1. Nobody is perfect.
2. Perfection is a myth that puts you into a little box that is tied up with a neat little bow, and a box cannot hold all that is you.
3. You cannot be held within the confines of a checklist, either. No one definition can encapsulate all that you are, and there isn’t a job or a relationship or a single word that can do that, either.
4. Sometimes your jobs will change. This job switch doesn’t mean that you’re a failure, it just means that sometimes things change.
5. Sometimes you will not be working in a job that directly correlates to whatever degree you hold. Please don’t panic. This type of job situation happens all the time in the workplace—remember that there are plenty of things that you learned that can transfer into whatever position you’re holding now.
6. It’s okay to think outside the box.
7. Sometimes you will have a job that you hate. When that happens, it will be a great time to start looking for other jobs while still working. Continue to pay your bills while pursuing the thing that sets your heart on fire and makes you excited to wake up in the morning.
8. Sometimes it will seem like everyone around you has their entire life plan figured out. That they have the job of their dreams and the relationship of their dreams—it will seem like everything is perfect. The truth is that you never know what goes on behind closed doors or what’s happening within the hearts and heads of other people. Resist the urge to compare your journey to theirs and instead pour that comparison energy into figuring out where you would like to go.
9. Comparison is a rabbit hole of unhappiness.
10. Sometimes the world will feel overwhelming at every turn, and it will take a tremendous amount of energy to get out of bed in the morning. When this happens, I hope you count the tiny victories. When this happens, I hope you remember to keep breathing and moving and putting one foot in front of the other.
11. You can do hard things.
12. You can do great things.
13. You are more than one thing. This sentiment bears repeating over and over again. You are more than one thing.
14. It’s okay to be anxious, but please remember that you are not your anxiety and that it’s okay to seek help to make you feel at ease. Perhaps that comes in the form of therapy, medication, a better diet, or a routine. Whatever it is, know that seeking it is not a mark of failure but an act of a proactive human.
15. It’s okay to hold onto hope—joy and optimism are remarkable. There will be naysayers who try to steal your joy and deflate your confidence and infuse pessimism wherever they can, but I hope you resist the urge to listen to them.
16. It’s okay to change your career. It’s okay to change your mind. It’s okay to change the path that you once embarked upon, the ideas that you once believed, the opinions that you once had. It’s okay to change, period, for when you change, it means you grow. And when you grow, it means you learn, and when you learn, it means you’re living to your fullest potential. And that is a beautiful thing.