For the last week or so, I have reflected on a lot of aspects of my life in anticipation of my 30th birthday today. These are the things I have learned that I wish I could go back and tell my younger self.
- Life is about relationships, not things. It’s very easy to get wrapped up in keeping up with the Jones family down the street. They seem to have it all – new car, perfect home, adorable clothes, flashy jewelry. Do not get so wrapped up in what others have that you find yourself chasing material things for happiness. It is the people in your life that bring you joy, not your items.
- Stop and smell the roses. Stop rushing from point A to point B. Everyone has 100 things on their to-do list. Be okay with the fact that some days you cannot do it all. Take a breath and look around. Stand still for a minute and really take it all in. You will never have that moment back, do not waste it staring at your I-phone.
- Say sorry and compromise. It is okay to mess up, say the wrong thing or get angry. You are not perfect and neither is anyone else. Instead of fighting and bickering, just say sorry. Be the bigger person and compromise. It’s not about letting someone else have their way, it’s about working together. It is not about winning or losing, it is about being human. Being approachable and relatable is much more becoming than being perfect.
- Do not plan so far ahead in years that you miss the days and weeks and months. Planning is great, but do not get so carried away with what is next (car, home, job, etc.) that you are missing out on what is right in front of you. For one day you will look back and realize these little moments that may seem so insignificant are a huge part of this beautiful journey. You appreciate the end result so much more when you start small and do it on your own.
- Speak from the heart. Reach out to an old friend to check in, tell your spouse how thankful you are that he cooked dinner, tell your loved ones I love you one more time, pick up the phone and check in on your grandparent, face time your cousin in college, take time out of your day to ask how someone else is doing. Do not assume people know how you feel about them. You never know when a conversation might be your last, have no regrets.
- Laugh. You will make mistakes, Lord you will make mistakes. In the moments when you want to give up, just laugh. A good old belly laugh – it will do you good. Adulting can be scary, stressful, and flat out unfair sometimes. You will shed quite a few tears but laugh more. Laugh often.
- Surround yourself with genuine people. Friends are not those who show up in the happy times, but those who drop it all to rush over in the bad times. It’s not about the quantity of friends that you have but the quality. Ditch the friends who are kind to your face and not nice behind your back. They are not looking out for you. Cherish the people you have in your life that are genuinely there for you.
- Enjoy the ride. It will not always be easy. There will be times where your faith, heart, and temper will be challenged. Do not back down. Do not pick the easy path. Follow your heart. Only you know what is best for you.
What advice would you give a younger version of yourself?
Thanks for all of the birthday love.