Monday, July 24, 2017

The Last 5 Years

Five years ago, I wrote a blog post sharing life lessons that I had learned by the age of 25. It was one of my most popular posts, and frankly, one of the most fun to write. You can read that post here.

Each of those were strong, important lessons. Lessons I am ever so grateful for learning. But at the time, I had no idea what was to come next. The five years that followed that blog post were ones full of self discovery, adventure, challenges, and accomplishments.They were my growth years. They were the years I experienced heartbreak, fell in love, put myself first, grew closer with my family, and found myself. They were the years I found my voice, I pushed past the fear that had held me back for so long, and learned to forgive myself.

So I am here to update you on some lessons I have learned in these 5 important years.
  • Just because someone can make you laugh and buy you presents doesn't mean they are your soul mate. 
  • If you get the feeling someone is not being truthful with you, don't ignore it just to avoid conflict. 
  • Do not let another person define your worth. 
  • Cut yourself free from anyone or anything causing you pain. 
  • Family, above anything else, is the most important thing in the world.
  • The best way to get revenge on someone else is to prove to them you are so much better than the way they treated you.
  • You are worthy of being healthy and happy.
  • Pay attention to the people who embrace you when you are feeling the most unlovable. 
  • When you think you can't, you can. When you want to give up, push harder.
  • There are very few things a Girls Weekend trip cannot fix.
  • Do not be afraid to be happy. Do not be afraid to succeed. 
  • Let love in, even when it's hard. 
  • Be patient. Change does not happen overnight. Your dreams do not came true with a snap of a finger. 
  • That special guy who is patiently waiting for you to put your guard down IS probably your soulmate, so stop ignoring it.
  • Cancer is an asshole, and it does not discriminate. Cancer can happen to anyone at any time. 
  • Let people help you when they want to help you.
  • You do not have to live life the way society wants you to. You do not have to follow anyone's timeline but your own. This is your journey.
  • Taking care of yourself and becoming the strongest, healthiest version of yourself is not selfish. Do not let people tell you otherwise. You truly cannot begin to take care of others if you yourself are not taken care of.
  • You are capable of so much more than you ever even imagined. You just have to try.
  • Be open to new opportunities and challenges. Do not put yourself in a box. 
  • You will feel tired, worn down, and defeated when challenges arise. Allow yourself to rest, and find the spark to keep fighting.
  • Treat every single person you meet with love, but do not forget to love yourself just as fiercely. 
  • While it is nearly impossible to keep in constant contact with your friends, do your best, and remind them how much you love them. 
  • It's okay to breakdown. Find a health way to empty the negativity from your life, cry it out, and take the next step forward.
  • Take pride in your accomplishments, and own them.
  • Understand that you are a constantly changing, ever growing human who will make mistakes, and that's okay. 
  • Marry that guy who was waiting for you, who stood by you through all of the curve balls life threw at you, and who would do anything to make you happy. 

There are so many more lessons where these came from, you guys. It's been a jam packed, fast faced, incredible five years. When I wrote that blog post 5 years ago I had no idea that my life was going to change. I didn't know that I would lose 140 lbs, or that I would find a job that I absolutely adore, or that my dad would be diagnosed with cancer. I didn't know that I would fall in love and get engaged to a guy who I had already dated once before. I didn't know that I would have a niece and nephew who I would love so much. I didn't know the toll my dad's cancer diagnosis would take on my family, and I sure didn't know the unexpected blessings that would come with that diagnosis. I didn't know that I could be happy. 

I am not afraid to be 30. I am embracing 30. To me, it is just a number. I am not worried about a timeline or what next year or the next 5 years will look like. Perhaps that is because the biggest lesson I have learned is that you truly cannot plan for anything in life. We are not in control, here, and we have to learn that it's okay. Things happen, plans change, and it's all for a very distinct purpose. 

I am sending so much love out to each and every single one of you who have been there for me in these 5 years of craziness. I couldn't have possibly learned all of these lessons without you.

Closing with a song that I believe defines my last 5 years.

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