I left home at 17 years old, moved 4200 miles away from everyone that I knew, by myself.
Then at 19, I moved to Los Angeles for two semesters of college. That’s also where I worked the most challenging (before motherhood obviously), yet rewarding, job of my life (at a retirement home), but felt entirely alone despite living in a HUGE city.
The next year, back in Hawaii, I graduated college and simultaneously began my career as well as bought myself my first *new* car – all at the age of 20.
Later that year, I suffered an immensely difficult trauma. Though in the healing process, I then traveled around the globe as an outreach volunteer and missionary.
Now as you can tell, the plot summary of the beginning of my adult biography is quite a rollercoaster.
Amongst these (as well as others not mentioned) landmark events, up’s, down’s, and busy life doings, I also maintained a close, as well as wide, social life as well!
So by the time that I was in a serious relationship (with the right man), I didn’t even realize that I was really JUST beginning my “20’s” era.
Within a short time, I got married to that (right) man, and a few months later, year 22 had just begun. Still, I already felt like I had a generous amount of life/worldly experiences under my belt and scribbled about within my journals. The same journals in which I replaced with each *new age* and stored away the past years of reflections and lessons.
But now, five years and two babies later, another birthday is here; and with each completed orbit around the sun, I find myself (since becoming a mother) asking this specific question,
“If I were sitting down with my kids as adults or teenagers, what would I have to share with them about *this* specific age?”
The answers are usually transcribed in those personal journals, but something compelled me to share this year’s with you…
Maybe it’s the fact that today, 7/7/2017, is my 27th birthday?
Whatever it may be, here are 27 life lessons that I have learned through experiences thus far by age *27*:
1- Figure out what geographical location feels “home” to you.
It’s one of the first questions asked when you meet someone, right? Well, that’s because, it’s important! Having a sense of home allows for a more peaceful life, better sense of identity, and overall well-being.
2- Learn how to be approachable.
Being friendly, open, and warm doesn’t mean that you are weak. It means that you are helpful, that you have a purpose other than only yourself. So be approachable: stand/sit with good posture, make eye contact, listen, smile. After all, “you get more bees with honey!”
3- Hold firm to your personal beliefs, but also be tolerant and humble towards those with differing views.
Even if you don’t agree with someone, you can still learn from an opposing viewpoint. Be level-headed, as this too, creates a more peaceful life.
4- Sometimes longtime friendships dwindle.
Not every friend is going to make it to each next chapter in your life, and that’s okay! Don’t dwell on the space that grows inside even the oldest of friendships, it means that you’ve grown! Instead, be thankful for a rich memory bank.
5- If you wish to DO GOOD, then surround yourself with only GOOD people.
This is quite simple, having positive influences makes for less time fighting things you morally don’t agree with.
6- Be observant of other people’s energy.
I am so mindful of this, that I don’t willingly put myself in situations among people with negative energy. But if I do ever find myself in such a spot, I almost always will excuse myself. Energy is contagious, and who really wants to feel negative vibes?
7- You really CAN be whatever you want to be in life.
And if, what you want to be, doesn’t technically “exist”, CREATE IT!
8- Your health is your most valuable asset in life.
Without it, you can’t live life to the fullest. Take care of yourself, so you don’t have to miss out on this one chance to thrive on Earth.
9- Genuine love is a choice, not just a feeling.
If it is indeed love, then it is a commitment from all parties, to support and raise each other up.
10- Don’t take anything for granted, not even the most insipid day.
If you take a moment to think about it, life really is fleeting, so choose to be grateful (time is much sweeter this way!)
11- Never stop seeking knowledge, never stop learning – (Teach yourself a new skill at least once a year).
Growth is not only a necessity to be successful, but also imperative for a FUN-FILLED life! “…learn as if you were to live forever.” -Gandhi
12- Stay current in world events.
If you can’t stomach watching/reading the “news”, then at least read scientific research or something of the sorts. Seeing growth in your external world allows for growth within yourself. Plus, the only constant in life, is change.
13- Don’t judge others because they sin differently than you do.
Have a strong foundation in your faith, but don’t suffocate others by forcing them to follow your personal ideals. Instead, simply surround yourself with those who don’t make your personal practice a struggle.
14- Get enough sleep!
Sleep allows for your body to heal and repair, plus – what can a long, restful sleep, not heal?!
15- Don’t waste your time in relationships that are one-sided.
Whoever acts as if they don’t need you, YOU DON’T NEED IN YOUR LIFE.
16- Don’t just “respect your elders”, but respect all.
Treat others the way you wish to be treated. For real. Be courteous, polite, and kind — exercise your good character!
17- Smile at strangers.
You never know just how large of an impact that you can make on someone else’s day, OR LIFE, by offering something as simple, free, and effortless as a smile.
18- Focus on finding yourself, BEFORE focusing on finding a life partner.
In order to know what kind of person you want/need as a life partner, you HAVE to know YOURSELF FIRST!
19- Time means nothing in loyalty.
Just because you may have known someone for a great amount of time, doesn’t mean that they don’t have the capacity to do you wrong. Guard your heart (within balance of course).
20- Protect yourself legally.
ALWAYS think of the legal ramifications of the dealings that you are involved with/in. If others around you are doing something wrong – you are JUST as guilty if you don’t remove yourself and/or stop whatever is happening!
21- Know your worth.
Demand and only allow yourself to be treated the way in which you believe you deserve (with the utmost respect, duh). ALSO, in the professional aspect, find the courage to request the pay you are worth, as well as for raises in pay when needed and/or deserved!
22- Retain history.
Not just out of respect for those who came before you and that made your daily luxuries an option, but also because it is your responsibility to the world! “Those who do not learn history are doomed to repeat it.”
23- Abuse is NEVER acceptable.
There are things that you DO NOT tolerate just because you “love” someone. You deserve complete respect and should offer the same… anything less is never justifiable. Also, “abuse” is not only a physical trauma, but can be inflicted by words as well.
24- Realize what *unconditional* love is.
This is something you possess for your CHILDREN. (i.e. your child throws a rock at you.. you then teach them right from wrong, but you still love them with an unconditional love. In relationships, however, there ARE conditions. If a partner throws a rock at you – probably a sign it should be over, ya?)
25- Never try to change someone that you’re in a relationship with.
Love yourself enough to choose to be with someone that NATURALLY brings out the best in you and inspires you to be an even better human being (+ vice-versa). But never try to change someone in to a character that they are not – life is too short, and that is not love. If change is truly necessary, it should occur in time on its’ own.
26- Never apologize for what makes you unique.
There is no one else just like you. And that makes you so special. Never allow someone else’s envy or other motives to create an insecurity in your uniqueness. Be proud (but still humble) of who you are!
27- Love yourself.
Always. No matter what. Show yourself love, compassion, and room to be humanly-flawed.
As always, thanks for reading!