In life we encounter hardships and distress that we will not be able to change; we have to allow it to change us. Until you're broken, you don't know what you're made of. It gives you the ability to rebuild yourself all over again and stronger than ever.
It's amazing how fast time flies by. It's been 13 years since we unexpectedly lost my Dad on my birthday and the hardest part for me wasn't not being able to say goodbye, but learning to live without him. Trying to fill the void and emptiness that's left inside of you and pretending to be okay was my biggest challenge throughout the grieving process. Smiling was always easier than explaining why I was sad. Why do so many of us pretend to be fine when we are hurting? Why do we think our tears represent weakness? Why do we feel ashamed of our pain? In the past 13 years, I have learned so much about myself. I have also learned so much from losing a parent.
As I celebrate the last birthday in my 20's and honor my Dad's memory, I reflected on 29 things I've learned:
It's okay not to be okay
No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted
The difference between happy people and unhappy people is their level of gratitude
You don't know everything
Life isn't always fair, but it is good
It's okay to say no. No matter how hard you try, you simply can't do everything
Smile more, worry less
Friendships change over time and that's okay
Collect moments with the ones you love, not things
You might not have everything figured out and that's okay
Stop complaining over the things you can't control - let it go and embrace change
Actions speak louder than words
What doesn't kill you really does make you stronger
Strive for progress not perfection
If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.
Eliminate the toxins in your life
Whoever is trying to bring you down is already below you
Invest in yourself and follow your passions
Nothing will work unless you do
Great things never come from comfort zones
If it doesn't challenge you, it won't change you
Stop comparing yourself to others, it's not a competition
Be yourself unapologetically, you are enough
Self-love is not a byproduct of weight loss
It's not selfish to take care of yourself
"We accept the love we think we deserve"
"Eat food, not too much, mostly plants"
Health is a journey, not a destination
There's no rule book or time frame for grief. It never ends, but it changes. It is not a sign of weakness, but the price of love
I love and miss you everyday, Dad! It took me a while to get here, but I can truly say that I'm thankful for my struggle because without it I wouldn't have stumbled across my strength. I have found self-love, I am the best version of myself, and I strive to be better than I was yesterday. At 29, I am in the best shape of my life both mentally and physically. I love my body and embrace my flaws. I do my best to make healthy positive choices to nourish my soul. When I exercise it's a celebration of what my body can do, not a punishment for what I ate. I have an amazing and supportive family, the world's greatest mom, best friends who are my sisters, and a loving, patient, and caring boyfriend who is my other half. I travel the world. I built a career I am passionate about and I get to make a positive impact. Happiness is the greatest form of success and I have so many reasons to be happy. So cheers to 29 and feeling fine! Life is a gift and I won't forget to enjoy and bask in every moment I'm in.
Stay Balanced xo,