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Think about how much farther we can go if, instead of competing against one another, we work together. How powerful we could all be.

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When we rang in 2016 we collectively decided we’d all have an amazing year. The past year was now behind us and it had made our family stronger than ever.

We were wrong. It was not amazing. It was exhausting, frustrating and everything in between. I was down, so down. I hit bottom but I’m thankful because from there I was able to climb back up. Regroup. It took SO long. I’m still working through it but I’m thankful for the struggles I went through because they’ve just made the wins that much sweeter.

So cheers to you, 2016, and twenty-five. You were not the kindest but you taught me a lot about myself. You made me stronger, and have given me the opportunity to share what I’ve learned. Twenty-five things I learned the year I turned twenty-five, and am still reminding myself of today:

  1. Life doesn’t follow anyone’s plan. The Unexpected occurs all the time and the minute you think you have your shit together everything can change. That’s OKAY. It’s a journey, not a race.
  2. It’s nice to be nice. As a woman, I know first hand how cruel we are to each other. We preach equality for women but we’re still taught to compete and shut each other down. My favourite thing now is giving people compliments. You like their jacket? Tell them. Their lipstick is on point? Tell them they’re rockin’ it. That little comment from you takes zero effort and will stick with them for the rest of the day.
  3. Find hobbies. Do not get stuck working the 9-5 grind just to go home, stuff your face in front of the TV and head back to work in the morning. Don’t fucking do it. Life is about progression. Working towards something. Learning and enjoying new things.
  4. Stop apologizing. I spent so much time in the past apologizing for how someone made ME feel. As if their happiness/comfort was above mine. No. I will not apologize for expressing how I feel.
  5. Forgiving someone doesn’t make you weak. You’ll find it makes you stronger.
  6. Never remain friends with someone who doesn’t ask how you’re doing. Life is too short to spend it with people who don’t care about your well being. Stop putting in effort with people who don’t take the time to inquire about you.
  7. We wake up in the morning with two choices: we’re going to have a good day, or a bad day. The decision is up to you.
  8. Stop overestimating that a person is capable of changing. You do not have the ability to change someone.
  9. Stop underestimating that you’re able to change yourself. You’re capable of anything you put 100% effort behind. If you want it bad enough, you’ll get it.
  10. Time is relative. Someone you’ve known for 24 hours could very well have better intentions for you than someone you’ve known for ten years.
  11. Our biggest problem is we believe we shouldn’t have one. I learned this one from my friend, Tony Robins. Understand that when you go through hard times it’s propelling you to the life you’re meant to live.
  12. The time it takes to break someone’s trust is not proportional to how long it’ll take to earn it back.
  13. Misery really does love company. We project our negative feelings towards other people because we’re unhappy with our own situation.
  14. Knowing a lot of people isn’t important. Having a handful of ride or die relationships is.
  15. There will always be ignorance surrounding mental illness. We fear what we don’t understand. Do your best to understand.
  16. When you send positive vibes out in the world, when you build people up and help people in times of struggle it will ALWAYS come back to you.
  17. Trust your gut. If someone makes you uncomfortable, it’s for a reason. Not everyone has the best of intentions.
  18. If we want to live life to the fullest we must live life in the moment. Having anxiety, I worry about the next 20 steps in front of me. I work out every possible scenario. Life is about experiences. Not everything is meant to last forever. If you stop worrying about what may or may not happen and enjoy what you’re doing I can guaranteed you’ll be much happier.
  19. Constructive criticism helps us grow. Check your ego and understand when you receive feedback at work, in life, etc. it’s being brought to our attention so we can learn and expand on what we already know. They’re not putting you down, they’re trying to build you up.
  20. Listen to your body. I spent three months with severe stomach cramps, headaches and heart palpitations not thinking anything of it. It was anxiety.
  21. Love is not meant to be forced. Going above and beyond for a person who is unhappy in their own life will not make them one day wake up and  choose you. Bending over backwards for someone who walks all over you doesn’t make you a good person, it means you’re being taken advantage of.
  22. We only reflect on past relationships when we’re sad and lonely. Consider that.
  23. Don’t worry when someone brings an issue to your attention. They’re bringing it to your attention because they want to work through it with you. Bringing it to your attention is great, it means you now have the means to fix it. It’s when people stop raising concerns that should worry you.
  24. We all have a breaking point. Everyone’s breaking point is different. What breaks me may be very different from what breaks you. But let’s respect that point and how it affects each other.
  25. Think about how much farther we can go if, instead of competing against one another, we work together. How powerful we could all be.

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