31 things I learned in 31 years

On the eve of my 31st birthday, I do what I do best- which is of course, reflect and write.
Inspired, I tried to think of the 31 most significant, REAL life lessons I’ve learned over the past 31 years, and here’s what I came up with:
31 Things I Learned in 31 Years
  1. The power of positivity is a real thing. Try it. Do it. Think it. Be it… and you will see that good things really start to happen.
  2. No one will believe in you more that yourself, and that’s the relationship you should always be striving to perfect. Self-love is everything. 
  3. You will learn what it means work to live, versus live to work. You will learn that you should always, always have balance in your life. Because above all, your health and your happiness is everything. If the work situation doesn’t allow you to put your health and happiness first, let that shit go.
  4. Sleep and water: these are the primary ingredients for good health.
  5. You will find out who *your people* are in life when you are in your darkest hour. They are the ones calling, texting, visiting, and sending you memes of llamas and puppies at all hours of the night just to get you to smile and to let you know that you are not alone.
  6. Love and friendship should not always be mixed, sometimes a friendship is just that, and that is enough.
  7. Food photography is always the best type of photography.
  8. Grief and loss are some of the most powerful emotions you will ever experience. They can make you feel like the worst has really actually happened. Remember that everyone deals with these emotions differently. The best thing you can is for yourself is take *time.* Time does heal all wounds, at least to a point where you can feel like you again. Also, the best thing you can do for someone experiencing grief or loss, is to say how sorry you are, and that you are there for them, and that they are not alone. No matter what.
  9. The experience of running along the Charles River is magical. Do not underestimate it’s power… let it transport you, wherever you want to go.
  10. Most ailments can be cured with lemon, ginger, honey, and turmeric.
  11. Friendships evolve and revolve, and that’s ok. Some friends exit your life. Some take a leave of absence and then return, and that’s ok. Some friends live halfway across the planet, but every time you see them, it’s as if not a moment has passed. Some friends live in your town, and you will never quite understand why they don’t make the effort to spend more time together, and that’s ok.
  12. You will realize that people you have known for years will change, grow, and become whoever they are meant to be. You can choose to embrace the changes, or you can choose to gracefully let go.
  13. Your little sister who you used spy on you and your friends in high school just trying to be like you, grows up to be fiercely independent and adventurous and beautiful, and inspires you to pursue passion and never be afraid to be yourself. Little does she know she stole a piece of your heart the day she was born, and the love for a sister is the strongest love you will ever know.
  14. When your heart is broken over and over again from that person you gave all of four years to, who gave you your highest highs, and your lowest lows, that guy who failed you… causing you go into your cave, and turn into someone you couldn’t even recognize. When your heart goes through that, it is one of the hardest things you will experience. But *time* will happen, and you will come out of that cave, and re-emerge as new woman, with a new look at life, a new sense of adventure, and a feeling of urgency to get the hell out of Denver. You will move to Boston, where months of dating disasters later, you will meet your prince charming, and four years after that he will propose to you in your Charlestown condo, in the living room, in the most perfect moment, all while your hands are soaped up from doing dishes, in the best surprise, and in that blissful moment all of your pain and loss from before will disappear forever. And you will learn that this man is the best thing in your life, and that he not only has shown you what true love is, but that he has made you a better person for it.
  15. There is no greater feeling of athletic enthusiasm and camaraderie that compares with witnessing all runners – injured, disabled, and totally healthy helping each other cross the Boston Marathon finish line.
  16. You will learn that your parents are also growing up, as you are. And they make mistakes, as you do. And though when you were young, their word was golden, that maybe sometimes they don’t always know how to make the best decisions for you in adulthood, and that is ok.
  17. Getting a tattoo will be one of the most agonizing decisions you will have ever made, being a Jew, being a cautious person, just being you. It will hurt like hell but you will love it endlessly for its symbolism and significance… ‘she too flourishes, she also blossoms.’
  18. When your mom has to fly halfway across the world to Israel because your grandmother is sick, you understand. You understand when she has to leave the week before your college graduation, and when you put on your cap and gown that very special day, and your father and sister walk into your Boulder apartment, and your mom walks in right after and surprises you, and you are in shock and can’t stop crying when you realize how important it was for you that she be there for you that day, and in that moment.
  19. Planning a wedding is really stressful. There’s no easy way around it. And even if you try to do things to reduce stress, it will still be one of the more stressful experiences in your life.
  20. Buying a house is about 100 times more stressful that planning a wedding.
  21. There is really nothing quite as satisfying as planting your own garden, and watching it grow. Even if year after year you prove to yourself and those around you that you have by no means a green thumb, and all of your plants die, but at least every spring you try and approach it with the same enthusiasm as a 1st grader on the first day of school.
  22. Miscarriage is not a dirty word. And ectopic pregnancy is not a word that most women will understand. And the aftermath of these two events happening within 4 months of each other, will make most of 2017 your absolute hell. And your experience with pregnancy will be forever cause the world to look a little bit different. But you will rebuild yourself, and you will overcome. And you will surprise yourself by knowing that you have become a stronger person for enduring those experiences.
  23. Stop judging other people. You have no idea what their day, their week, their month, their life is like. 
  24. Israel is Magic. It really is. I have never entered and left a place that has caused me such excitement upon arrival and such sadness when leaving.
  25. Family is everything.
  26. The best way to escape is by losing yourself in the music, or through the pages of a really, really good, chick lit/beach read.
  27. Celebrating others and putting a smile on someone else’s face is the best medicine.
  28. Silence is the best way to center yourself, travel is the best way to expand your mind, and expressing gratitude is the best way to become a better person. 
  29. Respect. To my friends on the left, please respect your friends on the right. To my friends on the right, please respect your friends on the left. To those of us in the middle, don’t listen to anyone about “having to pick a side” because you know what, for me, that doesn’t work. And we should not feel pressure to make it work. Vote how you want to vote, feel how you want to feel, be passionate about issues that you want to be passionate about. This is why we live in America after all. We have this freedom. Just be respectful of each other in the process.
  30. You get what you give. So give love and kindness. 
  31. Drink a full glass of room temp water first thing in the morning, remember to stretch throughout the day, call your mom, eat more greens, do your work with enthusiasm, make an effort to cook dinner, be there for a friend, smile at a stranger, don’t let road rage get the best of you, leave a tip at every coffee shop- those people work harder than you know.
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