A few things I’ve learned during these short 25 years:
(And that most people end up learning on their own, no matter how many times you’re told. Been there – done that. Thanks to all those folks who tried to teach me these things prior to me learning the hard way.)
-Life gets boring/monotonous/hard/sad/and discouraging. It’s these downtimes that make the up times even greater. Cherish those up times – remember them when things go really south.
-Keeping faith is not the same as keeping religion. Keeping faith is harder because it’s truer – religion is just a way for the word to compartmentalize, and label things that that have no name. Instead of going to a certain church on a certain day, try talking to The Man, himself, every day. It’s hard.
-There is no batman or superman -- no hero that can avenge the wrong-doers in your life. It may seem like bad people get away with hurting the good ones, but I PROMISE YOU that one day they will wake up and realize their mistakes. ONE DAY the wrongs will be righted. All you can do is keep your head up and keep going. Learn to survive thru the adversities. It truly will be alright in the end (if it’s not alright, then it’s not the end).
-With that said, don’t give them a reason to find you guilty. Strive to leave a smile on everyone’s face – try your damndest not to leave ugly stains.
-But no one is perfect. Everyone has faults. That’s including you.
-So when you make mistakes, learn how to say I’m sorry. Those two words have some of the most powerful forces in all the world behind them. Another powerful phrase? I forgive you.
-Just don't forget.
-We tend to hurt the people that we love the most. Don’t take your frustration out on them. Try, every day, to remember how important these people are to you. Try every day to treat them so that they know how important they are to you (and if you slip, and make a mistake, remember those two important words).
-You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and more beautiful than you feel.
-All of your problems can be solved with salt water: tears, sweat, or the ocean. Cry until it doesn’t hurt anymore, work out until you’ve left it behind, or visit the ocean to see a God-made beauty. It’ll put your life into perspective.
-There will always be someone better than you, and there will always be someone worse. But don’t become complacent. Strive to make yourself and your life better. Create goals (small and large), and celebrate when you accomplish them. Be proud of who you are and who you are becoming.
-Relationships are like buildings being built. The foundation should be something strong, solid, and unwavering – like faith. Love should compose the rest of the house – the walls and the roof. It should be warm, inviting, and overwhelming. Inside should be treasures that are kept sacred. Sometimes fights will occur, and bricks of the building will be knocked down. But with the right partner you can discuss the problem, build the relationship back up, and be stronger than you were before. If the same bricks get knocked down over and over again you’re not fixing things properly the first time.
-Marriage is important. Divorce is not – in fact, it shouldn’t even be an option. Take the time to get to know your partner before committing to the ultimate commitment. Once you take that step every ounce of God is behind you to make it work – its only our weaknesses that let us give in to divorce.
-Communication is key for any relationship!
-Laugh. Laugh at funny things, laugh at sad things, laugh at everything.
-Learn. You’re not inconsistent or wishy-washy if your interests constantly change. No, you’re developing a personality and keeping an open mind. Learn as much as you want about as many topics as you want. From brain surgery to knitting. Learning too much has never been anyone’s downfall.
-Hate the sin, love the sinner. We’re all sinners… wouldn’t it be awful if we all hated each other for that?
-Perception is reality.
-Say what you mean, mean what you say. Keep the games put away for family game night.
-Invest in: nonstop flights, zip lock bags, kitchen knives, toilet paper, and hotels when on vacation.
-Practice respect and your manners, especially: when dealing with an elder, displaying an example to a younger, at work, when driving, and when walking thru the door before someone else.
-Don’t make a permanent mistake due toa temporary emotion.
More to come! I’m only 25.