Well, it happened.
Yesterday was my birthday, and today I woke up 34 and sort of sore (I started the Jillian Michaels workouts and Y’ALL).
Maybe that will be my slogan for this year: 34 and sort of sore.
33 was an amazing year. I took a new job that I loved, and at the end of the year, had the courage to walk away from it. I started a new relationship with an amazing man who I love and who loves me in return, even when I’m being dramatic which rarely happens.
I have to say, I think that 33 was the year that I learned the most. So much came out of it- so many life lessons and things to tuck away and remember. Today, I want to share those with you.
I think I’m right, but I could be wrong.
This was a huge lesson for me because I am rarely wrong. So when I am, it is very shocking. No, but really. We live in a culture where people will literally debate anything at any time. For me, the hugest thing that I’ve learned is that although my intentions are pure and **I think** my information is correct, I could be wrong. Be ready to be wrong. It makes you better.
Relationships don’t look the same for everyone.
Greg and I don’t celebrate month anniversaries. We just don’t. We are nearly 8 (I think?) months in and have never celebrated an anniversary. We said early on that we didn’t really want to. And the great thing is, neither of us felt the pressure to do it.
Throw away the notions and the ideas and the cookie cutter shapes that everyone says relationships are supposed to take. There’s not a rule book. Don’t wanna make it facebook official? Don’t. This relationship is YOURS. Figure out what works best for you guys and just do it.
Don’t stress about stretch marks.
So, you have stretch marks. Who cares. It happens, and it happened to you, and that’s that. The only shame that stretch marks carry is the shame that you allow it to carry. (This might feel like a dumb thing to learn, but for women, this is a REAL THING.)
Kiss your boyfriend as much as possible.
I just really like to kiss my boyfriend. That’s all.
Stop responding to online idiots.
There are people online who just wanna be buttheads. They wake up and they look for ways to annoy you, and they are good at it. Being annoying is their spiritual gift or something. I used to want to fight those people tooth and nail, and in 33 I was just like ya know what, I don’t really want to spend my time on this. So, I stopped. I literally just stopped responding. I stopped spending my time arguing with someone whose goal is to upset me. I have better things to do. And so do you!
Leadership starts with thank you.
Thank you for meeting with me.
Thank you for getting back to me.
Thank you for doing that. I know it was hard for you but I appreciate you pushing through.
The best leaders are the ones who acknowledge the hard work and effort of other people FIRST. Before you ask anyone to perform for you, thank them for showing up. Tell them that you appreciate them. Do it before, not after.
Speak up when you’re most afraid.
This is a hard one, but 33 taught me that I have to speak up for what matters, even if I’m in a room full of people who think I’m insane for believing it. Remember this: even when you feel like you’re alone in a room, you’re probably not. There are so many people who are afraid to speak, and your voice may be just the flash of bravery that they need.
Be proud of your body, no matter its size.
My weight has gone up and down my entire life. And at 33, I made the decision to stop punishing myself for it. I stopped looking at pictures of me 20 pounds lighter and hating myself for gaining it back.
Treat the person that you are right now, in this moment, with as much love as you treated the person who was thinner. You are both the same person, just with a little more booty. And we’re bringing booty back. (That sounded different in my head.)
Nobody asks for pain. Remember that.
Sometimes we get so frustrated with the drama of others that we forget that they are actual people who are in actual pain. It seems that some people make poor decisions over and over, and we wipe our hands of it. It’s okay to walk away from unhealthy relationships, but don’t get mad at people simply because their life is a mess. Most people don’t ask for heartbreak and agony. We can release ourselves from the burden of the drama of others and still love and care for them.
Talk about what hurts.
Voice the pain that you feel or the frustration that you have. Stop allowing yourself to be weighed down by burdens that should have been released years ago. It might involve a conversation with a person who hurt you. Or it might involve you saying, “They didn’t mean that, and I need to let that go.” Whatever it is, unleash yourself from the weight of hurt by simply voicing it.
Women need women.
This year, I developed some of the deepest and most meaningful female relationships that I’ve ever experienced, and it opened my eyes to the power of female companionship. There are a lot of women who say that they don’t have or need female friendships, and I find this to be the hugest lie ever told besides running is relaxing. Women need women. We need our girls. We need to be surrounded by an entire species that understands things like under the boob sweat and cramps and why “You look fine” is a horrible response. Don’t get me wrong- I know that girls can burn girls like no other, but don’t let a few bad situations make you write off an entire lifetime of relationships.