As I approach a milestone birthday, I feel compelled to share a few words of wisdom, things that I’ve learned over the decades that have made my life decidedly happier, less stressed and more fulfilled.
1. The most important relationship you’ll ever have is the one you have with yourself, not with your spouse, not with your children, not with your parents. Get to know yourself. Spend time alone. Cultivate hobbies that make you happy. People can die, people can leave you, people can betray you, but you will always be with yourself. And if any of the former happens, you’ll be stronger and able to pull through any type of relationship demise or tragedy.
2. Don’t let society or your cultural group tell you what you need to do by what age. There are far too many people stuck in unhappy situations, whether early marriages or career tracks that they despise because they allowed society or their family or the media to dictate their life goals. You’ll discover that people who are fearful of fully living their lives want to make you fearful, too.
3. People will surprise you. Sometimes the ones you think will be there for you will betray you and then others will come out of the woodwork to help you.
4. Sometimes you’re related to horrible, unevolved people. There’s no reason to put up with unkindness or spend time with people who are selfish or ignorant just because you share genes. You can love from afar.
5. Spend money on travel and experiences, not just material things. Travel is the one thing that you spend money on that enriches you. Take that cooking class in Tuscany. Walk the Great Wall of China. They will impact your life a lot longer than a Chanel bag. Plus, nobody who really matters gives a f*ck that you drive a Mercedes or BMW.
6. Never stop learning. Who cares if you want to finally learn Spanish at 60? Or take a basic auto mechanics class at 40? People who make fun of you for wanting to learn are those who are scared to leave their teeny, tiny comfort zones (which aren’t all that comfortable, because they’re squeezed by narrow mindedness.).
7. Most of all, love yourself. You are the only you out there. This is the only life you have, so make the most of it. Don’t reach the end saying, “I wish I would have had the courage to do XYZ.” Do XYZ now.
About Christina Ablahad
Chrstina is a Writer, animal + nature lover. and human + animal rights advocate. She is the Creative Director of Style Om, a lifestyle site where style and consciousness intersect. StyleOm encompasses the modern woman’s interests — fashion, health + beauty and design — all sprinkled with compassion towards animals and the Earth. It’s style with a conscious bent.