The sunset is setting in my 26th year. Literally. I’m on a beach in Bali writing this on my last day of 26, thinking about all that came and went, like the waves crashing not far from my feet.
It was a year of lessons, that’s for sure. Isn’t every? But something about 26 was particularly teaching. It was messy. It was freeing. It was scary. It was so so fun. And above all, it was loving.
I grew, with pains, and with new perspective. I laughed a lot. Cried hard. And wondered often.
So my birthday gift to myself, is one to you: may you learn from my lessons, remember you’re not alone, and as my friend Amanda would say is the worst advice ever: it’s all, always, going to work out.
1. Don’t hide from vulnerability. Even when it means that you might end up in a puddle of pain, do it anyways.
2. Propose new ideas that you can and want to take on. It might be a long shot. But you also just might end up spending 3 months in Europe.
3. Go ahead and show up at his door. (Or hers). There’s something beautiful about being so unafraid to love…even if you’re wrong.
4. Say yes often. To strangers. To new friend. To weird opportunities. Adventure awaits.
5. Use your words for good. They’re so much more powerful that way.
6. Don’t let distance keep you from the ones you love.
7. Fall and get back up. Every time. Even if it takes you a while.
8. Be OK with being angry. Just make sure you understand what it is you’re protecting.
9. Give. and meditate. They’re two things that quite literally have the power to change your life.
10. If you get a chance to see Britney Spears in Vegas. Say yes.
11. No matter your religion. Or your beliefs. You’ll feel the energy of the spirit at the holiest sites in the world. So go to them.
12. Make time for a dinner at sunset by yourself. You’ll never feel more connected than watching the greatest light show on earth.
13. Don’t stalk any ex’s social media. Just don’t. For real.
14. When you feel wronged, let it go. Honor it, and let it go.
15. Get on a last minute plane to surprise someone you love. It’s too fun.
16. Don’t shy away from other people’s grief. The greatest gift you can give is to sit with them in that. Plus, they really need you in those moments.
17. Ask for help from people smarter and more talented than you. They want to see you succeed.
18. Take a leap of faith. And take it often.
19. Raise your hand for the opportunity that scares the shit out of you. You’ll be so proud you did.
20. Learn to surf. It’s the greatest sport you never knew you’re missing.
21. Be OK being alone. And be equally OK with feeling lonely.
22. Get rid of the constant weighing yourself habit. A number is not your worth.
23. Family. Near, far, blood or not. Family.
25. You’re constantly growing. What you didn’t like last year may just be something you fall in love with this year. Like dogs.
26. You are connected to something so much bigger. Your time here, however fleeting, is a journey of the spirit. Do everything in your power to stay connected to that. To the universe guiding you. To your soul’s whispering to go after your dreams. And to the sweet, sweet love of this cosmic experience.