29 Things I Know to be True

29-birthday

Dress: Ralph Lauren Similar: here 
 Heels: Old. Similar: here 

It's my birthday! I can't believe I am turning twenty nine! For me birthdays have always been a time to reflect; a time to celebrate not yourself but all the people in your life that love and support you and help make you who you are. It's a time to reflect upon your accomplishments of the past year, and think about your goals for the next.

In honour of my 29th birthday this year I wanted to write a personal post of 29 things I know to be true. It's been a crazy year but I am happy to be where I am today and can't wait to see what my last year of my twenties has in store!


life-lessons-i-believe
                          29 Things I Know to be True

1. Being by the ocean is essential to my mental health   
     - walking by the ocean is the best way for me to clear
      my head and work through any problems I may be
      having. It also helps slow down my over-active mind.

2. Once a dancer, always a dancer.   
     - It doesn't matter if you take an 8 year break from
      dancing (like I did) or if you stop dancing all together 
      after high school, if you were a serious dancer growing
      up it's something that you just are. Dance isn't a hobby,
      it's not even just a passion, it's something that is in
      your blood, your soul, the core of your being.

3. Your family is who you choose it to be  
     - Blood ties aren't the determiner of your family; you
     are. Whether you are adopted, have a step family, or
     are close to friends and not the people you share DNA
     with; the people that you choose to treat as family, are
     your family.

4. Reconnecting with old friends is invaluable   
    - We all have those friends who we knew as children, or
      teenagers, that we have simply grown apart from.
      Re-connecting and re-building some of these
      friendships over the past few years is one of the best
      decisions I have ever made. These people were your
      friends for a reason; and the older I get the more I
      realize that I haven't changed - at least at the core of
      who I am - since I was child. There is something so
      powerful about spending quality time with someone
      who has known you since you were 5. My best friend
      Maddie is the perfect example of this. I know that no
      matter what mood I am in, no matter how I am
      reacting to a situation, it's going to be okay when I'm
      with her. There's nothing she hasn't seen before and
      half the time she seems to know me better than I know
      myself. It's a blessing to have that type of friendship in
      your life.

5. Reading is one of life's simplest, greatest pleasures    
    - I go through periods where I don't read for pleasure for
      months at a time because I'm too busy. I'm done with
      that. Reading and escaping into worlds created by
      someone elses imagination is a true gift in this life.

6. I will never have a 6 pack
  
     - I love trying new workouts, and always want to stay
     somewhat fit for my health (and admittedly vanity
     purposes) but I simply do not have the dedication it
     takes to have a six-pack. Aint gonna happen. I'm ok with
     that.

7. Little kids teach us more than we teach them   
    - Spend any time with a little kid and I guarantee you'll
      walk away with new knowledge. Example: in one 2 hour
      period babysitting my 7 year old niece Gracie last week
      I learned a) that spiders do not have noses but rather
      breathe through slits in their abdomens, b) kangaroos
      are herbivores and c) Gary from her class has 6 old
      ipads (... this last one may have zero life applicability,
      but hey, I thought it was interesting haha)

8. At some point you have to stop blaming your parents

   - Nobody is perfect, and certainly no parent did a perfect
     job. My late twenties has taught me that there are two
     types of people - those who blame their problems in life
     on their parents or the way they were raised, and those
     that accept that whatever their childhood was like,
     things are in THEIR hands now. Don't get me wrong, I am
     certainly not trying to dismiss childhood trauma
     (especially where people truly went through horrible
     events) but I am saying that for many childhood things
     you can choose to let them define your life and your
     choices, or you can take the reigns back accept that if
     you have problems now from those events, these are
     your problems to work on, get help with, etc.

9. You actually DO need to eat your vegetables
   
     - I know a girl who got scurvy. True story. Your parents
      weren't wrong, you actually do need to make a
      concerted effort and ensure you are eating enough
      vegetables.

10. I am a shop-aholic    
      - I seriously am. I am working on budgeting and
       spending less money, but I am totally the type of
       person that gets a high from shopping. I LOVE buying
       clothes and when I see something that reminds me of
       someone I always buy it for them... I have no self
       control to say no. I'm working on it.

11. My dad is right 98% of the time

    - It's really hard to accept, but my dad really is almost
      always right. I need to listen to him more.


12. We need to express our love more 
    - It seems to me that when someone dies the biggest
      regret from others is "they didn't say I love you
      enough". The past year or so I decided I don't care if it's
      weird, I am showing my love to people way more easily
      and frequently. My best friend will tell you that I never
      hang up a phone call without saying "love you!" at the
      end, and my nieces and nephews would probably say
      I constantly smother them with hugs and kisses haha.
      When it comes down to it, we all like feeling loved,
      cared for or appreciated, so why not show it to our
      friends and family way more often.

