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28 Lessons Learned: Happy Birthday to me!

It’s my birthday! Well, not officially. Sure, today is March 11th – my birthday – but I was born at 7:11 pm so technically, I’m still 27 until then. This particular birthday is not one that I was looking forward to celebrating, but I am trying to embrace the day and the fact that I am one year older, smarter, wiser, etc.

I had a plan. At the start of January, I was looking at apartments, had submitted an application…the works. My plan for my birthday was simple — buy myself a cupcake and spend the day Emma Swan style, alone. But, I’m still here, living in my parents house spending the day with more hoopla than I had planned. It’s just family though. It could be worse, right?

I’m trying to convince myself that it’s going to be a good year and that my “happy beginning” will come to me soon. Since losing my job, I’ve been so bummed out about all of the things that I am missing out on doing in life — getting my own apartment again, saving money, finding love, — all those things that I haven’t had the space or ability to do since moving back to New York. But, if I have learned anything during the last year it’s to let go of the feeling like you’re missing out (FOMO) and start creating adventures, journey toward excitement, take the steps necessary to walk towards your dreams.

Stop waiting. So, I want to share a list — a list of 28 lessons that I learned in life that I really feel could help out someone else.

  1. Don’t let your friend cut your hair with art class scissors at school.
  2. Scratch that – don’t sit next to a mean girl in school, haha!
  3. No one likes a bully
  4. Don’t run away from the teachers in the hallways. You WILL get caught.
  5. Never leave a note in your 6th grade crushes desk because the whole class will find it, read it, and tease you endlessly.
  6. If you got the stomach flu TWICE while reading Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, give up!
  7. When it comes time to pick a high school, pick one where YOU feel most comfortable, not where your older sister did.
  8. You don’t need to compete with your older sister. Everyone is smart in their own right.
  9. It’s okay to cry and it’s even more okay to let them see you cry.
  10. Draw your life map.
  11. Have that panic attack. Release your fears and anxieties.
  12. If you witness something, write about it. Write it ALL down.
  13. Family comes before everything because you never know how long someone might be with you.
  14. Trust your instincts and follow your heart.
  15. Listen. Listen. Listen…no, REALLY Listen.
  16. Talk to him, he doesn’t bite.
  17. Go places. Meet people. Make friends.
  18. Don’t trust those girls. They’re no more real than my grandmother’s false boobs.
  19. That girl will steal your man AND your red fuzzy slippers. Leave her at the club.
  20. Embrace the gym
  21. Wait to have sex until YOU are ready rather than doing it because you feel behind the curve
  22. Him, really? Block his phone number – he has a girlfriend!
  23. Nothing is quite as it seems
  24. Speak up! Communicate! Don’t pretend it’s all okay.
  25. And you want to give him your new address because…?
  26. Give the man the space he asked for. You’re pushing him away.
  27. Embrace the pain. Let yourself feel it
  28. Let go of the woman you used to be. Learn to love the woman you’re becoming.

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