Advice to my 25-Year-Old Self

When I say this is advice to myself, I mean this quite literally. These were the things I wrote down as reminders to myself as not only encouragement, but also documentation of what I had come to realize as a single, 25-year-old. Now that I'm almost 30, I can honestly say that this advice still has the same relevance, as I think it would for anyone. Let's take a look:

1. Chase your dreams (seriously): All those things you've always wanted to do, do them! I asked myself awhile back, "If nothing mattered- finances, education, etc.- what would you want to do in life?" This isn't to say we shouldn't be practical, but too many of us have a job or do things in life based on worldly suggestion. You were created for a reason, and most likely those things you've always wanted to do are things you would be great at and things that would bring you a lot of joy. Don't be lazy- go for it.

2. Get outside: I truly believe that we don't spend nearly enough time outdoors as we should. There is something transformative about being in nature. I didn't completely understand this until I moved to Oregon from California. Scientists call the reason nature makes us feel so good, biophilia, or the innate affinity humans have for other living things. A few times per week strive for more walking, more exploring, more scenery, more water... I promise you will feel a huge difference.

3. Be you: We have all been uniquely designed. We don't look, act, or sound like another person for a reason, so we must stop trying to. Too many days and hours are wasted comparing ourselves to other people. The moment you let go of everything you aren't and accept everything you are (authentically to you), life will get that much better. Don't give one damn about what people think, just be you!

4. Take care of yourself physically: Eat well and get moving. Remember that there is no "one size fits all" diet solution. The more you fill your body with the right things, the less you will crave the bad. You've got to get moving too- nothing feels better than living an active life. Your mind and body will thank you and you've only got one body, so be good to it!

5. Take care of yourself emotionally: Cultivate good relationships, build community, exercise your mind, meditate, think positively, get enough sleep and talk about your feelings. If something is bothering you or not going well, don't gloss it over. Get to the bottom of it before it gets to be a larger issue.

6. Let go of the past: All of the crap, all the things people told you that you were and were not (negatively), all the pain... you must let it go to move forward. There have been multiple times in my adulthood that I have referred back to a name someone called me or a phrase someone had once spoken to me. I'm in awe that I have still, after all these years, held onto it. L E T I T G O. It does not and will not ever define you, you must not let it.

7. Be honest: Yep, honesty still is the best policy and frankly, it feels good. To me, being honest is telling the truth, having integrity, being sincere, and being reliable. Doing the right thing at all times and in all circumstances, whether or not anyone is watching.

8. Live simply: Remember the things that matter in life. Spend time with family and friends, unplug from social media (not allowing myself to go on first thing in the morning and last thing at night has been the best decision I've made), spend time outside,slow down, breathe, and find joy in the little things life has to offer... Oh, and wherever you are, be present.

9. Let go of fear: So many of us are crippled by fear of the unknown. We can't get too far if we don't take a chance. So many people like to stick in relationships, jobs, friendships, etc. because its comfortable. I sure know I have done all the above and I can tell you that the most growth I have ever seen in my life has come from the things that made me uncomfortable.

10. Have a blast:  Possibly my favorite point is to enjoy life. Get out there, meet people, do things, try things, travel, have fun, laugh more and live it up. I love my Mom for many reasons, but one thing I love so much about her is that she has always worked hard, yet never passes up a chance to have a good time. The best thing she has said to me was to always live life and enjoy it, even when times are hard. She said, "Linds, I look at my life and know that I have LIVED."

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