the one question i find i'm always asking (people who've just celebrated a birthday) is: "how does it feel to be (age here)?" and mostly, the response i receive is: "just the same."

i guess i relate to some extent. but also, i don't. because, truthfully, i do know that how i am now is not how i've always been. and i guess it's true what they say— there can be no other teacher better than Experience.

so here's a compiled list of What I've Learnt in three decades of being alive.

  1. never say "it's okay" if it isn't really okay.
  2. always kill with kindness.
  3. (in most situations), an apology isn't for you. it's for the other person.
  4. do not ever excuse bad behaviour.
  5. when people first show you who they are, ALWAYS believe them. (thanks, maya angelou!)
  6. as much as you could love a person, sometimes, you really simply cannot save them from themselves.
  7. in every situation, the only thing you can truly control is you.
  8. sometimes, the most powerful response is silence.
  9. when someone tells you to leave, don't ever beg to stay.
  10. if people can so easily discard you, it shows how much you were actually worth to them. the loss is not yours.
  11. love doesn't hurt. (you hurt sometimes because you love too much.)
  12. only buy something new when the something old is done.
  13. if your efforts with (a) friend(s) aren't reciprocated, you're their friend. they're not yours. you can stop trying. it's okay.
  14. SAY NO IF YOU MEAN NO.
  15. if you don't tell people how you really feel, they'll never actually know.
  16. no one else very, very few people reflect on things the way that you do, as much as you do.
  17. being sensitive is not a negative quality.
  18. struggle is what makes your story worthwhile.
  19. it'll always be so much fun to get caught in the rain. (in spite of the fact that you'd feel super cold!!!)
  20. you don't have to finish the food on your plate if you can't. just ask to take it away.
  21. don't pressure yourself to hurry through things. it's okay to be slow.
  22. likewise, don't hurry others if they're slow at things. they're trying their hardest as it is. and not everybody can be as quick as you to grasp things.
  23. mind over matter. every time.
  24. be kind(er) to yourself. it's okay to know you've made mistakes in life if you're constantly wanting to do better. but do better.
  25. especially when it's hard, take the high road.
  26. don't quit. take breaks.
  27. count your blessings. sure, things could always be better. but they could also often be worse.
  28. always, always, always trust your instincts.  
  29. be brave enough to initiate difficult conversations. everybody needs the chance to learn how to improve (and vice versa).
  30. i guess i'll never learn just how to "properly brake" on a bicycle and at any given age, will still be the girl who crashes into bushes then falls off the bicycle laughing.
well. i guess this means i'm officially old now.

yikes.

to never stop learning, and growing, and knowing— happy belated birthday to me. love, me.