38 Lessons I Learned By My 38th Birthday

Today is my 38th birthday. And I am happy.

Very happy. 

Everything has finally fallen into place.  (I know that is not true though, it took a lot of hard work to get to “happy”). 

I couldn’t always tell you I was happy, especially on my birthday.  Turning 30 I felt so Iost. I felt like I was living someone else's life and was too paralyzed by fear to do anything about it.

For years.

And that didn't feel good.

I spent much of the last seven years trying to figure out who I am and what I want to be. During that time I felt very alone, but I realized it is a rite of passage for many,  a process that the majority of us go through whether the journey starts at 20, 30, 45 or 80.  Along the way I learned that the focus of the adventure called life is on what we can learn.  It is not solely about the destination as our life destination, our dreams, are always changing. It's a moving mark.

Self-discovery is a never ending process.  Every day I learn more about myself and the world we live in. And every day I strive to live in a way that is reflective of all I’ve learned. Even when you know what you need to do or how you need to be,  it’s not easy. But now that I’ve changed my perspective it is exciting to get out of bed every day. You never know what lesson is waiting for you.

Here are 38 lessons I’ve learned thus far:

1.            Life can be hard, but if it wasn’t it would be kind of boring.

2.            Once you find your *it* everything falls into place.

3.            Mom is {always} mostly right.

4.            We either make decisions from a place of courage or fear depending on what feels better- and how secure our foundation is (our sense of self). 

5.            Things are always better when you have a dog to snuggle with.

(Sophie, my birthday present to myself 9 years ago when everyone told me not to get a puppy. Best. Decision. Ever.)

(Sophie, my birthday present to myself 9 years ago when everyone told me not to get a puppy. Best. Decision. Ever.)

6.            True friendship can ride out any adversity.

7.            Love will show up when you are ready, so in the meantime figure out who you are and what you want. Oh, and it’s definitely worth the wait.

(Mr Jackson, aka prince charming, driving a convertible up the California coast.)

8.            Knowing yourself is the best way to love yourself.

9.            Gratitude is the key to a happy life.

10.          If you strive for perfect you will never reach your goal.

11.          Your family will always love you, they might just not like you some days.

12.          Instead of being jealous use that energy to go after your dreams. Don’t try to copy someone else’s best life.

13.          Listen to your intuition. If you don’t eventually the whisper will turn into a SCREAM.

14.          Create your own destiny. Work hard and manifest the life you want.

15.          Surround yourself with people who are heading in the direction you want to go. You are the sum of the five fabulous people you spend the most time with.

16.          Life is messy. Vent, scream, cry do whatever you have to do to get it out and then move on! (But don’t do drugs, they will just make a bad situation worse).

17.          When you try to be all things to all people you leave nothing for yourself.

18.          If you can dream it, you can BE it.

19.          Open your heart up to possibly.

20.          Realize you will fail.  It’s ok, tomorrow is a clean slate.  No one is perfect. No one is perfect.

21.          You- just like everyone- deserve to be happy!

22.          The life you want and the life you need are two different realities.

23.          We all are seeking something. Life is not a scavenger hunt. The first one to find *it* doesn’t get a golden ticket.

24.          Don’t like something? Vote with your money or your time or both.

25.          You are the solution to what is wrong with our world.

26.          Everyone is an expert at something.

27.          Your story is your power- and exactly what someone else needs to hear. Life is about learning from each other.

28.          Each person you meet comes into your life to teach you a lesson.

Memories of lessons learned, cowgirl style.

Memories of lessons learned, cowgirl style.

29.          Our choices are what define us.

30.          No matter how much you love someone there are some people who are not able to love you back. That is reflective of their struggles- NOT of you.

31.          Sooner or later you have to make friends with your feelings.

32.          If you are feeling down help someone out. Then you will both rise up together.

33.          Never forget your darkest days and how you felt. Make yourself a promise not to sink to that low again.

34.          When life seems scary, that is destiny pulling you towards something great!

This mural stopped me in my tracks. What do you want to do before you die?

This mural stopped me in my tracks. What do you want to do before you die?

35.          Ask and chances are you will receive. If not, ask someone else.

36.          We teach people how to treat us. Teach them and teach them again. The third time walk away gracefully and don’t look back.

37.          “No”.  It is a complete and powerful sentence. It does not require the addition of a “but”.  When we say no to others we say yes to ourselves.

38.          We are each unique; if someone gives you advice and it works- great.  Use your experience to filter through what’s right for you.

As I shovel in chocolate cake and wash it down with champagne I’m excited for the lessons I have yet to learn.  I look forward to the surprises each day holds.  I’m not scared to get older because I am getting wiser and there is comfort in knowing. Experience is the reward of a life well lived and I have a lot of time to make up for!

What has life taught you? I'd love to hear your nuggets of awesome. Please comment below!

Posted on October 19, 2015 and filed under Happiness, Values.