10 Lessons I have Learned in Life

life-should-not-be-a-journey

“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a well preserved body. But rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, latte in the other. Body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming ‘Woo Hoo! What a Ride'”.

Life sure is one beautiful monster. When you think back to that amazing vacation or crazy ex-lover, how many years has it been? 5 years. 10 years. We go through life taking it one day at a time, putting off that big idea until tomorrow and before we realize it a lifetime has gone by.

I’ve had my fair share of “experiences” and often times I had to learn things the hard way. Sometimes I even googled my problems…lol. Judge me. By the way, since we are on the topic of googling your problems. Don’t look up your health issues on the internet, it is the scariest thing ever. You start off by thinking you have an ear infection and before you know it you are convinced that you are about to lose your hearing and you end up watching youtube videos about object extractions. Maybe that is just me. There is a side of youtube that once you venture into it, there is no looking away or erasing the images that have been etched into your retinas. Anyway, there is a solace with knowing you aren’t the only one dealing with a particular issue or problem.

My life has been a roller coaster ride of precious memories, amazing vacations, finding myself, great friendships, disappointments and setbacks. I have learned so many lessons along the way but these are the ones that remain prevalent. I hope they are as useful to you as they have been to me.

1. Life can change you. Everyone on this earth has had a negative or traumatic experience that has the ability to forever change them. They can either build you up or break you down. These experiences will shape you, but they shouldn’t define you.  For example, “I remember how Mary was before her mother died”. Mary’s existence is now totally consumed by the death of her mother. A death of a loved one is awful and almost unbearable. You should take the time you need to grieve, but you shouldn’t let something that happened to you be the reason you are no longer a person, but a shell of yourself. No matter how big or small.

2. Perception is everything. The attitude that you have on a day to day affects everything and everyone that you come in contact with. You can have all the potential in the world to be someone great, but if your attitude sucks, doors just won’t open for you. Have you ever walked past someone and they just have this aura about them? When your energy is negative people pick that up and they stay away. When you have a positive and welcoming spirit, people will want to be near you. You attract what you put out.  It is perfectly normal to have a bad day, but don’t convince yourself that because you had a bad day you have a bad life. You will only deter your blessings. A lifetime of sunny days just isn’t realistic and they surely aren’t promised to anyone, the same goes for rainy days. Just live your life  and enjoy it when things are going well. The tide can always turn, and that doesn’t mean you are destined for misery, its just your turn.

3. Heartbreaks are inevitable. No one is immune to the crushing force of a first heartbreak (or ten of them). Sometimes we know we shouldn’t date a certain person, but the challenge of changing the mindset of a headstrong person is something I feel every young adult has to attempt at least once. There is something about knowing that the self proclaimed eligible bachelor finds you attractive that activates the fairy tale mentality that we all have in us. Whether we admit it or not. We all want the happy ending, something novel worthy that beat all odds and people will flock to the theaters to see. Sometimes the girl gets Mr. Unattainable. Most of the times she doesn’t and it always leaves the ego a bit bruised and the heart super achy because you should have known better. Once you finally feel like yourself, you’ll swear that you will never love again and if you do, it will never feel the same. Trust me, you will love again. Live in that moment.

4. You can’t be friends with everyone. Some of the people with the purest hearts often have the least amount of friends. Not because they attract awful people, but because they are often taken advantage of. After a while of constantly being disappointed, you put your walls up. You learn that everyone that wishes you well out loud, doesn’t always wish you well when your back is turned. Some people can’t stand to witness anyone doing better than them. They may slander your name, treat you like crap or simply stop talking to you. It sucks….but in those instances you learn who your real friends are. They will ride with you when you are at your lowest and celebrate each milestone, even if it is just a simple text message to congratulate you. They don’t care what you look like, how much weight you gained or how much money you have. They love you for you. If you find four people like this in your lifetime, you are lucky. Hold them tight.