13. We all need to volunteer
   
       - Everyone is busy, but we live in a world with so much
       need, in so many different areas. I truly believe that
       volunteering our time to causes that we care about
       should be a requirement of being an adult.

14. Criminal law is my jam
   
      - Not a day goes by that I am not thankful that I found
      this career. I freaking love what I do. Being a criminal
      lawyer challenges me academically, works for my ADD
      personality, gives me one-on-one working with people,
      and let's me make a difference in people's lives. It's just
      the greatest.

15. Eventually you just need to make a decision
        

     - As a complete over-thinker I make pro/con lists about
       every decision in my life. I talk to every friend, every
       family member and agonize for hours over what the
       "right" decision is. One thing I now know to be true is
       that while it isn't bad to want to make an educated,
       thought out decision, you are never going to know the
       perfect decision, because you can't see into the future.        Eventually you just need to make a decision.

16. Travel is good for you        

     - Exploring new cultures and learning more about others
       as well as yourself can't help but benefit you and those
       around you.

17. Our societal "value system" of professionals is f***ed
   
- I don't know about you but I am really okay with my
      banker or politician making 50,000 a year. I would
      really like nurses, teachers, and caregivers to make
      more.

18. The smell of sunscreen makes me happy      

      - Sunscreen = warm weather = happiness

20.
My greatest strength & greatest weakness are the
      same thing - my giant heart
    
  - I have embraced the fact that my giant heart is what
        makes me who I am and the same giant heart that
        gets me in trouble when I get too upset over
        something small, is the same giant heart that
       remembers people's favourite ice creams, and that is
       there for people who society has mostly forgotten.


21. The joy of eating cookie dough totally outweighs the
      health risk
    
- Salmonela would suck, sure, but eating raw cookie
       dough is one of the greatest treats there is.

22. Timing is a HUGE part of life (...and it's out of your
       control)
     

     - So many of us have a "plan" (career by x date, married
      by x date, kids by x date) and as much as it's important
      to set goals and hopes for your life, half of life is
      chance based on timing so you really need to just let go
      and go with the flow.

23. Orange juice and toothpaste is the world's worst
      taste combination
    
- self explanatory. yuck!


24. Boys can be pilots too   

     - When I was four years old my oldest sister had just
      become a pilot (she now flies for Air Canada). This was
      the extent of my four year old knowledge of pilots
      when my parents had a dinner party with an attendee
      who was an old, male pilot. My parents introduced me
      to him, telling me he was a pilot just like Cate and
      with complete and utter shock I exclaimed "boys can be
      pilots too?!" I now know it to be true that men can
      indeed also be pilots but, more importantly, I know it
      to be true that we can and should teach our girls that
      they can be any career that they want to be. If all
      little girls thought with the same flawed reasoning as
      myself about the gender division of certain professions,
      sure they'd have some shocked moments of discovery
      when they learned that men could share these
      professions, but damn our girls would be taking on
      some great adventures and getting into fields of work
      that in many places they are taught are not for them.
      Girl power will change the world, of this I am sure.
      (Check out cool companies like Goldiblox and charities
      like The Girl Effect if this is something that interests
      you)


25. I can't wait to be a mom
      

     - I have known since I was a child that one of my biggest
       goals in life is to become a mom. I'm still darn far
       away from this part of my life, but I am so excited for
       when it will eventually happen.

26. There is no good way to get up from making a snow
      angel (there is always a rogue footprint)
       

      - Years of snow playing and I have finally accepted this
       fact.


27. You can't control everything 
     - This is very similar to the timing thing, I know, but it's
      worth being said that half of your life is out of your
      control (and so is everybody elses). As a control freak
      by nature, it is really hard for me to let go and accept
      this fact, but I'm working on it.

28. Friendships take work      

      - Friendships take hard work. We have to nurture those
       friendships we know to be important in our lives by
       carving out time and not letting geography or other
       challenges get in the way. Skype dates, phone calls
       and FaceTime have gone a long way to help nurture
       friendships that span geographic lines (... as someone
       with a best friend on the other side of the country,
       and another on the other side of the world, trust me
       on this one)

29. Everybody needs a mentor (or three)   

     - Mentorship seems to have less of a focus in your 
      twenties and that is a real shame. In a decade where
      you (likely) are figuring out who you are, what you
      want to do, where you want to live, it seems of the
      utmost importance to have some people to guide you
      and help you along the way. These can (and should I
      argue) include people you don't know in real life, but
      who inspire you (Elizabeth Gilbert, Oprah, Sheryl
      Sandberg anyone?) as well as people in your life who
      can provide direct guidance. 


 We are really dorky human beings...

 My friends are the best (and cutest) balloon carriers haha. Love these girls.
29th-birthday-reflections

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