As is tradition, with a new year comes reflection, and 2015 has proven to be a hell of a year for life lessons. Some of these are obvious, clichéd, we’ve-heard-it-all before lessons, while others are specific, awkward, saving-the-world-from-having-to-go-through-the-same-embarrassment lessons. Either way, they’re all valuable ones to know through the ever-growing stages of your life, and so I hope you’ll find them useful and be able to whip them out when you need them most.
1. You can always go home again.
No matter how long you’re away, things will always be how you left them when you decide to come home. Home is a feeling, not a destination. And it is always safe.
2. Spend more time hanging with kids.
Life through a child’s eyes is wondrous and free. The more time you spend looking at things from their point of view, the better place the world becomes. Always let them remind you.
3. Aloe Vera solves all life’s problems.
If anything ails you, Aloe Vera can probably fix it. Even if you drunkenly hit the pavement with your cheek and you end up looking like two-face, it can turn you into Jennifer Aniston in a week’s time. Trust me. I’ve gotten so many casting calls.
4. Soak up as much culture as you can.
You can see a place without ever having seen it. Take in every aspect of the places that you visit – the lingo, the food, the people, the history; it is the only way to truly appreciate it for what it is.
5. Everything has a consequence.
If you decide to stay out all night at Durty Nelly’s with Boston tourists, you aren’t going to make it to your ferry in the morning. Just be sure your consequences are worth it.
6. Cherish when your parents are parents.
Whether it’s making sure you’ve enough gas in your car, taking care of you when you’re sick, or running a full background check on the guy you go on a date with, relish in the moments when your parents show they care for you.
7. Stop taking money so seriously.
We will always be in debt, and in the end, we will all end up in the same boat. The only thing you have of any value is your time, so be sure to spend it doing the things you love, not on things that truly have no worth.
8. Putting yourself in amazing situations will lead to wonderful circumstances.
Like being able to brag about meeting the Dropkick Murphys every chance you get (and not caring about how many times you repeat it). The consequence for playing it safe and staying within your comfort zone? Monotony. The consequence for taking a risk and trying something completely inconceivable? Adventure.
9. You are the love of your life.
You need your love the most. Do not love with the sense that someone else completes you, because you complete you. Love instead with the sense that you have so much already inside of you and it just needs to be let out.
10. Sometimes plan, sometimes wing it.
Be practical, be sensible, be prepared, but don’t be upset when things don’t go according to the picture you had in your head. Let it play out! It could go so much better than you ever imagined.
11. Drive everywhere.
The best way to see a place, any place, is to drive. A bus, a plane and a train cannot ever equate to the feeling you get when you learn to move with the land in the freedom of the drive.
12. I still haven’t figured out what I want to do with my life … but I’m closer.
I am on an assembly line and I am fully aware of this. But where most lines have a straight-shot path, I move along mine in a Hogwarts-staircase-like fashion, never knowing where I’m headed next. And I like it that way.
13. I still haven’t figured out who I am yet … but I’m closer.
There are so many stages and phases of the person I am, and I love discovering these new aspects of myself every single day. But what’s important to remember is you’ll never truly know who you are without pushing yourself to go beyond your limits.
14. Stop doing things out of obligation.
Learn to say no, and stop doing things purely because you think you ought to. You should never have to settle when you have every opportunity to up the ante. Live life the way you want to, regardless of the status quo.
15. No one has any idea what they’re doing.
Don’t worry about not having it all together or living differently than everyone else – they’re all faking it. Do not measure yourself against other people’s ideas of what they think is right. “Right” is a relative term, and doesn’t always fit in the same way. And that’s perfectly okay.