So, this is 38.

For most, 38 isn’t a significant birthday worth noting. But, after attempting suicide in 2013 – every birthday is worth noting and celebrating because at one point, I truly didn’t believe I’d get here.

So…another year around the sun, and what have I learned?

1. It’s ok to let things go. Whether it’s people from your life or negative habits; or even an anger you’ve been holding onto for a long time; whatever is holding you back from being the best version of you – let it go.

2. Trust the timing of your life. When I was younger, I had this idea in my head that I’d be married with kids by the time I was 30. Well, spoiler alert – that didn’t happen and you know what? That’s ok. I had to live through some of the darkest of times to find my happily ever after with the love of my life, and more importantly – a new found love for myself.

3. Love yourself to teach others how to love you. This is an on-going lesson for me, and one that is necessary for all. How you love yourself is how you teach others to love you. You deserve all the happiness your heart can handle, so – fight every day to remind yourself that. 

4. Laugh every single day. Nothing in this crazy thing called life is guaranteed, so find the beauty and love in every single day. Change your perception, wake up with an eager attitude towards the day. Be excited for what may come your way – instead of anticipating the worst. Surround yourself with people who make you smile and encourage your growth.

5. Self care isn’t selfish. You are your number one priority – and your health and happiness rely on you. You have to take care of yourself; you can’t be expected to take care of everyone else on an empty tank. Saying no to something that won’t bring you joy is ok. Removing toxic people from your life who aren’t good for your mental health is ok. Do what’s best for you. Period.

6. Adulting sucks, but is for the best. Save your money, take your vitamins, get enough sleep, drink the water, but if you’re offered a cupcake – eat the damn cupcake.

7. Always take the extra minute to poof up your hair, fix your bangs, and touch up your lipstick before taking pictures. ALWAYS.

Advice I’d give to 18 year old me? Heck, even 28 year old me?

Keep going, fight for your happiness – you deserve it. Be grateful for the hard times, you’ll come out stronger than you ever thought possible.