I have found that as I’ve grown older and gone through life and had so many different experiences that I am constantly learning. I think back to when my husband and I got engaged when I was 18 and then married when I was 19 and so many people commented on how young I was and how I didn’t really know much about life yet. Of course though at 18 and 19, I thought I knew so much and had experienced a lot in my years. You don’t realize how young you really were till I look back with experience and more years and you can see the life lessons I’ve learned.
Now at the beginning of my 30’s I know that I didn’t know nearly as much as I thought I did and it’s ridiculous that I thought I had so much life experience and knowledge at 18 or 19. I’ve learned a lot since then and want to share 30 life lessons I’ve learned from 18 to 30. Then someday in the far future I will probably look back and realize that at 30 I knew so little compared to what I know at 50 or 60.
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1. Everything that happens is meant to be: We don’t always get to know why and things won’t always make sense but things happen for a reason. It won’t always seem that way. It won’t see, fair at times. Sometimes it will take years before that reason is clear but whatever you are going through, you are meant to be going through.
2. You have to feel the pain: Things are going to hurt you sometimes both emotionally and physically, more times then you’d like I’m sure. You have to feel that pain no matter how bad it is. You’ll only appreciate how great joy feels if you’ve felt how bad pain feels.
3. Live in the moment: the past already happened and the future isn’t here yet all you have is now. If you are focused on now you will be at your happiest because it’s the only part of life we have control over.
4. You are capable of getting through anything: No matter how bad things seem or how hard things are at the moment you can get through it. I have felt this way three times in labor, in the hospital after my stroke and the death of my grandpa. Each of these moments were hard and painful and felt like I couldn’t make it but I did and I survived. We are all survivors.
5. Things could always be worse: That being said I realize things could always be worse. In those moments of pain and struggle I think of people who have made it through horrific and impossible pain and tragedies and came out the other side. People who have survived living in war zones or through massive earthquakes. If they could get through those kinds of things I can do anything.
6. Be grateful for what you have: Since bad things can and will happen at any moment. It is so important to remember to be grateful for what you do have and appreciate the blessings that are a part of your life. Take the time to think about the good things you have going on in your life and remember to be grateful for your blessings.
7. Sometimes you have to say goodbye: Not everyone is meant to be in your life forever. Sometimes you will loose people to death and have to say goodbye in that situation. Sometimes people just aren’t a good fit in your life, either you bring out the worst in each other or your lives aren’t compatible and you will have to say goodbye.
8. It’s ok to choose you: Just because you love people in your life doesn’t mean that you have to go last on your list. I love and adore my daughter but big, crowded events trigger my anxiety attacks so I try to find other people who can take her. I love her completely but I have to make sure I’m ok too. For more on this check out the book I recommend in #11
9. Listen to your gut: Whether you call it listening to your gut, trusting your intuition or something else. You learn to recognize those feelings and trust them. I trust my feelings and have made choices based on my mother’s intuition. Even if other people didn’t understand my choices I’ve learned to trust in myself.
10. Setting boundaries is a huge way to improve your life: I believe so strongly that we teach people how to treat us by allowing or not allowing certain things. I’ve learned that I have to set boundaries with people and if someone doesn’t respect those boundaries I have to remain firm and not allow people to treat me badly.
11. Make time for you: No matter how busy you are this is so important. Find time in your life for you. I have always believed in the importance of this but no way too many of you out there that don’t make time for themselves and it’s just way too important. Id you want to learn more about making time for yourself then I recommend reading The Fringe Hours: Making Time for You. It’s a fantastic read and she goes over how to make the time for you in your life.
12. What you love doing in your free time is a clue to what you should do in life: I never knew what I wanted to do with my life. Then when I found blogging it became such a natural fit. When I think back on it though I have always loved to read and write notes and letters when I was younger so it’s no wonder writing and all the reading involved in blogging is something I love and find joy in.
13. You learn to ask for help: This can be a hard one but it’s a lesson I’ve had to learn. Ask for help when you need it. We can’t do everything and there are people in your life who love and care about you and want the best for you. So if you need help ask them and let them help you.
