Today is my 25th birthday, and I could go on and on about how I thought I would be somewhere completely different when I hit a quarter of a century. In reality, where I am right now is exactly where I am supposed to be. My path has gone many ways and at times I wish I had this, or I wish I had done that, but wishing doesn’t get me very far. What I do know is that in my 25 years of life I have learned so very much, more than any education or six figure job could teach or give to me. The journey of life tends to do that.
In the last couple years I blogged about the gifts that I had so graciously been given, and the activities I had planned for my birthday. This year I want to share something with everyone else. A list of things I wish I had known when I was younger. A list of things I have learned in the last 25 years. For those of you under 25, and even those of you over 25 this is for you. We are never too old to learn from our peers, and it doesn’t stop here.
25 things I’d tell myself at age 15
1. Always tell the truth. You will hurt people, it’s inevitable, but if you’re always honest they will have no choice but to respect you.
2. Make mistakes..LOTS of them, and then learn from them.
3. Don’t be afraid to fall in love. Deep, true love. If it fails just know that everything happens for a reason. Learn from the fail, and pick yourself back up.
4. If something is important to you then work for it. Nothing worth having comes easily.
5. Worry, stress, and over think things less. Sometimes when you let it be, things work themselves out. Never underestimate the power of a positive mind.
6. Don’t let other people change your mind, and don’t let someone else’s influence make you feel bad about your feelings. Be confident in your thoughts and decisions!
7. Be vulnerable, with friends, with family, and with lovers.
8. Do not live your life on a timeline. Things have a way of working out when they are meant to.
9. Travel more. Money is meant to be spent, you don’t have to hoard it all. Memories are priceless and photos are wordless.
10. Spend more time with your family, you never know when you won’t see them as often.
11. Don’t always listen to what other people say about you. People will judge you, it’s human nature. The ones that stick by your side regardless of who you are will be the ones worthy of your friendship.
12. Be respectful to your body. Treat it well, and listen to its cues. Eat.Real.Food.
13. Do more things that scare you, and spend more time alone.
14. Find joy in each and every day, and do more things for other people.
15. Listen to your parents. They know more than you, and only want to keep you safe. Most of the time. 🙂
16. Don’t be afraid to walk away from people that don’t treat you well. Friendships sometimes end, and if someone doesn’t bring light into your life ditch them.
17. Eat more cake.
18. STOP comparing yourself to other people. Success comes in all shapes and sizes.
19. Put your focus on yourself. What do you want, where do you want to go, what does YOUR future look like? Be selfish at times…it’s OK!
20. Forgive often, and do not dwell. You are only hurting yourself if you continue to let other peoples actions affect you. Always move forward.
21. Listen to Jiminy Cricket– Let your conscience be your guide. If you don’t have internal peace about doing something, DON’T do it.
22. Don’t be afraid to say no. Don’t be afraid to say YES!
23. 15 jalapeno poppers in one sitting probably isn’t a good idea, regardless of how high your metabolism is. Oh to be 12…
24. When you discover your passions, grab them and run. Be true to you.
25. Stop comparing your life to what “society” has deemed as success. Forget the molds, you’re free to do whatever you want with your life.
I could keep going, but long lists get boring to read after a while so I’ll leave it at this. Despite feeling “lost in life” at times over the last 5 years, I am finally feeling content with “floating” so to speak. Life is too short to be unhappy, and sometimes you just have to live in the now!* The future will ALWAYS be there waiting for you, and it’s never too late.
*I don’t mean sitting back and doing nothing with life, still gotta work! I’m accepting not knowing the final picture yet and living more for each and every day! Life wasn’t meant to be rushed through.
As I publish this post I am on my way to Portland to run this 10K, and enjoy a two day spontaneous getaway in one of the most vegan friendly cities. Bring on the food and fun! Running a race for my birthday is the best gift I could give to myself. This will be the third year I have run a race around my birthday, and the tradition will continue!
Now if you’ll excuse me, #17 is calling my name.
Q: What would you tell your younger self?