Since today is my last day as a thirty-year-old, I thought I would make a post about thirty things life has taught me (in no order) so far. What better day to do it than the 30th! =)
Everything Happens for a Reason
I’m sure you’ve heard this a lot, but I believe this to be true. I believe everything we go through in life teaches us something. For me personally, I believe only God’s timing is perfect and he has a purpose for everything and everyone.
With True Friendship, distance doesn’t matter
A lot of my friends don’t live near me, and we all get busy, so we don’t see one another or talk to each other often. I’m blessed with a few friends where no matter how long it’s been since we’ve seen one another or last spoken, we pick up right where we left off.
Through Everything, Live.
This is some of the best advice I have received from my good friend Chelsea in college. I believe it’s so important to live life and feel your way through the happy and unhappy moments.
Communication Is Key.
To me, one of the most important things in life is communication. There’s something about putting what you need out on the table. This makes things better for everyone, whether that’s personally or professionally.
Balance Is Important
For me personally, I think having a balance between work and play is so important. As you will learn through my writing and speaking, the educational part of my life has been quite heavy. Growing up my good friend Helene and I would go on walks singing silly music and make crazy bagels. It’s so important to keep things light. Sometimes you gotta break the rules. ❤
There’s nothing like the Friendship of a Dog
My sister and I grew up with the best dogs, a black lab named Cody and a chocolate lab, Kaylee, “Kay” for short. Dogs don’t care what you look like, if you’re gay or straight, or if you have a disability. They are always there. Oh and you better have a snack for them. Cody and Kay helped me so much. If you can afford it, get a dog.
It’s Okay to Unplug Sometimes
Here we are at number seven. For those who don’t know, seven is my favorite number. In short, it always means good things for me when it randomly pops up. Technology is great, but sometimes unplugging for a little while is so important. Really, kids. Learn how to survive without your devices for just a little bit. I promise, you’ll be fine. It’s so crazy to think how even though it wasn’t that long ago, the world was so different when my sister and I grew up. Without cell phones! Give this post a like and a share if you remember cordless phones or those ones that plugged into a wall. Anyone?
It’s the Tough Stuff That Makes Us the Strongest
I’ve learned that some of the most difficult things in my life have made me a much stronger person. You will most likely only realize it once you come out the other side.
There’s nothing like the Ocean
Maybe it’s because I’m from the Ocean State, but I find being at the beach calming. Many blind people hate the texture of sand on their skin, myself included, but listening to the water and being there is still relaxing.
10 Always Say Thank You
It’s so important to thank people. We all like being appreciated don’t we? One of my friends, Jen, who always gives great advice once told me how important it is to ask people about themselves and thank them for their time and sharing whatever you learned from them. Invite them for coffee, lunch, whatever sounds good.
11 Kindness Really Does Matter
You know what they say right? “Kindness always wins,” and it’s so true. I’m not saying take excuses, but in life you’ll come to learn how important being kind to people really can be. Try it!
12 Give People the Benefit of the Doubt
We all have a story. Again, I’m not saying take excuses. We should try to figure out where people come from.
13 There’s a Song for Everything
I love so much music. Going to concerts is one of my favorite things. You have to be a concert lover to get this one, but there’s absolutely nothing like seeing your favorite bands or artists live. There’s a song for everything. Maybe it’s the English major in me, but I love me some good lyrics.
14 Full Circle Moments Are Real
Full circle moments really do happen. I cannot tell you how it feels to have become friends with my English professor. I never thought after having her in class she’d bring me back to the place she taught me so I could give a talk.
15 Dreams Really Can Become Reality
Okay, I know, this one sounds silly. But I always thought how crazy but great it would be to go back to URI one day and give a talk. And it happened! Crazy right?
16 Hard Work Really Does Pay off
There were so many times I wondered why I should stay in college. In fact, this is what many blind people think. It takes a lot of support and prayer to make it through. I can finally say graduation was worth everything. I’ll be published in a textbook coming out soon! It sounds so crazy to say, but soon enough, the story of my experiences in education as a blind scholar will be printed alongside so many other great chapters in a book.
