22 by 22


Remember the game of M.A.S.H. everyone used to play at recess? Remember that time when you were young and innocent, and you totally believed life was as simple a recess game? I do.

Over the past 22 years I have realized life is more complicated than that game I played everyday at recess. I have realized that life and growing up is an unending process. It’s full of many ups and downs and trail and errors. It can be confusing, full of doubt, self-correction, and changed world perceptions. While it can be difficult, growing up is amazing. New people, places, and experiences. You learn to love yourself and what truly makes you happy and impassioned. Throughout my 22 years, I’ve learned about myself and gleaned pieces of wisdom by which to live. Here are 22 things I learned by 22.

1… An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. When life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means it’s going to launch you into something great. Sometimes your greatest heartaches turn into your greatest blessings.

2… You are either as beautiful or as ugly as you believe. You define your beauty. That’s not a power anyone can have over you.

3… No matter what happens in life, be good to people. Being good to people is a wonderful legacy to leave behind.

4… Don’t let what people think or say dictate the person you are or the person you are becoming. You can gain as much popularity or influence as you want, but if you’ve lost who you are you’re only worse off.

5… You will miss your whole life if you are caught up in your version of who you want to be instead of who you are. 

6… It’s never too late to change your path or your life. You are not defined by your past nor your present.

7… Normal is so boring. 

8… Never allow yourself to get too comfortable because when you’re comfortable there is no more room for growth.

9… Real happiness isn’t something large and looming on the horizon ahead. Real happiness is something small, numerous, and something that is already here. Real happiness is the smile of someone you love. A yummy Sunday breakfast or sunny mornings. Real happiness is all of your little joys lined up in a row.

10… Always go with your passions.

11… Forgiveness is one of the greatest gifts we have. It grants us permission to break free of burdens that restrict us from being at peace with ourselves. Resentment and remorse leave no room for growth.

12… You control your own happiness. Don’t blame other people for putting you in a bad mood. That’s on you for allowing it.

13… Being called “pretty” feels good, but it feels even better to be called pretty kind, pretty funny, pretty smart, and pretty strong.

14… Go for it because no matter how it ends, it was an experience.

15… Experience is so much more valuable than money so travel while you’re young and able. Don’t worry about the money, just make it work.

16… Eating well is a form of self-respect.

17… Every day may not be good, but there’s good in every day. 

18… Be patient, everything is coming together. Beyoncé wasn’t built in a day either.

19… Work hard, but don’t let it take over your life. Eat salads and go to the gym, but never forget to have a cupcake for breakfast once in a while. Always find the balance in life. 

20… It all begins and ends in your mind. What you give power to has power over you, if you allow it.

21… Life is too short to wear boring clothes. 

22… Always surround yourself with people who feel like sunshine.

xx Madi


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