Back in my 20s, when I thought I knew it all, life was really invincible! College! Heart breaks! Friendship break ups! Weekend parties! Late night drinking! Not to mention the hang overs! YOLO mentality! It did not matter what you say to me, because I had the answers to everything…or so I thought.
I realized I know nothing at all. I am a student of life. What I thought was important has shifted so much. I mean, I am constantly changing. I am and will continue to be influenced by my past, current, and new experiences.
Mitch Albom said it best in his book : Tuesdays with Morrie: “Well, for one thing, the culture we have does not make people feel good about themselves. We’re teaching the wrong things. And you have to be strong enough to say if the culture doesn’t work, don’t buy it. Create your own. Most people can’t do it.”
And, being a mom has wised-me-up, if you know what I mean. Just going to add in here, that I simply can’t attribute everything to motherhood…I have gone through some serious life experiences (i.e. losing my father when I was 3, losing my mother when I was 9, getting out of welfare system, ect.). So here are my 7 life lessons:
1.) Have dreams…realistic dreams and work hard towards it! Sorry to break it to you dear, but you’re not going to the NBA if you’re 5’3. Hey- I accepted that I’m not going to be an American Idol because I simply can’t sing for the life of me. Identify your strengths, and try to fit your dream around that.
2.) Have a plan. Sometimes Plan A does not work, so you end up having to work with Plan B, or Plan C…because the road to success is not a clear-straight-path. It is long, narrow, wide, up, down, winding and may have many bumps along. Be prepare to take a break even if you want it or not. After I had my son, I took a mini-break from my career and re-evaluated what it was I really wanted for myself.
3.) People are going to come and go and that’s OK. People who I thought were going to be there for me until the day I died, have left and gone. I used to ponder what exactly it was that I did that pushed them away? Well after much thinking, I realized I did nothing wrong. Just because you lost some friends along the way, it does not mean you’re a bad person, or that they were the bad. Your goals and theirs didn’t align therefore, it make sense for you both to part way, and that’s just life.
4.) Always have an attitude of gratitude. No matter what you are going through, you can and should always be grateful. During one of my darkest time of my life, I was living in a dingy, cockroach/rat-infested-mobile-home, and living on $20 dollars a week for grocery (for a family of 3-4). At the time, I felt grateful for just having a roof over my head, for having something to eat, for the love and strength that myself and my brother have.
5.) Challenge yourself to grow, and get out of your comfort zone (i.e. if you are shy, get out of your shell, if you are a Chatty-Kathy, listen a bit more). Don’t be judgmental. Be respectful of everyone’s similarities/differences. No one is alike. Get to know others, there is always something you can learn from someone’s else.
6.) Be ok with yourself. You are enough. In my 20s, I used to spend a great deal of money trying to achieve what I considered the “ideal beauty” (i.e. doing my lash extensions on a weekly basis, caking my face w make up, wearing 5-6 inch heels, ect.). Sure, these stuff made me look amazing! But I love me for me, and I am content with the me without the lashes and the heavy make up and the short little self that I am.
7.) Take control of your life, you are the author of your life. Luck and working hard, go hand in hand. There are things you can control and there are things you can’t. Taking control means making good decision for yourself (i.e. invest in yourself, invest in your education, take control of your finances (i.e. debts/savings), invest in your mental and physical health, ect.), and create a meaningful and beautiful life, a life that you can be proud of when it’s time to leave the physical world.
I’m sure this list can grow some more once I hit the BIG 40 or 50, but these are the key ones for me at this time.