I haven’t posted in three weeks because I’ve been on vacation and out of town but I wanted to do a post-birthday post to reflect on the year and share some (10) bites of wisdom I’ve accumulated over the past little while.
I was born on a hot August 12th evening and in my 27 years I have had ups and downs, and spent an inordinate amount of time in hospitals in my 20s but I live to see another day, and another year. I hope to remember these bites of wisdom and carry them with me throughout this year and beyond and hope they bring some light to your day and maybe your year as well.
1. Believe in a higher power: I read The Purpose Driven Life which I immediately recommend to anybody first and foremost (along with Eat, Pray, Love) who is going through an existential crisis. One of the first things mentioned in the book is that you have to believe there is a higher power. I don’t pray on a regular basis — I’m not even sure I know how to, but I do believe in a higher energy, even if it’s not the conventional God that many others believe in. You have to believe in something greater than yourself. It’s essential for survival.
2. It NEVER gets easier: But you do get better at life. At handling things. No matter how high you get or how well you’re doing, there will always be hardships, and some of those will bring you down, sometimes to a new low you never thought existed, but every time you get better at handling it and you learn. You learn about yourself and about who you can count on and even if it gets worse, it gets better — I promise.
3. Your first love should be yourself: You’re the only one who knows exactly what you want and most of the time you’re the only one who can get it for you. Self love is not selfish love, it’s important to take care of yourself first. You can become the hero you so much admire for yourself. Remember that you are what’s most important in your life, and you can’t help others if you don’t help yourself first. Be the strength you tried to find in others.
4. Sometimes you lose your mind: This can be for love, or for any reason, really. Sometimes you have to do what your heart tells you and it might seem crazy to other people but you just might go crazy if you don’t try or forever have regrets. My sister once told me that she was making a decision because it felt right right now and if it ended up being wrong she would deal with it then but it felt right at the time and she just had to try. You have to take risks and listen to your heart.
5. Strong people don’t have easy pasts: You learn from your mistakes, even if that means you have to make them more than once. The more you live, the more experience you have, the more wisdom you gain. This is such a comfort for me because I feel I’ve done and been my fair share of crazy but I have hope that this will mean I will have perspective when I’m older, and will be able to learn from everything. This goes for other people as well. Forgive their pasts because this just might have made them who they are today.
6. This too shall pass: My mum was always saying this whenever I was going through a hard time and it’s something I still remind myself of today. So this quote about Britney Spears (#teambritneyforlife) is an amalgamation of #2 & #5. It gets easier, and you have to go through the tough to get to the good. Maybe your situation doesn’t get exceptionally better, but you deal with it better, which makes the improvement. You can get through today. We all have our struggles but we have to forgive them ourselves in order to get stronger.
7. Love each other, no matter what: This one is crucial for wold peace. Remember that whenever you’ve been hurt, harmed, wronged, or other, just please, love each other. Love speaks louder than hate, and compassion is so important to remember if we are ever to learn to live on this planet in harmony. No matter how bad you’re hurting right now, please have compassion. We have no idea what kind of day, week, month, year, or life someone else is having and we never can really know until we walk a mile in their shoes so to speak, so remembering to love first is imperative.
8. Let it go: You lose a lot of friends when you find out who the real ones are. And you have to learn to let go of them. Not only let go but you have to forgive them, even if you never received an apology, for not being the type of friend you wanted them to be, even if you were the type of friend you wanted to have in return. This applies to not only friendships but everything. You’ll be a lot happier when you learn to let go and let live. I struggle with this one, but it’s a key to being content.
9. It’s never too late to start over: This one is such a comfort for me because I’ve gone back to school twice, once after having been out for 5 years. There is never any “too late”. You can always be or become what you’ve always wanted to be, so please never feel like it’s too late for you. There is always time and now I am 10 years older than some of my peers but I am getting the best grades of my life and really know now not to take it for granted. My age brings a whole new appreciation to my studies and no matter what it is you want to do there is always time and it is never too late.
10. Life is short, do the thing: This is the last piece of wisdom I impart on you this year. Life is short. I learnt during my vacation this summer that during my chemo treatments for leukemia my family was told to call in the members to say their goodbyes but I made it through, and if there is only one wisdom bite that sticks with me this year, may it be this one. Life is short. Do the thing that is scaring you. You only have a select amount of days so make the most of them!
So these are my 10 commandments for this year. I wish I could be 10 years younger again… or maybe 10 years older, but maybe 27 will be the best year yet!