I have just turned 27 a couple weeks ago and here are 10 things I have learned that changed my life.
1. Career isn't everything. Realize that my work life is not my life has been one of the biggest discoveries I made. Until not long ago I breathed work, I dreamed with work and pretty much thought it was my number one priority in life. And even more important, I used to look at the people who's career wasn't successful as people who have failed life.
2. Discipline is indispensable. Commit to something and go all the way is more important than I ever knew. I'm more the kind of person that likes to try everything. But I have realized that having the discipline to finish something, or to become very good at it, can teach so much about ourselves and how to deal with obstacles.
3. Home is where we are happy. I was born in Brazil and wasn't happy there, I lived in Los Angeles it just wasn't for me. I went to college in NYC and what started with lots of passion ended in a hate relationship. I kind always knew the kind place my soul would feel like home but I didn't want to accept it. Living in the woods, away from the big fashion brands, hipster restaurants and cool looking people, no way. But with the years I came to the conclusion that I needed to stop fighting that urge, that feeling I had deep down. I always loved the woods, waterfall, nature, birds, green grass, animals, I always wanted to live like a witch in a fairy tale. Calling Pennsylvania home has been the scariest decision I have ever made. But I am so happy.
4. Relax. Oh, how I wish I did yoga since 10 years old. I think most of my anxiety problems wouldn't even exist today. It's so hard for me to let go and relax. I'm constantly stressed out, making lists, stressing out about them and never reaching a moment of peace. And that really has to stop. I'm forcing myself to meditate, run and do yoga. A calm life must be a really good life.
5. Give up on diets. I have never been in good shape. I have never been really fat either. Since little I have struggled with being fit. I wanted that tight body. But my eating habits would have never allowed that. And like any other teenager I thought I had to be on a diet. All the time. What a prison, so much negativity and stress. I wish I had tried more fruits and veggies and had more information on how much food matters. I'm so proud of being vegan now, and even though it is not easy, I know it is the right thing for me.
6. Be confident. I always needed approvals. From my teachers, parents, friends... I needed that extra, "You are doing great", "Congratulations"... and as life happened, and I made decisions that so many didn't agree with. I was forced to face one of my biggest fears, criticism. I took all the comments so personally, so strong and wanted to please everyone at all times. Learning that I won't has helped. I still struggle with that but I am more comfortable with my decisions and their repercussions.
7. It's ok to change. This is a hard one. Imagine your whole life you tell yourself something about you. About who you are and what makes it you. And them boom! you change your mind. This isn't who you want to be, this isn't the life you want. But you are so close to being great at your old self. And start again is so insecure. It took and it's taking a lot of courage and support to change.
8. Money needs to be spent wisely. Hahah, if I was reading this a few years ago I would have laughed. Money is to have fun, to be used- I would have said. Without blaming anyone, I never had the proper instruction for that either. I wish school had some class to teach us about money planning. Planning ahead and knowing the difference between want and need have been essential. I hope to be more responsible and realize that the future starts today.
9. Pets. Growing up I had a ferret and that was the one and only pet my parents allowed me to have. My mom was never an animal person and my dad had to fight to keep the ferret. I loved her very deeply and she was a part of my life for 10 years. But as much as I would hug her and sneak her to my bed, she didn't like snuggling. Getting a dog 5 years ago changed my life. Achilles is my baby and I care for him as much as I know a mom cares for its child. It may even be too much, but I'm ok if the mistake I make is loving too much. He teaches me everyday to see life through different eyes, a more simple, loyal and unconditional love.
10. Depression. I have had bad moments and I never talk about it. Moments that nothing matters, nothing excites me, that everything became dull and repetitive. But I know what gets me out of it, I know what works for me now, and it may be a constant battle but I'm ok with that. As long as I don't stop trying, I will be ok too.