33 Lessons as I Turn 33

Mixed race woman with pink balloons in park
Mixed race woman with pink balloons in park

In a few days I'll be turning 33. It isn't exactly a monumental birthday. You won't find sashes and buttons in the party stores displaying those numbers in bold, shiny letters. My car insurance payment isn't going to decrease, and I'm not suddenly gaining access to nightlife locations, but for some reason, it feels like a shift to a new chapter in my life. For that reason I'm sharing 33 things I've learned.

1. Wearing sunscreen is always a good idea.

2. Things will always happen when it's bad timing.

3. You can still become friends with your parents as adults, even if you fought when you were a child.

4. Don't judge others for the decisions they make. You haven't lived their life.

5. Be kind to everyone. You never know where or when they will show up in your life again.

6. Realize and appreciate when you are part of something special. Nothing will last forever.

7. Everything can change in an instant.

8. Sometimes starting over is the only choice you really have.

9. Realize that there isn't always something better out there. Sometimes you can really screw up what you already have.

10. Seek out people who encourage your dreams and goals.

11. Tell people today how you feel about them. They might not be here tomorrow.

12. Do things that make you happy, even if they don't make sense.

13. Be kind to yourself. You are your own worst enemy.

14. Become aware of your self-talk. Would you say those negative thoughts to someone else?

15. Change your goals as you grow.

16. Set goals that scare you. You'll be surprised at what you can achieve.

17. Don't worry about things. Things can be replaced. People cannot.

18. Doing nothing is OK.

19. Taking time to reflect is necessary.

20. It is never too late to tell someone "thank you."

21. You can fix many things. Death is not one of them.

22. Positive thinking can go a long way, but it cannot fix death or cure diseases.

23. Find people who will stand in your corner and fight for you. They are essential to your well-being.

24. You don't look fat in photographs. Ten years from now, you'll think you looked great.

25. Listen to others when they open up to you. They are telling you something for a reason.

26. When you feel lost, look to the past to remember who you are.

27. Fill your space with photographs of happy times. Surroundings can make a difference.

28. Donate your time and your spirit to others who are in need. They will remember your kindness.

29. Be willing to take risks. It's the only way to answer the "what if"s.

30. Remember that your past doesn't predict your future.

31. Make sure the people in your life know that you love them.

32. Appreciate just how far you've come.

33. Truly enjoy this moment. You are not guaranteed another one.

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