HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME! This past week I celebrated my 27th birthday and I couldn't have had a more incredible day.
Best. Birthday. Ever.
In light of this momentous occasion, I decided I'd take a little time to reflect on my life and the lessons I've learned over the years. Your birthday is always a good time to check in with yourself and see how far you've come.
This year has been amazing and when I look back, everything has played out so perfectly. So, I sat down and wrote a rough list of things I've learned so far. I could go on and on, but figured 27 was a good place to stop.
Have you ever written a list like this? It's a really cool exercise to do and helps you re-identify with who you are.
Let me know some of your life lessons in the comments below!
Here we go......
- You can’t and WONT please everyone. Stop trying. Like, right now.
- The power of recieving. This is a lesson I just learned the day before my birthday. At times we tend to block things from coming into our lives and we can’t figure out why. My coach opened up about what have I been blocking, what story am I continuing to tell myself. It opened my eyes to alot. So, the next day I practiced being open to all the praise and cheers for my birthday and then attention surrounding the whole day. It wound up being my most favorite birthday yet!
- Self-care is not selfish. Self-care is self-respect. If that means ditching something you have no interest in doing, to do something you want to do, then so be it. Do whatever you damn well please. We’d all be happier + less resentful if we all were a little bit more selfish.
- And selfish isn’t a bad word. Its your right as a human on this planet to protect yourself, your mind, your body in whatever way you know how. Permission granted.
- To own who you are and what you like. The biggest thing I love about getting older is that you’re okay with not being just like everyone else, your taste + what interests you is different. Owning that is so freeing + fun. From the simplest things like knowing the type of environment you like to be in, the type of home decor your like, your design style, the clothes you wear. Claiming it as your own and not apologizing for it.
- Boundaries are PARAMOUNT. Having boundaries is something we all need to work on (and I don’t mean like closing the bathroom door when you pee kind of boundary).
- Just say no. Again with the boundaries. A great philosopher once said, “Excuses are like assholes, everyone has them,”...but no one wants to hear them. Just say no and move on.
- Priorities. Knowing your priorities helps influence every decision you make. My priorities are 1) relationships, 2) health and then 3) career. Not one before the other. WIthout my relationships +health there ain’t no career that could make me happy.
- Treat your body like the temple it is. When you’re young, you live everyday to the fullest, burning the candle at both ends, eating chemicals + drinking more straight vodka than you’d ever care to admit. But as you get older, time catches up with you and the hazy shade of yesteryear starts to fade. And then you feel like shit, wind up with adult acne and hair that keeps falling out. No? Just me? Ok, well anyway. It cycles through the wash pretty well and it’ll all come out eventually. Treating my body the with respect it deserves is definitely something that took sometime to learn.
- Pursue your passions at all costs. Because nothing is more expensive than a life half-lived. Find what you’re good at, what you love to do + fight like hell to make it work. Don’t let anyone’s snide comments or judgemental looks get to you, there will be plenty of those. That’s their shit.
- Patience. With the girl at H&M with a serious attitude at check out or the bank teller taking her sweet time counting out a hundred dollars. Patience, patience, patience. This has taken some time but seriously one of the best things I’ve learned. They’re there to teach you something and the longer you don’t pick up what the universe is throwing down, the longer your lesson lives on.
- Fear vs your Gut. This is the hardest to learn + I’m still practicing this everyday. Fear and the Ego are very convincing. They’re able to mask themselves as “gut feelings”...you know, intuition. Whenever you find yourself saying, “it just doesn’t feel right”, take a step back. Dig a bit deeper. What doesn’t feel right? Why doesn’t it feel right? What is the resistance? Often times it’s not our intuition, it’s our Ego mind (our fear) protecting us from anything big + scary. That’s its job, it’s in our DNA. However, since we’re not worried so much about being mauled by bears on the daily, fear has taken on a less important role. Fear now acts as a compass. Whatever we fear, anytime we’re at a crossroads, ALWAYS go in the direction of fear* (*with general exceptions, like jumping off a bridge). I was so lucky to have someone point this out to me earlier this year and I cannot tell you how much it’s changed my life.
- Forgiveness is literally magic. Forgive everyone for anything. NO. MATTER. WHAT. I mean it. The book “Radical Forgiveness” was recommended to me by a friend earlier this year and the lesson it teaches is one I’ll take with me forever. Everything that happens to you is for your greatest good, when you learn to forgive you release yourself from stagnant energy and open yourself to receiving the beauty in that lesson. If you can’t understand what I mean, pick up the book, it will change your mind.
