Death reminds you of the fragility of life, and losing someone who played an important role in yours forces you to take stock. As many of you already know, my friend and DC Mom passed away this week.
Marianne taught me so much. More than I can even begin to detail here. She taught me to be proud of who I am and where I come from. She taught me that my unusual life experiences are an asset, not a weakness. But most of all, her unwavering belief that I could and would achieve anything I wanted, taught me to always reach for the stars.
The best way to honour someone who meant a lot to you is to lead the best life you can possibly lead. Life doesn't come with a handbook, but in my 23 years, I've learned a few things. Each experience, each person and each day teaches me something new. In the aftermath of a death, it's important to remind ones self of this. So here it is, what I've learned so far:
1. Celebrate victories, even the small ones
2. Share your knowledge
3. Your heart is a compass, your mind is the map. Use both.
4. Don't be afraid to hit the pause button; don't forget to press play again.
5. Make your own destiny. Your passion is your mission.
6. Be flexible with methods, not the goal.
7. A good friend and a good cup of tea are a powerful combination.
8. Success is defined by you, not society.
9. Learn to really listen.
10. Humans are not perfect, but we are resilient.
11. Happiness does not come with money or status, but from yourself, and the people you love.
12. Procrastination will make you a slave.
13. Learn the right times to say "yes" and "no".
14. Time and perspective soothe all wounds.
15. Never hold onto a grudge.
16. Be grateful.
17. People will make assumptions about you. Let them fool themselves but never you.
18. Allow yourself to be loved.
19. Change, rather than complain.
20. Courage is a virtue.
21. Believe the best in everyone.
22. Never stop making mistakes, but always learn from them.
23. Curiosity keeps you young.
24. Never surrender your convictions.
25. Don't be intimidated by the status or opinion of others.
26. "Normal" is an illusion.
27. To find yourself, sometimes you have to get utterly lost.
28. Your health is valuable beyond measure. Take care of it.
29. Questions are good, assumptions are not.
30. A bad time is not the same as a bad life.
31. Inaction will yield the most regrets.
32. Have faith in who you are and what you do.
33. Never dull your sparkle to make someone else feel better.
34. Stay away from people who complain about everything and appreciate nothing.
35. There is deep sorrow in words unspoken.
36. Always hold onto your sense of adventure.
37. Be frequently kind. It's infinite, use it.
38. People deserve a second chance, but not a third one.
39. You will fall, learn how to get back up.
40. Tomorrow is never promised, the present moment is what we have. Don't take it for granted.