At 33, much of my time and effort is now devoted to an important yet elusive topic: finding a way to live my best life. I’ve spent my 20s figuring out who I am and climbing imaginary, socially constructed ladders. I’ve spent my years following the carefully laid path for me through college and then house buying, marriage, and “success.”
Now, though, in this decade of life, I’m focused on finding my passion, my true passion, and trying to find ways to be a happier version of myself.I don’t have it all figured out, not even close.
Still, as the year comes to a close and a new year opens, I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how to find true joy and how I can make next year the year of dream chasing. If you’re also trying to live a more fulfilled life of passion and purpose, here are things I’ve learned along this crazy journey called life so far.
I hope you find some of them helpful. Carry your favorites as mantras into next year. Send a few to a friend who needs some encouragement. Write them on Post-it notes on your mirror. And feel free to add your own in the comments below.
Happy New Year,
Author L.A. Detwiler
1. It takes courage to say “no” to something that isn’t right for you. Be brave enough to chase the life you want.
2. Your body is a miracle, no matter what size it is. Appreciate how it moves, how it sustains you, and how it helps you live your life. Stop criticizing yourself because you’re too something or not enough of something else.
3. Don’t let the fear of criticism slow you down from living the life you deserve.When you get weary of this life, remember that there is always the chance for beauty and change.
4. You are never stuck in a life you hate; find the bravery to change your destiny if you choose.
5. Work tenaciously hard for the life you really want.
6. Realism can dent passion; it’s okay to have your head in the clouds sometimes.
7. Always believe in the beauty of the stars.
8. You are your own, truest best friend. My dad taught me this lesson when I was young, and it’s the one piece of advice that rings true more often than not. When you learn to love yourself, other people’s jaded opinions don’t matter as much.
9. Find what sets your soul, your heart, and your dreams on fire…and then do more of whatever that is.
10. Money, fame, and awards do not automatically equate to fulfillment. You have to know what you’re really chasing in order to find true happiness.
11. Wear what makes you feel like a bomb and skip the trends that don’t. Your clothes are an expression of who you are; no one gets to decide what that looks like.
12. Love doesn’t complete you. Only you can do that. Love should, however, help you see the best sides of yourself and smile more.
13. If he doesn’t make you laugh, it’s going to be a long road. Find someone who can make you giggle when you feel like crying, and even the hardest days will be tolerable.
14. You don’t have to stay the same. Change can be good, even if people don’t see it that way. Don’t be afraid to grow, to change your mind, and to change your goals.
15. Be brave enough to dream ridiculously big. Spend time envisioning your dreams coming true, and find faith that they will. Living in a dreamer’s world can help you unlock your passions.
16. You are always, always, always, enough, right now, today, in this moment.
17. You are worthy of respect regardless of your bank account, your clothing size, your job title, and your relationship status.
18. Work hard at what you love, even if it feels like no one is seeing what you’re doing. Work hard for you.
19. Take time to breathe in fresh air and to bask in the warmth of the sun. Life will try to dictate a fast pace for you; slow down on purpose.
20. Love what you see in the mirror. You are uniquely, imperfectly you—and that’s a gift.
21. You are capable of beautiful, amazing, ridiculously awesome things if you learn to believe in yourself.
22. Tearing other women down does not build you up. Find strength in supporting other women.You don’t know everyone’s story, so be kind whenever you can. The high road doesn’t flood with toxicity.
23. If you’re unhappy, change. Change one thing, even if it’s super small, until you’re closer to the life you want.
24. Take time to think about what makes you deliriously happy. When are you at your best? Then, seek out more of those moments.
25. Love is always a risk, but it’s also one of the most rewarding emotions. Don’t hide your heart out of fear; you are strong enough to handle a broken heart if you need to.
26. Age brings wisdom, grace, and perspective. Don’t fret over a few gray hairs or wrinkles.
27. You can do it all, but you shouldn’t have to. Ask for help. No one does it all alone, even if they pretend to.
28. Social media isn’t a golden standard to measure your life by.Dream new dreams when the old ones fail to excite you.
29. Every day is an opportunity for surprises, for dreams, for happiness. Wake up knowing and believing beautiful things are right around the corner, and you’ll see that they come true.
30. You are a warrior underneath it all. Do not be afraid of failure or hard times; know that you can handle it.
31. Rest and relax. Taking care of yourself is the best way to make sure you have something left to give to others.
32. This life is a journey. You won’t be perfect at everything all the time. Learn and grown. Don’t be afraid to fail. Everything, from your job to winged eyeliner, takes time to master.
33. Skip the high heels, the tight pants, the lipstick if you don’t love them. There is no standard for what beauty truly is.Set the standard for your worth, and don’t accept mistreatment from anyone.
34. If the mean girls are excluding you, let them. Find a group who truly accepts you for who you are, not what you bring to their image. Not everyone will love you, and that’s okay. You are not meant to be for everyone.
35. You have a purpose. You have meaning. You are here for a reason. Never stop believing that.
36. Even when you think no one sees you, they do. You affect more people on a daily basis than you could ever know.
37. The world needs your light, your gifts, your dreams, and your vision.
38. It’s okay to fall down. It’s okay if you don’t spring right back to your feet. Sometimes, we need to weep, to feel, to fall apart. Still, I know you’ll get back up eventually because you are strength itself. All women are.
39. Life will never be fair, but that doesn’t mean you have to add to the injustice. Seek out kindness in your words. Speak for those without a voice. Try to find ways to balance out fairness in your small corner of the world.
40. It’s easy to feel like it’s all just pointless. It’s easy to feel like hard work doesn’t matter and that doing the right thing doesn’t get you ahead. Still, believe in your values, your morals, and your standards if for no other reason than because you believe in yourself.
41. You are capable of so much more than you could ever know. Trust in yourself and your path.
42. Your dreams are worthy solely because they are yours.
43. The people you surround yourself with bring meaning to your life, not stuff.
44. The world will try to harden you, but stay focused on who you are and what you want to spread in the world.
45. You are a gorgeous human being deserving of so much love, respect, and dignity.