15 Lessons Learned & 15 Things About Me – Part One

It’s no secret that my birthday is right around the corner. Birthdays are a pretty big deal in our household. We basically celebrate for two weeks. I firmly believe you should celebrate yourself and life in general. This particular birthday is a milestone. I’m turning 30! I couldn’t be more relieved to be turning 30. I’d describe my twenties as a high-speed roller coaster with twists, turns, loops, stalls, hills, and all. At least I know the safety buckle works.

In celebration of my birthday, I thought I would share 15 lessons learned and 15 things about myself you may not know. This might be a longer post, so let’s jump right in. (This ended up being a much longer post, so now there’s two parts)

Lessons Learned

High expectations generally lead to disappointment.

I know that lesson sounds so pessimistic, but it’s just true. Speaking for myself and only myself, I’ve historically set really high expectations for myself, others, projects, etc. I have found that I’m far less disappointed when I set minimal expectations for pretty much everything. I have to constantly remind myself to set the bar low, but I’m usually much happier with the results.

Take time for yourself. Listen to your body.

I think Americans are really terrible at prioritizing their own health and needs. This is something I’ve gotten better at with age. I give myself permission to feel tired now. That isn’t enough though. I also have to give myself permission to take a damn nap and actually do it. I’ve been burnout many times, and I now try to minimize the burnout. Part of that is just knowing and listening to my body. Since I’m experiencing symptoms of menopause at a very early age, I’ve had to relearn my body. I mean if the temperature is higher than 68, I’m going to need a fan!

If you ever wonder what your priorities are…take a look at the photos on your phone.

I don’t remember where I heard this, but I’ve found it to be pretty accurate. Go ahead, take a look at your camera roll.

The success to marriage is friendship and effort.

I got married at 19! Oh my gosh, I was just a baby! If I’m honest, those first few years were tough. I’m was figuring me out and figuring out marriage. I’ve learned so much. You get what you put into it. Ryan is my best friend, and we make each other a priority. We spend most of our time together, and that works for us. Yes, we do irritate each other from time to time. We also continually work at communication. Marriage is work, but it can be fun work!

Exploration leads to new ideas and solutions.

Make time to try new experiences and visit new places. This doesn’t have to be expensive or far away. Just force yourself out of your comfort zone. I can’t tell you how many solutions I’ve found by trying something new or visiting a new place.

You do get to choose your family in adulthood.

It’s up to you who plays an active role in your life. If someone makes you feel terrible, you don’t need them in your life. Period. I made the conscious decision to shrink my family years ago. I don’t regret it. I’m sure I have relatives that hate me (I know my youngest sister does). The fact is relationships are a weird balance of give and take. Make sure you’re comfortable with that balance and how that other person makes you feel.

People are disappointing and that’s okay.

I can’t tell you how many people have disappointed me over the years. I admit that those expectations I mentioned above didn’t always help matters. I’m sure you’ve had a love one or a boss disappointment you. I have for sure. It’s just a part of life, and the sooner you accept it…the better your life will be. People are just crazy, emotional messes. If someone continually disappoints you, learn to walk away!

Mistakes are lessons learned.

Nobody is perfect. We all mistakes. There is a lesson to be learned with each mistake. If you learn the lesson, it’s not a mistake. It’s just a learning opportunity that didn’t go as planned.

Your purpose on Earth is to simply love and be loved.

It’s really that simple. Be grateful for the love in your life. Tomorrow is not guaranteed, and you’ll always regret not loving someone. That doesn’t mean stay in an abusive relationship. I’m talking about healthy loving relationships. Show compassion for people too, because we all have something broken.

Things You Don’t Know About Me

If you’re really close to me, you may know some of these things. You may not though…we’ll see.

I have a scar on my forehead. It’s not a lightening bolt.

Shortly after my youngest sister was born, my mother’s boyfriend took us kids to a park. I was pretty obsessed with monkey bars at that time. I had practiced this trick where you sort of flip between the bars. I don’t really know how to describe it. Anyway, I decided to perform this trick and ended up with stitches. I hit my head on the bar and several seconds later there was blood coming from head. It took a trip to a fire station and the emergency room to get it under control.

I had difficulty learning to read in addition to speech issues.

Thank goodness for the teachers that didn’t give up on me. I had to attend special classes for speech and reading. Those difficulties have never defined or limited me. We all have difficulties. It just takes dedication and the right people to overcome them.

I’m fearful of falling…well the sensation of it.

I’m not actually scared of falling. I mean I can fall up a flight of steps with the best of them. Our doorbell has captured this, and I find it hysterical to watch. Anyway, I don’t like the feeling of falling. Let me provide an example. Have you ever been on the Tower of Terror at Disney? You know that sensation when they drop you, I hate that. I find it absolutely terrifying.

I don’t make our bed unless guests are coming over.

My mother was obsessed with making the bed. She even ironed her bed nearly every morning. She would also make sure each of us made our bed. In protest, I don’t make my bed. As long as it’s clean, I don’t care.

I wanted to be a ballerina.

I remember passing a dance school when I was younger and thinking that was what I wanted to do. I was actually in the process of enrolling at a magnet school for dance before my family moved from Tennessee to Georgia. I also danced in high school, but my mother made it challenging for me to pursue it. I don’t dance very much now, but I absolutely loved it.

I was nearly blind.

When I was a toddler, I got into some chemicals for a waterbed. I don’t remember any of it, but my father has always described it as one of the most terrifying experiences in his life. I did not lose my vision, and I’m sure my parents were very grateful for that. I do have some discoloration on one of my eyes (I’d have to look in the mirror to tell you which one). My eye doctor is always fascinated by it.

I’ve now shared nine lessons and six things about myself. Did you learn anything? I hope so, and I’d love to hear your life lessons in the comments below. Check back next week for the rest of the list. Until then, have a great week!

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