Cake Notes

Today I embark on a new decade of life.  Wowzers!  It’s funny how time accelerates once you surpass your teenager years.  I feel like I just turned 16 and earned the DSC_9791privilege to drive!  It’s certainly a blessing to even have the opportunity to still be present in mind, body, and spirit and able to look back on the last 30 years of my life.  Thirty…I don’t know why that sounds strangely scary but cool.  I can say the last ten years in particular have been the ultimate learning experience and have equipped me with lessons and wisdom that I know will carry me into the greater years of my life.  As I close the chapter on my twenties, I’ve decided to document what I call the “30 notes of insightful necessity” and represent everything I would tell my 20-something year old self if I could go back in time.  I know one of the most compelling things about life is that any lesson you’ve truly embraced will continue to bear weight in the way you flourish in the years to come.  I also know that somewhere there’s a 20-something year old who could benefit from my abridged handbook of written experience.  So, even as I celebrate my birthday, I’m giving thirty little gifts that I hope will keep giving…

  1. Things are always better in the morning.  Fresh perspective will meet you when you awaken to a new day of sunshine.
  2. Never over compromise.  You should not have to sell yourself short to make up for someone else’s inability to rise to the occasion.
  3. Make a plan but don’t expect that your plan will always get followed.  A little deviation breaks the monotony and adds the spice to the details.
  4. Bend but don’t break.  There will be times when you’ll have to be strong and amenable to change.  And it will never be convenient.
  5. Don’t believe everything you see on the Internet or TV.  Social media included.  In fact, minimize the noise and read a book.  It’ll take you places and sharpen your intellect.  Two for one special.
  6. Do everything you can to not compare your life to everyone around you.  Most people will give you the glitz and leave out the struggle.
  7. Believe that everyone you encounter crossed your path for a reason.  Don’t dismiss the purpose in the connection.  God moves through people.
  8. Expect to be perplexed about what you want to be when you grow up even after graduation.  You’re not experiencing a crisis, but instead a process.  It’s called life.
  9. Always be kind to others.  It’s not easy being the bigger person, but you’re too good to behave as if you’re so uncouth.
  10. Always be kind to yourself.  The quickest way to obliterate a jovial, expecting spirit is to diminish your own light with irrational criticism.  Stop it!
  11. Don’t settle.  Period.
  12. Buy the shoes.  Your size won’t be there next week.  (Hi Mom!)
  13. Protect your thoughts.  Your mind is the gateway to your heart and the lifeline to your dreams.
  14. Save and spend wisely.  The way you handle your resources will determine the quality of your life.
  15. Go somewhere as often as your finances and responsibilities will allow.  You find your greatest loves and what you’re truly made of outside of your usual geographic boundaries.
  16. Believe in the fairy tales for your life too.  If they can happen for them, they can happen for you.
  17. Be there.  Recognize the power in your physical presence.  The material things pass away.
  18. Life is not a competition.  Someone will always be better and ahead of you.  But, you still have something that someone needs.
  19. Your gifts are not meant to be exploited.  Use them to genuinely help others, but also maximize opportunities to leverage your purpose.
  20. Go to the doctor.  Eating an apple will not suffice.
  21. In the same vein, examine your tatas and get them fitted.  Breast cancer is very much prevalent in women of all races, and early detection is key.  Plus, a professional bra fitting will ensure they always look like they’re having a good day.
  22. Set and keep boundaries.  We all have free will, but you live more abundantly when you can effectively navigate relationships and circumstances based on what you know you will or will not accept.
  23. Just be.  Real growth and insight is birthed from the moments when you pause.  You don’t have to be everywhere all the time.
  24.  Get comfortable with saying “no.”  Just like you can’t be everywhere all the time, you also can’t do everything all the time.  And truthfully, sometimes you just won’t want to.  And avoid the explanation.  Nobody really wants to hear it, and your answer is still “no.”
  25. Keep an open mind.  Knowledge, creativity, and innovation is at your fingertips.  You still have much to learn.
  26. Call your grandparents.  They have two precious things money can’t buy—wisdom and unforgettable anecdotes.  (Hi Nana!  I promise to never take wooden nickels!)
  27. Wait your turn.  You’ll reach the destination at your appointed time.
  28. Go with your gut.  Apprehension is usually God’s way of telling you to yield.
  29. Don’t let other people’s opinions, preferences, ideals, or desires to speed through life interrupt your zen.  It’s just not that serious.
  30. In everything you do, be at peace with yourself.  You know you better than anyone else, and what you believe about yourself will always take precedence.

Here’s to 30 more years of unwrapping…

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