5. Reaching a goal takes more than just making up your mind. You will constantly doubt yourself, stay up way too many nights contemplating if you made the right decision and even cry about it. People have become too judgmental when it comes to people’s emotions coming out of their eyeballs. Since when did crying mean you were weak or childish, I always thought it meant that you were human. When your goals mean that much to you and failing is not an option, all types of emotions will come out of everywhere. No one has all the answers. It would be nice though wouldn’t it? But just think about how boring life would be if we knew exactly what tomorrow would bring. I believe that self doubt is normal and totally healthy, within moderation. It means that you are growing out of the shell that once protected you and now you are ready to conquer something which you do not fully understand. I truly admire anyone who chases a dream or a goal, the world needs more of that.  Follow your heart. No one knows what it beats for better than you.

6. Money can’t buy happiness. Yes, there are a lot of luxury items, delicious food and fabulous vacations that money can buy. But those things can’t genuinely make you happy. Temporarily content, yes. Materialistically fulfilled, hell yes. But when it comes down to what counts, no.  When you are old and worn reflecting on your life; you won’t be thinking about that Chanel bag. You will reminisce on the experiences you’ve had, the people you’ve met along the way, the moments where you couldn’t catch your breath because you were laughing so hard, and the people you enjoyed those moments with. Someone can steal all of your possessions, which would probably make you really sad. But no one can ever take those priceless moments. No pun intended.

7. Everyone that comes into your life is not meant to stay forever. Throughout this journey you will meet people from all walks of life, ethnicities, religions and professions.  You will form unique bonds with all different types of people. You know, those relationships where you just know that you will be best buds forever. However, not everyone that crosses your path and leaves an imprint on your soul is meant for permanent residence. I am a strong believer that some people are placed in your path because at that moment you need them. Some represent business opportunities while on the road to finding your professional career, some are crazy fun and helped get your mind off of that terrible breakup, some are there to test you and others are placed there to try to break you, but from that you become stronger. In the end, you will thank them all. They all shape you into being the person you were meant to be.

8. Your beauty may not be for everyone. There is beauty in every shade, size and shape. There are so many different mixes of races and ethnicities and they are all beautiful.  At some point, you may encounter someone that will not be used to your beauty. However common or unique it might be. It’s possible that they may be cruel with their opinion, but don’t let them tell you who you are. You are defined by the way you feel about you. The world will just have to adjust. People are so much more than their looks, but sometimes its easier to poke fun at something than trying to spend some time listening and feeling. These days too many people stand behind the “1st amendment” to say whatever they want, without thinking about the feelings of others. Social media has made it extremely easy for people to target and bully what they don’t accept or find appealing. I wish that closed minds also came with closed mouths.

9. People fight battles everyday that no one knows about. Sometimes the person with the biggest smile in the room is kicking and screaming on the inside. Be nice to people. It doesn’t take more than a second to say “hi” to a stranger or to be respectful to your waiter. A small gesture like that can turn someone’s entire day around. They may even pay it forward. We are humans, forced to smile at work and reply “Fine” when asked how are we feeling. When a lot of times, we aren’t fine. The person you have put down may have a sick parent at home, be dealing with an eating disorder, in an abusive relationship or losing their home at the end of the month.  We all have a right to live and making other people feel like crap doesn’t make you a better person. If anything, it shows more of who you are rather than who you are attempting to ridicule.

10. Don’t go by society’s standards of living. A spouse, two kids, a 9-5 job and a dog just isn’t for everyone. Not saying there is something wrong with the “American Dream” but that isn’t living if your heart doesn’t want it. That is settling. Love who you want to love, wear all of the funky clothes you want, express your opinion, don’t marry him just because your parents know best.  Sometimes we put so much pressure on ourselves based on movies and the lives of other people around us that we never get to write our own story. We just pick up the same book that was handed down to us and say, “Okay, this will be my life”. It a sad day when you look back in 50 years and wish you had one more chance to write that book. Because you don’t get another chance. This is it. Make it count.

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my 1st super long post. It means the world to me. If there is a topic relating to life or love that you want me to focus on just drop me a comment below or send me a private message.

XoXo

Denise

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