2. I am not the center of the universe. I think of how many people exist, have existed before me and will exist after I’m gone, and my worries and fears seem completely insignificant. Not in a depressing, discouraging way but in a liberating and calming one.
3. Maintaining friendships (and making new friends) is an act of intention. I show my friends I care, even though I’m far. When I last moved (to Ghent) I actively looked for people to claim as friends. I couldn’t go on being just “the girlfriend” and loneliness is a dangerous thing.
4. Worrying never solved any of my problems, but I do it anyway. I wish I had learned that worrying doesn’t solve anything, period. But that’s just how I am: I worry, I overthink. But I also look for solutions and let go when nothing else can be done.
5. High heels are not my friends. Flats and comfort for life!
6. Enjoy your own company. And learn more about yourself in the process, accept your perks and quirks.
7. Cook your own food. It’s therapeutic, it brings people together, and it’s healthier and cheaper.
8. Create an active lifestyle. Because we’re not getting any younger, are we?
9. You don’t have to socialize more than you want to. I love being with friends and I love being on my own, so I had to learn to balance both.
10. Floss. This one is mostly motivated by my fear of losing my teeth and feeling a lot of pain in the process. Again, we’re not getting any younger, are we?
11. Live well within your means. I live a modest life, where I’m still able to squeeze in some pretty awesome (budget) trips and be proud of not having any debt.
12. Be open to new things. Or I wouldn’t be here today.
13. Doing nothing is ok. It’s good for your mind. Life is not a race. You’re not missing out on anything. There’s absolutely nothing you should be doing on a Sunday afternoon. Don’t fret.
14. I don’t have to. I get to. When I get all fussy about having to go to the dentist or having to bike to work, I think “Actually, I get to go to the dentist and have my teeth taken care of. I’m lucky.” Or “How great is it that I get to bike to work and not rush to catch a train or be stuck in traffic every morning?” That shift of perspective is a powerful thing.
15. People are usually doing their best. Try to understand people’s behavior. They’re not always trying to ruin your day on purpose. They’re busy trying to cope, just like you.
16. It’s ok to give up. Some things are just not for you. Like that motorcycle license wasn’t for me. I spent a lot of money and tears on that, but will never regret giving up.
17. Pee before you leave. And bring an umbrella. And a snack. And make sure your phone is charged.
18. Buy quality. I started buying better shoes when my cheap-ass ones would hurt my feet in every possible way. Since I only have a few pairs and wear them often, it’s much better to invest in good ones. I’m slowly learning to buy better clothes too, since they look much nicer and last much longer.
19. Create. Your crazy ideas need an outlet.
20. Stay in touch with your family. They are the ones that (usually) truly love you and will be there for you.
21. Be respectful. It never hurts!
22. Change is growth. I embrace it, I long for it. My life is better because of all the changes I went through.
23. Be grateful. Your life will be filled with joy and your heart will be so light!
24. Organization and cleanliness make me feel at peace. A tidy home = a tidy mind.
25. I miss my hometown but I might never live there again. I miss my family, the food and memories of a time that won’t come back. But I feel I was born to wander.
26. I don’t care what people think a 30-year-old woman should be doing. Stop asking when I’ll get married and have a baby. There is absolutely nothing I should be doing when I don’t want to.
27. I love being in nature and silence. I was never a big city girl, after all. I feel like I’m coming back to myself when I’m quietly admiring a natural space.
28. Too much social media will make you miserable. Beware of the comparison trap! You’ll start wanting things you don’t really want and taking your life for granted.
29. Teaching might really be my calling. I have never been sure of what career to pursue and I have wanted to be many things – travel writer, diplomat, author, life coach, lottery winner – but I realize now that teaching feels so natural to me. I love sharing what I know and watching it transform others, even in the smallest ways.
30. I still have so much more to learn.
What are your biggest life lessons?
*Image source: Pixabay.com, link on the image.