Monday, July 10, 2017

10 Things My 31 Years Have Taught Me

1. Life is what you make it.
We all have one life to live and we at times get dealt tough hands.  Play that hand to the best of your ability.  Being born into poverty does not mean you have to be poor all your life.  I remember not taking no for answer when a particular class I need was closed.  My persistence allowed me to be put into the class and it stopped me from being held back a semester. Your actions and mindset can tremendously impact the outcome of your situation.

2. People change and that is okay.
Time and experience have an impact on people and you aren't immune to this happening.  A person changing due to their life experiences is not in your control.  What you can do as a person and as a friend is accept them for who they are and understand there is a root cause to why they do or say the things they do.

3. Saying "No" is good.
We always want to make people happy and don't want to seem mean by saying no when asked to do something. People often take you for granted when knowing they can always come to you.  Doing everything for everyone else wears you down.  Telling others no at times healthy for you and your sanity.

4. Sometimes you have to let people go or give them some distance.
Not everyone is meant to travel your journey with you.  Some people cause more harm than good.  Some people hinder growth.  It is important to understand the people closest to you and your relationship.  Don't hold on to meaningless relationships out of feeling obligated based on something such as being friends since elementary school.  If this person is full of empty promises, makes choices that can impact you negatively or doesn't truly support your endeavors, consider why are you friends?

5. Everyone has an opinion, but it doesn't have to impact your life.
People will have opinions about you and your life.  Their thoughts are not law.  People will try to get you to make your life decisions off of what they think is best for you.  Remember it is your life and while taking others opinions into consideration is an option, it is your option to make.

6. Everything happens for everyone in their own time.
It's like you look around and everything is happening in everyone's life, promotions, engagements, birth announcements, new houses, etc. You feel stagnant and not where you believe you are supposed to  be.  Don't compare how successful you are by looking at someone else's life.  Watching someone else's life will cause me to miss out on my own victories and blessings.  I made it a point to be so busy achieving my goals, I don't have time to worry about what someone else was doing.

7. We all have demons we are fighting
I would look at a person and say, "Man, how does she do it?"  She seems to have it all together, but many times when I get to know her, she has a lot on her plate, and she is doing her best to keep it together just like the rest of us.  We all put our best face forward in public, but there is no telling what is eating at someone on the inside.  Be gentle with people and be patient.

8. Sometimes the best response is no response at all
I have had situations where I really wanted to say what was on my mind, but I decided it wasn't worth it and kept quiet.  I've learned to pick my battles and not to feed the flames of the fire.  When a conversation is needed, I will talk it out.  I evaluate those lessons to see what I can learn from them and move on. Depending on the severity, I may cut ties with the person or place and interact on a need be basis.  I choose a peace of mind over continuous drama.

9. Being comfortable in my own skin brings true happiness
I truly love me.  There are times I have to correct myself when my husband says something nice that he likes about me. I Would twist it into something less flattering. I will accept my imperfections as those things that make me who I am. We all have flaws and should not be ashamed.  I'm learning to accept my compliments and appreciate myself and see the beauty in what I perceive as my imperfections.

10. I am stronger than I think
The loss of my son Michael is teaching me so much about myself. I experienced a pain/grief unlike anything I have ever experienced.  I really did not know how I was going to make it to the next day carrying so much pain.  I am thankful for my support system because even though I had to go through the pain, I was not alone.  I didn't even know my own strength because I know I survived because of the strength God gave me.  I am learning I have the strength to take on the toughest trials life can dish out.  I will hurt, but I will survive.