With the trend nowadays of publishing “list-icles” (list-articles), I create my own list of 17 things I learned looking back at the last 32 years of my life, or maybe, more specifically, looking back at the last 2 months I had the chance to reset and re-assess where I am, where I’ve been, and where I hope to be.
I know there are (and will be) more, but as of June 12, 2015 – fitting that it coincided with our Independence Day – do I realize these 17 things which mark my own celebration of my personal independence and freedom from anything and everything that is weighing me down, one way or another.
So, here goes – the 17 freaking things I learned before turning 32.
1. I learned that sometimes, all you have to do is see things through.
2. I learned that to get somewhere, you must have first planted the seeds and toil it out. That it will not be as easy for you as you would like.
3. I learned that time is currency in itself, and I need to weigh out the relative importance and significance of every single thing I will do if it will add to my life cup and only do things where I can say to myself after, regardless of outcome, “That was worth it.”
4. I learned to be kind, most especially to myself.
5. I learned that a perfect world does not exist. Perfection (or otherwise) is created only in the mind.
6. I learned to qualify my relationships and make amends, that being in a meaningful relationship with people is much more important that being in a relationship with your bank account.
7. I learned the trans-formative power of God’s word, where I get my strength each and every day when I feel down and out.
8. I learned that it’s OK to make a mistake, or think that you made a mistake.
At the end of the day, it’s not the mistake that is important, but how you picked yourself up from the mistake and pull yourself back together from kissing pavements.
9. I learned that I needed to heal what needs to be healed in my life – relationships I have been putting off or have placed in the back-burner because of work that never loved me back.
10. I learned that often, we need to really experience what’s real, and actually go through the often difficult exercise to realize that you were, or have been, in a good position all along.
11. I learned to trust, that God never intends for unhappiness to pervade in our lives. He never wants to see us lonely. He not once wished ill or misfortune or regret to envelope our thoughts.
Sometimes, you just have to make room and wait, smiling and patient, and allow Him to create even bigger miracles than you can ever imagine.
12. I learned that God can change your life in an instant, only if you allow Him to.
13. I learned that you must first learn to be at peace with who you are – good and bad, right or wrong, rich or poor – and trust, that you are exactly where He intended you to be, no more no less.
14. I learned to let go of the past to be at peace with the future, because I can never be fully accept what’s to come if I am still holding to what I lost.
15. I learned to pull myself together every time I feel like disintegrating, which is most of the time, every single day.
16. I learned that no matter how much we take control, we never truly can, not without His grace.
17. And I learned that you will never be able to fully and truly know yourself – who you are inside out. Only God can do that.
And with that, I wait for 2 more months before finally turning 32 and officially not being in the Gregorian calendar anymore.
Calendar or not, I will hold on to these 17 things and look forward to 32 more years in this life and beyond, patting myself on the back and reassuring myself that it will always, always be alright.