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29 Lessons Learned in 29 Years - The Next 10

Welcome back! In this post I am continuing my count of the 29 most important lessons I’ve learned in life over 29 years. If you missed the first 10, go give it a quick read and come back to this page after!

11. Continuing with number 11, over the past few years I have learned just how important it is to embrace your past. We all make mistakes. I make it a point to never feel embarrassed by a choice I made in the past. Every choice that I have made has made me who I am. And as long as I always choose to learn from my mistakes then I can embrace those mistakes as important lessons.

12. One of my favorite lessons that I have learned over the years is how to build trust. It takes a lot of patience to build trust. I’ve learned a lot about building trust through my cats. Pets can teach us so much and trust is one of them. For example, one of my cats is not so much a fan of people. 2 years ago she would growl and maybe swat at you if you came on too strong. When building trust with an animal that can’t speak your language, it’s important to learn how to speak with actions. My actions to build trust with my cat started by making sure she knew I respected her boundaries. And with a lot of waiting and taking baby steps she slowly opened up and began to trust me. Now she knows me. She understands that I respect her space and she, in turn, trusts that I’m only here to love her. 

photo of my black cat named Trouble chewing on a box

13. Setting realistic expectations. This 13th lesson is a big one. Don’t mistake this for setting low expectations though. We just have to identify what is realistic for us. Because if I set my expectations too high and I don’t meet them, I not only feel disappointed in myself but I also miss out on celebrating my smaller accomplishments. When I could just set smaller goals that I am confident I can achieve. Give yourself some grace and wiggle room!

14. It’s never too late to discover a new passion. Really! I used to be so hard on myself because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life. It is so true that we can change our paths as many times as we want to! A few years ago I had no clue that I would one day become a soap-maker. None! I used to be much more interested in filmmaking and at one point that changed. It was only a few years ago that I dipped my toes into gardening and crafting and that eventually became soap making! I’m always finding new passions which is exactly the way I want to live.

photo of my handmade soaps

15. Practicing self discipline is still one of the harder lessons that I need to relearn sometimes. Bad habits are easy to pick up when we feel anxious or stressed. One example is my morning routine. Now I know for a fact that a solid morning routine will set me up for a great productive day and I always feel great. Get up, brush teeth, make the bed, eat breakfast, meditate, and move my body. But every once in a while I’ll get into the bad habit of waking up and staying in bed on my phone for what ends up being hours. This can negatively affect the rest of my day easily making me feel overwhelmed or zombielike. It’s those moments where practicing self discipline is important. Because if I allow myself to do that every morning, I’ll create a habit of starting my day out feeling anxious and gloomy.

16. Next up on the list is that it is okay to not know something. I am 100% the type of person who will feel embarrassed and disappointed in myself if I don’t know the right answer to something. And it’s easy to let someone's reaction make us feel stupid or unintelligent. That’s why it’s so important to not be hard on yourself when you don’t know something or can’t remember something. It’s okay! Remember that no one is an expert in everything. Everyone always has something new to learn.

17. Lesson 17 is a little silly. And that is that hair really does store energy! I know it’s a little out of left field but there’s a reason why we always feel like a brand new person when we cut our hair. Haven’t you ever noticed how different you feel after an amazing haircut? This doesn’t mean that everyone needs to have short hair, not at all! I personally love my hair in all types of cuts. But even if I’m only making it a point to get my ends trimmed, that is still enough to make a huge difference in how I’m feeling!

18. Nothing beats homegrown and homemade. I can still remember the first time I ate a tomato that I grew myself. The taste was unmatched and almost like a totally new food! That jump started my love for gardening and eventually turned into a love for anything that was handmade. Those small town farmers markets where everyone has their “thing” is truly my happy place. There’s nothing quite like using or eating something that came from a neighbor, family member, or friend. Just knowing how much love and effort went into something makes it that much more special.

photo of my first ever baby pepper that I grew

19. Friendship is everything! You don’t have to be a genius to know this. Not in the slightest. We all know how much we love our friends but it’s when life brings challenges and changes that really tests a friendship. There really is nothing quite like friend love. It’s a choice. Friends are the people that choose to love you for exactly who you are. Friends will always choose to protect you if they can. Friends will always be there for you in the most important ways. Show your friends some love!

20. The final lesson for today is going to be that positivity is a choice. As hard as that is to accept, it’s true. Yes, it does sometimes come easier to others when it comes to staying positive. However it is possible for us all to get in that mindset. I use daily affirmations for this. I have a list of positive statements that I read every day. Yes, even on my worst days. Even when I don’t feel like what I’m saying is true. Saying positive affirmations every single day is one of the best habits that I’ve obtained. No one feels positive 100% of the time but there’s a difference between allowing yourself to feel and control your negative emotions and then letting yourself believe those negative emotions. At the end of the day my true self always goes back to positivity.