I graduated from college in December and have been living in LA with an empty schedule and open mind until I begin graduate school in October. I have finally had time to pause and reflect on the whirlwind that was my four years in school and all the experiences in between. This period of reflection coupled with (the somewhat cliche LA…but I love them nonetheless) things like meditation, yoga, and sunset runs have helped me distill some clarity and wisdom from my past actions, which has helped me when thinking about the person I want to be in this next chapter of my life. I literally penned all of these musings into my leather-bound journal as I was watching the waves ebb and flow at the Santa Monica beach. I’m a hopeless romantic, to say the least.
1. If you have a gut feeling, go with it and don’t look back.
2. Don’t talk about what you are going to do, talk about how you are getting it done.
3. Even if it feels right (or YOLO!) in the moment, making the same mistake twice will only cause you the same pain and frustration that it did the first time, while also leaving you feeling weaker and like you just wasted all the wisdom you learned from the initial blunder.
4. People won’t fall in love with you if you wouldn’t fall in love with yourself. Similarly, people won’t want to hang out with you if you aren’t creating your own fun and positive vibes to where you enjoy hanging out with yourself.
5. Only light one match to attempt to rekindle an old flame. If it doesn’t light a second time, you’ll waste energy trying to create a spark with no tinder a third time around.
6. If someone disappoints you or doesn’t live up to your expectations, just back away and do your own thing.
7. On that note, long conversations and letters trying to explain feelings or get closure mean absolutely nothing. Actions mean everything. It has no relevance or weight if someone says they miss you or they care about you if they don’t have any actions to back those statements up. Don’t hold onto empty words.
8. The best relationships are the kinds that benefit other relationships in your life.
9. You have to know how to make yourself happy on your own regardless of your relationship status, your surroundings, your success or your location. Once you have inner happiness, everything else should just be more reason to smile.
10. If you get upset that someone blew you off or rejected you, think about someone whose text you haven’t replied to or whose call you’ve ignored recently and how you could have treated them with more respect. We are only as good a person as the way we act to the person we treat the worst (like the idea that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link).
11. You should always try to do things for others with not expectations-strangers and friends alike- but don’t waste time or energy on someone if they don’t benefit from or appreciate what you’ve done for them. Especially don’t waste time on them if your interactions with this person only cause you pain, thus hurting the actual productive relationships in your life.
12. Acknowledge that you don’t have to try to act ‘ok’ in front of people that make you sad or cause you pain. Sometimes being strong doesn’t mean facing the people you fear most, it means knowing that they hurt you and avoiding contact with them in order to maintain your strength and peace.
13. You should never have to analyze communication with someone if they are a quality person and truly care about you. If they really are worth keeping around, the content and timing of one text won’t change the course of your relationship.
14. You’re always happiest when you don’t check social media accounts for the whole day and are consumed in simple things that make you happy or that you do to make others happy.
15. If you are at peace, others around you will be at peace. If you are happy, it will make other people around you happy.
16. Don’t talk about or analyze anyone to anyone else save one or two confidants because you will ultimately never know what the other person you are analyzing was thinking. It can also put a strain on the other relationships in your life.
17. It is always more satisfying to listen than to talk.
18. Success is more meaningful if you celebrate it with the people who helped you get there.
19. Radiate out and let the rest come to you.
20. Friends are like evergreens and romantic relationships are often times seasonal. Yes, you may develop an intense relationship with someone, but don’t forget the people who were there long before that person. Put those people first. Always.
21. Even if your past relationship was the most intense time of your life, chances are you were happy before the relationship started. Don’t forget that. If you knew how to be happy before your relationship started, you can again know happiness after it ends.
22. If you’re taking care of yourself physically and mentally and making time to feed your soul, your confidence will be infectious.
23. A heart broken isn’t damaged- it is more open than ever before.
24. Tread lightly and have fun
25. There is a good side and bad side to each absolute memory. You can choose how you look back on it.
One of my favorite concepts that I have been constantly reminded of these past few months is the idea that every day we have every right to be an entirely new person. After a yoga class, the instructor was telling us to “let go” of the past and treat today as the first day of the rest of our lives. She said that every seven years, every single cell in our body is completely replaced by new cells. Of course, it is good to reflect on how our experiences have shaped us and led us to now, but otherwise, our past actions and our past selves re completely irrelevant. While everything in my life has changed these past few months, I find peace each day in thinking about all the people I am thankful to have in my life and all the things I am thankful to be doing. I also have given into trusting that the universe will work itself out if I treat every occurrence as if it were the best decision ever to lead me to now.