15 things I know now ...

The past year has been incredibly defining for me in my personal life and by extension, by career. I have taken chances, listened to my heart and in the process met new friends and been a part of experiences I never thought possible. It is an incredibly private and profound journey but is all thanks to one particular friend for helping me take one small step last year, towards a life that I never knew was possible. Most of all I have a sense of peace and confidence within me that I feel comes with age and this journey I have been on and all of a sudden I feel I have the permission to do what makes me happy - which is not necessarily what others expect. Its a little confronting to feel this way at first but I am learning to embrace it. I am continuing to educate myself in all kinds of genres. I am pushing myself to get out of the house and nurture my relationships because I know how important they are. I have made the decision to nurture my body through good food and (gasp!) regular exercise. Everyday I sit here, listen to music and read something that will help me continue to grow and nourish my soul. I hunger to see more of the world and continue to learn about other cultures and traditions to keep learning. Learning. I keep coming across this word as I think about what is important to me at this time in my life.

After watching this amazing documentary last week, I’ve begun to think more about my legacy and what it is that people will say about me when I am no longer here. Its been on my mind for a while as I realised earlier this year that  there is not much of a visual record of me. There is a visual record of what I see through my lens, but not much of me. This is one of the reasons I am trying to put myself in front of the camera more because for so long I let my insecurities be the loudest voice in the room and tell me not to. I love looking through my mothers collection of photographs of her life and it made me sad to think my children or grandchildren may not have that when looking at my life. In the past year I have clung to the truth that I am wonderfully made and I am no less special (or more special) than any other person in the room and I should be documented.

For the past few years I’ve done a little birthday post but this year as I was surprisingly whisked away for a weekend with my husband, I completely forgot about it. So while I was thinking about it, I thought I’d share things I know now that I didn’t know in my 20’s that make the world a better place and hopefully me a better person.

15 things things I know now … that I wish I knew 15 years ago

  1. Nothing is as bad as you think it is. Take a deep breath and keep moving.
  2. You get out of your relationships what you put in. Make time for your friends - even if you think you have no time available.
  3. When a door closes, a window does open. That missed opportunity was not for you and it is up to you to see the next one and take the next step.
  4. Make time for yourself for your health, your sanity and your spirit - no matter how selfish it feels at first. You are a better person when you take care of you first.
  5. Giving is much better than receiving. Giving to people who truly need it is reward in itself.
  6. Choose quality over quantity and invest your time and money in experiences that make your soul richer.
  7. Follow your dreams. They can and will become your reality if you work hard enough.
  8. Go with your instincts. They will always be right - even if it doesn’t seem like it at first.
  9. Be kind to people and try not to judge because not everyone had the advantages you have had in life.
  10. Never stop learning. Once you stop learning, you stop growing. And if you’re not growing, you’re decaying.
  11. Life is too short for bad champagne. Drink it to celebrate all of life’s amazing moments - not only the big ones.
  12. Push yourself outside of your comfort zone in life and business and take calculated risks, not chances. If you want something to change, you have to do something you’ve never done before.
  13. Less is always better than more.
  14. Everything in moderation. Too much of a good thing is as detrimental as too much of a bad thing.
  15. And lastly, in the words of Betty Draper (and my mother), only boring people get bored. Get out there and live your life without reservation.