I turn thirty-nine next month. As this birthday approaches, I wanted to reflect on some of the lessons I’ve learned over the course of the past nearly four decades.
Below I’m sharing thirty-nine of my own personal truths spanning an array of categories and topics. I hope you enjoy reading through them, and I hope it inspires you to reflect on your own personal truths too.
1. You really do have to be your cheerleader; no one else can be it for you. You want to hear affirmation from other people but you can never replicate the kind of trust that’s built when you affirm yourself.
2. If you’re having an argument with your partner, hugging each other often levels things out.
3. Thinking about something you don’t want to do usually feels way worse than actually doing it.
4. You will be paralyzed by your goals if you are focused on only the outcomes and not on the small steps you can take to reach them.
5. Your gifts and talents are not smaller or greater than anyone else’s; they are simply yours. This is especially helpful to remember for those of us who experience impostor syndrome.
6. When everything feels like too much, if it’s possible, the best thing you can do for yourself is take a shower and go to sleep.
7. You rarely regret staying in rather than going out.
8. Avoidance is the same thing as not taking out the trash—whatever you’re avoiding only continues to pile up.
9. Your mind lies to you sometimes. Your thoughts are not always accurate. You can often trust what your body is telling you more than you can trust your thoughts.
10. It’s okay (and at times necessary) to question popular opinion.
11. No is a one-word sentence; it often doesn’t need explaining.
12. The creative process of getting dressed is a lot like the process of decorating your home.
13. Laughing almost always helps, especially when things are comically bad.
14. A really good cry feels almost as good as an orgasm.
15. You have the capacity to change your mind over time.
16. Surrendering to what you’re feeling, whether it’s pain or heartache or fear, is the only way to move through it.
17. Dogs make life better.
18. Being outside puts things into perspective.
19. You’re not petty if you decide not to keep someone in your life. If there are people in your life you don’t feel comfortable or safe with, that’s reason enough to end a relationship.
20. You can forgive and also not forget.
21. Life is a continual process. You will never arrive at a place where you feel fully formed and grown up. Don’t keep waiting for that moment.
22. Making pasta always tastes better than ordering pasta.
23. Ordering a salad always tastes better than making it yourself.
24. It takes a really long time for the work you do on yourself to sink in. You can’t force it.
25. You should decorate for yourself and for nobody else.
26. People tend to feel most comfortable around you when you feel most like yourself.
27. Anxiety and intuition actually feel really different, even if it’s sometimes hard to tell the difference. Anxiety is loud and induces fear; intuition is gentle and quiet.
28. Your family doesn’t have to be someone else’s version of what family is. You can build a family that might look and be different than a “traditional” family structure. You can get that kind of familial love and support from others too.
29. People will show you who they are. What they say and do is usually all the explanation you need.
30. If you can’t remember what you ordered after you bought it online, you should probably return it as soon as it arrives.
31. You can be happily married, absolutely despise the person at times, and still love them with intensity.
32. Never send an angry email or text. Rarely do you make a good decision when you’re in a fit of rage.
33. Change often doesn’t feel good while it’s happening, even if it’s a change you think you want. That’s okay.
34. Write it (whatever it is) down as soon as you think of it. You will not remember, even if you think you will.
35. You should put it (whatever it is) away right when you notice it’s out of place.
36. If you’re super jealous of someone or feel angry at their very existence, ask yourself why instead of focusing on what’s wrong with them. The why will usually tell you more of what you need to know than the jealousy and anger ever could.
37. Some things are worth the splurge. When you can swing it, save for the thing you really want and don’t settle for the impulsive choice.
38. The ideal brunch requires four beverages—water, juice, coffee, and an alcoholic beverage (if you’re imbibing).
39. Nothing lasts forever. This is probably life’s greatest heartbreak but also its most freeing truth.
BY Kate Arends - October 6, 2022
Thank you for being here. For being open to enjoying life’s simple pleasures and looking inward to understand yourself, your neighbors, and your fellow humans! I’m looking forward to chatting with you.