Thirty – Six

How did I get here? I mean yes, I literally know how I got here. But really, 36? It’s sort of funny how when you’re young, you can barely wait to grow up. And time can’t seem to pass quick enough. But then you grow up, and start to realize how short and truly amazing life is, and then you just want everything to slow down.

Aside from getting to spend today with my sweet hubby and my family, what is making me most excited about my birthday is the feeling that each and every day, I am being ME just a little bit more. I think that finding yourself and being true to who you are is something that you probably work on your whole life. And if I could, these are the 36 things that I would share with my younger 20-something-year-old-self as a guide for the future:

  1. Laughter is always the best medicine. So laugh a lot, and keep laughing, especially when things get hard.
  2. Cherish each and every moment, because life happens way too fast.
  3. You can’t always change the season of life that you are in, but you can always choose to grow within it.
  4. Everything, and I mean everything happens for a reason. Nothing about your life is happening by mistake or accident.
  5. Don’t sweat the small stuff, and don’t sweat the big stuff. The only sweating that you really want to be doing is while you’re out on a run or in the sauna.
  6. There is immeasurable strength and freedom in forgiveness. In the words of Oprah Winfrey, “to find forgiveness is to find freedom. And the moment that you gain that, you liberate your own well being, as well as make room inside for more compassion for everybody else around you.”
  7. You are beautiful and unique, and just as God designed you to be. Believe in that, and remind yourself of that often.
  8. Don’t get hung up on a moment. As Mom always says, “this too shall pass.”
  9. Never stop living with the joy and free-spirited energy that you had as a child. Sure, go ahead and mature, grow-up, learn and be wise. . .but also have fun with life. Dance, laugh, be goofy and don’t care what other people think.
  10. There is always time and space for kindness and empathy.
  11. Breathe. Take a deep breath, listen, and breathe. Then respond.
  12. Always stand up for what you believe in. Even if you feel a little bit nervous or anxious about speaking up for yourself in the moment, you will never regret being true to who YOU are.
  13. Give yourself time, because there will always be enough time for everything in life. Throw out any ideas of “fomo” that you might have. Everything will happen at the right time, and you will not miss out on one single thing. So trust in that. Everything will happen. There is time enough for everything.
  14. Don’t let anyone else put you down or make you feel less than you are. In the very wise words of Eleanor Roosevelt, “no one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
  15. Don’t apologize for things that you shouldn’t apologize for.
  16. Be proud of yourself and where you are in life. This is your path and your journey. Don’t live your life based off of someone else’s timeline.
  17. Everything in life is just one choice away.
  18. Whatever work path you are on in life, whether it be with music or blogging, or something else. . .yes, it’s a little bit different than everyone else’s job. But it’s still your work and your job. So stop letting other people’s judgements make you feel less than what you are. All of the world’s greatest thinkers and creators often chose paths that others didn’t understand. So keep following yours, and be proud of who you are and where you are.
  19. Speak up for yourself. No one will ever know what you are thinking or what you want unless YOU tell them.
  20. Your life looks different than everyone else’s. But that has been by design. You have worked hard for the life that you have, so don’t let anyone else’s judgements or jealously make you feel anything but proud and deserving.
  21. Stop worrying about or thinking about the future. You don’t need to have all of the pieces figured out now. In fact, better that you don’t, because your plans will change, and your life will take twists and turns. And that is exactly how it should be.
  22. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. Others might not believe it, but trust that you know that anything is possible.
  23. Know your worth. And stand up for it.
  24. Be grateful for EVERYTHING. Gratitude is the absolute key to happiness.
  25. Some people think that striving for balance is an unattainable goal. But you know that balance is ever-changing. So just find the balance in the moment, and be present.
  26. Nash gave you some of the greatest advice that will always ring true with you: don’t fight the current of life. When life brings you change or a new transition, just go with the flow.
  27. Change your mind and don’t ever apologize for it. That’s the beauty of life, we all get to change how we feel about things, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.
  28. Pray. The closer that you are to God, the more at peace you will feel. And when you pray, pray looking inside to your heart and soul. God is not only with you, but He is inside of you, working through you always.
  29. Change the way you look at things, and the things you look at will change.
  30. Be what it is that you are seeking in life.
  31. Don’t count your steps, your calories, your miles, your followers, or your time. . . those all seem to be mere metrics to feel crappy about yourself. Let it all go, and just live.
  32. Manifest, manifest, manifest. You ARE the author of your life.
  33. Letting go is a choice. So choose it. Let go of how things might have been or could be, and just live in the now.
  34. Be gentle with yourself.
  35. You’ll likely fall in and out of love with running many times, and that’s just fine. But keep running, because it doesn’t always have to feel good. There is peace and clarity in that space between you and the pavement that will bring you some of your best ideas.
  36. Just be you. Love hard, laugh often, smile, do high kicks, tap dance, color, create, share, play. . .and never stop being YOU. Don’t ever do something because someone else is telling you to. And never try to mimic someone else’s success. If you’re not sure that you’re on the right path, then take a break and a step back. But most importantly, in everything, just be you. God only made one of you on purpose. So celebrate that, enjoy that, and let your light shine bright!

“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive that is Youer than You.” – Dr. Seuss

4 Replies to “Thirty – Six”

  1. Happy Birthday to my beautiful wife! I am so grateful to be your husband and to be able to celebrate your birthday with you! Your 36 tips are so true, and I am so proud of your journey for self growth and discovery! I love you so much Katie!

    1. <3 <3 <3

  2. Best birthday wishes!

    1. Thank you SO much Amanda!

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