Guest post: 20 Things I’ve Learned In My 20 Years of Living

Hi friends!  I want to share with you some writing from one of my dearest friends, Tiffany.
Tiffany called me around her birthday last month asking to use my blog as a platform to share her thoughts that she was reflecting upon as her 20th birthday neared. She has a heart of gold and is full of wisdom, and it was a honor to help her share her thoughts effectively.
Without further ado, here is a simple list of lessons learned. Happy belated birthday, Tiff, and here’s to many more!

Untitled

Just a now-20 year old sharing the lessons that have stuck out to me

in this funny journey called life.

  1. Laughter is a real medicine. It can cure more than you think,  give you strength you did not realize you had… and it is cheap.
  2. Gratitude is also a real medicine. Be thankful not only when things are easy and going your way, but also in the dead of winter, because each season contains good and a lesson to be learned. Try the hardest to find things to be grateful for when it is the hardest to be grateful.
  3. Learn to be a loyal friend. You can disagree with words, actions and choices, and still love that person deeply and consider them more than all of those things. We all need a friend who will love us, not judge us, and remind us that we are not defined by our mistakes. This can be referred to as a “ride or die” friend.
  4. Friends (especially loyal ones and ones that you can laugh with) are MIGHTILY important (and not just of the cat variety). Do not become complacent with your appreciation for your friends — remind yourself how much they mean to you and treat them accordingly.
  5. Don’t be stingy with compliments! Walk past a stranger and notice his confident stride, her joyful smile or her fierce hair style? Let these people know you see those things and they rock! Don’t hold back on telling people how awesome they are or what you appreciate about them… like, ever.
  6. Do not allow something to be a ball and chain around your ankle for the rest of your life. It may be easier said than done, but let go. You do not have to be held down by past hurt. I give you permission to forgive… forgive someone who hurt you, forgive yourself. Forgiveness is the key to finding freedom from whatever hurt you don’t realize you’re clinging to as if it is your best friend.
  7. LISTEN to your body [gut feelings, included]. It will tell you what it needs if you just stop numbing yourself out and listen to it.
  8. Dance parties. Have those. Often. With people, with yourself, with cats, whatever works.
  9. Inadequacy is a lie.
  10. Life becomes so much easier when you can communicate effectively, considerately and gently. People are not mind readers, so do not hesitate to tell people what you want and ask if you do not understand.
  11. Love your momma. Say yes to hanging out with her if she asks you to — most likely, you will not regret it. They do much more than we know and deserve applause, respect and appreciation for their sacrificial love. 
  12. Life is more enjoyable when you join hands with grace instead of self-criticism. It is better to be your own cheerleader than to beat yourself up.
  13. You cannot escape the law of reaping what you sow. What are you physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally reaping right now in your life?
  14. Spending time with kids is time well spent. They will brighten your life with their crazy antics, unique personalities and great understanding of this world.
  15. You have a greater impact on people than you realize.
  16. Feelings are meant to be felt and faced. Sit with how you are feeling — don’t push them away, ignore them or shame yourself for feeling. Dig deep into the roots of those feelings and honestly explore them. It is okay to feel, and it is good to question why you really feel that way.
  17. Comfort zones — get out of those.
  18. Empowering and expressive hobbies deserve to be intentionally placed into your daily schedule. Do things that help you realize your own power! We were all given unique passions and interests, so do not neglect those! 
  19. Self-worth is independent from any other person and from successes/failures in life. These things do not define you nor give your value. It is steadying to know you are worthy beyond what others say about you, your mess ups AND your A+’s.
  20. Give Jesus a chance. Just give him a chance to have relationship with you, to show you his love, to show you he is faithful, to prove he is good and can be trusted. You can walk away any time, but seek him outside of a religious debate and give him a chance.
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