Life has thrown me some crazy curveballs over the years. I have dragged myself up out of a depression so dark that I almost killed myself. I have graduated college, moved across the country and landed dream job after dream job in the film industry. I have fallen in and out of love.  I have lost weight, gained weight, and lost it again. I continue to grow into the best version of myself, all while showing compassion and standing up for others.  I’m 30 years old and so proud of the woman I’ve become; I’m proud of how I continue to grow and shape myself into a progressive, caring, leader… and influencer of health and happiness. My dreams are big, but I have the drive to match.

I will turn 30 on November 18th at 12:35am. I took the day off work.  The day off is not to party, it is to be reflective and enjoy my own company.  A cupcake for breakfast has become a tradition over the last couple years, so I will enjoy that at the start of my day… after that, the skies the limit. I might venture off to Catalina Island, take a surf lesson, or pole-dancing lesson—I’m still not quite sure. I know I want to do something I haven’t done before, because that’s part of growing and what better way to celebrate a milestone birthday than by gifting yourself an experience. I’m at the point in my life where I want to collect experiences, not things.

In 30 years, I have learned so much about myself and the world around me, so today, I wanted to share 30 thoughts and lessons with you.

 1. Trust the Universe – every thing, person, and opportunity comes in and out of your life for a reason. The universe hands you many positive gifts and rewards, but it also expects you to learn lessons. When it throws you a curveball, go with it. Learn. Grow. If you fight the universe, you will die tired.

2. Rejection is Protection – We all want certain things, but when our needs and wants don’t work out, look at it as protection from the universe.

3. Don’t Be Afraid to Fall In Love – Sometimes your heart will be broken, but don’t let it make you hard and bitter. My initial reaction after breaking up with my ex was, “I’ll never put myself through this again.” After a few days, it became, “It’s going to take a long time for me to love someone else.” Well, a month later, I started dating a friend of mine. Love is the greatest gift to give and receive.

4. There are no timelines for anything – Some may have scoffed at the idea of me dating someone new after ending a 5 year relationship a month earlier. I wasn’t expecting to put myself out there so soon, but when it happened it felt so right… so I went with it. Some people take years to finish school. Some people get married after 3 months of dating. Some people take longer to figure out what they want to do in life.  Take all the time you feel you need and do what feels right for you.

5. Have the tough, uncomfortable conversations – I could have saved myself years of loving someone who didn’t love me the same way had I just asked, “do you want to marry me?” If you need answers, ask. If you have something to say, say it.  Address what’s important to you so you don’t become bitter and angry.

6.Educate Yourself – It’s easy to pass judgment and reject things that are unfamiliar, so take the time to thoroughly research topics before you decide if you’re for or against something. Knowledge is power.

7. Appreciate the Little Things – Make a big deal of the little things because life ebbs and flows.  It is truly the little things in life that make life enjoyable, and less painful. So, smile at the scent of chocolate chip cookies or a beautiful sunset. It’s the little things that make the heart happy.

8. See the Beauty Around You— The First flower that pushes through the snow each year shows us that life is not only resilient, it is beautiful, too. We too often overlook just how beautiful the world is and how beautiful life is. Don’t take it for granted.

9. Be Grateful – If you wake up in the morning and breathe air into your lungs, that is something to be grateful for because somewhere someone else wasn’t able to do that. Even in your darkest moments, there is always something to be grateful for. Gratitude raises your vibration and attracts positive energy.

1o. Respect Nature – Life on this planet is a blessing and a miracle. Treat the earth with respect. Do what you can to keep in clean and to preserve wildlife.  All ecosystems work together. If we cause a shift there are repercussions. This respect creates a connection with you and Mother Nature.  Allow her energy to run though you.  It’s magical.

11. Give If and When You Can – There are so many people that are less fortunate, so please give if and when you can. Whether is pocket change, a meal, or a smile, the smallest gesture can change someone’s day or life. Life is about community and helping our fellow man/woman.

12. Smile— A smile is your best accessory. It is beautiful, warm, and inviting. Forcing one can change your mood and flashing one at another person can change their day. Smile often. 

