On June 17th I turned 34. So far, my 30’s have been a complete blur, a happy blur, but a blur none the less. I was 38 weeks pregnant on my birthday, so I really wasn’t in the party mood. Usually, I would be taking myself on an international birthday trip, but late pregnancy and COVID made that a bit impossible.

Instead, we kept it simple by going out to a local pizza joint for dinner and then turning in for an early night. As I was lying in bed, I started thinking about how it was so weird I was now 34. Somehow, I felt way younger, and way older at the same time. Then, I started thinking about all the things I’ve learned over the years, and weirdly, most of them have been learned in my 30s. I feel like the 28-33 age range raked me over the coals, burnt me to the ground, and now here I am: A damn phoenix y’all

In the hopes of saving someone else from a bad experience, or even giving someone younger a bit of an edge, here are 34 things I would tell my younger self if I could go back in time:

1.     Live the life YOU choose; not the life someone else would have chosen for you
2.     There is no such thing as a black and white life-shades of gray are everywhere
3.     The earlier you make your health a priority, the better off you’ll be
4.     Most people have no idea what they’re doing either
5.     Don’t wait to do the things you want to do; otherwise, you create a habit of waiting that’s hard to break
6.     Start saving money the minute you start making it
7.     A good man will never make you question whether you’re loved or wanted
8.     College is not the only path to consider
9.     Don’t take a job just for the money- I’ve done it and you’ll regret it
10. God is a personal relationship and no one should tell you how to experience it
11. Meditation is an amazing tool that is underutilized in our fast-paced world.
12. Giving to others is the best medicine for a broken heart
13. The things I thought would definitely matter, rarely did
14. The moments I remember most are usually small and unexpected
15. Sunscreen and “pasty” is better than tanned with skin cancer
16. The number on the scale doesn’t really mean anything
17. Busyness does not equal self-worth
18. Parenting is WAY harder than anyone can possibly explain to you
19. There are two sides to every story and the truth usually lies somewhere in the middle
20. Worrying has never done me any good
21. A sense of humor is required to survive life
22. Many things are not my fault, but are my responsibility
23. Allowing yourself to make mistakes is good; learning from them is even better
24. Forgiveness should be given to others as well as yourself
25. Find out what brings you peace, and create more opportunities to experience it
26. Every person you have in your life will teach you something about yourself-good or bad
27. You need a 10-year plan. It doesn’t have to be set in stone, but it will help you with those major life decisions that seem to have no “best answer”
28. I can live without a lot of things, but I can’t live without amazing experiences
29. Everyone should have a pet; they are by far the best listeners you’ll ever meet
30. The fairytale does exist, but like in all real fairytales, challenges should be expected as should villains
31. There is sex and there is making love and the two should never be confused; one you do with your body and the other you do with your soul
32. It is rare for an opportunity to just fall in one’s lap; if it does, seize it immediately
33.  If you aren’t being born, you’re dying. So, live, love, and laugh accordingly
34. Seek something beautiful in everything; if you look for good you will find it even when it might seem impossible

What are some things you wish you could tell your younger self?

Love and Luck,