Top 10 Life Lessons
Top 10 Life Lessons
I turn 28 this year, and before I do I wanted to write a post about some of the life lessons I have learned along the way. This list includes things I have experienced myself, sayings people have said to me, and lessons I have learned in the last 27 years of living. It’s never easy to compile one big list of things you have learned, especially if you haven’t experienced them yet – but I did it and I hope these ring true for you as well. The first two, I can honestly tell you, I have experienced and continue to experience.
1. Life is tough get a helmet
This one I first learned as a kid. I was never a bad kid.I didn’t cry in public as a child and tantrums mostly happened at home. Well, growing up I learned that life isn’t what everyone says it’s going to be like. I was an average built girl, I played soccer and loved to hang out with my friends. Then puberty hit, and for me it came early, and I had to start wearing a bra, I got glasses for the first time in 5th grade, braces in 6th grade, etc. Because I was more advanced then even my own best friends, they teased me along with other kids. Did it bother me? Sure, why not I was a kid. Did I show I cared? Absolutely not, I don’t even think I told my parents or aunt until like high school. But it still happened.
Two of my best friends, who will deny this to this very day, thought it would be funny and cool for them to stand on a table in the middle of physical education and alert all the boys and all the girls in both classes that I wore a bra. Of course, everyone started laughing. I didn’t tell my parents or aunt, my PE Coach did because he’s a family friend. Well that went well! I was also teased as being Harry Potter by the boys because my leg hairs were dark and hairy, so I started shaving in 5th grade. To me, now, these are perks to be honest, but at the time it was “funny” to everyone but me. I was embarrassed.
Fast forward through high school (don’t worry the teasing never stopped, even til today) and college and let’s land on 2013. My boyfriend and I of 9 years had a pretty nasty fight and broke up. Two months later I found out I was pregnant. We weren’t speaking, but I had to tell him so I texted it to him (that’s what he gets for not wanting to talk when I said I had something serious to talk about). Anyway, aside from that I had a good pregnancy. He was in and out, mostly went to doctors appointments only, but that was because he freaked the hell out and decided he needed to work more hours at work because he couldn’t afford a baby. Dude, neither could I but I was going to make it work. It’s my child! Then came my 28 week check up and, I’ve said this before, I knew something was off, but I wasn’t going to miss my appointment. When we got there, he was complaining I was late (I’m never late, he is!) and then we went in to see the doctor. Well this is when I definitely knew something was right. She couldn’t find the baby.
Off to a sonogram we went, of course I’m panicking at this point and he’s all relax it’s going to be okay (yatta yatta). They couldn’t find the heartbeat and as the technician so rudely stated, “sorry your baby has no heartbeat I need to tell the doctor”. I thought he was going to jump her, I was in tears, and the doctor came in to comfort us and give me my options. Of course I wanted to deliver my son. He’s my baby. So I decided to check in to the hospital and prepare for delivery. My parents and aunt got to Orlando in two hours from Miami (thank god I wasn’t in that car). Two of my best friends drove up, my two sisters and brother in law, my cousin, his dad and step mom, his mom and step dad – everyone who mattered was there.
This is where the helmet comes in handy. I’ve struggled for three and a half years with my depression. I have my good days, and my bad, then my worst days. I’m learning that life isn’t as easy as everyone said it’d be and there are always challenges. Keeping that helmet handy has gotten me through so tough times in my life, even as a kid.
2. When Plan A doesn’t work out, there’s always Plan B
This relates to the first life lesson in that, I had a plan. I was going to have my baby, finish grad school, keep working for Disney in Human Resources, etc. Well plan A, my baby, didn’t happen so I had to learn to tweak my plan B and be okay with that. There’s a quote that says, “when plan A doesn’t work out, don’t worry. The alphabet has 25 other letters.” As much as this is true, I have always been a plan A person so once plan A didn’t happen, I panicked. Slowly I had to learn that it’s okay to have a plan B, C, D. Things happen in life that you can’t control and that’s okay.
3. You can’t please everyone
Seriously, this should be obvious but then again I understand why people try to please everyone because I’m the type of person who will put what I want to do aside for the sake of what a friend or someone else wants to do. I learned in high school that you can’t try to please everyone, it’ll just never work out and you shouldn’t feel like you have to. Worry about yourself, everything else will follow.
4. Don’t take anything for granted
This one is easy. We have so many blessings in our lives that it is easy to take things for granted. My senior year of high school my paternal grandmother died and I can truly say that I took her being sick for granted. She was supposed to be discharged the day she died but something went wrong and I wasn’t there to say goodbye or tell her how much I loved her. By the time I got there she was already in a coma, and once I said I was there and I loved her it was like she was holding out for me – she passed. It’s both touching and tormenting because if I was a better grandchild, I would have visited more and not taken that time with her for granted.
5. Make peace with your past so you don’t ruin your present
This goes hand in hand with don’t take anything for granted. I have made peace with the fact that I wasn’t there more to see my grandmother and that her dying wasn’t my fault. If I hadn’t, my life right now would be extremely bitter. Since Enzo was born sleeping, I have made peace with his loss. Although I still struggle, I am a firm believer of everything happens for a reason. Enzo had a purpose and I believe it was bringing both Pio and my family’s together. Especially me and my family. I have a love/hate relationship with my mom, and most of the times it’s more hate. But I try really hard not to hold grudges and let go because I know that I can’t change the type of mom or person she is. If I held onto the anger from losing loved ones, Enzo, or fighting with my mom I know that my current and present life would be ruined or at least, very bitter.
6. Change is possible
Knowing that a person can change throughout their lifetime is a relief to me. I’ve changed a lot since I finished high school, and I think it’s been for the better. Life experiences have changed me. Situations I have encountered have altered my perception of things. Change is inevitable to me honestly. But most importantly I think it’s good to know that change is possible if you try.
7. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, and show up
I think this is a really important life lesson. It’s also a mental one. If you are feeling down, sad, ugly, fat, bloated – anything – you usually will try to stem away from having to go out or show up at a commitment you previously made. Well it’s time to change that. Regardless of how you feel it is extremely important to get up, dress up in your best outfit, and show up to that commitment or to run those errands or go to work. It is a mindset. If you do this, you can change the way the day goes and how you feel.
8. Do not take yourself too seriously
I am extremely guilty of this one. I take myself and what I do extremely seriously and I know I need to lighten up. Nothing is going to be perfect and honestly, I need to realize that. Of course old habits die hard, but it’s something I am working towards.
9. Learn forever
I am a firm believer that life is a school and you’re just the student. You are constantly learning – at school, at home, at work, in the park, shopping…It never ends, and I don’t think it should. I have been in “college” since I graduated high school. I did my undergrand at Florida International University, then I did an internship with Disney focused on Human Resources, then I applied to the college in Orlando and got my technical certificate as a Human Resource Specialist, and now I am one semester away from completing my Masters in Science for Human Resource Management. It’s been nonstop for me, and I like it that way. I don’t know what I will do once I finish, but I know I’ll continue learning. Take my blog for example. I’m relatively new at this, four months, and I’m still learning and I will continue to learn to improve the blog and my following. Learning is important and the day you stop learning, is the day you’re in trouble.
10. The best is yet to come
I am only 27. I know damn well that there is more to my life than I have seen. I can’t expect my past to be the best yet, although it’s been pretty great (ups and downs included). I’m looking forward to my thirties, I am looking forward to the future. The best has yet to come and I can’t wait until it does.