A month-ish ago, July 28th, I turned 30 years old. I usually write on my birthdays but during those days I was still running from my laptop, busy as a bee and with my mind all over the place. It definitely was not the mindset I was hoping I would be in when I turned 30 but I have learned life has its own plans and there is no point in getting upset when things don’t go as planned (easier said than actually lived/felt.) I am in the process of accepting that plans and expectations don’t always do you good. That it’s important to just let go of them and enjoy whatever life throughs your way…..again, easier said than done but hey – gotta try!
My birthday celebration started the night before. I went to a full moon meditation and then had dinner with friends. I ate a delicious vegetarian pasta carbonara, had wine, and an incredible chocolate cake. At 2 am i woke up to see the lunar eclipse from the best spot in town. It was incredible! At the same time, on the other side of the world, my first nephew was being born (right in the middle of the eclipse). So, although it was still the 27th for him, it was the 28 for me and he will forever share my birthday. In the morning I had a SUP and snorkel session with a great group of people so I spent all my morning over and underwater where I enjoy being able to wash away my troubled mind even if its for a little bit. I was supposed to go to Ubud for the night but also had to move houses and pack to leave the next morning so instead I ordered some nachos, had a birthday dessert and stayed in Amed. In the new house I enjoyed some acro with the best housemates and ate guacamole…all in all, it was a great day. Was it what I had in mind for my birthday a few months ago? Absolutely not. But I enjoyed it and it was perfect in its own way, I am so thankful for having such amazing friends that I got to spend my day with and felt so much love from all around the world from other friends.
Do I feel thirty? Definitely not! In my head and in society’s eyes I should definitely have a more stable life, probably a lot more savings, and a very different life to the one im living. But the truth is -although at times I still don’t feel like a proper grown up- I am! And making the decision to live life this way has taken courage and determination, it may look easy and fun on the outside but its a scary thing at times, and also very satisfying.
What I decided to commemorate these 30 years of living is to write down thirty lessons I’ve learned. I thought it would be easy but it actually took me a good amount of time and thinking. Off course there are plenty more lessons, so if you have any you’d like to add please comment below!
- Be conscious of your impact. This apply to others, to your surroundings, the environment. Remember you have power and any and everything you do has a consequence, make sure it’s a good one. Say “no bag/no straw” and take your own, pick up litter when you see it even if you don’t feel like it, be respectful to those that are around you.
- Go for your dentist clean up. Seriously. Save yourself the pain and money of having teeth problems. Also, having clean teeth is simply the best.
- Eat that ice cream, and enjoy it. Don’t go too crazy all the time, but enjoy those days when you just feel like treating yourself or simply want to eat something you “shouldn’t”. If you do though, ENJOY IT! Don’t be all “ohh now im going to have to run 10k because I ate this” …If you’re going to run those 10k then do it for a better reason.
- Yourself and others. Having anger gnawing at your soul sucks and it will only affect you and not others. However, don’t get stomped on…your heart is your priority and if people abuse of your ability to forgive then it’s OK to simply turn away, take care of you.
- As much and far as you can. Whether its inside your own country or to continents far away, traveling will open your eyes to new experiences, people, food, culture. You will create special memories and most likely have the opportunity to meet and bond with like-minded people from around the world.
- Upgrade to business. At least once. Especially if it’s a long flight. It’s pretty great. Live a little.
- Be clear and honest. If someone asks something they deserve an honest answer, even if you think it might cause them pain. Nothing hurts more than being lied to and taken advantage of. On that same note, ask questions you can take the answer for. If you ask something that you know might be upsetting, be ready for any
- Dance, dance, dance! In the past year I have learned the beauty and power of dancing. No need to go to a club, or to have a few drinks, just crank up the volume and move your body without worrying about a single thing. Let loose, shake it off, jump, smile, and enjoy! Its liberating. Its therapeutic. Most times its more important to say and let go of what we have to say to someone than the need of that person hearing it. So just write it out, let it go.
- Find your flow. Whether its doing yoga, paddling, sowing, diving, or bike riding…find something where you can get lost in the moment. Where time doesn’t matter and you are purely present and absent at the same time. It’s a sensational feeling you should definitely search for.
