43 Things I Learned By My 43rd Birthday | Night Owl Reader's life lessons and advice learned over her 43 years of life

Get cozy, this here’s a long one.

I celebrated my birthday on Tuesday and for the most part, it was just a regular ol’ day. However, I found my myself feeling rather introspective and reflective for much of it. At first, I was emotional and maybe a little sad about turning another year older — but while I was showering, this idea popped into my head: I could write down all of the things I was thinking about and share them with you.

Even if none of these apply to you, it might help one person who needs to hear this today.

I have seen these posts in the past and I have even taken the time to read a few. I always thought they were kind of silly, but the older I get, the more I see that a lot of the advice I was given in my teens and twenties (that I used to roll my eyes at) has proven to be true.  So, please indulge me and allow me to impart some of the ‘wisdom’ I have gained in my 43 years of being alive.

  1. Live YOUR life for YOU.  Don’t try to live up to unrealistic expectations.
  2. Always be true to yourself. Always.
  3. Do NOT change who you are to be accepted. By anyone — even if he says he loves you (especially then).
  4. Find someone who loves you for who you are and without apology. A spouse, a mate, a friend, doesn’t matter who, just make sure they love you unconditionally.
  5. You aren’t always going to be happy, but usually, it’s only temporary.
  6. Everything in moderation, but sometimes, self-control is totally overrated.  So, if you want the cookie, eat the damn cookie!
  7. Chocolate makes everything better.  Period.
  8. When people say, “Your life will never be the same after having a child”, believe them.
  9. No one is going to be as honest with you as your child. For better or for worse.
  10. Being an introvert doesn’t mean you aren’t friendly or worth getting to know. You can still make amazing friends, even if you only know them through the internet.
  11. It’s ok to stay at home and read a book on a Friday night. Partying isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
  12. Forgive yourself.
  13. Don’t hold grudges.  You’re the only one who will be carrying the weight of it.  Let shit go!
  14. Never go to bed mad. Even if it seems impossible, you will always have a fresh perspective in the morning.
  15. The things that made you a geek in high school are going to be totally cool with your friends in college. And beyond.
  16. College isn’t the be all and end all to education. Live life and soak up experiences!
  17. Travel!  Go to all of the places you dream of visiting.
  18. Don’t let the fear of the unknown stop you from accomplishing your goals.
  19. Everything happens for a reason
  20. Hold on to the things that are precious to you. Even if it feels silly at the time, you won’t regret it down the road.
  21. Always play with the Legos. There’s time for working and cleaning after the kids go to bed.
  22. It really does take a village.
  23. Sleep when you are tired. Naps were horrible when you were five, but they are pretty dang awesome as an adult.
  24. It’s ok to ask for help. No one expects you to go it alone and no one expects you to do everything by yourself.
  25. Hold the door for strangers. Say hello. Smile. It doesn’t cost you anything to be nice.
  26. Be grateful for what you have. Someone always has less than you.
  27. Money isn’t everything.
  28. Call your friends, even when they don’t call you for months and you always have to be the one to reach out.
  29. Remove toxic people from your life. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
  30. You will turn into your mother whether you like it or not.
  31. Everything you heard about gravity’s effects on your body is true.
  32. Clutter is ok, but when you get the urge to purge, go with it.  Your closets will thank you.
  33. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize
  34. If you aren’t happy with something, change it. Only you can make yourself happy.
  35. No one owes you anything. Period.
  36. Trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.
  37. Step outside of your comfort zone — and often.
  38. It’s ok to admit defeat.  Sometimes things don’t work out the way you planned no matter how hard you try or how much you want them to.
  39. Try again. And again and again, if you have to.
  40. Make lists.
  41. Even when you are so down and you can’t face even getting out of bed in the morning, remember that this too shall pass. There is always light in the darkness.
  42. Anxiety is real and if you haven’t dealt with it yourself, have sympathy for those who do.
  43. Remember this above all: YOU ARE LOVED!

Congratulations on making it to the end of this crazy and haphazard list. Give yourself a pat on the back!

I know that a lot of these are cliche and they may sound completely obvious or trite, but believe me when I say they are all true. After living on this earth for 43 years, I have lived through a lot of unexpected situations and I’ve made a million mistakes.  Am I a perfect person?  Am I 100% happy all of the time?  No, of course not, but these reminders have served me well and I try to remember them always.

Thank you for reading.

❤️ — Bex