35 things I've learned in 35 years

I turned 35 on Friday, and it was AWESOME. I got to spend time with some of my most favorite people on the planet, laughed a LOT, and got to celebrate in one of my favorite ways: by being as ridiculous as possible. 

Nothing says "adult" like going to a thrift store, and picking out the outfits that everyone else has to wear the rest of the night!

Nothing says "adult" like going to a thrift store, and picking out the outfits that everyone else has to wear the rest of the night!

Quality daytime fun with mom and dad on my birthday!

Quality daytime fun with mom and dad on my birthday!

Over the past few years I've been making lists of some of the best lessons I've learned in my time on earth so far. I usually try and come up with different things every year, but looking back I've realized that some of these lessons I've had to learn over again. It's a nice reminder, as sometimes it takes a couple of repeats before they actually stick. 

This year, I've compiled my list of some of my past favorites, but also included some new ones. I'm so grateful for all that I've learned, but also looking forward to the adventures ahead. 

35 Things I've Learned in 35 Years

In no particular order: 

  1. Giving blood should be something we do regularly, if we are able. It saves lives!
  2. If we focus on doing things that make us feel better (eating well, exercising, reducing stress) rather than the number on the scale, we'll be a lot better off. 
  3. It is possible to have a lot of fun without alcohol. 
  4. As a woman, I need to remember to apologize less. 
  5. It's better to be a patient driver, and get there safely. 
  6. Going an entire evening, or even an entire vacation without snapping a single photo is a wonderful thing. It's sometimes nice to just experience life rather than try to capture it. 
  7. The people we meet in our lives are there for a reason. It may not be the reason we originally thought, but they're still there to teach us something. 
  8. Never miss out on an opportunity for an impromptu dance party. 
  9. If you keep telling yourself you can't do something, make sure you aren't saying you can't simply because you won't.
  10. Find a job that you enjoy, no matter how long it takes. 
  11. Education doesn't end after school, and we should be constantly open to learning new things. 
  12. We all need to eat a lot more vegetables. 
  13. It's okay to pick a place to eat without reading a review, knowing anything about the restaurant, or checking out the menu first. Just wing it. 
  14. See the potential in things. Whether it’s a person, a situation, or an ugly piece of furniture. 
  15. Being an "adult" sucks sometimes. But now that I'm an "adult" I get to decide what that means to me. 
  16. It's okay to feel all the feels. It hurt sometimes, but it's better to feel the pain than to go through life with big walls built up around you. 
  17. Follow through on your commitments. Yes, sometimes things come up, illnesses occur, and plans have to be canceled. But don't be the person that can be depended on to flake out. 
  18. Sunscreen. Love it, wear it, make it your friend!
  19. Drinking shots usually causes regretful decisions, feeling like crap, and treating others poorly. Just say NO. 
  20. Forgiveness is powerful. Holding a grudge only hurts yourself. 
  21. Loosing your job, wrecking your car, getting dumped - they all have a silver lining. See life's disappointments as a jumping off point to something a little more awesome. 
  22. It doesn't matter what you do, it's who you're with that matters. 
  23. Selfies should be taken as frequently as fast food meals. In moderation!
  24. Money doesn't buy happiness, but it does help with experiencing certain aspects of life. I want to spend money on making those experiences happen, not on material possessions. However, I don't want lack of money to hold me back from saying "yes" to experiencing things in my life. 
  25. Every now and then, with no guilt, order dessert. Enjoy the heck out of it. 
  26. Don't be afraid to be silly.
  27. Take time to reflect on the memories you had with those who have passed on. 
  28. Sometimes you make big plans that just don’t workout. Have a good cry, let it go, and move on. 
  29. Just because you're having a rough day, it doesn't mean you have to make it rough for everyone else. 
  30. Practice kindness constantly. 
  31. When you're laughing with friends, savoring that piece of pie, reaching the end of a difficult hike, or celebrating your team's win, take a moment and acknowledge that feeling of happiness. Tuck it inside your heart for when you're feeling blue. 
  32. The best friends are the ones that understand before you even start explaining how you feel.
  33. It’s okay to be frustrated with yourself. Just remember to forgive yourself after that.
  34. Tell the people you love that you love them. Your friends, your family, your boyfriend or girlfriend.  If you can say you “love” your iPhone, you can say you love actual real people. It’s what truly matters, and it’s a wonderful thing to share.  Don’t ever be afraid of that. 
  35. No matter what I’ve been through, or how much time it takes, I know that an amazing love is out there for me. And it'll come when it's supposed to. 

And there it is! 

I've learned so much more than just those 35 things, but those are some big ones. I am constantly working towards making positive changes, and appreciate all of the wonderfully supportive friends and all of my family that have helped me along the way. There is an endless number of possibilities in this beautiful life. 

What have you learned this year?