1.) Family is Everything. Family isn’t Everything. When someone says, “The only thing you have in life is your family,” I get annoyed. The reason for this is because not everyone is blessed with a great and supportive structure. I count my blessings every day that I have an amazing mother and brother who have guided me and helped me to reach my goals and dreams, but the other great part is, that if I didn’t want to follow my dreams anymore, they would continue to love me and support me in whatever it is I wanted to do this day of the week (I am kind of, sort of, indecisive).
2.) Travel. Travel. Travel. “Oh sorry, I can’t go on my dream destination, because I have work.” I cannot tell you how many times I have heard this. Listen up, if you put off going somewhere you’ve always wanted to go for another time, when the next times comes, chances are you’re going to put it off again.
3.) Do Something Crazy. Life is for living, so go out there and do it! Work at 9 the next morning, who cares? Go out on the town with your friend who has the peer pressure thing down to a pat. Go skydiving. Eat that bowl of ice cream even though you’re on a “diet.” I am pretty sure you are going to remember the fun things you’ve done more than that excel document you’ve been working on for a week at your job.
4.) Be Spiritual. I am not going to get all crazy, going into religion and all that stuff, but spirituality, at least to me, is on a whole different level. When I go to the beach alone in the winter, and just sit there by myself, I have the time to look around and gather my thoughts. For me, this is a spiritual moment, because I get to see the beauty that this little piece of the world has.
5.) Go to College. Even if it takes you 20 years, go to college. I understand that it may not be for everybody, but in my opinion, it enhances your overall knowledge, personality, and values.
6.) Get an Internship. So many people are enrolled in college now (see #5), but it still shocks me when I hear that they graduated without any experience in their field. I mean, do you really not know why you can’t find a job? If you are like me, and have to work, try to find a paid internship. They are few and far between, I get it, so if that is nearly impossible, try to volunteer your skills on the side.
7.) Fall in Love. This is something that happens unexpectedly, but it is wonderful none the less. Walls are built up by so many people, myself included, to protect us from that fragile thing we call a heart. Thankfully, I am here to say, get out your hammer, and knock that wall down! Love is truly spectacular, because it reminds us just how special it is to be a human, and to even have the ability to fall in love in the first place.
8.) Open a Book. Another thing that makes us humans so special is our ability to have opinions and views on every subject out there. While certain opinions can get us in trouble, the beauty of living in this country is that we can freely talk about them. Books are just one of the many outlets we have to express ourselves, and to be able to publish our thoughts and views in a place that can last forever is awesome.
9.) Volunteer. I don’t think I can stress enough how important it is to give up your free time to support a cause or organization you care about. It is important that you do care about whatever you are volunteering for, whether it be the ocean or an animal shelter, because your passion makes the work that much better.
10.) FInd the True You. Peer pressure may peak in high school, but it never ends. Throughout adulthood, we are constantly told the right way to act and think, but that can cause stress and unhappiness. Do you like acting in your local theatre on the weekends? Do you get a thrill out of collecting stamps? Do it! You only live once, and hopefully passionately, so if you are interested in something, I say give it your all.
11.) Get a Dog. Or cat. Or hamster. I’ve had my dog for six years, and I couldn’t imagine my life without her. They make you feel better on stressful days and know the meaning of true love.
12.) Say “I Love You.” Nobody knows how long we are on this earth for, though we seem to think we have all the time in the world. When someone dies, for a brief moment we tend to remember to live our life to the fullest, but as the days and weeks go on, the thought dwindles to the back of our mind. We all have special people in our life, so let them know while they are here to share it with you.
13.) Take Your Friends to the Dry Cleaners. Friends are so important, but sometimes holding on to a dwindling friendship is more harmful than helpful. People drift apart- it is something completely natural, but it can be extremely hard to let them go. As we get older, our views and hobbies change, just like everybody else. If you feel that a friendship that was once amazing, isn’t working anymore, it is okay to let go.
14.) Talk to Your Grandparents. History is so important because it shows us where we’ve been and guides us to where we are going. Many of us have a wealth of history at our fingertips, and one of the most important kinds- family history. If you’re lucky enough to still have all or one of your grandparents with you, please talk to them. A great idea is to film them on camera, so everything you are told can be shared with generations to come.
15.) Forgive, but Don’t Forget. When you hold on to a grudge, it adds stress and a big weight on your shoulders. Everyone has made, or will make, a mistake sometime in their life- after all we’re only human. So forgive them. Don’t forget though, because what has happened was a learning experience, and an opportunity for both parties to grow.
16.) Give Up Social Media. I know, I know, I’m a hypocrite. I do run a blog after all- but giving up technology, even for one night, can do a world of good. Instead of tweeting to a friend, call them up, and ask them to go get dinner with you! Social media friendships are great, but nothing beats an actual live conversation complete with real emotions.
17.) Do the Thing You Fear the Most. I am completely scared of airplanes, but that didn’t stop me from getting on one to go to Las Vegas for my 21st birthday. If I let the fear of flying get the best of me, I would have missed the epic road trip to the Grand Canyon, the suite we got upgraded to for free, and the memories I made with three of my best friends.
18.) Stand Up for What You Believe. I am constantly told that I have a short fuse. While I don’t deny this accusation, I do have a perfectly good reason for it. I DON’T TAKE GARBAGE. I am a very easy-going person, except when it comes to ethical issues. In good conscience, I cannot stand back and watch something wrong being done or said. Confrontation may scare you, but just think of how you’ll feel if you say nothing at all.
19.) Play with a Child. No matter how far away your childhood was, I am sure you can remember some of the adventures you had or imagined. Playing tag or coloring a picture with a kid brings you back down to earth, and reminds you how great the simple things in life truly are.
20.) Give Your Work Your All. Sometimes life makes us work somewhere we don’t want to. After all, bills do not pay themselves. Instead of moaning and groaning about having to go to said place, try to think positive thoughts. It isn’t easy, believe me. #17 has gotten me in trouble at quite a few jobs, but by putting your best foot forward, at the end of the day, you know you did all you can to make it okay.
21.) Get on Stage. Whether it be a beauty pageant, the debate team, or a play, being in front of an audience makes you very aware of YOU. No matter how far down your confidence is on the scale, when it is over, you always become braver, even if it’s just a tiny bit.
22.) Be Thankful. This list was meant to open your eyes, and to get you to start living your life now. Be thankful you can share it with wonderful family and friends, and appreciate all that you have. You’ve worked hard for it, but most of all, you deserve it!