Looking through these photos, my sisters and I noticed that they closely resemble the dreaded "senior pictures". You remember those super awkward pictures filled with awkward poses and creepy smiles on benches and against random walls. And since, I'm the oldest, I guess these can be my senior (as in senior citizen👵🏼) pictures. And in honor of getting older and learning lots, I'm going to tell you the top ten things I've learned between now and then.
1. Learn to say you're sorry. In fact, over apologize. Not because you are wrong, but because the first time you apologize is usually the standard way to end a fight but lots of times you don't mean it. So give yourself a day or two orrrrr more to think about it. For me, I find that after a few days, no matter who started it and was "really to blame" I end up becoming more aware of myself and finding something I can apologize for and work on. After all, there's always room for improvement. 🙌🏽 Sometimes, it's not even about the apology, but the fact that relationships take work and addressing the problem fully is important even if it's time consuming.
2. I believe in second chances in LIFE, but NOT with PEOPLE. 😱This may sound harsh, but I don't mean it to be. I just think that it's very difficult to change the way people view you, and the first impression is hard to get over. Life will give you a second chance with a new day and new opportunities, yet people are different (and stubborn!), and the relationships you form with them shouldn't be taken for granted so be careful the way you treat someone in the beginning because it's hard to take back those first few actions.
3. Don’t treat those you love the most, the worst. It's very easy to do this because those we are closest to seem to put up with our bad behavior and see us through the bad times, but don’t do it. If you do, make a conscious effort to stop.🚦 My sisters are my best friends and we get along 90% of the time, but I realized that during that 10%, I was REALLY horrible—something that I’ve decided is an unacceptable way to treat the people I love the most in this world. We all have disagreements, but that’s not a reason to be cruel, no matter how short lived or unintentional it is.
4. I've learned that it's important to not let "love" turn you bitter. I've witnessed a lot of instances where relationships go sour and that one person you loved so much is now the target of your anger. To me, this is selfish and vengeful behavior. You basically quit acting out of love once things aren’t going your way. 💔
5. If it's happy, it's healthy.😃 My younger sis Dom taught me this one. (See, I told you they teach me all sorts of things!) But this is not an excuse to eat whatever your beautiful heart desires, but a necessity for your emotional well being. Being happy is directly related to your hormones (yes those things we blame our erratic behavior on) and has a direct correlation to your health and physical being, i.e. weight, aging, disease and so on.
6. Guard your time. People seem to be worried about guarding their hearts, but I think if you want to be happy and get things done, you should love harder and more frequently, yet spend your time wisely. Maybe this just means loving those special few a little more by spending your time and energy with them or spreading the love through a random kind acts to strangers, but either way, be intentional with your time.
7. The middle is always the most difficult, (Maybe that's why Dom is the problem child.😈) but if you think about it, the beginning is exciting and the ending is eminent, the rest is work. I've found this is to be true for life, love, and business, but if you can enjoy the middle and the struggles within it, it'll be worth it!
8. Don't take things too personally. I'm still working on this. I don't take what strangers or acquaintances say about me too personally, but I can be very defensive when it comes to my family and close friends. I guess their criticism weighs more heavily on me.
9. Habits are more important than will power. You won't be able to reject every temptation that comes your way, but you can be consistent with habit. Start small and be patient with yourself!
10. If you can't be good, be careful.😇 Pretty self explanatory. My old man crush told me this one.😍
You’ve probably already heard or know most of these, but maybe check in with yourself to see if you actually practice them. I know that I need little reminders all the time!