Tuesday, September 16, 2014

21 things I've learned from my 21 years of Life

Wow 21 years!! It's hard to believe that I'm 21, it really hasn't sank in yet. But hey it's been what only 7 hours? Over the past 21 years I've experienced and learned a lot of things. Here are 21 pieces of advice that I offer to you. I hope that it helps someone work through something in their lives. And yes I feel that as the years go on I am becoming a better person!!

Dream Big- I am a person of many dreams! I have huge dreams many of which seem crazy and very unattainable. But you know what those lofty dreams keep me going each and every day. I feel that in life if you don't have anything to work toward than you will live a boring life full of dullness. 

Travel- Now I haven't gotten to travel as much as I'd like to but over the years I have had many opportunities to travel to some very neat places. By traveling I've been able to meet some amazing people, see some very interesting sites, and try some great foods. Even if it's just a couple hours down the road the opportunity to take in something new is very good for the soul!

If you don't ask the answer is always no- This is a quote I think I heard from my dad first. I remember many times him telling me this when I've been to scared to ask someone about something. I have to say that this advice has really paid off. I've met some really great people and have learned tremendously. 

Learn about your family history- I have been very blessed to have several people in my family so invested in genealogy. I have been able to learn a tremendous amount of information about my family and who I am. I have walked many a cemetery, looked at countless photos, traveled hundreds of miles just to take in and learn about my roots and I am a better person because of it. Knowing where I come from helps me know where I want to go. It makes me sad to hear about people who don't want to know about their history and who don't even want to have gravestones themselves. How do you know that 100 years from now your decedents won't want to find you and learn about you.  

Know how to cook- One of the most sincere things you can do for someone is cook for them. Food heals, food triggers memories, food makes people happy, and food brings people together. I try to take note of what my friends and family members like and on special occasions or for the fun of it make them something special.

Learn to accept Failure- I hate to break this to you but you will fail at something at least once in your life. What I've learned from failure is that you can cry about it, be mad, and sad but only for a day or two. But it can't consume you. MOVE ON! You can't change the past but you can plan for the future and can take what you've learned and do better the next time around. But don't ever give up just get back up brush yourself off and yes get back on that horse. 

Never be afraid to show your Faith-  Matthew 10:32-33 says it best "Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven." This was shared to me by someone I look up to and really respect and It really opened my eyes and gave me that nudge to not be afraid to show my faith and to be proud of it. I know that I would't be where I am today without God and I am more than happy to let others know that!!

Have a hobby- Hobbies help us meet new people who share our interests and allows us to do something that we love!! I have many hobbies ranging from baking to bees. Both of which make me extremely happy and have allowed me to meet some amazing people and better myself! Also you can't be afraid to share your hobby with others. They may think it's a little odd but you never know who you can reach and inspire by sharing your passions. 

Take the time to talk to an Elderly person- As a person who works in a nursing home I'm always talking with the residents about themselves. They love that someone wants to know and will take the time to talk with them. I have learned some amazing things and have heard some really neat stories. Many of the elderly today have lived through soooo much. The great depression, many wars, not having electricity and plumbing, the technology revolution, and so much more. Please sit down with an elderly person I grantee you will walk away with more than you would ever imagine. 

Have someone to look up to- Now I don't mean go and find someone and copy everything they do but it's great to have people who inspire you and will help you become the best person you can be. I have many people, several whom I've met through blogging, who I look up to. They share their struggles and successes and it encourages me to do better and be better and know that we all have our struggles. It's also great to have someone to go to who's willing to tell you how it is and who can give you advise when you don't know what to do.

Don't Judge- I have to admit that I am guilty of being quick to judge someone or something but I have also learned that there are so many beautifully special people in the world and that I will give anyone a chance. I have been lucky enough to meet some very special people who others are quick to judge and pass of as someone who's different. Well let me tell you I've been judged many times and it sucks when people refuse to get to know me and just cast me aside. 

