We Live. We Laugh. We Love. We learn to dance with our experiences. We strive to be connected and find our inner purpose. We come up against life and we are challenged to be present in a changing world. This is a pause in all of that.
A Quarterlife Completed, 3/4 of Life To Go...At Least
On Sunday, May 23rd, I will be turning 26. This brings up a lot for me in terms of self-reflection, love, sadness, and just plain ol' confidence & excitement for what stands in front of me.
With my past 25 years on this planet, I have done a whole heck of a lot and I have some important people to thank. First of all, my parents who are two of the most wonderful, generous, tough, caring, and loving people I know. I am truly blessed to have them in my life, even if they are on the other coast, thousands of miles away. They are good people and I hope to be like them when I grow up.
Then there is my brother, an amazing man who graduated from college last weekend. He can take a room of boring, rigid, serious people and within 5 minutes, he can have them jumping rope, laughing, and hugging each other. I have been so lucky to have a close relationship with him throughout my entire life so far and he makes me laugh until I pee my pants so that's a good thing.
Then there are my friends & family that are dotted all over the world. There are friends in Maine, Colorado, Seattle, California, Utah, Florida, Nepal...and the list is never ending. I have been fortunate to have developed networks around the world and I am stoked to have even more in my last 75 years on the planet.
So now, here I am. Having been on the planet for 25 years, what 5 learning lessons am I taking into the next 75 years (at least)? Well for starters, my biggest life lesson so far is..wait for it...NEVER STOP LOVING! Never stop loving yourself, others, and what you do. If there isn't love present, then stop doing whatever you are doing and try something else. Yes, life gets hard. Sometimes getting out of bed is the biggest thing you will do some days, but LOVE is the root of what being human is all about and that is the #1 lesson I take with me into the rest of my life.
Lesson #2, Don't be so hard on yourself.Ahhh...it only took about 15 years for me to finally realize this but I did. It's not worth it to go through life tiptoeing around, fearing that you will make a mistake because you will make mistakes and mistakes are fun because you have a choice in the matter in what you learn from them. I have started letting go of my "high standard" mentality and it feels like I let this huge weight go from my life. There is flexibility in how I operate now. I can leave dishes in the sink for an hour, I can fold my laundry a couple days later, I can laugh at myself. This is the gemstone of lessons.
#3 Eat Like You Mean It. If you know me personally, I love to eat. I grew up with an Italian influence and food always brought people together. I like good food and sometimes the food I like isn't the best for the body. (i.e. ice cream, hot wings, chili dogs, shake & eggs breakfast from Mae's Cafe, and pizza). But my motto about food is this: It's all about the balance and enjoyment. Don't rush yourself like the burger eating, cell phone texting, lipstick applying driver. Just eat and love it and if it makes you smile and you doctor is on your side, then its all good.
#4 If You Are Having a Bad Day, Get Outside, Be Active, & Breathe. I used to live in the heart of the Rocky Mountains and used to do a lot of mountain girl stuff. Rock climbing, hiking, boating, skiing, etc. Now, I live in a different part of world: Sea level, city, long drive to escape. BUT I still love being outside. Nature has always been my "Church." A place to escape, be one with the goodness of the planet, and just let everything go. 3 years ago, I made it to Everest Base camp and got to eat apple pie on my 23rd birthday. It was a dream I had since I was little and it came true. I am so blessed to have visited so many amazing places and I look forward to making it around the world about 100 more times before I die :)
#5 It's Okay To Say "I Don't Know!"Hmmm..so a couple of weeks ago I had a breakthrough in saying I don't know and not only did this give me immense amounts of freedom, but it also gave me courage. To have the courage to say "I don't know," opens a whole new world for whatever happens. It is an amazing teacher for being in the present moment and at 25 years old, its reassuring to know that I don't have to have it all figured out or know the EXACT job I want to have. My favorite bumper sticker comes to mind: Life is a garden. Dig It.
Well, all in all it has been a 25 year ride on the most amazing roller coaster known to woman. Stepping into my 26th year on a planet that is ever changing with new gadgets, gizmo's, learning lessons, relationships, and opportunities is truly a privilege. I am stoked and thank you for allowing these lessons to be shared.