bumps and bruises along the way, be weary.
18. This is why my soul longs for the ocean:
19. Friends will come and go. Some will stay for the long haul and others will jump aboard your ship for only a short while. I am insanely grateful for all of them.
20. I am my mother’s daughter. Educator, big smile, outgoing, perfectionist, hopeless romantic, soul-searcher, and chapstick addict. I’ve inherited it all.
21. I want to be a mother. And one day I will be.
22. My parents’ relationships (with each other and others) have a lasting impact on how I view love. They certainly aren’t perfect, but I’ve learned so much from them both.
23. Ask for help. Depression and anxiety are always hiding right around the corner. On the days my negative thinking is swirling out of control, I’m glad that I have friends and family who will support me during my darkest days.
24. Irish skin does not tan well. Ok, I’m still in denial about this one.
25. Oh it’s so hard to brave some days. I think I need to get a cape.
26. Relish in life’s imperfect moments. These are the things books are written about, inside jokes are formed, and the memories that get ingrained in your head.
27. Talk to kids. Even on the toughest of days I find talking with children brings a smile to my face and reminds me to let my imagination run wild.
28. Be yourself, because no one else will. For almost 3 decades I tried to fit into someone else’s shoes because that type of life looked “better.” Problem is I don’t wear size 6 (I’m an 8.5 wide), so it’s no wonder I’ve be uncomfortable walking through life all these years.
29. Speaking of shoes, buy the fun ones. Yes the hot pink sparkly ones that I will only wear once in your life. They are frivolous, over-the-top, and need to be in your closet.
30. My all time favorite quote:
I swear I will be writing more in this space. I miss this little blog world so much.