- Be conscious. About everything. I’ve learned to “wake up”. I don’t live under a rock so I shouldn’t act like it. As you get older you understand the power of your dollar and where you can make an impact. Making conscious choices as much, and as frequently as possible, makes me feel like a grown ass woman. We can’t always get it right but knowing the money I spend is going to either a small business, local charitable grocery store or to make-up that won’t destroy the planet or harm animals makes me feel pretty fucking powerful.
- Experiences vs. Materials. I’ve realized over the last couple of years that spending money on experiences gives you a far greater ROI than buying (almost) anything. The beauty is if you get to do both. After I left my corporate job and took a serious pay cut, I realized how much you can actually live without. In those moments when I’d *splurge* and, say, buy a new shirt or pair of shoes...the buyers high lasted only a few hours, maybe even a day. But time and money spent on travel, dinners with friends, concerts and adventures last years. Invest wisely.
- You are what you eat, drink, think + do. Plain and simple.
- Releasing and letting go of outcomes. THIS was a real struggle of mine up until about 9 months ago. After leaving my corporate job to pursue what I really loved to do, the road became a bit more winding and the answers and directions were a bit more blurred. Because of this I felt like I had to fill in the blanks. I would tell myself “OK, so I’m gonna do this and then next year I’m gonna do this because of this and then it’ll all work out perfectly!” HA! This never works. And the tighter your grip on the outcome the more resistance you create to it actually coming true. My dream was to be on Good Morning America. I thought I’d do that by getting a job at ABC and then meet this person and this person, get a couple of promotions and BAM! Move over Lara Spencer. Did that happen? Not a chance. I couldn’t even get a job at any network. I went on a minimum of 100+ interviews meeting with anyone + everyone who would spare me twenty minutes, but it never worked out. Why? Because it wasn’t supposed to. If I had done that I wouldn’t be where I am today, living out my purpose. I have no doubt I will be on GMA at some point in the near future but it’s gonna be because I’m living my best + truest life.
- Accept your flaws, leverage your strengths. Instead of wasting time trying to strengthen my weaknesses, I’ve learned to work the shit out of my strengths. I’ve found jobs that use my skills to the best of their ability and continue to push me to grow + strengthen them. What I’m not great at is someone else’s strength. I’ll leave that to them.
- Invest in yourself. The only investment you can ever BANK on is the one you make in YOU. This is hard at first. We’re quick to throw down for an expensive pair of shoes, a new jacket + a trip to the moon but how many of us have never spent money on making ourselves better, smarter, stronger? You wanna lose weight, start eating right + you know you need help? Get a trainer + nutritionist. You wanna start a business? Hire someone to show you how. You wanna go back to school to learn a new language or skill? Sign up for that course. These are the things worth investing in. (Ok, and mayyyybe a chanel bag or two, too). The point is YOU ARE WORTH IT.
- Invest in Rest. Take time off to do nothing, be nowhere and see noone. We’re running at a million miles a minute and the only time we rest is when we’re asleep. We’re not even awake to enjoy it! Taking time to reset yourself saves you big time on the back end. Burnout is not a joke and shouldn’t be taken lightly. This I had to learn the hard way. And it goes back to knowing + having your boundaries clear.
- Spend time with people older than you. Prioritize time with grandparents, your elderly neighbor, even your aging dog. Their time is a bit more limited and when they leave us it feels good to know you have no regrets. They have a lot of wisdom left to teach.
- The importance of love languages. Knowing someone's love language is like having a secret code to the safe. Learn ‘em.
- Make your bed. It just makes you feel good and it’s the first thing you accomplish all day.
- Take care of your teeth + your health. Let me tell you, it is expensive to be sick and have busted teeth. You learn this quick when you have to find your own insurance and realize you made a mistake and bought the wrong dental insurance and now you’d have to pay out of pocket for cleanings and x-rays. Ho-ly shit. I’ve never flossed so much until this year.
- Things have to fall apart to make room for better things to come together. The universe is always conspiring in our favor. This is hard to remember in the moment but all the dots will eventually connect.
- To trust the timing of your life. This over everything. It wont make sense to alot of people and it’ll look like you’re just letting life happen to you but you know what’s up. You don’t have to force a thing.
- “27” doesn’t quite roll off the tongue as nicely as “26” but I imagine I’ll get used to it.
I'm so excited to see what this next year brings. I can't believe where I'm at now, compared to a year ago. I'm so grateful for this life!
Xo Kendall Marie