My birthday is on the 28th of this month and I cannot believe that I am going to be 26 years old. I have no idea where the time went. Unfortunately, that means I am now too old to be on my dad's health insurance... I wish you could be on your parent's health insurance as long as they would let you. It causes a lot of problems for people.

As of now, I have no definite plans to celebrate. However, in my family, we always end up celebrating and doing something fun. I just don't really know what I want to do yet. I am thankful for another year on this Earth. Every birthday should be something to celebrate for this very reason. It's one more year that God blessed you with. Personally, I am very happy to be alive.

Here are my 26 thoughts on turning 26:

1. Boundaries are important
- It's important to have healthy boundaries with people. Saying "no" is okay. You have to stick up for yourself. In the end, you and your health are the most important things.

2. Getting enough sleep is a must!
- I cannot stress enough how important getting the proper amount of sleep is. I can't do anything 100% if I do not get enough sleep. Sleep helps me conquer the day ahead. I feel better and look better. Sleep also keeps me from getting sick.

3. Family is the most important thing
- At the end of the day, your family is all that matters. They love you for you. Having a connection is crucial for your happiness. 

4. Taking a mental health day is important
- Everyone needs a day to just chill and recharge. Having a whole day where you don't do much is important to recharge your brain. It's important not to feel guilty either because you took the day off to chill. 

5. Tell the people you love that you love them
- No one is guaranteed a specific amount of time on this Earth. I have had many family and friends die unexpectedly that I wish I could have told them how much they meant to me one last time. Don't live your life with regrets. Before you leave a room angry or in general, always tell your loved ones that you love them.

6. Be yourself
- Who cares what other people think? As people, we care way too much about what others think of us. Take a deep breath and just do you. You are the only you and there is nothing wrong with that. I am finally embracing myself fully as a person. Being yourself is cool.

7. It is okay to be single
- I have learned to embrace my single life. For the first time ever, I am okay to just be with myself. No one can make you truly happy but yourself. It's taken me a long time to learn this but it is so worth it in the end. Embrace being alone. In a way, it's way less stressful. You don't need a companion to be happy.

8. Being popular doesn't matter
- Who you were in school doesn't matter anymore. The amount of friends you have doesn't make a difference in the slightest. Outside of school, in real life, there are no cliques. What you were growing up does not define you anymore. Embrace being who you are. It doesn't matter what other people think of you.

9. The only thing you can change is yourself
- You have no control over what others do or say. Don't stress over things that you cannot change. Only you can change yourself for the better.  

10. Making the same mistakes over and over again is insanity
- It is okay to make mistakes. However, learn from those mistakes and try not to keep repeating them. Learn from each mistake and become a better person because of them.

11. Trust your gut feeling and intuition
- If something doesn't feel right you are more than likely right about a situation. Always listen to your initial intuition and gut feeling. We have an intuition for a reason. It's there to keep us safe.

12. Karma is a real thing
- It may be cheesy but you should always treat others the way you want to be treated. Making amends is super important to the people that you have hurt. Don't let karma come back to haunt you. Putting negativity out into the universe can cause major damage. 

13. There is no such thing as perfect
- So much of my life I wasted trying to be perfect. It was utterly exhausting and stressful. It really played a huge part in my panic attacks. I think about all the time that I wasted and it makes me sad. It's okay to be average at something. It took me a long time to realize that I am not going to be good at everything and that is okay. Embrace being average and take many deep breaths. Most importantly, do not beat yourself up for making a mistake. 

14. Be grateful for what you have
- Having gratitude allows you to have a better life. There is always going to be someone less fortunate than you. No matter how poor you are there's someone that is poorer. Taking time out of your day to say "thank you" is extremely important and fulfilling. Be grateful for what you do have. Instead of looking at everything that you don't. You will never truly have it all. 

15. It is okay to not be okay
- Feel all of your feelings. Don't bottle them up. Not allowing yourself to feel will make you feel worse over time. It is okay to have a bad day. It is okay to be mad or sad.

16. All relationships are hard work
- Relationships take a lot of forgiveness, dedication, communication, and commitment. No matter the kind of relationship whether it be a friendship, family member, or a romantic one.... they all take time and patience.

17. Stay in the present moment
- Do not future trip. Doing so will just cause more anxiety. Enjoy life as it comes.

18. You are beautiful
- Despite what anyone else says, you are beautiful inside and out. Looks aren't everything. Beauty is when you feel it inside of you and it radiates from within. Just because you aren't one person's type doesn't mean you won't be another's. Every single person is beautiful in their own way. Don't let anyone's mean comments get you down. 

19. Listen to your parents 
- In most cases, they are always right and looking out for your best interests. Don't listen to your teenage brain trying to rebel. As an adult, looking back, there are many times that I wish I would have listened to them. Listen to their tough love.

20. Don't compare yourself to others 
- Everyone's journey is different. Do life on your own time and terms. 

21. Don't allow other people to guilt-trip you
- Do life for yourself. Do things because you want to do them. Don't do things because someone else peer pressured you into doing it.

22. Don't waste your time doing something you hate
- Life is too short as it is to be doing something that you loathe. Don't waste your time doing a job that you don't like. There's plenty of ways to make money these days by doing something that you do enjoy.  

23. Your health comes first
- Without your health..... you have nothing. If you aren't healthy you can't really do anything. Your health should always come first before anything else. 

24. You don't need to go to college
- There are many successful people that did not go to college. College isn't for everyone. It's important not to stress out about getting in. Having a college degree isn't a requirement in life to make money. 

25. It is okay to ask for help
- There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Even the most successful people in life had to ask for help now and again. You aren't a failure if you need a little bit of help. You don't have to conquer the world alone. 

26. Treat yourself
- Treat yourself to something nice every now and again. You earned it. You don't have to justify every single need vs want purchase. 

life lessons