1. Wanting a career that others find to be a waste of your personal abilities. You do you. If you could be the best neurosurgeon in the country but you would hate every minute of it, don’t do it.
2. Being an alto in a world that glorifies soprano voices. The world needs melody, but it’s more beautiful with harmony.
3. Liking your mom. Talking to your mom. Calling your mom. Missing your mom.
4. Having friends who aren’t like you. Who cares if you would never do things and live your life the way they do? The best friendships are with people who are outside of and beyond yourself. Learn acceptance; you’ll find immense joy and heart-warming love.
5. Saying no. To anything.
6. Liking people of the same sex as long as you’re happy. Love is beautiful. Practice love in whatever way most makes you recognize that.
7. Asking questions-big, average, easy, stupid, complicated, hard. Ask. You don’t have to blindly accept what people tell you.
8. Loving the crap out of everything. Fall in love with as much as possible: cupcakes, clouds, sweaters, purple, brushing your teeth, history, Taylor Swift, polka dots, babies, rabbits, paintings, coffee, century gothic font, Friends, daisies, heating pads, first aid kits, singing in the car.
9. Wearing bright colors in the winter. Does it really matter that you wore a yellow dress in the middle of January? Yellow is so much more fun than black, brown, and navy for months. But, if you like black, brown, and navy, rock those “winter” colors in July.
10. Books, movies, television shows that end “wrong,” the ones where happily ever after is left out, replaced with an utter tragedy… The better you become at finding good, joy, and peace in less than perfect endings, the more gracefully you will handle the less than perfect circumstances of life.
11. Social media posts that don’t get likes, comments, favorites, or retweets. Your existence does not require validation from others. One like on your picture doesn’t make you any less than your friend who got 137.
12. Tripping, spilling your drink down the front of your shirt, dropping a tray of french fries on the floor, stubbing your toe, breaking something glass. You are not a robot. Balance is lost; glass is broken. This, however, does not directly translate to your personal state of being.
13. Misunderstandings, mistakes, and accidents. Without them, we wouldn’t need forgiveness and grace… and I happen to really like those two concepts. Mess up, and forgive yourself. Do something wrong, and give yourself a little grace. It will teach you to radically change the lives of others by extending that which you extended to yourself.
14. Distancing yourself from harmful and negative relationships. It doesn’t matter if he’s been your best friend since second grade. If you no longer find happiness in his friendship, he doesn’t have to be your best friend anymore. Just smile fondly as you say hello in the grocery store. (Sometimes, without fault or reason, relationships will fade. This too is okay.)
15. Being late. Certain things can always wait. Five more minutes with your baby or ninety more seconds with the one you love-these moments cannot be recreated, but your meeting will still be there five minutes or ninety seconds later.
16. Acne and small imperfections on your skin. Perfect skin does not, nor will it ever, exist, so you might as well choose to love it anyway.
17. People talking about you behind your back. Everyone does it. Maybe we shouldn’t, but we do. Sometimes we just need to vent, even about those we love most. Accept that in other people; cut yourself some slack, too.
18. Having what you want. Life is far too short to have the haircut, cell phone, major, opinion, car, brand of pen, or meal that someone else thinks you should have. No matter what anyone else tells you, you’re allowed to spend five more dollars for your favorite shampoo.
19. Expressing honest emotion. We are often too concerned with fear and what others will think. If the girl you’re passing in the hallway is wearing the prettiest shirt you’ve ever seen, you should tell her. Compliment his hair. Cry if you’re upset; laugh when you find something to be funny. It’s incredibly unfortunate that we live in a world that facilitates the bottling up of feelings. Genuine emotions deserve to be expressed-as long as they are truly genuine.
20. Letting things affect you. You’re not an invincible steel tower. You are a person. Compassion hurts, and experiences can change you forever. Allow yourself this opportunity for growth. Do not be afraid to break down and find yourself mended as a whole new person. Things happen. Things happen to you. Let them.
You don’t have to always be okay, but may you never stop finding ways to be okay. And, please don’t forget that it’s okay to be a different kind of okay than everyone else.
1 Corinthians 16:23-24,