Twenty Eight.

I’ve never been the birthday celebration type. At least not for myself. But this year, as a way of acknowledging another lap around the sun, I thought I’d reflect on some of the biggest lessons I’ve learned in life thus far.

Below are 28 of the many life lessons/notes to myself (in no particular order) that I jotted down as I was reflecting over the years:

  • Move away from home, even if it's only temporary.

  • Having a plan is nice, but it's okay to go off course to follow your heart instead.

  • Always be kind, even to those who aren’t.

  • Life can be really dark, but never dark enough to end it for yourself.

  • Learn by doing, not by overthinking.

  • Your muscles aren't manly; they show your strength. Embrace them.

  • Marriage is beautiful, but a wedding is only another day.

  • Spend time alone; use it to learn new things about yourself.

  • Laugh more. It makes life more fun.

  • Always try your best in school, but grades will not determine your worth.

  • Above all else, your kindness and reliability will carry you forward.

  • You don't have to stay in one place. You don't have to stay in the same career. You don't HAVE to do anything; you get to.

  • There's a difference between skill, talent and a relentless work ethic.

  • Never miss an opportunity to tell your loved ones how much they mean to you. You might lose them sooner than you think.

  • Everyone will have an opinion; just do you.

  • The sooner you start something, the sooner you can start getting better at it.

  • You have no clue what other people may be dealing with; never judge.

  • Your tough times may not be the worst possible, but it's okay to feel pain and talk about it.

  • Your life will never unfold the way you think; keep an open mind.

  • Chase your curiosities; they could change your life.

  • Go out of your way for people; no gesture is ever too small. Don’t expect anything in return.

  • The quiet, shy little girl you were labeled as through childhood doesn't have to be the woman you are today. Speak up.

  • Do more of the things that spark your creativity and make you feel alive.

  • You can start a new chapter of your life whenever you decide.

  • You are good enough; don’t let limiting beliefs stop you.

  • There are small, beautiful moments of everyday, daily life. Seek them and cherish them.

  • You will go through hard times, but there will be light again. Keep smiling.

  • Work is work; save some for tomorrow.