This past Mother's Day I not only celebrated my mother but also celebrated the day she became a mother, i.e. my 25th birthday. Since then I have been thinking about all the life lessons I've gained these past 25 years - and decided to write down some of the major ones. I could probably think of a few more, but this about sums up the major lessons learned thus far...
1. Although your parents are to be revered - they are people, just like everyone else - thus not less or more susceptible of making mistakes, doing stupid things, etc.
2. One's criticism of you has as much impact and power over you as you allow - and most people's criticisms are not worth allowing any impact or power over your life.
3. A set back is a set up for a comeback if you use the opportunity wisely.
4. Money is important, but it's not most important above your God, your family, your friends or your overall well-being.
5. Even if things seem clear - if you know there's a chance they might not be, ask for clarification anyway.
6. When at work and given something to do - if you are unsure about it, ask. It's always better to be the girl that asks too many questions but gets the job done than the girl who always f-cks up.
7. Never let anyone else define your worth - explicitly or implicitly. And be on the lookout for those who try to define it implicitly.
8. Being in a relationship with a man who clearly takes you for granted is nonsense. If that becomes the situation in the relationship, at least address the situation to him. If things don't seem to change, don't hesitate to let it go.
9. Learning from mistakes (whether yours or others) is easier said than done but at least you have to try.
10. When it comes to job hunting, money should not be your main priority. Otherwise, you might end up being paid very well to make your life miserable.
11. Mental health breaks are necessary when your life is jam-packed. Never deny yourself the opportunity to take them.
12. Throwing away/avoiding bills is not an effective strategy in getting rid of them. No matter how hard you try, them bad boys WILL come back to you.
13. Perseverance is key... to just about everything. You might not get it when you want it but if you persevere and persist - you'll get it.
14. Patience is easily attained if you just focus on the rewards patience can bring.
15. The most physically unattractive people can suddenly become quite appealing with a healthy dose of confidence and positivity. Likewise, the most physically attractive people become rather unappealing with a healthy dose of low self-esteem and negativity. And these doses don't have to be outwardly visible or boasted - if they're there, then they'll have their affects on your attractiveness.
16. The notion that "opposites attract" really only applies to magnets. People are not magnets. You might find yourself briefly attracted to someone who opposes you greatly in some fashion, but it likely won't last long.
17. Comparisons of ourselves to others - whether we or someone else is making the comparison - is a waste of time and just eats away at self-esteem. If I base my worth on how I match up to someone else then I am going to fall short at least some of the time - if not most of the time. What I have done and what I've accomplished is mine and is not diminished simply because the next person who appears to have as many capabilities as I do has just done more and accomplished more.
18. Ambition means nothing without focus.
19. People who make a huge deal about "keeping it real" or "not being about bullshit" - especially when they first meet you - tend to be HUGE bullshitters. Beware.
20. Eating right and regularly exercising improves not only your body - but your mind and your spirit.
21. Interactions with other people are rarely limited to the circumstances that outwardly surround the interaction - usually there are things, circumstances, etc. in that person's life beyond your purview that are probably impacting the interaction, and vice versa. So you may never completely know why people will act/react to you the way they do.
22. We are all intuitive creatures. Some of us are just more in tune with our intuition than others.
23. Prayer is so necessary.
24. God really does have your back if you believe in Him, have faith in Him and learn not to lean on your own understanding. You will always be taken care of. Things always work out for the best.
25. Our upbringing has as much impact on shaping the people we become as we allow. At many points in our lives we make decisions, whether we realize it or not, to follow or reject the things we're taught as children. Given that our parents are people too (and thus, likely to make mistakes, do stupid things, etc.), this is a good thing.
26. Staking my happiness on anything on this earth (people, especially) is just a way to delay suffering. My happiness is solely a matter between me and my God. (And I must say, this is probably one of the most important things I've learned in life so far. And I have been happy with my life since - despite life's highs and lows, nothing or no one can steal my joy.)