33 Rules of Life

Good God.

I'm going to be 33 on Thursday.

I still remember when I turned 16.

And, at the risk of sounding like a Grandma, where does the time go?

I'm not really sure. Which, I guess is why it's why I write it all down.

My dear friend Hannah decided to write a rulebook this year on her 29th birthday. And so, in typical Hannah fashion, she has inspired me to do it myself.

Last year I wrote the 32 Rules of Life.

So here’s the 33 Rules of life.

1. Carve out ten minutes of your day to drink a cup of coffee (or tea, if that's your thing), in the morning. In silence.

2. Learn how to love the silence. Silence isn't scary. With silence comes clarity of thought. With clarity of thought comes growth.

3. Never stop growing. Never stop learning. The moment you decide you know everything is the moment when you'll start to lose any intelligent thought you once had. Everyone can teach you something, even if it's what not to do. 

4. Exercise. Even when you don't want to. You'll thank yourself later. 

5. Find things to be grateful for each and every day. Gratitude is key - grateful for the things we have. Grateful for how far we've come. Grateful so we know how far there is to go.

6. Go places. See new cities, meet new people, try different food.

7. Never pass on Chinese food. Or Thai food. Or tapas. Or tacos. Variety is the spice of life. 

8. Life will go as planned. And then it will go haywire. Learn how to remain calm amidst the ebb and flow, and learn who keeps you calm, too.

9. Find your focus in the chaos.

10. Focus on people more than things. You can always work overtime. You can't get back lost moments with those you love the most.

11. Love. Love deeply, love freely, love openly, love fiercely. Then be the love that you preach, teach, and seek.

12. Say I love you. Let the words pass your lips and live in the air. Let them imprint on the heart and soul of another. Love is not meant to be contained.

13. Prayer is good for the soul. I hope you pray for your people, and I hope you pray for those you have yet to meet.

14. See the story behind the human.

15. Read. Read everything, but don't forget about books. Let yourself get lost in the pages of another world and another life. 

16. Lose yourself in nature every once and a while. Feel the breeze. Drink in the sunshine. See the color that surrounds you. Take long walks in the woods. On the beach. Throughout your neighborhood.

17. Be kind to your neighbors. 

18. Kindness is not weakness. Remember that.

19. Know your weaknesses. But know that your weaknesses do not make you less of a person. They make you human. And we're all flawed.

20. Find make-up that makes you feel flawless. (If make up is your thing, that is.) Currently I'm loving FENTY by Rihanna. But you pick whatever makes you feel beautiful.

21. You are beautiful. Remember that. Tell yourself that in the mirror when you wake up in the morning. Remind yourself of that as often as you need to.

22. Pay attention to what you need for mind, body, heart, and soul. Self care is important - ain't no shame in taking care of you. 

23. Take your vitamins. 

24. Rule borrowed from Hannah Brencher: Keep your spaces clean. Chaos squashes your creativity. To keep your brain calm, keep your room clean.

24. Call people on the phone when you're thinking of them. A "like" on a screen, or a text message can never replace the love found in the cadence of a voice on the phone.

25. For my curly haired gals - embrace the curl. I can't even begin to count the amount of minutes I've wasted fighting with a straightening iron and a blow dryer. Now I let the curls go! (And, thanks to my pal Lara Casey, I'm obsessed with DevaCurl.) Now, if I have the opportunity for someone to do my hair for me, any hairstyle is fair game. 

26. Never underestimate the power of a good hair dresser. Or a blow out.

27. There are opportunities in life that you'll blow. You'll say the wrong thing. You. won't be what he/she/they wants. That's ok. Recognize the mistakes for what they were, and then let them go. 

28. Let the little things go. Let yourself feel pain. Let yourself feel joy. Let yourself embrace the moment and season in which you find yourself, and find the balance in knowing when to move forward.

29. Rule borrowed from Joel L. Daniels - Less concerned about the work you do, more concerned with the impression you, and the work you do, makes and leaves on the people around you.

30. Believe in your art. Trust in your gut.

31. There will be a love that will find you that makes you a better human. That sees your light and your dark and loves you anyway. That fills your days with warmth and laughter. It's ok to wait for that kind of love. You deserve that kind of love.

32. There is always a reason, a way, a someone, and a something to celebrate. Remember the ones you've lost, and let their love fuel you forward.

33. Love is fuel for the mind, body, and soul. Love you, love your people.