25 Things I've Learned in 25 Years
- “Have faith in God”- This one has always come easy to me. There have been several times in my life where anyone might’ve asked God why, but He has always had a plan for me. My latest example was trying to find a job in the quarry industry. I had found a great contact at a job fair and let him know I was planning on attending graduate school with my extra year of eligibility. After my first semester in graduate school I was done with soccer and decided to look for an internship. Nothing was available in the quarry industry, so I went oil & gas instead. That internship was great but turned into a job that I did not like. My idea of a great job, for me personally, is getting to be outside. I was behind a desk. And miserable. I decided to job search and low and behold I found my current job in San Antonio. The timing of this job and it’s 1.5-2 year track lines up perfectly for when my husband starts medical school. I am no longer commuting to Austin and I am outside. Have faith in God. He has a bigger plan.
- “People can be mean”- I learned that in first grade when my best friend told me she couldn’t be my friend anymore because of my religion. If anything I have learned it more by starting this platform. It is amazing what people think they can say while hiding behind a screen.
- With that comes: “Always be kind”- you never know what someone is going through. There is a lot of hate in the world and I know that sometimes I get caught up in it. The guy in front of me might be going too slow in the left lane for my liking. But we can all be better at meeting frustrations with kindness instead of anger.
- “Work hard”- This is so straightforward, but it is important. I am in the Gen Z generation and I can see amongst my peers the need to have instant gratification, rather than working hard. It’s ridiculous. Thinking this way is so entitled and absolutely delusional. If you want something bad enough you need to absolutely work your a** off to get it.
- “Believe in yourself”- Believe that you can attain whatever goal it is you set for yourself.
- “Trust your gut”- Shoot. I am still learning this one. There are moments in my life that I wish I had trusted my gut, but got caught up listening to everyone else.
- “Be on time”- This is something I learned from my parents, but was especially enforced while playing collegiate soccer. 15 minutes early is on time and on time is late. This is such a good habit to have and will be noticed anytime you go in for an interview. Being constantly late is not cute nor is it a funny personality trait. My boss said it best, don’t be selfish and think your time is more important than the person you are making wait on you.
- “Best effort. Best attitude.”- This is written in the Auburn Soccer locker room and was my saving grace in college. I rode the bench hard at Auburn, but the one thing I could control was my effort and my attitude every practice and every game. My assistant coach brought it up in one of my individual meetings. I brought it every day. It built my character and has left a lasting impression on how I handle uncomfortable situations.
- “You need to learn to love yourself first”- This is a great one. Especially for girls in high school/college. A guy or girl shouldn’t be your source of validation. Needing validation like that from someone can cause you to miss A TON of opportunities to grow friendships or just opportunities in life in general. This type of relationship and lack of self worth is toxic. Once you learn to love who you are, you will grow to be a better person and friend.
- “Communicate”- This encompasses so many things. Communicate with your friends/family/significant others if something is bothering you. Communicate with them how much you love them. Communicate with your boss if you aren’t happy or see something that could be done better. Communicate what you really feel. Don’t sit back and do something because someone else wants you to. Communicate.
- “Give yourself grace”- You are not perfect. Only Jesus was and is perfect. Give yourself grace. Just do your best. That’s all anyone can ask of you.
- “Count your blessings”- Life can get really REALLY hard sometimes. The best way to refocus during these tough times is counting your blessings. There are so many blessings even small and simple ones, but I find taking the time to think about these puts everything into perspective. Maybe you didn’t get your dream job, but I promise there is a silver lining in there somewhere.
- “Love hard”- I have never understood my generations hesitancy to love hard. The worst that can happen is you get hurt and honestly you grow from that. You learn. It hurts but it makes you a better person. I have loved so hard over the years and it has caused me to get hurt. Bad. But I learned. I learned what I wanted and what I needed. I grew and I am thankful for it.
