The year 2012 has brought me many wonderful moments and memories including the celebration of my twenty-first birthday in April. From a little girl I had always imagined what it would be like to turn twenty-one. As the years swiftly flew by I watched many of my girlfriends celebrate their 21st birthday in their own style and I eagerly anticipated my own.
The days leading up to my twenty-first birthday bought about a time of reflection and consideration for me. Not only to plan my future: my goals, dreams, ambitions and hopes of the years to come but also a wonderful time to reflect on the years already swiftly gone by. This gave me a deeper understanding how the past twenty-one years have helped me grow as a woman and define the person I am today.
Over the past year I have complied a list of 21 lessons I’ve learned (shall I make that present tense ‘learning’?) in the past year which I would love to share with you; in hope that you may be able to gain some inspiration in your journey through life. . .
1. Never stop trying. You may fail more than once or twice but don’t give up. Where there is life – there is hope. Failure is only a sign that your growing not that you lack success.
2. Deeply treasure your family. Out of all the people in the world there is a tight, small circle of people who never lose hope in you, who are there for you 24/7, who never stop praying for you. They may have a few rough bumps but learn to appreciate them as priceless people. You’ll be blessed times over.
3. Work hard. This in an element that my Dad ingrained in me since I was a little girl. I have vivid memories of him reminding me that “hard work never killed anyone, Clare.” This year I have been so blessed to gain just a tiny glimmer of the rewards that hard work can bring by earning my first pay-rise from a very proud and satisfied manager!
4. Treasure good friends. Not just ones that are there for you when its convenient them or when things are going smoothly. True friends will stand by you in the thick and thin. I’ve found myself a handful of simply wonderful friends and the blessing that I have received from them almost brings me to tears! There is nothing more precious than the value of a true and faithful companion!
5. Capture memories and special moments. When I traveled around Europe both in 2010 and this year I arrived home with literally thousands of pictures and min-videos. There wasn’t a thing that I didn’t record in some way, shape or form! It’s a fantastic way to re-live the past!
6. Have a firm faith. There was a time in my life I wondered where God fitted and maybe you’ve wondered that too. But it’s been in the past year that I’ve figured it’s actually the other way around. I want to fit into God’s plan for my existence. Whether you believe in God or not I think it’s pertinent to have a faith.
7. Good health is priceless! Take care of what you have now. No amount of success or money can replace superior health. I am without doubt you’ll appreciate it when hitting a few more milestones!
8. Learn from the past. Don’t regret the past or let is stop you from moving forward. Some of the best lessons I have learned have evolved from a mistake or decision I have made in the past. I’m a true believer that the best is yet to come!
9. Remember that happiness is your responsibility! Don’t let people, circumstances or your location withhold your happiness. Take it into your own hands and create your very own, unique masterpiece!
10. Appreciate wisdom. The most valuable individuals in my life are the ones that have been there before me. They know the struggles and triumphs that we face.
11. Fall in love with being a woman. Embrace your femininity! I have to confess there is nothing I dislike about being a woman! Strive to be more elegant, sophisticated and stylish. For me, personally I’ll never stop improving and growing in this area!
12. Embrace change. Life will never stop changing. Just when you think it’s perfect – it will change – so embrace it, expect it and learn to enjoy every moment.
13. Meditate. Don’t let life get so busy that you don’t have time for reflection, thought and contemplation. Sometimes its in the quiet, alone moments that you can gain some of life’s most luxurious moments.
14. Never let yourself stop growing, changing and developing. It’s when you cease to do these things that life can become stagnant and boring.
15. Happiness does not come from monetary expense or luxury. The most amazing and extraordinary moments you’ll have will come from the simplest forms of happiness. Watching a sunset for example.
16. Smile. You make yourself much happier and will brighten the lives of those around you too!
17. Miracles surround you everyday. Open your mind to them. Life is a miracle in itself. Your heart that never missed a beat, the fact that you woke up healthy, happy, and with a roof over your head is a miracle!
18. Get our of your comfort zone! Never stop being adventurous! Just when you think you are comfortable in your zone, its time to step out and stretch those boundaries! Dare to be an adventurer!
19. When tough times hit you remember there is a purpose and a plan behind it all. It’s hard when you’re in the middle of it all but don’t let go. Never give up.
20. The early hours are the best. Quietness, solitude there is something completely amazing about this time of day. Don’t let it slip by.
21. Anticipate the future… The challenges, triumphs, victories and failures! Each will help you become a better, more mature person. Plan ahead…but don’t be rigid.