Well, I am turning 28 tomorrow. Yikes. It's been ten years since I turned 18, which to me is just crazy since it seems like only yesterday. I had gone to my parents house last night to visit and I happened on my Prom dress from 2001. Not even realizing that it marks the dress' 10-year-reunion(ish), I tried it on. I was pleasantly surprised that it still fit, if even being a little too large for me. I blame it solely on the fact that my senior year of high school was a time when I had stopped swimming but still had the appetite of a swimmer. A funny thing that people don't tell you about getting older is that your body wont necessarily get bigger or smaller, but that it simply changes shapes. I don't have any kids, so that probably makes a difference as well. But I have to admit, I still love this dress.

I also feel like my head has gotten longer. Just sayin'.

So to celebrate my ten-years-since-high-school, I want to tell you 10 things that I have learned in the past decade.

1. You, and you alone, are responsible for your own happiness. Seriously.

2. Don't be afraid of a little confrontation. It's good for you.

3. There are plenty of things to worry about in your life. And the majority of those things are things that you can't even fathom before they happen. So stop worrying about the things that you think will matter in the future... they pale in comparison to the things that really will.

4. Take care of your body. The way you feel will reflect in your actions and moods. Eat healthy, get outside, and laugh as often as possible (it's good for your soul!)

5. Stop trying to be who you think other people want you to be. Not only does it never work to please others, but it's SO obvious when you're trying to be someone you're not.

6. Make mistakes. Enjoy them. Learn from them. And then try not to dwell on them again. You're supposed to live by trial and error. The things you think you've done that seem embarrassing are the same things that pretty much everybody else has done. Life is all about moving forward and learning from what you left behind you.

7. Stop waiting for tomorrow to do the stuff you're dreaming about. It's easy to let a day pass you by, and then another day pass you by... be careful not to let too many of those days passed-by turn into a lifetime passed-by.

8. Don't be afraid of your potential. Or your passion. It's much easier to regret the things you did than the things you were too scared to even try.

9. Don't get too caught up in the "party scene" if you can help it. I know your parents are telling you that drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes are bad. They're not just saying it because it sounds good. They lived through the 60's, they know what they are talking about. Anyone they/I know who messed with that stuff too much looks and acts like a complete loser later in life.

10. Love someone. Love something. Love someplace. Love everything. You'll never look back on your life and regret that you filled yours and other people's lives with a little love. Too many people fill their lives with hate or discontent. And for what?? It's been my experience that the people who don't fill the world with a little more love are generally too scared to do it for one reason or another. Don't be afraid to show a little love to your world around you.

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