- If you feel it, say it! Tell the people you care about …that you care about them! Life is very, very unexpected so make sure those you love know how you feel. There is never too many “te quiero’s”
- Take care of your feet. Honestly people…there is nothing worst than poorly cared for feet. I know genetic plays a lot on shape and size but hey…cleaning your toenails and keeping ‘em short, moisturizing, that’s all on you.
- Don’t ever be too proud to apologize. Being able to recognize your mistakes is a great characteristic to have, and if you know you have wronged someone you should try to make amends. If you feel like someone should apologize to you then let that person know. No one is a mind reader and many times we might feel offended and the other person isn’t even aware of it.
- Take time for you. This is a hard one for me. In the past year I have been more with myself than I had for years before that. It’s hard and scary to just be with your thoughts, but its good to face them. Back home I am constantly doing things and meeting people. I naturally always will be inclined to be social and enjoy having plans with people but I’ve come to respect that me-time and really try to live it. I’ll listen to music, write, read, cook or just sit and be.
- Read! Whether it’s a novel, sci-fi, history, biographies, never stop reading. And talk about books with people you meet. I think it can be surprising to learn what other people enjoy reading and it’s the best way to get recommendations and read things you maybe wouldn’t.
- Try new things. You never know, you might actually enjoy them…or know for a fact that they’re definitely not for you but if you don’t give it a shot you won’t know.
- Have the strength and tranquility to say no. This is a hard one and I still struggle at times. Be confident in yourself, your knowledge and your limitations.
- Ask questions you can take the answer for. If you ask something that you know might be upsetting, be ready for any
- Appreciate your health and body. Don’t take it for granted. Honor it, respect it, take care of it by being aware of what you put in it and what you make it do (exercise!)
- You do you! My amazing yoga teacher preached it all the time and it isn’t just about what you feel is right for your body on the matt, it’s about trusting yourself in knowing what is best for your body and soul in any situation.
- Web check in. Seriously, why would you not do this?
- Recognize, embrace and then let go of your emotions. Anger, sadness, frustration are often categorized as “bad” feelings but they are not. There is no such thing as a good or bad emotion. You have the right to feel whatever it is your feeling so don’t try to cover it up or lie to yourself about what your feeling. If you are upset its probably for a reason, just don’t get stuck in it. Feel what you have to feel and allow it to move on.
- Every action has a reaction. Be responsible for your actions and the consequences they might entail.
- Know yourself. Recognize your strengths and not-so-strong points, embrace your flaws as well as your assets and only change them if it’s something you have recognized that you want to modify. Do it for yourself, not others expectations.
- Question your beliefs. We grow up and accept a series of beliefs that define us and our relationship with those around us. It is difficult but try to identify what beliefs you have, how they shape your life, and if you need to change them in order to change your reality.
- Sleep well, take naps, rest. We all need a break and it’s important to recognize it and take care of ourselves. Your body and mental health will surely feel it!
- Surprise others. With actions, words, presents…its always nice to show some unexpected appreciation to people.
- Be aware of expectations. Be conscious of the ones you create and why you create them. Expectations are a good thing to have if you don’t set them too high or for the wrong reasons. Be careful because they are a powerful weapon that can backfire. When expectations aren’t met there is usually a personal responsibility, for either creating them or not achieving them…don’t be too hard on yourself if they don’t come to be.
- See other for who they are, not who you think they are. Remember, actions speak louder than words. Keep your eyes and heart open…it’s easy to feel mesmerized and trust others so much we miss important aspects of a person’s character so remember to be attentive and really see the big picture.
- Enjoy a sunrise/sunset, it’s a reminder that everything passes. It’s hard to see it sometimes but just like the sun and the moon that come and go, so will the bad times. Time will heal, you just need some patience.
- Surround yourself with good people. It’s so important to have a network of support when you need it. Find the people that will bring you up and support you when you need it, that will make you laugh, hold you, cry with you, listen and trust you. Good-hearted souls that will lift each other up!