(1) It’s okay to go MIA for awhile, as long as you have someone to bring you back out.
Depression is a sneaky bitch and you need that person you can count on to check in with you.
(2) Dogs are therapy. Go to the dog park more. Pet more dogs.
I have never felt more relief than when petting a super furry dog.
(3) You can be honest with your friends. You don’t need excuses.
Real friends will understand and support you. There is no need for lies.
(4) Grief is not a defined process. Grief is a part of you. And it is okay to grieve.
“To have been loved so deeply, even though the person who loved us is gone, will give us some protection forever.”
-Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
(5) The corporate world is harsh and unforgiving.
Unfortunately true. You cannot have faith in the system, but you can still be great at your job.
(6) Having great co-workers makes the job.
You spend more time at work than you do with your partner or your friends. You need co-workers that light up your life in a way other people cannot.
(7) Women are strong. Women are powerful. Women are the future.
This has never been clearer than after the year we’ve had.
(8) Anxiety and depression fluctuate.
It’s not about being in a dark place and getting better. You will be in and out of the light. It will never be cured. You must embrace it and be honest with yourself. You must be okay with revisiting your demons.
(9) You cannot control what happens to you; you can only control your reactions.
This is still incredibly difficult for me to remember, but so necessary. Life is unfair, but you can still be a good person.
(10) Read more books.
“… a mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.”
-George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones
(11) Write things down.
Or you will forget them. And handwritten notes are always more lovely to receive.
(12) The biggest strength in a relationship is not love, it is trust.
Trust in so many different ways, but most of all, trust to be your true self, free from judgement or harm.
(13) Weddings are overrated but a lot of fun once they’re over.
My advice is to elope, but I have to admit we had a great wedding.
(14) People from your past do not necessarily deserve to be a part of your future.
An unfortunate but necessary realisation of growing up.
(15) Being in love is different than being committed.
Marriage is a completely different ballgame with a gravity to it that is much different than being in love. Love is no longer the most important part of your unity. You are each the most important part of the life you build together.
“For all the things my hands have held, the best by far is you.”
-Andrew McMahon, In The Wilderness
(16) The universe does not give you people you can rely on—you have to find them.
And hold on to them, and reciprocate that trust.
(17) Listen to your body.
Do not ignore the signs of sickness, whether physical or mental. Take care of yourself.
(18) Ask your partner more questions.
Don’t let dullness reign. Always be learning about each other.
(19) There is more than one way to be happy.
There are no molds for a perfect life. It is not wrong to feel happy when your circumstances are different than those around you.
(20) Family is not defined by blood.
“No good friends, no bad friends; only people you want, need to be with. People who build their houses in your heart.”
Stephen King, It
(21) You are not responsible for other people’s emotions.
You are responsible only for how you react to them. Do not burden yourself.
(22) Simply existing can take a lot out of you, some days.
Never prevent yourself from indulging in self care – it is not selfish.
(23) Talk more about mental health.
It is so important to normalize the conversation.
(24) Never be afraid to be honest about your feelings.
There is beauty in emotional truth, and it builds a trust that goes deeper than fictional niceties.
(25) “Be a little kinder than you have to be.”
-E. Lockhart, We Were Liars