- “Expect the unexpected”- My very first goalkeeper coach taught me this one, but it applies to life as well. Just like you need to expect a forward to shoot even if they look like they are gonna cross it, you can be prepared for life’s unexpected turns (I.e. have savings for a rainy day)
- “Be comfortable being uncomfortable”- Obviously there is a limit to this. Don’t stay in a relationship that makes you uncomfortable. This is more about testing yourself. If you are uncomfortable working out at a gym but know you need to, start at home, progress to working out at a park where there are a little more people then move on to the gym once you train your brain it’s gonna be okay. You can’t grow as a person unless you do things that are uncomfortable.
- “It is better to be kind, than right”- Phew. This is a tough one for me and I am constantly working on it. My husband can confirm that this is my biggest struggle. To be clear, not to make an excuse, I am an only child and a bit of a stubborn know it all. My biggest flaw is always “being right” even when I’m not and I am NOT the kindest when it comes down to it. So, learn from me now while you can.
- “You are enough”- Talk about a blow to the gut when your therapist calls you out like this. Long story short, there was a major accident during my field camp for my undergraduate major. 2 students were badly injured and one of the two passed away. When talking to my therapist about the event that occurred, a recurring theme that came up was me blaming myself for what happened. Again long story short, leaving out A TON of detail. But he worked on re-wiring my brain to know that I did what I was able to do. I was and am enough. This goes beyond that specific situation in my life. There are a lot of things I sell myself short on but I am enough. I even have a phone widget that reminds me everyday. Not thinking you are enough can ruin great opportunities and relationships. You are enough.
- “Have standards/boundaries”- Respect yourself and your body. Define your standards early and stick to them. The earlier you set them, the easier it is to stick to them. Your body is a temple. Treat it as such. Don’t let anyone talk you out of your standards whatever they may be. If they love you, truly, they will respect your standards and boundaries. As Tim McGraw said “I love you ain’t no pickup line.”
- On that matter, everything in “Humble and Kind” by Tim McGraw basically summarized everything I have said into a nice little song. Listen to it. Live by it.
- “Wash your face every morning and night”- Honestly this is just a hygiene thing in general. Brush your teeth at least twice a day. Wash your face. I know I’m a girl and might get some hate from other girls for this, but wash your hair. No one wants to smell you. It’s not cute. Be clean. And men… grow up and brush your teeth.
- “Clean your room/bathroom”- Ugh. This one might be tough for you busy bodies. I know it is for me. But setting aside the time to do this will benefit you so much mentally. Having a clean space to come home to is so refreshing. And guys who are single, just know a girl takes note how clean your space is. Learn now.
- “A differing opinion doesn’t make someone wrong”- I think the whole world needs to learn this one. To quote another great singer we all need to “peacefully agree to disagree” (Zac Brown Band). The world would be a lot kinder if we all lived by this. We all have different experiences that have shaped us, so with that comes different opinions and that’s okay.
- “Do your own research”- my generation struggles with this. We turn to social media and biased news outlets to teach us current events, science, history, anything and everything. We have to be better. Do the research for yourself. Check multiple sites before you take it as gospel and sure as heck don’t listen to social media. Sweet Moses we have to be smarter than that. We don’t need to be taking Joe Whoseits word on something without doing an ounce of research ourself. I know several thanksgiving arguments would be resolved by this. Both sides. In between. Everybody. R-E-S-E-A-R-C-H.
- “He/she’s not a project”- The person you date isn’t your next school assignment. You shouldn’t have to mold them to be the perfect partner. You can work together to grow as a couple, but you are not in a relationship to fix them. They are who they are and if you aren’t happy with that move on because you will just make your life more difficult in the long run. And I’m not talking about them being messy. I’m talking work ethic, faithfulness, aggression… your red flags you think you can fix. Move on and be happy. Heal yourself not them.
- “Stay Hydrated and eat well”- This one hit me like a Mack truck after college. In case you haven’t seen, I’m a big guuuurl. I’m 6ft and the daughter of a college OL. I got big girl genes. After college, I wasn’t working out for 5hrs a day and boy did it show. I’ve never been the tiny girl and I don’t want to be, but I want to take care of myself for my future kids. I want to be around a long long time. Staying hydrated and eating well is such a key factor in this. You don’t have to sacrifice everything you love to do this. I still have my carbs because I am a carboholic. However, I am being smarter about it and hopefully it’s starting to show by the time I post this.