17 for 17

Every year I write a post with a list of things I’ve learned in the past year. 16 was a year with a lot of change, but in a good way. So here’s a tribute to the best one yet and a prayer for the best to keep on coming.

  1. Spend time w people who love you
    1. One of the biggest things that I’ve learned this year a huggggeee part of having a life worth living is surrounding yourself with people who know you better than you know yourself. Over this past year I’ve met some of the most honest and wonderful people who know exactly what I need (sometimes even before I do).
  2. Be proud of your faith, of your passions
    1. I used to be scared to talk about my relationship with God out loud. I’ve always been comfortable writing about it, but speaking about it seemed like this whole new level of vulnerability that I didn’t know if I could handle. This year, through an AMAZING movement called #howtolife, I found my voice. I learned how to tell my story and through the process of it, met some of the best/ most genuine people within my community + grew closer to some of my closest friends. This year I tried to led the Lord lead me and let me tell ya, I really like where he did.
  3. Be spontaneous
    1. Aka – be the opposite of who I am. Spontaneity terrifies me. I hate not having a plan. BUT !!! it also encourages so much growth and adventures and more joy than I could have ever thought!
  4. Find something every day to fall in love with
    1. Because there’s SO MANY THINGS IN THIS WORLD TO ABSOLUTELY LOVE! Make it a flower! Make it a song! Or a new food! Or a new picnic spot! Every day! Find one. Make a list of them. Keep them and remember how wonderful all of this life we have is, even on days when it doesn’t seem so great.
  5. Pray whenever +++ wherever
    1. This little tip came straight from my sweet friend, Dasha. So often prayer seems to be the last thing on my mind, getting pushed aside in the mix of everything going on in my day. But the cool thing about prayer is it doesn’t have a specific way//shape//form it has to take. It can be on your drive to school, listening to worship. Or it can be in the middle of the day, when you are struggling in a class. Or it can be when you’re sitting at a bonfire with your favorite people in the whole world, thinking about just how lucky you are.
  6. Do stuff that isn’t like you
    1. I am someone very set in routine. Things without routine are not some of my favorite things. So I’ve spent the past few months trying to learn exactly how to get out of my comfort zone. Sometimes I still get scared or anxious, but for the most part it’s made me a wholeeee lot better of a person + my life has felt a wholeeee lot more fun.
  7. Work hard but don’t let it overrun your mental health
    1. The future a really cool thing in the sense that it is full of potential. But it also has been the sole focus of my life for a really long time. This year, I’ve taken the time to take breaks from just pushing and pushing towards the future. When you only think about how much better you still have to be, everything is stressful and it takes a huge toll on who you are. So take time to let your mind rest and be at peace – it’s worth it.
  8. Have people in your life where you both improve each other’s – if not it’s not worth it
    1. Shoutout to my Casey-gal for hammering this into my head for as long as she’s known me. Because life isn’t worth wasting each others’ time with meaningless friendships. Find people that make you excited for life, or that pick you up no matter how low you are.
  9. Make time for silence
    1. Sit in the quiet. Listen to the world around you. DO IT !!!
  10. Go on adventures by yourself – discover yourself more
    1. Something I’ve done this year is taken myself on dates: on picnics, to restaurants, anywhere + everywhere. It didn’t matter where, but the time to be alone and live in my own little world did. Learning to be okay with being by myself is a long process, but one I need + one I will continue to grow in.
  11. Notice the little details
    1. Being as detail oriented as I am, the little details tend to be what drives me crazy. But it also tends to be what brings the most joy to me. Find the little things in everything – from the different pinks in a bouquet of tulips to the tiniest details of your favorite songs – it’s a beautiful thing.
  12. Live in the moment
    1. A certain favorite person of mine has spent the past 7.5 months teaching me a lot a lot about living in the moment and not getting caught up in your future and past. Living in the moment is the polar opposite of what I am, but attempting to learn how to do it has made every little moment seem so much more valuable. The specifics don’t always matter.
  13. Nourish & love your body, inside & out
    1. This year I’ve learned that health and self love looks different in every human. What may look like a “healthy” life to you may be wrecking someone else’s body. Don’t use health as a way to punish yourself. Learn to listen to your body and embrace what it NEEDS (something I struggle with a lot). Find fun ways to work out. Learn new healthy recipes. There’s so many ways to love your body.
  14. Travel often
    1. And I’m not just talking big traveling – I’m talking within your city/ state. Learn to make every day an adventure. Find cool little restaurants, meet new people + learn their stories. Embrace the culture of wherever you are wholeheartedly, it opens your eyes to so many things.
  15. Be flexible, embrace change ( still working on this one )
    1. I’m going to straight up say it: I HATE CHANGE. It is probably my least favorite thing to ever exist. But it still happens and usually for a pretty good reason, so find the good things hidden within change + be thankful for the opportunities to grow.
  16. Experience growth and acknowledge it in others
    1. Let yourself change. Embrace it.  Watch the people that you love change too. Be okay with it, even if it’s different and scary. Change is a good thing.
  17. Realize that we’re all just doing our best
    1. Everyone tries to live a life worth living. Everyone is trying to be loved, to succeed and to find where their passions lie. Let them. Let them life and walk in the life they’re creating for themselves and do the same for yourself. You’re trying and growing too.

 

To another year of growth, happiness + everything else,

With love,

Elle

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