I have thought about things that I have learned or realized up until this point in my adult life that I want to share with others. I certainly haven’t always known these things, and many of them have been learned more recently. Here are 32 important life lessons from my 32 trips around the sun.
1 | You will always regret cutting your bangs.
2 | Physical health is important and we only get one body. We can’t erase damage once it’s done. Pass on the hard drugs, heavy drinking and unsafe sex. Eat cleaner if you can. Wear sunscreen.
3 | If a “marriage” was built on the wrong things or you choose the wrong person, it will not succeed no matter what you do or how hard you try to force it.
4 | It’s OK to admit fault; it’s beautiful, actually.
5 | Let go of being a certain size or weight. You are a human being, and not designed to stay the same. Your body will change. Don’t fight it.
6 | Live for YOU. Not for your parents. Not for your friends. Not for your boss. Not for your kids. Parents will pass away, friends and careers will come and go, kids will move out. You will be stuck with yourself, so you better be happy.
7 | Quality over quantity when it comes to clothes and shoes. Spend the money on the perfect classic pieces that you will love and own for a lifetime.
8 | Everything in life is temporary. Do not waste time stressing the hard times, because they will end. At the same time, do not attach to the good times; they will end, too.
9 | Don’t set unattainable expectations for people. In fact, the lower the expectation- the better. Everyone is human and people have bad phases and deserve grace. I have, and I am thankful for second chances.
10 | Someone else is happy with less than what you have. Someone always has less than you. Always come back to gratitude.
11 | It’s never too late (or early) to start over. We only have this one short life on earth. If you screw up, fix it. If you make a bad choice, make a better one. You aren’t obligated to stay in a bad choice and relish in the mistake for some fixed amount of time.
12 | Spend money on experiences more than things.
13 | Keep your circle tight and exclusive to people who reciprocate true love and friendship. Those people deserve your energy.
14 | Motherhood is an insanely stressful, emotional, and difficult job and no one can fully respect a mother the way another mother can. Link arms with other mothers.
15 | Everyone can teach you SOMETHING.
16 | Hurt people hurt people. Take a breath when you are hurt and understand that it’s probably not about you.
17 | Give people the benefit of the doubt until they give you a reason not to, not the other way around.
18 | Bad credit will haunt you forever. On the other hand, bad credit isn’t the end of the world.
19 | You are not required to keep people in your life because they hold a certain title or status in your story (i.e. family member). If someone is hurting you or toxic to your life, it’s ok to let them go.
20 | Your personality is complete. Being who you are is possibly the most important thing you can do. Otherwise, you attract incompatible people which will only cause problems later.
21 | Say YES to invitations as much as you can. The irreplaceable memories I have made on occasions where I almost stayed home are sacred to me, and would have never happened if I declined the invitation.
22 | It’s who you know. Sorry, but it is. Social and networking skills are just as important as a degree in many instances. Almost all of the wonderful opportunities I have received are directly a result of a referral, a friendship, or a recommendation.
23 | Something will always suffer. It’s impossible to get it all done, well. Every day, something has to be sacrificed. We are told we can have it all, but also expected to do it all. It isn’t attainable.
24 | You can learn how to do anything on YouTube. Literally, anything. If anyone needs an appendectomy in the apocalypse, I got you.
25 | Other regions of the United States are 100% worth exploring. There is so much more to life than your own back yard. Also, live in another region if you can. There is so much to be learned outside of your comfort zone.
26 | It does matter what people think. It’s a common mantra for people to exclaim that you “shouldn’t care what people think”. I can appreciate what they mean, but one thing I have learned over time is that impressions you leave on people are the key to succeeding in relationships, careers, and opportunities.
27 | The text can wait until you pull over.
28 | You should be considerate and interested in the love languages of people you care about. Learning about love languages changed my life.
29 | It’s ok to be on both sides of an issue. You are not required to be passionately rigid on one side or the other.
30 | No one is doing life “wrong”. Some people are only doing it differently. I care less about judging and more about wanting everyone to be happy, whatever that looks like for them.
31 | There is nothing shameful or less than about renting. It comes with a lot of benefits versus owning a house.
32 | The best changes and life resets never start on a Monday. Make the change when you feel the urge.
I love brands whose corporate values fall in line with my personal ones. New Balance began developing performance products in 1906. They were committed to designing a unique brand without fearing what others might think. New Balance also subscribes to the idea of winning, but not at all costs. Wins must have integrity and purpose. The brand continues its “Fearlessly Independent” nature in creating products that combine both function and fashion. For my active lifestyle, New Balance is the perfect addition.
I got these New Balance sneakers on Zappos.com and was thoroughly impressed with their fast and free shipping. They also have a 365 return policy, a range of styles for all ages, and world class customer service. Zappos has long been a staple for me, as it embodies convenience and quality for the modern parent.
With all that said, how have you learned to be fearlessly independent over the years? What advice would you give?