Hi friends! Long time no talk. I know, it's been a crazy long time since I've sat down to write anything. It's not for lack of effort, but between applying to PA schools and then my accident (that's a separate blog post in itself) and just life in general, I stopped making the time for it. The truth is I have always loved writing and it's something that I'm incredibly passionate about, but I haven't been making it a priority. So here's my promise, to you and to myself, to take it off the back burner and do what I love.
The last few months I've spent an incredible amount of time in reflection. On where I am, where I've been, and where I'm going. And with turning a new page and starting my 26th trip around the sun, I wanted to take the time to share these thoughts with you. Here's 25 things I've learned in 25 years of life:
1. There is no timeline for your life. It doesn't matter where you think you should be. It doesn't matter what your friends are doing. Getting married, buying a home, having kids -- do it when you're ready, or not at all. Learn to appreciate the present moment.
2. Sometimes your plan B is God's plan A. I've spent a lot of Sundays in church. And in the last year, many of those with Pastor Steven Furtick. To this day, nothing has hit me harder than these words. Whatever you think your plan is supposed to be, let that go. Everything will work out just as it is supposed to.
3. Social media is a highlight reel, not real life. I know it's easier said than done, but do not get caught up in it. There is always life "behind-the-scenes" you will never see.
4. Health is more important than looks. And the presence of abs doesn't equate to being healthy. The way you eat matters. The way you stay active matters. The way you speak about yourself matters. Your body is the only one you'll ever get. IT is your temple. Treat it that way.
5. Only follow people on social media that make you feel good about yourself. I only wish I had learned this sooner. Life is way too short to keep following people that don't improve your life and your well-being. Hit the unfollow button. It's such a relief.
6. You will drift away from friends. That's okay. It doesn't mean you're a bad person. It doesn't mean they're bad people. IT's just a part of growing up that we have to accept.
7. Do the things that scare you. Test your limits. Put yourself out there. So many of my largest successes have come from operating outside my comfort zone.
8. Rejection is one of the best ways to learn about yourself. Failure can lead to the most fulfilling place. Ever been kicked down to be helped back up to be kicked down again? Me too. If someone tells you you're not good enough, prove them wrong. Embrace rejection, learn from it, and move on.
9. It's okay to admit you don't know what you're doing. Does anybody really know what they're doing?
10. Someone else's success does not diminish yours. The world does not have a limit on success stories. Stop comparing yourself to others and honor your individuality.
11. We accept the love we think we deserve. And I promise you, you deserve the best. No matter what. Anyone that makes you feel otherwise doesn't deserve to be in your life.
12. It's never too late to change the path you're on. I don't care if you're 18, 35, or 60. I once had a patient who decided to get her BSN at 56-years-old after having a reception position for 30 years. She told me she's never been happier.
13. Not everything you lose is a loss. Not everyone you lose is a loss. I once tweeted this and it was up there with my most liked tweet. Clearly it's a valuable life lesson.
14. My parents are actually cool. And usually right. Thanks mom and dad for putting up with me before realizing this.
15. Even the worst heartbreaks will pass. If you're here right now and you're doubting that it will ever get better. I'm living proof that it can and it will.
16. Puppies and babies make everything better. This is just science.
17. Always tell the people you love you love them. Even if you're angry. Tomorrow is never guaranteed.
18. There's no harm in asking the waiter for recommendations. I don't know why I used to be so embarrassed to do this. They know the menu better than anybody. And if you're anything like me when it comes to decision making, the pressure it removes is life-changing.
19. Taking time for yourself is not selfish. Get that massage. Stay in on a Friday night. Read a good book. Take a long walk. Spend time with yourself. Appreciate yourself. Besides, how can you truly give your all to others if you don't do that for yourself as well?
20. Take lots of pictures, but know when to put the phone away. A picture of a sunset will never compare to living in that moment. Give your full attention to the sounds, the sights, the smells. Remember the way those made you feel.
21. Coffee is good. Too much coffee is not. Know when to opt for decaf.
22. You can say no. People will likely even respect you for it. There's no sense in spreading yourself too thin just to be a people-pleaser. In the long run, you'll end up exhausted: physically, emotionally, mentally. That's no good for anybody.
23. "Days go slow and years go fast. And every breath's a gift, the first one to the last." Thanks to my main man Luke Bryan for that one.
24. A smile can make all the difference. You never know what someone else is going through. Be kind. Smile at strangers.
25. Follow your dream every single day. There's nothing cliché about dreaming. You really can do anything you set your mind to.
Hope you enjoyed this! We'll talk soon.