As I turn the corner into my 28th year, I can't help but revisit the winding road that has been, up until this point, my life. With it came chapters of immense joy, profound sadness, and quiet lessons learned with everything flip of the page.
In an effort to mark the moment, and to hopefully encourage a passerby on this post, here are twenty eight notes on twenty eight years.
1. Welcome each month with fresh flowers.
2. Lethargy is no match for a cold, morning shower.
3. A mark of a dear friend is one you can sit in silence with.
4. Send a handwritten note, always.
5. Manners matter. Kindness matters most. Try to keep both in your pocket.
6. Take photos of your friends when they are not looking. Capture their joy and send it along on a rainy day.
7. Collect precious items in a keepsake box. The smaller the box, the more precious the items inside.
8. Keep voicemails from your grandparents.
9. Be a witness to grief. Sit with it, listen to it, look at it. It deserves to be properly tended to.
10. Start new traditions.
11.Keep a list of names of people you meet in the places you frequent. Take note of their news. Ask them about their days.
12. There is nothing a long, brisk walk can't fix.
13. Embrace change. Embrace starting over. Embrace knowing that you are under no obligation to be the same person you were a few moments ago.
14. Come up with bucket lists for your year, the season, or each month. Make the most of the precious time you are given.
15. Make amends swiftly & vulnerably
16. Cry cry cry. Through books, through movies, through laughter. Make space to feel the fullness of your emotions.
17. Talk to God aloud.
18. Lean into your curiosities.
19. Trust the waiter to order for you.
20. Journal earnestly.
21. Surround yourself with artwork that feels like a mirror to your soul.
22. Community flourishes over shared, home cooked meals. Make them often and keep adding chairs.
23. Adopt Irish goodbyes. Grand adieus at parties may wind down the celebration before it's time. Thank the host privately and slip out the back door.
24. Ignore the trends. You know what you like - and the world needs your personal flair.
25. Curate your living space slowly and adoringly. It is the sentiment that makes a house a home.
26. Learn to listen, to deeply & truly listen. To your partner, to your friends, to your family, and to your inner voice. And if you can't hear, ask.
27. Get out of your own way.
28. Adorn yourself with jewelry that holds meaning. Especially on occasions that beckon courage.