Happy Birthday to me! Well, my birthday was a few days ago, but birthdays are more fun when celebrated all month long. Plus, when you birthday also falls on the same day you thought you were having a heart attack, I feel that my birthday is not only a celebration of birth, but a celebration that I’m alive in more ways than one! An event like that or any traumatic event that occurs in your life can really open your eyes and help you realize just how wonderful it is to be alive and to be human. I’ve grown a lot from when I first turned 20 to who I am at 25. These lessons brought me joy and pain, but growth is reflected throughout my journey. Here are 5 things I’ve learned in my early 20s.
- Everything happens for a reason – Jeremiah 29:11
There’s days where you just wonder, why? Why am I going through this valley, why did I get diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease? As much as it stinks to go through the tough times, it all makes sense later down the road. My story is helping others know they are not alone and that there’s hope to a normal life without thyroid medications. Also in the words of Darius Rucker, “Thank God for all I missed cause it led me here to this.” I dated some guys I thought were the one until I met a cute guy named Nate. Things are pretty great between us so I like to think everything works out in the end because everything happens for a reason.
- It’s worth it to cut out the foods you think make you happy in order to truly let your body be happy
I learned this the hard way. I was running on empty before I got diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Disease. I was not fueling my body properly because, well, I didn’t know how to fuel my body properly. After I threw the medicine away after my heart attack scare and I went gluten, dairy and soy free I discovered freedom! Once I found the formula to making my body work “normally” I was ready to rock and roll. Yes, some days aren’t always rainbows and sunshine, but finding the foods that make your body happy is so worth it! I still eat pizza and bagels, the only difference are the ones I enjoy are gluten, dairy & soy free!
- If your body feels off, something is probably off
Dr. Izabella Wentz, Hashimoto’s Warrior who has gone into remission mentioned that, “It takes an average of 10 years to be diagnosed with Hashimoto’s [Disease].” Now there’s a good chance that I had Hashimoto’s longer than I realized. I started having to cancel plans because I felt awful all the time. It was exhausting going through test after test, but when all those no’s led me to the answer of what the heck was wrong with my body, it was a sign of relief! Yeah, I have an autoimmune disease, but now that I have the roadmap to how to drive towards feeling like my best self, it’s worth it. I live a normal life and trust me, it’s worth knowing what was off to flip the switch and get back on the horse called life.
- A grateful heart is a happy heart
Being grateful for everything and anything life gives you will make you a happier person overall. There’s days with an autoimmune disease where I can get myself in the dumps because of life or this or that, but staying positive and reminding myself what I am thankful truly helps turn my frown upside down. In times of trouble, say out loud 5 things you are thankful for or if you want to challenge yourself even more, check out the Sunny Side of Life Challenge.
- It’s okay to make mistakes
Let’s be honest, we’ve all made a mistake once or twice. One big lesson I have learned is that you have to forgive yourself when you have a hiccup. We can’t become better versions of ourselves if we don’t learn from our mistakes. The best thing to do when you hit a bump is to realize what you did wrong, figure out what you could have done better and move on. It’s always easier said than done, but trust me, from someone who has made a mistake or two, it’s okay.
I could go on and on about other lessons I have learned. I am grateful for every good and bad thing that has led me to become the person I am today. I’m growing through life and I don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. I hope you can learn from the lessons life has thrown at me, I’m sure when I turn 30 I’ll have five different lessons I’ve learned along the way. What’s a big lesson you have learned in your life? I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Thank you for all the birthday wishes and love. I am who I am because of your support! Thank you to everyone I have met along my journey thus far, you have all impacted me in some way, shape or form. Cheers to a new year with new memories and to all the new adventures that are on the horizon.