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28 lessons I learned in 28 years...

(***blows out candles and wishes to pass another semester of school***)

To be honest, if you would of asked me to make this type of list a few years ago, I would of probably come up short or struggled to give you some meaningful lessons.

The past couple of years have taught me a lot, and as I started typing this list I realized that I have learned a whole lot more than I have lived.

I know 28 is not a big number but it's the first time in my life where I am starting to feel a little older. My dad sent me an old picture the other night and all the cars in the background of the photo looked ancient! Then this past weekend, my sister bought me a Kodak disposable camera (from Amazon) and whenever I would hand it to people and ask for a picture they looked very confused. Not to mention, I am officially in the 25-34 age group when you complete a survey. Practically every show I watched as a kid is now doing some 20-year reunion on Tik Tok. And every time I tell my family my age, they follow it up with "almost two years until you are 30".

Anyways, there is something about birthdays that make me feel a little nostalgic. So without further ado, here are 28 lessons I learned in 28 years:

1. Pay attention to what makes you happy: Find it. Do it. Trust me, it will help keep you sane. For me, it's taking pictures, eating pretty food, and writing blog posts like this one instead of doing my homework ;).

2. You are never going to feel ready: No matter what you decide to do in life, like leave a job, or a relationship, start a new hobby or the gym. You will have that little voice inside your head tell you that you are not ready and should wait. WRONG. If you want to do something, then simply do it. How can you expect results with no action?

3. Get to know yourself: I know this sounds totally corny but there have been moments in my life where I have been asked something as simple as "What's your favorite food?" and I didn't know the answer. Take the time to get to know yourself. Not just to answer questions, but to be able to make decisions based on your beliefs and not the influence of others.

4. Everything in life has a lesson: Whenever I am going through a tough moment, I always ask myself what kind of lesson am I going to learn from this? Because lets be honest, things happen for a reason.

5. Welcome change: This is a tough one for me. It probably will always be because I am human and naturally we like to comfort ourselves in patterns and routines even if they might not be healthy ones...

6. Be gentle with yourself: I am my own worse critic and a lot of times I put myself down before others get a chance to. I'm still working on this one, but I've gotten better at realizing some of my strengths instead of focusing on the negative aspects.

7. Get out of your comfort zone: For some reason I have always found this one very exciting. I love a challenge, even if it means working a job that most people would never step foot in (i.e. a psych ward) or traveling halfway across the world with no itinerary.

8. Invest in yourself: Skincare and haircare are a few examples that are often overlooked. People rather buy fancy makeup and dollar store shampoo. Don't do it girl....don't do it.

9. Magic is real: You spend your whole childhood believing in magic and then years later someone comes along and convinces you its not real. Well I am here to remind you that it is. Every time the sun sets and rises, or when you feel butterflies in your stomach before something great (or terrible) might happen, well that is magic folks.

10. The sun's mass is 1.989 x 10^30 kg: Okay, let me explain. So every time I am about to take a really stressful exam, I joke around with my friends and tell them that we need to know the sun's mass in case it pops up as a question (regardless of the subject). I always find comfort in adding a little humor to difficult situations.

11. Accept yourself for who you are: I am always late everywhere I go, I procrastinate on practically everything, I take forever to respond to text messages, and my legs will always be chubby but all these faults make me who I am.

12. Find your style: If you like pina coladas, and getting caught in the rain....but seriously don't be afraid to wear things out of your comfort zone. If you like something, then you will most likely feel confident in it, and if you feel confident, "it can serve as armor and inspiration". I spent most of my life thinking that shorter hair would make me look less feminine yet here I am counting the days for my next haircut.

13. Accept the situation, change the outlook: I was watching an episode of Friends (Season 4, Episode 3 to be specific...) the other night and Phoebe had one of those moments where she whips out some wisdom in the least expected moment. She tells Monica that she should change the meaning of the infamous "pulled a Monica" phrase. Instead of saying "Aww man, she pulled a Monica", she can think of it like "Yay! she pulled a Monica". So next time someone tells you that you "pulled a Monica", just say thanks and move on.

14. No one really knows what they are doing: That includes your boss, your professors, your parents, your doctors, etc. There aren't any real answers in life and most people are just faking it until they make it (like myself).

15. If it doesn't fit, don't force it: I learned about this one recently and I wished I would of become aware of it sooner. If a job or person in your life aren't working out, do not waste your time trying to force it to work. Sometimes it will and sometimes it won't, and that's okay.

16. People don't know what you're thinking and you don't know what people are thinking: I am totally guilty of this and you are too. We all do it. Assuming things can get us in a lot of trouble because sometimes we are afraid to voice our own thoughts or too lazy to ask for theirs. Listen and communicate always, always, always.

17. Tell people how you feel: This is probably the only time I will ever understand a math problem: 24/48. If it still bothers you after 24 hours, you should speak up about it within 48 hours. This goes for all types of relationships: coworkers, friends, siblings, parents, etc.

18. Let that shit go: Don't even do it for them, do it for yourself. You don't need any type of negativity dragging you from moving along in life.

19. Adventures > Possessions: Prioritize travel. Even if it's local. Ever since COVID-19 became a thing, I decided to start exploring around Miami and it has not disappointed!

20. Take care of what you have: And I am not just talking about your valuables here. This includes relationships like your closest friends. They all need a little TLC, if you know what I mean.

21. "You've changed" should be a compliment not a complaint: Everyone has the right to change, I mean hello we are humans, things happen, we learn and evolve like a Pokémon. Plus, evolution is kinda in our DNA.

22. Marry a person that doesn't roll their eyes at your wildest dreams: I am constantly coming up with crazy ideas. Here are some examples: restoring an abandoned school house, moving to Japan, traveling to Atlanta to try out for the Walking Dead (they needed zombies okay?), take a road trip across the U.S., and the list goes on. And if they do roll their eyes, make sure to karate chop them (hiyah!).

23. The person with the biggest WHY will always win: Never stop being curious. You know that person in class that always has a question to ask? it is not because they are dumb. They have a thirst for knowledge. Learning is not like we all pictured it to be. There is no plateau. Learning is forever.

24. Expect nothing, appreciate everything: Expectations often lead to disappointments and disappointments lead to resentment. Appreciate every little moment in life. After all, it's the small things in life that matters most <3.

25. You can learn from anyone: LITERALLY ANYONE. I think this is the most exciting part about meeting new people. I remember at my previous job, I would ask the nurses to teach me their medical terminology. It was not in my job description but hey if you ever want to know what a PRN is, I gotchu! (high-five).

26. Dogs make everything better: Especially if you have a wiener dog...

27. Make mistakes: Because we can (and it is totally okay).

28. Do you boo: Cause nothing else matters (well...maybe just your dog).

***Some honorable mentions: exercise, eat healthy, and be punctual. But lets be honest...I struggle with those on a daily and they might take another 28 years to learn.

Woot Woot! 29 here I come!

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