Take the time to enjoy Nature- The good Lord has taken some serious time in creating the beautiful outdoors and it's a shame not to spend time out in it. Weather it being enjoying a nice sunrise or sunset or a star filled night sky, the beautiful mountains or the rolling seas. This world is filled with so much beauty and wonder that it must be explored and experienced!! So put down the phone and get off the computer and go take a walk or just sit out side and watch the sky! 

Indulge in good food- In today's world we are all about eating healthy and clean which is great and something I should take a little more seriously. BUT I am one who loves to eat delicious foods. Eat those mashed potatoes and noodles that your grandma makes, splurge on a big juicy burger from that famous burger joint, and eat that big ol' slice of pecan pie and not feel bad about doing so!! Food was made to enjoy so go out and enjoy it!!  

Don't worry about fitting in- This world is rough! No matter where you go in life or what you do someone's going to be criticizing you or pressuring you to do this rather than that. But always stay true to yourself and do what you love and feel is right for yourself. I know that when I quit caring what others thought about myself I became free and really was able to live life and am a whole lot happier!! 

Wake up Early- Ahh the morning is probably my favorite time of day. Being awake when everyone else is still asleep is just such a peaceful time. I fell more at peace with myself and with the Lord at this time. Plus you can watch some beautiful sunrises. 

Read- Books allow us to travel all over the world and even back in time. They also allow us to forget about the world around us and just get lost withing the pages. The characters feel like friends and you will often find yourself laughing, crying, or celebrating with them. So read often and if you have young kids start reading to them as soon as possible to spark that interest in books. 

Listen to others when they talk about their passions- There are certain things that you enjoy more than others but if someone is sharing their passions with you listen to them and try to take an interest. I know that it makes me feel great and on top of the world when someone seems interested in something that i'm talking about and so I've tried to listen to others when they talk about theirs. I know that by having an open mind I have learned so much about so many things that I never in a million years thought I would. 

It's OK to say No- I love being involved with many different organizations and helping people out but I have had many days where I've wore myself thin and have just become overwhelmed. It's OK to tell people no once in a while and to take some time for yourself. People will always be asking you to do this and that and It's OK to help when ever you can but don't get bogged down to where it becomes a chore rather than fun. 

Recognize your true friends- Many people today are so concerned with how many friends they have on Facebook or how many followers they have on Twitter or Instagram. They want to fit in and be liked and are willing to do anything to get that attention. I have to say that I have been one of those people who have just tried to fit in and hid who I really was. But the longer I lived that lie the more and more unhappy I became and it really wasn't until my Junior year in high school that I realized that I deserved to live the life I wanted and that what I was interested in mattered. So I cut a lot of people out of my life and just focused on the people who truly mattered. Boy was that freeing and let me tell you I am a whole lot happier because of it. So don't change yourself or do things that you feel uncomfortable doing because your happiness matters more than a dozen unhealthy or unsafe friendships. 

Know that you're not alone in the world- Growing up in a small school and in a small town definitely has its perks and I wouldn't trade it for anything. But it also means that there isn't much adversity and sometimes you find yourself the only person who believes in something or likes something. For me I enjoyed showing livestock, raising bees, and loved watching rodeos and much more. I had almost no one to share my passions with and it really brought me down  at times knowing that no one cared about those things and I often hid that I enjoyed those things just because I knew no one cared. It really wasn't until I got into college and into blogging that I found people who shared my interests. Many of my blog friends have become some very important friends because they share the same values and interests as I and its refreshing to have someone to talk to about those things.

SmileDuring one of my clinical rotations last year a patient told me to always have a smile on my face when I walk into a room. She told me and another student this after we had taken the time to talk with her and were very friendly. She said that so many people she comes into contact with including other nurses and doctors always seem angry or unhappy and that in turns brings them unhappiness so to see us being happy brightened her day. So I now try to smile at everyone I meet even though I'm having a rough day because you never know who needs to see a smile to brighten their day! I defiantly believe the old saying that a smile is contagious.