30 Lessons Life Has Shared With Me

Today, I am 30 years old. Wow. Just 10 years ago, I was 20.

My 20s presented an incredible amount of challenges, the first half being cleanup from a very poorly used set of teenage years. In this decade:

I married my wife, had two sons (and have another one in the oven now), started at the company that I would find my career at, got a college degree, almost lost said marriage, fought to be a better husband, dealt with all the emotional baggage of my life up to this point, apologized to a lot of people, had a few nervous breakdowns, failed a lot, got rejected a lot, won a lot, tried a bunch of new things, and learned how to like myself.

Whew, doesn’t sound like too much, right? Over the last year, I have prepared to bring in a new decade in a better position than I started this one. One of the things I enjoy doing most is sharing with people. I like to be helpful and useful, and I like affirmation. It’s good. I’m cool with it. Ugh.

Here are 30 lessons I have picked up on from life so far. I hope that one resonates with you.

1. To truly love someone is terrifying and beautifully torturing.

2. Sometimes I just want to unleash my full video game potential against my kids.

3. My gut response, the one that comes before doubt, is the one to be trusted.

4. To have wisdom is to know sacrifice and sorrow.

5. We should be thankful when we fall short.

6. Most people only want what benefits them, but not all of them.

7. It isn’t all dad’s fault.

8. A deep connection always involves admission, submission, and/or remission.

9. It is impossible to reconcile without connection.

10. I don’t even know the depth of the things I don’t know.

11. It is when things are gone that we truly possess them.

12. I can’t do it all on my own after all.

13. I don’t do everything right, but I will always try. I should always try.

14. Some people will use your vulnerability as a weapon, but it’s worth it anyway.

15. Your defense mechanisms are not who you actually are.

16. Of all the ways I have learned to do things perfectly, I have never felt connection in perfection.

17. There is a difference between a mistake and a choice.

18. Forgiveness makes a difference.

19. I like that people think I am serious all the time. I enjoy a lot of internal moments that feel like when Tom Haverford looks at the camera.

20. Insecurity is your responsibility to manage and heal, not others.

21. I feel best about myself when I do the right thing regardless of the reaction, especially when there isn’t one.

22. Alcohol doesn’t make things better.

23. What you decide you shouldn’t think about is precisely what you will think about.

24. It is much more difficult to be than it is to do.

25. True confidence comes from being of value to others.

26. It’s hard for me to accept criticism from others because I am already so critical of myself.

27. I am awkward. I’m learning to allow it.

28. To be trusted is one of the most important things to me.

29. It is interesting to notice how we project ourselves onto others.

30. A “good day” doesn’t have to be limited to an “easy day.”

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