13. Travel with an Open Heart and Mind— Not many people will get to see other places or parts of the world, so when you are gifted with the opportunities to see the world, do so with an open heart and mind.

14. Be Loyal – Other than love, your loyalty is the best thing you can give to someone else. Let your love be pure and your loyalty be honest. Be there for your friends, family, husbands, wives and children. If you can’t be loyal, be honest about it. Never lead someone to believe you care more than you actually do.

15. Fight for What You Believe In – Don’t sit by idle when it comes to the things you believe in. Spread your message, but do so through love and kindness. Be an activist for what is important to you, but never push lifestyle choices on others. Change comes through action.

16. Do Everything Through Love – Hate attracts hate and love attracts love. Be positive in the way you live your life, interact with others, and speak. Working through love sparks true change because the energy is inviting and comforting. Whether you are seeking change in your personal life or for the world, work through love.

17. Honor Yourself— March to the beat of your own drum without apology. I personally need a lot of personal space and feel exhausted by other people’s energy. I no longer apologize for it. Don’t upset your natural rhythm for anyone else. Do what sets your soul on fire. Do what makes you happy. Know yourself.

18. Empower Others— Be a cheerleader for others to go after their dreams, to be better and do better. True leaders help people reach their goals. You can be successful while helping others become successful. There is enough room at the top for everyone.

19. You Don’t Have to Grow Up – Keep a childlike wonder and you will never become bitter, angry, or jaded. Play dress up, watch cartoons, have water balloon fights… The death of imagination is the death of you.

20. Surround Yourself with Like-minded People – Your vibe attracts your tribe, so if you want a certain tribe, go after them. If you strive for success, surround yourself with people who have accomplished great things or are working to a similar goal. Choose the people you want in your life so that your energies do not fight each other.

21. Release Negative from Your Life— Remember, it’s ok to purge negative people from your life. We become those we associate with. Shift your mindset to positive thoughts. Don’t be “anti” something, be “pro” something. Get rid of self-doubt. There is nothing you can’t accomplish.

22. Try New Things – Life is made of experiences, so try new things whenever you can. Getting older doesn’t mean you can take up a new hobby or do something that you’ve always wanted to do. The only failure is never trying.

23. Volunteer – Give back. You’ll meet some pretty awesome people when you volunteer. You have the opportunity to give back by just giving someone your time and attention. Volunteering is always time well spent and there are plenty of organizations to pick from. Pick one you love and give them your time.

24. Adopt a Pet— Animals are so innocent and pure. Adopted pets are so grateful when a human does something great for them. I’ll never forget the look of gratitude my dog had when we drove away from the shelter.  Their love is pure and they will always be there for you.

25. Don’t Forget the Healing Power of Laughter— Whenever I feel down, I put on stand up comedy. Laughter is a magical form of natural medicine that can help change our mood in an instant. When life hands you lemons, learn to laugh it off, then make lemonade.

26. It’s OK to Fall Apart— You’re allowed to have your feelings and really feel them. You have to feel to heal. Allowing yourself to hit rock bottom and fall apart, allows you to bounce back stronger and smarter. Cry. Scream if you have to. Then move onward and upward. No dwelling.

27. Be Confident, Not Arrogant – You are a badass. Be confident in it, not arrogant. Stay humble, even if you’re the best at something. You can always be better, so don’t act like you’re the best thing since sliced bread.

28. If You Learn, Teach— It’s the reason I have this blog and my youtube channel. I have learned and continue to learn amazing lessons that need to be shared. Consider it your duty to teach others when you learn something. Some things we have to learn ourselves, but there are other great life lessons that we can share so that others don’t make silly mistakes.

29. Be True to Yourself – Do you. Don’t put yourself in a box that you don’t fit in. Don’t conform to society. Let your freak flag fly!

30. Life is Short, Eat the Cupcake— I learned that no size is worth depriving yourself for. Eat healthy, but realize life is too short to pass up a cupcake. Focus on balance and the rest will fall into place.