1. Life is beautiful, even with all of the messy bits.
2. There are plenty of things in life that you cannot control, but there are also plenty of things that you can, too. Focus on what you can control.
3. Even when life hurls things your way that you have no control over, you still control how you respond to those things.
4. You cannot control other people—please don’t try to go down that road.
5. Look for the lesson—sometimes it’s staring you right in the face, and sometimes it’s subtle, but it is always there.
6. Everyone can teach you something, even if it’s what not to do.
7. Kindness is not a character flaw—it doesn’t make you naive, or innocent, or some other negative adjective that others will drum up to pull you down. Ignore the voices who tell you otherwise.
8. Vulnerability is a strength and a superpower.
9. Ask questions before you make assumptions.
10. Ask questions, always.
11. Remember, there is no mold, no checkbox, no singular word for all that is you.
12. Remember, you are not your job—what you do is merely a piece of the mosaic that is you.
13. Trying to save money doesn’t make you “cheap”; it makes you wise. It makes you someone who plans.
14. Resist the urge to put a timeline on your journey. Any phrase that starts with, “By this age, I should have…” is inherently problematic and will set you up for disappointment. Widen your gaze to see all the possibilities.
15. Take inventory of your life periodically. Who is sitting at your table? What are you doing with your free time? What media, art, and nourishment are you consuming? The answers to these questions can often dictate your days and the feelings in your heart.
16. Create a space for people to say “I don’t know” with ease.
17. Be the person who says “I don’t know” with ease.
18. You don’t have to bury the negative emotions that rise up within you to have a positive outlook on life.
19. You can hold space for sadness and joy within your being, as well as anger, happiness, love, and so much more. Emotions are not an either/or situation. They can coexist.
20. You can make all of the plans that you want, but sometimes, your plans will fall through, change, and take you elsewhere. That doesn’t mean the universe is conspiring against you—it just means that things change sometimes.
21. Changing plans is okay. Changing your dreams is okay. Changing your opinion is okay—wouldn’t it be sad if you spent your entire life never changing?
22. It’s okay to let go of the people who do not love you back.
23. Let go of the need to please everyone—you cannot.
24. You are worthy of love, too.
25. Just because your best friend is getting married doesn’t mean that you should be, too.
26. Just because your best friend has a child doesn’t mean that you should embark on parenthood.
27. You have to move in a way that is best for you.
28. Love is a precious gift—treat it as such.
29. Lasting relationships, the kind of partnerships that we write about and make movies about and write songs about, are real. But they take work, too. They always have—it’s just that when you find your forever human, you want to put in the work. It’s work that is worth it.
30. Lead with love.