35 Lessons I've Learned at 35

For my 35th birthday, here are 35 lessons I am always trying to teach myself. Hope they are useful for you too!

  1. Show up. This first lesson is my favorite one. Sometimes life gets hard and its just easier to phone it in, half-assing our way through our days. Show up for the things and people that make you happy. Show up for yourself!

  2. Do the work. The fun, the frustration, the blood, sweat, and tears, and the lessons are all part of the journey!

  3. Speak your truth. Whenever I feel frustrated, it’s likely because I’ve held back from saying what I truly feel. This is something I have to remind myself of every day!

  4. Trust the process. Things don’t just happen overnight, nor do they happen by comparing yourself to where others are on their journey. Your life is unfolding on its own time!

  5. Be present. One of the toughest lessons I’m having to learn is that disconnecting is crucial. Being online so much is not good for your eyes or your soul! 

  6. Walk away. It is truly not worth it to keep spending your time with toxic people. Cut them out and move on.

  7. Your body is capable of much more than you know. This is what I tell myself when I’m at that part of the workout where I feel like I can’t do it anymore.

  8. Change is good. That’s growth. It’s also scary and uncomfortable. Don’t let anyone use that fear and discomfort to make you feel bad for growth.

  9. When someone shows you who they are, believe them.

  10. "How you gon win when you ain’t right within?" The wise words of Lauryn Hill. When you’re burnt out from stress or dealing with a lot, it’s hard to bring your best self to the table. I am constantly working on being more self-aware and empathetic because Lord knows if I’m stressed I can say or do things I don’t mean.

  11. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! I know it’s scary sometimes to ask for help when we need it, but no one ever gets anywhere by themselves.

  12. Make a home you love coming back to. I hate the term “escape” when it’s used for vacations/holiday. Yes, life is tough, but it’s your life. Vacations are incredible but try to think of what excites you about coming home too!

  13. You will never find the happiness you’re seeking by scrolling your timeline. Ugh. Teaching myself this every day! If you’re like me, there’s some degree of happiness but mostly the scrolling leads to FOMO, comparison, and negative emotions spurred by random strangers spewing random opinions. 

  14. Is the nonstop grind worth the burnout? (Spoiler: it’s not)

  15. Drink water. If you can’t stand it, put some cucumbers, lemon, mint, and/or strawberries in it. Drinking water is the easiest way to make your skin look better! And you know, all the other benefits of hydration too :)

  16. Move your body. Even just a little bit of stretching can do wonders for your body!

  17. R E A D. People say some wild shit on the internet without reading all the way first. Cannot stress enough the importance - and the wonder - of losing yourself in a book or even a long, well-written, well-researched article. 

  18. Really pay attention to what works for you. That goes for style, workouts, diet, productivity - anything really. Because what fits you is probably not exactly the same as the people you want to emulate online.

  19. Listen to listen. A lot of times people listen for the sake of responding - when what most people need is someone to just let them vent or say their piece.

  20. Check in with your people. Like, really check in with them and preferably offline or not via social media. A text or a phone call just asking how they’re doing is so much more meaningful than “keeping up with them on Facebook."

  21. Check in with yourself. The hustle will have you forgetting to take care of yourself, and sometimes you catch the signs that your body is telling you to slow down. Sometimes you don’t. If you’re finding yourself easily irritated, constantly thinking negatively, and just being down - that’s a good time to check in, take stock, and take care of yourself accordingly.

  22. Grief is not something to hide. I’ve learned that working through grief and letting those waves wash over you when they come is a lot more healing than trying to suppress it. Everyone has experienced loss in some way. I’m not afraid of people knowing that grief is a part of me.

  23. Help others. Straightforward but easy to forget when we’re caught up in all the things we need to do.

  24. Be a citizen. Stay on top of the things affecting your community. All those things you like complaining about on Facebook - traffic, who’s in political office, homelessness - can be challenged and maybe even changed with your vote, your money, and your voice (in places that are not Facebook.) 

  25. Purpose > likes. Are the things you’re doing serving a purpose? Don’t just do them for likes, comments, or attention. Kanye.

  26. Gratitude will get you through. The simple act of thinking through the things you’re thankful for is the single most powerful way to turn your negative mood right back around into positivity.

  27. Stay learning.

  28. Remember who the fuck you are. Always!

  29. Eat well. Yes, that means eat nutritious things and fuel your body. That also means enjoying the experience of a good meal with good people, and not beating yourself up if you’re eating “bad foods” that you enjoy. 

  30. Are you creating or consuming? That’s the question I always ask myself when I know I’m spending too much time-consuming. 

  31. Don't lose the magic. The wonder. The curiosity for life and adventure. Too many of us lose those after childhood!

  32. Keep dating. My favorite piece of advice to give couples who are getting married. Going through the motions of major life changes or another year in the relationship can have you forgetting that it’s crucial to always be interested and curious about the wonderful human being that you’ve chosen as your partner. You’re constantly growing and evolving, and they are too!

  33. Invest in your skin. Makeup’s fun but good skincare will have you feeling like a million bucks!

  34. Cut down the chemicals. In your food, your home, and the things you put on/in your body! When people ask me about what skincare products I use, I always start by saying “the ones with the least amount of chemicals possible.” That shit will change your whole DNA up!

  35. Stay in your lane & mind your business. It’s real easy to get sidetracked by what others are doing or saying. Much harder to not get distracted and stay focused on your goals!