Today marks my 17th birthday! That’s pretty insane. Sometimes it feels like I’m so much older than that. But most times, it’s more like, “How am I old enough to be driving already?!” And don’t even get me started on being old enough to be thinking about COLLEGE. WHAT? I have learned a lot this year, so I wanted to put 16 of the major things I learned or that were just solidified in my heart into words. Let me know what you think and a good lesson you have learned this year below!
- Hard work is hard but so rewarding.
- I started a business this year and it’s been such a learning process. Being able to be paid to do something I love is special, but it’s definitely hard work. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
- Go for it.
- One lesson that was solidified this year for me was that I have to take chances sometimes. Being bold is scary, but you aren’t walking alone. Plus, regret is such a hard pill to swallow.
- Self-discipline is important.
- This year I was given many opportunities that take up my time, and most of them in large increments. I learned a lot about planning and scheduling. Self-discipline can be annoying, but it prevents a lot of problems.
- Everything in moderation.
- This one kind of goes with self-discipline! I learned this lesson, particularly with food. (Embarrassingly enough.) When you start earning your own money, it’s really easy to stop for lunch or a snack every day. It’s important to treat yourself, but not all the time. Your clothes stop fitting after a while.. so don’t do that. This one is embarrassing but hey, I’m real.
- Graciousness is my superpower.
- I really think that the best superpower I’ve got is grace. So many times, we get hurt or disappointed. It’s hard to choose grace, but it is such a healthy habit to create for yourself. Granted, I don’t always choose to be gracious, but when I do I feel so much better. Taylor Swift once said, “No matter what happens in life, be good to people. Being good to people is a wonderful legacy to leave behind.” It’s really stuck with me.
- Healing is a process.
- I dealt with my first heartbreak this year. I
think(know) I still carry a tiny sliver of the hurt with me, but I’ve tried to be patient with myself in the healing process. It’s okay to spill tears on your bedroom floor one night or buy yourself flowers and sushi another to cheer yourself up.
- I dealt with my first heartbreak this year. I
- TREAT YO’SELF.
- I learned that happiness is a choice and that I need assistance with it sometimes. Sometimes that means a long drive for my favorite sushi and supermarket flowers. Other times it means blasting John Mayer or Ed Sheeran and hanging out with my pup!
- It’s okay to excuse yourself.
- There are certain situations in life where you just have to say “nope” and move on! It hurts for a good while and then one day you look back and say, “Praise Jesus I got far away from that situation.”
- Love = vulnerability.
- Being vulnerable is my equivalent to standing on one foot atop a 100-story building. I read a quote by C.S. Lewis this year that said, “to love at all is to be vulnerable.” Life is so much fuller with love, whether that’s toward friends or strangers. Don’t let fear stop you from loving people.
- Driving is a lot of responsibility.
- This is pretty self-explanatory. Driving is amazing and a wonderful gift. But, it’s quite a large responsibility. This one is kind of juvenile, but I got my license this year and WOW other drivers can be scary.
- If your family can’t stand ’em, don’t stick with ’em.
- My family is precious to me, and I trust them with all my secrets. It’s impossible for me to spend an inordinate amount of time with someone who grinds their gears. This is important because I learned the value my family holds in any relationship.
- Carry yourself well.
- Whether I’m in public with people I admire or just going to the store, I try to carry myself well. Sometimes I try dressing up or doing my makeup, but most times I just try to smile at or open the door for someone. Your beauty doesn’t always have to be outward!
- Take EVERY failure as a learning opportunity.
- In my opinion, failure is a major learning opportunity. A lot of failures are completely wasted if you don’t examine your actions and feelings while in it, and then take that and learn from it. Don’t be afraid to be completely raw and honest with yourself.
- Pour into other people.
- I feel like I learn so much all of the time, but no one will know about any of it unless I tell them! That’s why I’ve tried very hard to take the lessons I’ve learned and pour into other people either my age or younger. I’ve been able to do a lot of this through Scouting, which is a pretty amazing feeling!
- Cherish your time with everyone.
- Life is short. Don’t forget to spend time with family instead of spending a night stressing yourself out! Go on spontaneous adventures and CHOOSE to savor every second. This life is one giant walk and you only get to be with certain people for part of it.
- Tell (and show) people you love ’em!
- This is by far a rule for myself that I want to be actively carrying out forever. Buy someone pizza or a coffee and tell them you love them. Don’t hesitate. I think it’s such a gift to be able to bless others, so do it every chance you get.
Right now, I’m watching fireworks out of my window and basking in what was a very good day. I’m so fortunate to have friends like you to read these posts! There are so many more lessons I wish I could include but you’ll just have to wait ’til next year. Follow my blog on WordPress to keep up with all of my posts — a few new blogs are coming your way throughout July telling you all about my adventures! I can’t wait for you to read along.
Sincerely, Maddy Agers