this year has really been the best year yet. but they haven't always been the best years. i've had some birthdays where i spent hours crying, i've had school years where i've thought i was going to drop out (theoretically...) i think part of the reason this year has been so good is because i've learned a lot in past years that is f i n a l l y  starting to sink in. i thought i'd share.

1. everything works itself out--worrying about the issue at hand is a waste of time because before you know it, it'll all be resolved. praise the LORD.

2. do yo thang. i wish i could continually not care what people thought or said about me, but it's getting easier as i get older. you do you, and imma do me.

3. be passionate about something.

4. life begins outside your comfort zone: get to know people you don't already, challenge yourself to do things you normally wouldn't or don't always feel the most comfortable. start doing something new every day. try eating funky foods. listen to a song you wouldn't normally. try basket weaving.

5. read the newspaper. know what's going on in the world.

6. snap judgments are stupid & usually, in most cases, wrong.

7. comparison is the worst. you're good at things too, okay? and sometimes things just happen for different people at different times.

8. God is mysterious. but so good. and just. and unconditional. and funny. and you're gonna forget that, or you may not believe that (hey, like i said, you do you), but that doesn't make it less true.

9. your family is really important. love them while you can.

10. enjoy the now.

11. i never knew what my gut was, but then there was one time where i was in a situation 
& had an emotional breakdown about it--and that was my gut telling me something was wrong. i took the steps to change what i could, and made the best decision that completely changed my life. that's vague, but well, trust your gut.

12. you can't predict the future so quit trying. that's not so raven.

13. do things you enjoy. don't do things you don't enjoy.

14. listen. & be still.

15. you have nothing to lose, so just GO FOR IT. really... you actually have nothing to lose. send in that tape to america's got talent because you really only live once. (shoutout to my friend who just reminded me of this. & sent a video of herself into america's got talent)

16. get some sleep. & take care of yourself.

17. rejection happens. often. it doesn't define who you are. the universe is bigger than your small minded thinking.

18. you're going to get excluded. it's okay. that doesn't mean anything, and if it does, well, who wants to be with people who purposely exclude them. & when you're currently thinking someone is purposely excluding you, take a moment & a deep breath and think "would this person really do something intentionally to hurt me?" chances are, probably not. & if they would... well... meet new people.

19. laugh at yourself. all the time.

20. Lord grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.

21. have fun. always. there's always a reason to celebrate.