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34 Lessons Learned in 34 Years

In honor of my 34th birthday today I bring to you some of the things I have learned along the way.

1. The expectations of others are not yours to live up to

2. All your passions will not lie within your career and that is OK (I keep having to relearn this one)

3. Some people are bat shit crazy, they will not change, don’t even attempt to try

4. Sparkling wine (Champagne, Prosecco, Cava, etc.) a good cheese plate, and sitting outside is your happy place (if it happens near the ocean...pure bliss). Do this more often.

5. Don’t wear shoes that are too small then dance all night, toe nails will be lost

6. If you don’t think God has a sense of humor you haven’t accurately assessed your life or the lives of others

7. Being a woman is hard in an image obsessed world, learn to ACCEPT YOURSELF

8. Always be yourself. Forget perfection it is a lost cause and a waste of time because you are FAR from perfect.

9. Sometimes you have to get lost to find yourself

10. When your dad tells you he can heat the house with the oven, he is lying

11. Go away for college or go away on an adventure for a period of time, it will give you perspective

12. It is bad to eat gluten for 29 years then find out you have celiac disease

13. Make sure to surround yourself with people who lift you up and also give you a swift kick in the ass when needed

14. Have friends that can be crazier than you at times but also have responsible ones

15. Have a good sense of humor about yourself and others

16. Be generous. Be empathetic. Let people know they matter, that love isn’t transactional, and KNOW that giving is never about what you get back.

17. Sarcasm is a gift not all will understand; mostly these people are just jealous of it ;)

18. When the opportunity arises always jump on stage, dance on the bar, or just drop it low

19. Be with someone who supports you, even as you change and grow. Be with your best friend and life will always be an adventure.

20. Sometimes you need to be quiet, other times you need to tell someone f’ off, learn to decipher

21. When a black bear is chasing after you, you will not stand still as told to do.

22. Driving thousands of miles, cross country, in a packed Ford Escort car will make you best friends with your sister…when you get older these will become girls’ trips which will be much more fun and include plane trips, which are much shorter!

23. As you get older your parents become friends, allies, and confidantes. Remember how lucky you are have to them in your life.

24. Growing up on WIC, calling ‘lunch’ free samples at Sam’s Club, having less money than others doesn’t matter. How much money you have growing up does not define you. It also won’t define you as you get older, it in no way reflects the kind of person you are.

25. Always work hard. Even if others don’t appreciate it, it is about you not them. Let your work speak for itself and reflect who you are.

26. True friendships means you may not see someone or talk to them for a while but you know they are always there. Still make an effort to be with them as much as possible. These people will be your life line.

27. Ask for what you deserve, in every aspect of your life, sometimes a no is exactly what you need to move on and get to something better.

28. Your relationship with church will be a journey. It is OK to question. It is OK to explore. Just never forget that Jesus is a rock star, who is the very definition of unconditional love. Don’t let how others portray him make you lose sight of this on your journey.

29. Just jump. Life will not wait for you to get over your fears. Whatever it is you want to do, start working towards that now. Jump in and see what happens.

30. You never really grow up. Sure, you pay bills and own a house, but at heart growing up is unnecessary. Be who you are.

31. Everything worth anything takes time. Stop being in a rush.

32. Set out to live a bold life.

33. You can fill up your life with things or experiences, everyone will find happiness in different places, BUT for you experiences have always left you more fulfilled.

34. Keep fighting for what you believe. Take the hits. Let yourself feel the failures then get your ass back up.