17 Tell People When You Miss Them
This sounds a bit silly I’m sure, but life has taught me it is important to tell people how you feel. If you miss a friend, love your family, tell them. This is something I feel like people won’t understand quite the same as those of us who have come close to death. In short, part of my time in college taught me what really matters. That was way too heavy I know, but I thought it’s important to share.
18 Laughter Is So Important
I believe it’s important to have humor in life. I wouldn’t have survived college without it. Yes, blind jokes are actually okay, too.
19 Give God the Glory for Everything
This was a ways down my list, but make no mistake, this is important. I believe God is the reason for everything and we should always praise and thank him. If you can’t connect with this, I’d tell you to be grateful.
20 Thank God for Those People Who Shake Up Your Deck of Cards
If you have any experience with services as a person with a disability, or as someone advocating for them, you will learn pretty quickly that dealing with a system is a lot like playing a game. I like to call it a card game. You pick up on patterns and play accordingly. If you need something, you advocate for that need. People respond, or don’t respond, and you learn very quickly what to do next. Sometimes those people come along and shake up your cards. You realize that they don’t play the game you’ve played for so long. Just when you think you know what card to pull next, they knock them over and teach you a whole new way to play. You’ll learn those people are the best thing to happen to you.
21 There’s Nothing Lilacs and Vanilla Won’t Fix
Some of my favorite scents include vanilla and Lilacs. Even when I’m happy, they always make me happier.
22 There’s Nothing Quite like Writing
Well here we are, at twenty two. Remember when I said there’s a song for everything? Take a guess what song just popped into my head. In case you don’t have a clue, Taylor Swift’s “22”! =) Hey! That rimed and I didn’t even mean for it to! I guess for this one I’ll say, there’s nothing quite like writing. There’s something about putting your thoughts out on paper. Yes, the computer counts. I’m told I have a way with words, but I find I can say things better in writing before I do out loud sometimes.
23 Make Sure You Do a Life Check
I believe it’s important to look at who is around us and decide if they should stay or not.
24 Study People in Your Career
We can all learn from one another. Why not study other people who are good at what they do? You might learn a thing or two.
25 It’s Okay to Be Different
While it is important to learn from people, it is also okay to be your own person. We might have similar careers or interests, but we can’t all write the same story.
26 There’s Nothing like Good Descriptions
For me personally, I love when people take time to describe things to me. Colors, people, the moon, whatever it is. My good friend Chelsea used to include funny sounds to go along with whatever she was describing!
27 Quality over Quantity
I personally want a few good friends over twenty five thousand friends. You’ll learn in life friends come and go, but few stick around during all seasons of your life.
28 Actions Speak Louder Than Words
Just because this wasn’t at the top of my list doesn’t mean it isn’t important. People can say whatever they want, but I’ve learned to let their actions do the talking. Like my dad says, “I don’t care how cute he is, actions speak louder!” ❤
29 Take It From Dory and “Just Keep Swimming!”
How can you not love the Nemo movie? Yes, even blind people like movies. In college one of my good friend’s, Tori, used to tell me to keep swimming during all my rough school stuff. It’s so important that we keep going.
30 Take Time to Sip Your Tea
And here we are, finally at number thirty. We made it! I got into drinking tea a few years back thanks to my friend Catherine. I find some of our best conversations about life are over a cup of tea. Whether it’s over a cup of tea, at school, social events, or at work, take time to get to know people. Inclusion really does matter.
I hope you enjoyed my list of thirty things life has taught me so far. If you have any blogging suggestions for me, please send them my way. I’d love to hear them! =) Find me on Twitter at mirandaloakley and on Facebook at Miranda Oakley. If you find me on Facebook, I just ask that you send me a message telling me who you are and how you found me. You can also drop me a comment here on my website.