22 Life Lessons

Saturday, September 3, 2011

One of my favorite blogs is Craft Nectar. I've probably mentioned it before, but one of the latest posts was 50 bits of wisdom (as the author just turned 50). And I thought I could do that! It's not my birthday, but surely I can think of 22 things I've learned in 22 years and 10 months. So here it goes:

1. Never underestimate the power of a good hug by someone you love. It instantly relaxes you to let you know that someone else will hold you close. Moms and Dads are really good at that. And almost anyone (stranger danger) will give you a good hug if you just ask.

2. Have a dance party when no one is watching. Let the boogie, the rap, the waltz out and find yourself completely uninhibited.

3. Once in your life you need to travel somewhere by yourself. There is nothing scarier if you've never done it before, but the thrill of doing something on your own gives you a rush that empowers you.

4. Make lots of best friends. Everyone has something unique to offer you- the person you know with the most wisdom, the friend who will just listen, the friend who picks up instantly where you left off without a moments hesitation no matter how long its been, the friend who shares your sense of humor, the friend who knows your craftiness, the friend you can talk to about anything. Near or far, never close yourself off to someone who has something to offer. The flipside is to offer something in return. You always have something to give. Even if it's just listening without judgement or giving hugs. You have something to offer someone.

5. Gore-Tex is worth every penny.

6. Have a hurricane box. (Or whatever natural disaster may befall you.) Something you can grab in an instant that cannot be replaced. Mine is a box of letters and postcards. I have one from my deceased aunt, a picture of me and my grandmother, letters from best friends and completely irreplaceable items.

7. Find something you like to read and read it. Jane Austen, Sports Illustrated, an atlas, the dictionary, mystery novels, something with lots of pictures- trust me, no matter what it is, your spelling will get better, you can always find something that interests you, and you may even learn something. (Hey, sometimes baseball stats are useful.)

8. Do one thing every day that you enjoy. It doesn't have to be the same thing. Take a nap, kiss your significant other with passion, eat 10 M&Ms, bake, take a long shower, doodle, watch your favorite tv show.

9. Loving everyone makes it so much easier to accept, not to judge, and to learn to take people as they are.

10. Pick a major you like in college and then minor in something you think will sell you on your resume. Or, if you are in a focused major like engineering, minor in something else you like that may seem completely random. Sure, go pre-med if that's what you love, but minor in English. You'll be happier and it stretches you in multiple directions.

11. Don't be afraid to do something you've never done before.

12. Find your correct bra size. Life is so much better.

13. Don't be afraid to open up about a disability or illness. I promise you that someone else has it and they want to talk about it too. You both become stronger. And by opening up, you can change the stigma you think other people have about you.

14. Go to Target for trendy clothes and always find quality clothes to keep for your staples (your preference: I love J.Crew, Gap, LL Bean, Patagonia, Banana Repubic- and I get no payment for saying that). Thrift stores are just fun.

15. Try something creative and if you like it, stick with it even if you don't think you're any good. If it makes you happy, who cares if your clay bowl turned out lopsided?

16. Keep a journal- even if it is just the important moments. I've had the same book for 4 years and it still isn't full, but I have some of my happiest and worst times and I am glad that I wrote them down.

17. Find a way to turn sucky things into good. Even if you get stuck with Bipolar Disorder- no good may come from it, but find some way you can use how it's impacted you to help yourself or someone else.

18. I believe that all religions and denominations are people searching for God- they just found a bunch of different ways to do it. And that passes no judgement on right and wrong.

19. Try and learn something you know nothing about.

20. Live in abundant joy and endless love.

21. Collect something, even if other people don't understand why: postcards, fabric, stamps, coins, pens, fancy papers, scarves, books, plants, stickers, or anything that moves you.

22. Genuinely greet someone, always say please, always say thank you. It's amazing how many doors open up for you and smiles you get.

Those are only 22 things. Feel free to comment and add your suggestions.

Oh and one more thing: Always buy the fun bandaids.

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