14. The only person you can change is you: it is hard to accept this one but over and over again in life I’m reminded of this fact. We have no control over how other people act, we can’t change them. The only one we can change is ourselves.
15. Love your life, you only get one: Love your life, however that looks to you just love it! If you don’t love it then figure out what you need to do to start loving it, today. We get one life and what a waste not to love and enjoy it!
16. Follow your dreams: No matter what they are what other people say, follow your dreams and do the things that you want to do in this life. By following your dreams you will end up loving what you do and that will increase the odds of you having a more amazing life.
17. Life without passion is useless: So dig in and find what lights you up from within. What is it that you are passionate about? Find that and do it. It doesn’t mean that it will be easy but when you find what you are passionate about it will get you to fight harder and dig deeper to do better.
18. Want less: It’s one of the lessons that has I get older I realize is more and more correct. You are happier with less. Things don’t make you happier and often lead to clutter and chaos. So do yourself a favor and want less. It will make you happier in the long run.
19.You create your own reality: I use to think that life just happened to me and that I had little control over it but that isn’t true. We create the reality we live in. Be it good or bad we are the masters of our life.
20. Learn to appreciate your health: My health and health, in general, was just something we took for granted. Then my husband was diagnosed with Epilepsy after a car accident. One year later I had a stroke. This was all in our 20’s, so now in our 30’s we appreciate our health, so if you are healthy be grateful.
21. You learn that life gets more expensive: As you get older you have more responsibilities and those responsibilities come with a price tag. Especially once you own a home and after having children. Things just become expensive and you have to learn to be more careful with your money or learn how to make more.
22. Learn the ability to apologize: it won’t always be easy but I’ve realized that as I’ve gotten older I’ve learned the importance of saying I’m sorry when I need to. Of letting go of some of my pride and apologizing for what I’ve done wrong.
23. What a blessing it is to have family: I am so grateful for the family I’ve created even though it is small. I also am so much more appreciative of the family I have and the family that my daughter gets to inherit from her father and I. You learn to see them as adults who make mistakes and can see more clearly their failures and under most circumstances I have forgiven those failures.
24. I’ve learned the value of loyalty: I take great pride in the fact that I am a very loyal person. The people I love and care about are so extremely important to me and if they need help that I am able to give I will be there. I think this is one of the biggest strengths of my marriage is that my husband and I both value loyalty and are loyal to each other.
25. Learn from your mistakes: Life will keep challenging you in the same type of ways until it forces you to learn your lesson. So when you make mistakes, which you will, learn from them. Learning from what has gone wrong is what makes you better and stronger.
26. You have to be able to forgive: People will make mistakes and they will hurt you. Forgive them. You will make mistakes and you will hurt people too and you will want to be forgiven. So accept that they made mistakes and feel the hurt then figure out what you need to do to move on. Forgiveness is not one of my strengths. In my 20’s I was incapable of it but now in my 30’s I’m slowly learning to get better at it.
27. Surround yourself with people who believe in you and your dreams: It will be much easier to succeed if the people you are spending time with believe in you and what you are doing. It doesn’t mean you can’t spend time with negative or unsupportive people but it is better for you and your life to spend more time with those people that are going to lift you up and encourage you.
28. Take risks because they lead to the best rewards: It goes back to the you only have one life lesson. If you want to have the best life possible, taking risks is going to have to be a part of that. Sometimes those risks will pay off and good things will happen and sometimes they wont and you’ll have to dust yourself off and try again.
29. Be Honest: With yourself and with other people. Lying to ourselves is something we do too often. We say we want something when we don’t or we pretend to be something that we aren’t and those lies can make us miserable. So do yourself a favor and be honest.
30. The biggest lesson I’ve learned is how to be me: I thought I always knew who I was but in the last two years or so I’ve really started to feel like I finally am starting to get to know the real me. The for better or worse, flaws and all me. She’s not who I thought she was at 19 when I got married or at 22 when I became a mom. There was part of me there but this me of today is so much more. She knows more, she’s been through more. She stronger and smarter and better than the old me. I look forward to continuing to learn more and grow more through the upcoming years.