Life. It’s wild, crazy, and unpredictable. The first 25 years of my life have felt like a whirlwind mixed with a bit of chaos, uncertainty, passion, melancholia, and a path that hasn’t paved itself in any set direction yet. Life can take you, us, him, her, or I… anywhere! There’s a strange beauty in knowing that anything is possible. The path that I am traveling down thus far, has taught me some lessons that I carry with me everyday.. lessons that came with a lot of tears, and others that I learned during quiet times with family and friends, or moments spent alone over a simple cup of tea and my own realizations.
1. We are all searching for the same THREE things– love, happiness, and solving the mystery of our flesh and bones. It doesn’t matter where I am or who I meet, I can most certainly always find these three things in common with any stranger. We want to feel deeply loved by someone.. you know, that cheesy stuff that we see in the movies? That feeling when you look at someone and immediately feel love-drunk? Yeah, don’t deny it. You want that. We all want to feel happy. Life is wonderful when we feel good. Obviously life isn’t always candy and rainbows, but we all have the desire to be at the very least, content with our life and who we are. What is our purpose? We all want to find our reason for being alive… our purpose for being on this tiny planet, in a galaxy among many others, in a monstrous sized universe.
2. All you ever have is right now. Yes, right now. This very moment. People have been saying this for as long as I can remember. Tomorrow never comes. Life is fragile and isn’t something that is promised. We must truly practice the art of living in the moment. When we live in the moment, we have less anxiety, worry, and feel happier focusing on what’s currently before us.
3. You can say “NO.” This is YOUR life. Sometimes you have to be a bit selfish and do what makes you happy.
4. Stop searching for love. Stop searching for a relationship. Love will always come unexpectedly, when you aren’t looking for it, on a day when you’ve almost given up. Take my word for it. I’ve been on countless dates, and have spent years searching around for someone wonderful. Who would have known, that I would meet such a wonderful human being in a hospital room, on a day that I would have never expected?
5. Everything happens for a reason. We’ve all heard this numerous times, but it’s true. It does. Reflect back on your life. Think of everything that has happened up until this point. Do you see how everything, the memories, are like perfect puzzle pieces fit together, that brought you to where you are now? The universe has a master plan for you and I.
6. The things you desire most are the things you already have or are much closer than you think. I’d never imagine years ago, that the city I live in (and use to despise) contained so many of the things I love and spent years searching for. It makes me always refer back to lesson #5. All of the plans I had to move to other cities, all of my hard effort and planning I put into moving, failed time and time again. Fate had a reason for this.
7. Travel and make memories. A random trip with the people you love, always makes for better memories than the $200 you would spend on a new pair of shoes.
8. Be kind to strangers. This really is a no-brainer, but you would be surprised by how many people don’t practice this at all. Everyone is suffering in their own way. What you say and do to a stranger, could have a positive or negative effect on them. Try and bring a positive light to someone. Other people’s happiness, will be your happiness too.
9. If you are going to love, you better love all the way. Don’t half love or kind of love. Let it be real. Something deep. Something meaningful and true. Love should shake your inner core. Elate you. Inspire you. The love that the greatest poets wrote about is real. And when you find it, you’ll never be the same. You’ll know when you have found it though, and you won’t be able to stop it.
10. Do things that scare the shit out of you. These are the moments you will truly feel alive. The first place I ever traveled to alone was New York City. I was sweaty, nervous, and thought my heart was going to beat right out of my damn chest. I got lost on the subway, met random people, and shared memories with strangers over cups of tea and beer. I laughed a lot, and I almost cried a few times from panic, but these are memories I will always keep.
11. Save money. Life isn’t always fair and sometimes bad shit happens. Cash helps. Asking parents for money when you are a grown ass adult is EMBARRASSING. Spare yourself.
12. Turn off your television and read good literature. The television is slowly rotting our society’s brain. Literature will inspire it.
13. Life is what is happening while you are glued to your cell phone, laptop, tablet, and television. There is a whole world out there and instead of exploring it, we are spending countless hours glued to our electronics. Go for a bicycle ride, have a picnic, read some Bukowski, get lost in the woods, learn to play the guitar. Just go do something already!
14. Take time once a month to go outside and look at the stars. I love the moments I get to escape from the city for a few days and head to the beach at night to stargaze. It’s peaceful, inspires, ignites wonder, and makes me realize that we are all very much apart of something greater.
15. Let people know how you feel about them. Too often, we let people get away without them knowing how much we care about them or that we love them. Regrets are terrible things.
16. If your relationship didn’t work out the first time, it probably won’t work out the second time. And it sure as hell won’t work out the third time. Sorry to break the news. Move along.
17. No one deserves your body unless they love your mind first. period.
18. Respect your mind, body, and soul. If you can’t respect your own, you can’t expect others to do the same. If you have managed to master this, refer back to No. 17 next.
19. People in healthy relationships don’t play games. People in healthy relationships communicate their needs and desires openly and effectively. Nobody has time for head games, heart games, or any sort of other stupid games that immature people play in immature relationships.
20. Sunday is best spent with tea, good records, and under the covers with someone you love. Need I say more?
21. Everything has beauty. See beyond the surface of things.
22. Stop creating superficial friendships. We call everyone a friend.. even Bob on Facebook that we have only met once or maybe we’ve never even met him at all. Stop hanging out with people if you do nothing, but talk shit about them behind their back, but act like their the most amazing thing when face to face. Stop creating friendships where you go months and months without even saying hi. You’re not that busy to pick up the phone or at the very least, text. You’re just an asshole.
23. Spend time alone. Take time at some point in your life to be single. Alone. Unattached. Get to know yourself first. Who are you and what do you want? Confusion sucks and no one wants to be the victim who gets tied up with feelings for you and sucked into your trap while you try and figure your shit out.
24. Don’t stereotype. Don’t judge. Don’t assume anything. You don’t know a damn thing about most people. It’s not just you though.. it’s all of us.
25. Stop overanalyzing everything. It causes unnecessary stress, anxiety, worry, and half the time you are probably creating non-existent nonsense in your head. Just stop it. It’s annoying.
Do you have a lesson you’ve learned and would like to share? Let’s hear it! firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below. Many Thanks.
photo credit: Jenn Melo, taken in Savannah, GA @Ellis Inn
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