I told Big C it was my birthday today and followed it by asking him how old he thought I was. He said 17. I giggled and told him to guess again. He said 100. Talk about a hit to my ego. 31. I told him I was 31 today and he followed that with, “That’s a big number mama.”
31 years old and I feel every year. Not in terms of bones cracking and such but in terms of the lessons that I’ve learned and the things that I’ve done. I’ve had a great life and it’ll be interesting to see how the rest pans out. Of course, I hope to travel more and do more things. But my biggest wish is to be able to teach my kids the important things of life. Teach them how to live instead of sitting around waiting for things to happen. So my darling children, here are 31 life lessons for you. I hope that you read this one day and think that I am the smartest person in the world. Know that these are the things I hold dear, the lessons I use in my every day life (or at least try to), and the things I want you to treasure.
1. Have fun. There’s nothing worse than a party pooper.
2. Think positively. Even when everything turns to shit, think positive, happy thoughts. Those are the thoughts that will get you through those tough times.
3. My parents always told me that if I look back on my life and have 5 good, amazing friends, I am insanely rich. I never understood that lesson until I got older. You will have lots of friends and many will come and go but if you have 5 long-lasting, true friends, you are indeed one of the richest people in the world.
4. Your father and I love you more than you will ever know. We will always be there for you even when you think we will be furious with what you’ve done, we will always be there. We will move mountains for you.
5. Learn to cook. And learn how to do your own laundry. It’s important.
6. Never compare yourself to others. You are your own person. You will be better and stronger at some things and they will be better and stronger at others.
7. Don’t be scared of failing. Take those leaps of faith and fail. Failing means you’re trying.
8. Don’t be afraid to love and love with all your heart. It’s worth it. Trust me.
9. Learn to laugh at yourself.
10. Try ALL THE THINGS! Don’t be afraid to try the drums or surfing, mountain climbing, or even sky diving. Do them all! Try them once. And TRY ALL THE FOODS! Food is good. Remember that.
12. Be true to yourself.
13. Read. Lots.
14. You will make mistakes. It’s human nature. Learn from them and move on.
15. Pimp Joy. Make others happy even if it’s something as simple as paying for a stranger’s coffee.
17. Make your dreams a priority and a reality.
18. Learn how to drive a stick shift. I’m pretty sure your dad will force this one on you anyways but trust me when I say, you’ll thank him for it.
19. Be kind to yourself.
20. Be happy. Laugh often.
21. There’s always hope.
22. If you never learn anything from me, make sure you learn this. Friends is the greatest TV show of all time. Watch it. Every episode.
23. Lean on each other. Be there for one another. Be best friends. Do things together. Protect one another.
24. Never, ever, ever lie. Please. You will only hurt those you hold most dear.
25. When you fall, get right back up.
26. Travel. See the world.
27. Be kind to everyone. Don’t judge. You never know what someone is going through.
29. Your family, your entire family, will always be there for you. No matter what mistakes you’ve made or what you’ve done, you can always turn to your family.
30. Always be there for your friends.
31. Love. Always, always love. Love your family, your friends, and most of all-love yourself.