37 Lessons Learned in 37 Years

Don't ever be afraid to show your vulnerable side. There are times when the only thing that will make you feel better is to cry. The ability to show this side of yourself actually makes you strong.
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Small boy with his mother
Small boy with his mother

Another year has come and gone. I keep getting older -- and not that I expected it to, but time has not slowed down a bit.

The crazy thing about getting older is that with each passing year I become more comfortable in who I am.

I become more confident in the decisions I make and less afraid of making mistakes.

I become more stable.

I become more settled.

I become more of who I'm supposed to be.

Last year I wrote a post about some of the life lessons that I have picked up along the way and want to pass on to my children. This year was full of lessons, but I decided to choose just one more to add to the growing list of teachable moments I hope to be able to pass on to my own kids.

1. Don't ever be afraid to show your vulnerable side. There are times when the only thing that will make you feel better is to cry. The ability to show this side of yourself actually makes you strong.

2. Do not waste a moment of your life trying to be perfect. Perfection does not exist. We are all flawed. Own your flaws; they are a part of who you are. They make you beautiful.

3. Be yourself. Do not try to be anyone else. People will always see through it.

4. Your job won't hold your hand when you are sick or dying. Always give it your all, but remember, it's just a job. Don't sacrifice everything else.

5. Slow down. Enjoy the moment. It will all pass so quickly, so take the time to relish the beauty of life.

6. Don't compare yourself to others. You know nothing of their journey, and they know nothing of yours.

7. Try to give people a second chance. Everyone deserves a second chance. They don't, however, deserve a third.

8. No matter how much of a cliché it is, what doesn't kill you really does make you stronger.

9. Don't go into debt. It's more of a hassle to get out of than it's worth. Live within your means.

10. No one gives a f**&# about the Joneses. Do not try to keep up with them.

11. Learn to say no. It's OK to say no sometimes.

12. Don't ever make someone else feel bad just to bring yourself up. Don't be a bully and don't allow yourself to be bullied.

13. When deciding on a career path, do something you love. You are going to spend a lot of time working, so make sure you love what you do. Don't think about money first. You will be happier doing something that fills your soul over something that fills your bank account.

14. When someone tries to bring you down, know that it says more about them than it does about you. Haters gonna hate!

15. You can't control others. The only thing in your control is you.

16. Love doesn't conquer all. Choose wisely.

17. Read. There is nothing better than getting lost in a book.

18. If someone loves you, they won't make you chase them.

19. You never know unless you try. Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try new things.

20. Don't be flashy. The kind of car you drive, the label on your clothes or the size of your house doesn't mean a thing. Be modest. Stay humble.

21. Feed your creativity. It's necessary for the soul. Find your outlet.

22. Bad things will happen; a true test of your character is how you pick yourself up when you fall.

23. Be honest. There is nothing worse than a liar.

24. Looks always fade. Don't put your self-worth into what's on the outside.

25. See the world. It's big and beautiful. You will learn so much about yourself and others if you travel.

26. Demand respect. If someone won't give it to you, don't keep them in your life.

27. You don't always have to be the best. There will be things you aren't good at, and that's OK.

28. Mistakes are how we learn. Don't be afraid to make them.

29. Life is a journey. Don't spend every second worrying about where you're going -- just enjoy the ride.

30. Celebrate the little things. Use the fancy dishes and wear your best clothes. Don't always save it for another time; that other time might never arrive.

31. Touch people. Hug those you love. Kiss them. Hold hands. Cuddle on the couch. The touch of a loved one can soothe even the most battered soul.

32. Get outside. Fresh air and sunshine are as necessary as food, water and sleep.

33. Relationships are 50/50 -- even friendships. Be a giving/caring friend, but if you aren't getting the same back, know that it's OK to turn and walk away.

34. If you have a handful of close friends, you are lucky. Having a few meaningful friendships is far more important than having many superficial ones.

35. You are stronger than you know. You will have moments when you feel weak. Remember that you aren't.

36. There is still so much left to learn. Once you realize that you really know nothing, that's when you know you're a true grown-up.

37. Find beauty in the ordinary. Don't spend your life waiting for the big, dazzling moments -- they are few and far between. True beauty can be found in the mundane: snuggling under the covers on a snowy day, looking at the stars on a summer evening, seeing your children smile. Embrace those moments, because they are the real magnificent moments of life.

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