Lessons I’ve learned.

My twenty years of life have taught me some important lessons and I’ve been compiling them slowly. I have seen a lot, and have been through a lot in my short time here on this planet. I guess I just wanted to share a few of them with you, in the hopes that maybe you’ll learn a thing or two too.

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Life is too short. People move away and move on. People die. Your time with each person is limited & there’s an expiry date on all of our relationships. It’s like someone scratched the ‘best before’ date of that jar of PB&J and you are just hoping it’ll last another day, or another week. Make the most of your time left – even if you think you have forever.

Peace isn’t something that needs to be on a grand scale, like world peace or ending wars. You just need to be at peace with yourself, your actions, and your life.

Be honest. It’s a simple little thing that your parents tried to teach you as a child, but it really is all that matters. If you are honest, there is no shame in words or actions. You acted in honesty.

Make an effort. The look on my Mom’s face when I clean something at her house or help carry groceries. The smile on someone’s face when you do something kind. Don’t just sit at home on the couch and let your most important relationships fail. Don’t forget to thank someone. Make an effort.

Procrastination happens. I do it too, all the time. I put things off until a better time, or another day. That project can wait. I’ll study tomorrow. I’ll save money – later. Guess what? You don’t always have tomorrow. You run out of time. Get your shit done.

People are disappointing. I grew up thinking some of the people closest to me were saints and angels. They could do no wrong. Well, we’re all human. Part of growing up is realizing that not everyone is perfect, and no one should ever try to be. People are going to piss you off, disappoint you, make you cry. But there are going to be people – maybe even some of those same ones – who make your life what it is. Who make you who you are. My family shaped me into the determined & outspoken dreamer I am today and I wouldn’t trade that for anything.

There are moments in life that you just need to remember. Writing it down, taking pictures – that’s all great but it’s not a memory. Spending the day with family in the middle of a Christmas tree farm, freezing cold and completely content with the world. Realizing that I am developing traditions that I’ll pass to my children. Those are the ones. The important memories.

Patience. I have no patience. I want tomorrow to be today, and next year to be tomorrow and ten years from now a week away. I want to speed up time. I need a fast-forward button. But I’ve learned patience. A four-year degree 3/4 of the way under my belt and a 2+ year engagement will do that to you. Watching other people do what you want to be doing. Waiting – it teaches you patience.

Group work sucks. This semestre I have been in, oh, about 5 or 6 different groups?! And it is really and truly horrible. I don’t mind working with other people in a job-setting or as a nurse on a healthcare team, but stick me with 8 other catty, annoying, lazy nursing students and you have seriously pissed me off. The unfortunate thing? It’s unavoidable! So plan out everything from day one, decide who does what, and get your part finished. Be accountable to your group, and expect each and every other person to do the same. Also, avoid drama if you can.

Dream big. Sometimes in life it seems like time is standing still. You feel like you don’t know which direction you’re headed or maybe you’re being pulled in a hundred directions at once. Maybe it feels like you have nothing and never will, or you just lost everything and couldn’t possibly get it all back. Guess what? Dream big. Dreaming can get you through anything. Simple daydreams about better days in the heart of a recession. About warmer temperatures in the middle of Canada’s winter. About being in love when you’re alone. Dream on baby, dream on.

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Most of all, I’ve learned to never do anything halfway. Clean it well the first time so your parents don’t make you do it again. Do your first draft as if it was your final copy – your paper will turn out much better. If you’re going to talk behind someone’s back, be prepared to put it all out there when the shit hits the fan. Put everything you have into maintaining relationships because if you don’t, you won’t have one much longer. Love with all of your heart. Every muscle fibre and major artery – put it all on the line. It’s the only way you’ll ever truly know love. ♥

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