20 Life Lessons I Hope My Daughter Knows At 29

It’s safe to say that this year was one of the fastest of my life. It was one of the best, but also one of the fastest. Why is it that things always go by in the blink of an eye when you want them to slow down most?

Good Vibes Only_Yellow-1Since last June 5, I got married, traveled to far away places, became pregnant, moved, was a part of major campaigns at work, and launched a new website. {Uh…whoa. Looking at that collectively is making me have anxiety!} We celebrated major events with friends and family, such as weddings or fellow pregnancies, and we’ve spent countless hours with loved ones near and far. The year has also brought hard times, though. People moved away, and keeping up has been challenging with how busy life gets. Stress has been a harsh reality. So far in 2015, I’ve had two family members pass away.

But life is much more than a year, and as I enter into the last year of my twenties, I can’t help but reflect on how much I’ve changed, and how life has changed, over the past decade in particular. Some are obvious, some are not, but all are little things that a younger me either didn’t know or realize about life in general.

Though these types of lessons expand far and wide, I’ve put together 20 key ones below. Particularly as my little lady prepares to make her entrance into the world, thoughts like this are top of mind as I think about all that I want to teach her as she grows.20-Life-Lessons

  1. Time goes fast.
    • Try to slow down a little. This may mean something different every day, week and month. But, the essence of it all is the same. We only have so much time, and it’s up to you to seize it appropriately. 
  2. Some things are beyond your control. 
    • Always keep this in mind when choosing how to react to a situation. If it’s truly something that’s beyond your control, the only thing you can do is control your perspective. Keeping this in mind will get you very far with personal relationships and managing tough issues. 
  3. …And others aren’t. 
    • While there’s a lot that’s outside your control, there are a lot of things that you can change just by means of handling them correctly. In my experience, this means open communication, talking about issues head-on, saying sorry when it’s due, and trying to understand where someone else is coming from.
  4. Jealousy is the worst emotion. 
    • Nothing good comes of jealousy. I’ve learned that it says more about the person feeling it than anything. Be happy for others, know that you’re okay just as you are, and if there’s something that someone else has that you strive for, work on achieving that for yourself instead of feeling animosity toward another. 
  5. Dreams don’t work unless you do.
    • “Good things come to those who wait” is total bullshit. Get out there and make it happen for yourself. Waiting will get you nowhere.
  6. There’s life, and there’s death. Both are necessary. 
    • I can’t say much about this other than the circle of life is purposeful and intentional. Though we may not understand the reason why people are taken from us, it’s important to keep in mind that death is a necessary progression of life itself. We should always try our best to celebrate those around us, whether it be a birthday while they’re living or a memorial service after they’ve passed, and be appreciative of them being a part of our lives for however long they were.
  7. Don’t compare yourself to others.
    • Everyone is on a different path. There’s no one that’s “ahead” or “behind”. We’re all just doing the best we can do. Just because your path is different from someone else doesn’t mean it’s lacking in any way. Comparison is truly the thief of joy.
  8. There’s not much that communication can’t solve.
    • I have seen the toughest of situations worked out by communication. I’ve seen the best of relationships falter because of a lack of it. It’s so important to remember that relationships require dialogue, especially when tough situations are at play. If you’re both open and willing to work something out, there’s not a lot that you can’t solve.
  9. Loyalty is the currency of friendship. 
    • Remember, to have a friend you need to be a friend. You don’t have to talk every day to be close – to me, loyalty is the biggest factor in establishing a strong bond. It will take your friendship through all the ups and downs of life.
  10. Fake it ’till you make it.
    • Do any of us really know exactly what we’re doing? (If you do, I’m skeptical of you.) My stance is to have a goal in mind, work hard to achieve it, and fake it till you make it.
  11. You usually won’t regret saying, “Yes”. But, you may regret saying “No”.
    • The only time when being a “Yes” person gets you in trouble is if you’re saying it too much. Prioritize what is most important to you, but also allow yourself to be open to new experiences, people and things.
  12. Learn to love people for their flaws. After all, you have them too.
    • This stands for lovers, friends, parents, siblings, and co-workers. Often, you’ll find that people’s flaws are also what’s most endearing about them.
  13. You can’t be good at everything.
    • Instead, pick things that you’re most interested in and work on developing those skill sets to the best of your ability.
  14. No relationship or person is perfect.
    • Here’s a very important reality: There’s no Prince Charming. I personally believe that our society puts extremely unrealistic expectations on relationships, particularly when it comes to romance. Forget all the butterfly-infused scenes you’ve watched in movies. Real life romance is an average day in which “I love you” is equally as important as growth. It takes a lot of hard work and communication, and doesn’t always include flowers and sunshine. Sometimes, it’s hard. But that’s okay because it’s so, so worth it.
  15. Most fights don’t matter. 
    • When I look back on things that I’ve been mad at in the past, I laugh. Most things that people get mad over are really quite silly. Pick your battles and let things roll off your shoulders when possible. But, also know when to stand up for yourself. (This can be determined through a strong understanding of your values.)
  16. Your parents are human, too. 
    • When I was a kid, I looked at my parents as super heroes who could do no wrong. As I’ve gotten older and my relationship with them has evolved, I’ve slowly set aside the notion that they’re supposed to do no wrong. They’ve done perfect, flaws and all, just doing the best that they could do. Realizing that they’re human has been a pivotal notion in enhancing our relationship.
  17. Kindness will get you so far.
    • This applies to almost every situation in life.
  18. …This includes being kind to yourself.
    • Lighten up. You’re doing great.
  19. Never, ever settle.
    • I wish I had upheld this more in my teens. To be transparent, I allowed myself to enter into awful relationships with people who were not respectful, and I think this was because I lacked a lot of self confidence. As I’ve gotten older, grown into myself, and become more confident, I’ve realized the importance of choosing the right people to surround yourself with. I’ve been fortunate enough to have strong and supportive individuals around me who have helped me to grow, and I truly don’t think this growth would have happened if I still had negative influences around me.
  20. Happiness is a state of mind. 
    • It’s something that you choose every day.

I’m a firm believer that you should always be evolving, always learning, and I’m looking forward to year 29 bringing many more lessons learned! Do you have others to add to this list? I’d love to read them in the comments!


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8 thoughts on “20 Life Lessons I Hope My Daughter Knows At 29

  1. Susie

    What a wonderful list for your daughter! I think this list should be something we all try to remember everyday, no matter how old or young we are. Somedays it might be harder than others but we’ll all figure it out..hopefully haha! Hope you had a great weekend!



  2. Sally

    You are an insightful-mommy-to-be! And you’ve been a wonderful friend to my daughter,
    “Charmingly Styled.” Enjoy your time as a new mommy, it’s so much fun!

  3. Kelly in the City

    This made me tear up, Emily. You’re so amazing, and I can’t get over the year you’ve hard. You continue to inspire me on a daily basis, and you and Doug are going to be the BEST parents. I hope your daughter gets to read this one day. 🙂

    Eeeeee she’s almost here! 🙂


    Kelly | Kelly in the City


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