by Brittany Geragotelis
On the day of my 32nd birthday, I'm taking some time to reflect on some of the things I've learned over the years. Here are my top-10 life lessons:
1. Life gets better. High school was hell for me. Today, so many kids in high school are bullied or judged for being gay or just simply being different and end up taking their own lives. I wish I could tell them all that things get better. The rest of life isn't like high school. If you can make it through those four years of hell, some really amazing times are waiting for you.
2. Good things really are worth the wait. I didn't have a relationship that lasted longer than four months until over three years ago, but growing up I thought I'd never find someone I'd click with. I actually thought that I would be the one person who would be alone forever. It only took me about 27 years, but I'm in an amazing relationship today. I fully believe that everything happens for a reason...even if you can't see what that reason is at the time.
3. Good relationships don't have to be hard. I have managed to be in a few relationships in the past, however there were reasons why none of those relationships worked out. I won't go into the gory details, but the bottom line was that they were all really hard. Sort of like trying to stick a square peg into a round hole. With my boyfriend now, things have always been pretty easy. Now, we're a normal couple who occasionally butts heads, but when it really comes down to it, the relationship is just—easy. In my experience, when it's right, it's right and you don't have to try and make a relationship work...it either does or it doesn't.
4. Do what you love, love what you do. My parents taught each of us girls to go after a job that we loved to do; that it was more important to have a job that didn't feel like work, but felt more like a passion, than one that made us gobs of money, but that didn't fulfill us. Even though there have been ups and downs and I don't always love all aspects of my job, I can come home at the end of the day and say I'm proud of the product we put out and that I love to write. If I had to do it all over again, I'd still choose the same career path.
5. You can find inspiration anywhere. If you know me, you know that I am a huge fan of Buffy. Sounds silly, I know, but there are things about this fictional character who's a regular teen by day, vampire slayer by night, that inspire me. Buffy is a strong female role model who cares more about those around her than herself; she's fearless, strong-willed and fierce; she has gifts and isn't afraid to use them; she's an outsider but doesn't let it stop her from doing the right thing; and lastly, at the end of the day, she knows that she's impacted the world in a big way. So yes, I know she's a made up character, but I also know what a hero looks like because of her.
6. It's better to be happy than right. This could also be described as not sweating the small stuff. There's so much that stress can affect in us: our moods, physical health, our personal lives, etc., why allow yourself to get worked up over something small and suffer the consequences than just letting it go? Now this isn't something that changes overnight—it takes time—but I'm trying to work toward this mindset instead of holding onto all the stress and anger. What will you choose?
7. If something's not working for you, switch it, change it, rearrange it. They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. If some aspect of your life is no longer working, that means it's time to change what you're doing in order to get a different outcome. I wonder how many more people would be walking around happy with their quality of life if they were just willing to change.
8. Develop an attitude of gratitude. I don't know about you, but I don't always wake up on the rosy side of the bed in the morning. For the last four years I've been doing a gratitude list with a group of friends. We start our day with lists of what we're grateful for. From the small things (like a great cup of coffee) to the big things (keeping a friend safe during a surgery), doing this one small act a day helps me to stay on the positive side of life.
9. I don't have it all figured out...and that's okay. Life's all about mystery. I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow or the next day or even next year, but I'm okay with it, because I know that whatever does happen, I'll either be given the strength to deal with it or the piece of mind to accept it.
10. No one loves you more—or makes you more crazy—like family. I've done some pretty stupid stuff over the years and my family has stuck by me through it all. And although they can drive me nuts (AKA, wedding questions, baby questions), everything they do and say is out of love. And no one has loved me as unconditionally as them.
So HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MEEEEE!!!!