Other Stuff

44 Things I Have Learned In 44 Years

As of today, I have been alive for 16,071 days. That’s right… today is my 44th birthday. I’ve had 16,071 opportunities to navigate the world, learn, grow, make some noise, and try to do something that matters. I have filled my story with characters and lessons that help complete my narrative. I’ve filled my chapters with stories of joy, beauty, adventure, ennui, triumph, struggle, embarrassment, and sorrow. Some lessons, I’ve learned quickly and successfully… and some, through painful trial and error till I learned the moral of the story.

So, to celebrate my 44th birthday, here are 44 completely random things I have learned over the course of my life. I present to you my own special list of wisdom… the profound, the hopeful, the heartbreaking, the absurd… just little pieces of the world as I know it. Trust me on this stuff… it’s all true. May it entertain you and educate you in a new way today!

  1. Coffee tastes like drinking a hot cup of dirt.
  2. Paper planners will always be superior.
  3. Naps are beautiful things.
  4. Amusement parks are the least amusing places to work.
  5. Don’t let Weight Watchers lie to you… there are LOTS of things that taste as good as thin feels.
  6. Anne of Green Gables will give you quite unrealistic expectations of friendship.
  7. Jello Shots contain actual shots.
  8. Forks can be quite hazardous to your teeth.
  9. Paris truly is a magical city.
  10. There is ALWAYS something to celebrate.
  11. Pizza and tacos are the world’s most perfect foods.
  12. Don’t try to be clever and knock on the glass front door with your head.
  13. Spongebob Squarepants is called Spongebob Schwammkopf in Germany.
  14. All dogs love Twizzlers.
  15. Never take Ex-Lax before playing mini golf.
  16. Always have a few safety pins in your bag.
  17. There is no shame in being the most vibrant person in the room.
  18. Cheese is the most wonderful substance on earth.
  19. Christmas begins on November 1.
  20. Don’t ever get rid of your trendy clothes. In twenty years, they will be cool vintage gems.
  21. Don’t walk too far out into the ocean if you don’t know how to swim.
  22. When in doubt… put glitter on it.
  23. Don’t date the preacher’s son.
  24. Singing showtunes in the car, at the top of your lungs, is a sure fire cure for anxiety.
  25. Invest in quality photographs. They will become your most treasured souvenirs.
  26. ALL bodies are good bodies. Your size does not determine your worth.
  27. Wear what brings you joy every single day. If you feel powerful and beautiful, that’s all that matters.
  28. Be adventurous with food. There are so many wonderful things to taste and experience in this world!
  29. Travel. Travel often. Travel far. Try the food. Meet the people. See the photographs in real life.
  30. Always be more kind than you believe is necessary.
  31. People who aren’t teachers will never have any idea how difficult the job actually is. You can’t really explain it to them… just get used to it.
  32. Security is an illusion and nothing in the world is guaranteed… not even the availability of muffins at Panera.
  33. You WILL become that old person who says “Back when I was younger, it wasn’t like this.”
  34. Being unique is not a bad thing. In fact, it’s pretty damn wonderful.
  35. Grace changes everything!
  36. Treasure every conversation with your loved ones. Those moments will mean everything to you when they are gone.
  37. In the end, the only person who you can trust to advocate for you in difficult situations is yourself!
  38. Choosing not to be a parent does not make you an unfulfilled woman or a bad Christian.
  39. There is a big difference between a Biblical Mandate and an Institutional Preference. Christ does not expect us to live in a box of rules and regulations, but rather, to live and love as He did.
  40. You will fail, and fail epically. That doesn’t make you a permanent failure. It makes you human.
  41. Feeling deeply doesn’t make you broken or strange. It’s actually quite extraordinary.
  42. Therapy isn’t just for “those people.” Absolutely everyone needs someone to listen objectively and to help them sort through their insecurities.
  43. Music has the power to express every single thought and emotion in your heart, even at times when words fail.
  44. Don’t be afraid to try new and scary things. You may find that you dance like one of the hippos from Fantasia… but you’ll never know if you don’t try.

Even though I feel kind of old today, people keep telling me I am in my prime. Hmmmm, I suppose we’ll see. I know I still have a lot to learn, and a lot of life to live. But for today, raise a glass. Cheers to 44 years!

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