38 Things I’ve Learned So Far In My 38 Years

A pink and purple lotus has Happy Birthday written over it in script

Thursday is my birthday! I’m turning 38 and glad to say so. I’ve never had a problem with getting older. Reading about other women finding each successive decade an improvement had a lot to do with that. So far, I’ve found them to be right, and I’m really looking forward to my 40’s. I’ve learned so much over the years, and I look forward to learning more.

So, to celebrate, I decided to use a post idea I saw on quite a few other blogs, and listed out 38 things I’ve learned in my 38 years alive.

1) Other people’s opinion of me is none of my business.

They are going to think what they’ll think. There is nothing I can do about it, so why worry.

2) Nobody is worth changing yourself for.

Always be true to yourself. The most important thing is that you are happy with yourself. It doesn’t matter one bit what other people think if you don’t like yourself.

3) You can’t own people.

Not for love, and not your kids.

4) If you love someone, love them as they are, not as you wish they were.

5) There will always be someone to criticize you; just do your thing.

No matter what you do, someone is bound to judge you and be unhappy, so don’t worry about them, and just do what you want to do.

6) Don’t try to change people.

You can’t, and you shouldn’t.

7) Worry is pointless.

Either you can change/control things, or you can’t. Worry doesn’t change that.

8) Do what you love.

Don’t let life pass you by without doing the things that you love. Find time, make it happen, and ignore anyone who scoffs at you.

9) Your style can be whatever you want it to be.

If you like it, wear it. You don’t have to stick to any set rules when it comes to dressing yourself.

10) Things you procrastinate are rarely as bad as you think they are going to be.

Most times, when I dread doing something, and put it off, the stress of knowing it is waiting for me is worse than actually getting it done.

11) Let the past go/Forgive yourself.

The past is in the past and can not be changed. Don’t bother yourself wit it, but learn and move forward.

12) Failure is a chance.

It’s a chance to learn and improve. It’s only real failure if you quit.

 

"We are all failures - at least the best of us are." J.M. Barrie

13) I love plants, but I suck at gardening.

14) Never diet.

Dieting doesn’t work, isn’t healthy, and isn’t necessary.

15) People are mostly nice.

My social anxiety makes me constantly worry about being judged and more. When I am able to push myself to interact with people though, I usually am pleasantly surprised with how kind they are. It is rare that I have a really bad exchange with anyone.

16) I have good instincts about people.

When I do interact with them, I am rarely wrong about my impressions of what kind of person they are. I’m a damn good reader of people, and have learned to trust my gut if something seems off.

17) High thread count sheets are worth it.

Seriously. They feel wonderful and last longer. Spring for them when you get the chance, or ask for them as a gift.

18) Credit cards are convenient and evil.

Avoid them if possible.

19) Life is impermanent.

Nothing, good or bad, lasts long. Enjoy the good while it is here, and know that the bad won’t last forever.

20) Don’t do what you don’t want to do.

Within reason, don’t do to anything you don’t actually want to do. This isn’t me telling you to break the law or be irresponsible, but play close attention to everything asked of you, and don’t do anything you don’t want to and don’t have to do. (and “what will people think” doesn’t count as a reason you have to)

21) Say “yes” more often.

Not to other people, but to opportunities that you come across. Don’t miss out on opportunities to widen your world view, learn new things or have new experiences.

22) We only have one life, it is up to us to make the most of it.

Find a dream and go after it.

23) Dreams don’t have to be huge.

It isn’t a dream only if it is thinking big like being a baseball player or an actress. Your dream can be whatever size is right for you. Finding a way to be able to support myself has become my dream. It may seem like small thinking to many, but it is just right to me. If it excites you and gives you drive, you’ve got yourself a dream.

24) There is no such thing as normal.

25) When something interests me, I hyper-focus to learn as much as I can.

Knowing this, I do my best to make sure I still pay attention to my needs and practice self-care.

26) Not everyone thinks the way I do.

You can’t always follow someone’s line of thinking or why they do something. Sometimes their brain works in a totally different way. This isn’t always bad or wrong.

27) There is no way to exactly understand someone else. Don’t judge.

Nobody in the world lives the exact same life. You can’t do a straight across comparison of anyone’s experience, so you never know exactly what they are thinking or what you would do in their shoes.

28) Monogamy is not the only right way.

It works for some people and not for other people. Find someone who has the same needs and keep the communication open. All different types of relationships can work.

29) Be in more pictures.

Don’t avoid pictures, because either you or your loved ones will want to see them one day.

30) Own your emotions.

Feel them. Deal with them.

31) We are each responsible for our own feelings.

Don’t rely on someone else to make you happy. Know that it is not your job to make anyone else happy either. If you are mad or sad, figure out why and fix it for yourself.

32) Good, supportive shoes are worth the money.

Proper shoes can make a difference in how you feel from your feet all the way up to your neck/head.

33) Cooking is one way I express my creativity.

I used to think I wasn’t creative at all, and then my husband pointed out I am able to be creative with recipes and ingredients with tasty results most of the time. I’m pretty proud of that fact.

34) Listen to hear/understand, not respond.

Pay attention the next time someone is talking to you. Are you formulating a response? Or are you really listening? True listening is a huge improvement to relationships.

35) Don’t help other people to your own detriment.

By all means help others, but not so much that you don’t notice you are sinking yourself.

36) There is more than one definition of success.

Decide for yourself what your definition is.

37) Mental illness is the same as any other illness.

There is no shame in having it, and you deserve to get treatment while being treated with the same respect afforded to any other person.

38) I’m still learning and working on many of these.

Just because I learned about it, doesn’t mean I’m done learning it.

 

That’s it for this year!

The author's name, Leigh, in red script, to the left with a coffee cup to the right.

Save