35 Things I’ve Learned in 35 Years



Learn from Yesterday by Gayana

{in no particular order}

35. Wearing black is never any fun.

34. Being called “weird” or “different” or “unique” is the best compliment you can get – once you’re coming up into your 30s. If you’re smart, you’ll see it as a compliment from the get-go.

33. Don’t marry someone you know is gay. They won’t change for you.

32. Don’t be wary of meeting people on the Internet. One of them will be your husband (thank you, Friendster).

31. Healthy relationships don’t consist of extreme compromise or the surrendering of your dreams. If you find yourself thinking, “But this is what someone does in a relationship” (romantic or otherwise), it most certainly means the opposite. Cut those ties.

30. It’s better to be alone than to be with someone who’s not right for you. Wait.

29. Not that you want to be tested to find this out first hand, but you are waaaaaay stronger/ braver/ courageous-er than you ever thought (even if you still won’t get on an upside-down roller-coaster).

28. Grilled cheese sandwiches can be just as good as lobster, if not better.

27. You cannot control the reactions of others. As long as you conduct yourself in a way that has made you proud, then you’ll be able to sleep at night.

26. If a dream is no longer serving you, it’s okay to look for a new dream. Just don’t ever stop dreaming. Ever.

25. People will surprise you. Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse – but that old adage about assuming is certainly correct.

24. Your identity isn’t wrapped up in any one thing: your career, your marital status, your appearance. It’s all the things that make up You, and can’t be squashed by letting go of one thing or starting something new. You’ll always remain you.

23. It’s possible. All of it.

22. Those hippy-dippy green-smoothie meditators are totally on to something.

21. The best person to look out for you is you…but don’t shut others out. Allow yourself to be vulnerable. It’s the only way to get close, to share, to feel, to love.

20. Don’t stay silent. Don’t fade away. Dialogue (and even conflict) is better than silence in most cases when you think of things lost in the long-term.

19. There’s no such thing as failing – just learning.

18. Conduct life as an experiment. It’s more fun and freeing and stress-less that way.

17. Move around every day.

16. Take that nap. It’ll be delicious.

15. Carve out Me Time and honor it like it’s the most important appointment of your week.

14. Don’t deny yourself the things you love, as silly or unnecessary as they may seem. They bring sweetness into your life.

13. Buy a home with a view, especially of the water, especially of the skyline.

12. The thing that most scares you? That’s where you need to be aiming.

11. It’s always worth trying. Always.

10. You know how people tell you that you can’t pick your family? That’s bullshit.

9. When you get cancer, don’t be afraid to use it as a muse for ukulele tunes.

8. You know way more than you give yourself credit for. Stop looking for outside influences/ permission/ information and treat yourself as your own advisor.

7. Busy does not equal successful. It just means busy.

6. Success is only success when it’s on your terms. Spend time to discover (and execute!) what success means to you and it’ll be the best investment you can make in your life, your health, your future.

5. Be an actor only if you have to. Be an entrepreneur only if you have to. But if you have to – go for it with all your heart.

4. You will always have a roof over your head and food in your belly and people who love you. Always.

3. Life is usually not easy. When it’s not, share what you’re going through and what you’ve learned. It’ll provide comfort all around.

2. You have it really, really good. Like, the best. You really, really do.

1. Listen to your gut and your heart. They’ll never steer you wrong.

Thanks to Colleen Wainwright for the inspiration, and to you for teaching me so many of these things (except for #33, which I learned in high school watching a TV-movie with my Mom). As a Thank You, I have a heckuva offer for my VIPs until tomorrow afternoon (it’s The 35 Hour Sale, natch). Sign up here before noon Eastern on 1/15 and you’ll get an email with the deets.

{It’s gonna be a really great year, you guys. Like, the best.}




  1. says

    I’ve been saying #10 to people for a long time. I always follow it up, though, with an admission that I’m lucky that I like picking the family I was born into every damn day.

    • michelle says

      Agreed! I’m lucky too, but because a lot of my family was far away when growing up, my parents made their friends into our family. I’m thrilled to get to do the same.

    • michelle says

      It does indeed. I think if The Kids embraced these things earlier and were able to own their uniquity in school without fear of being bullied then we’d all be better off!

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