Reading an article on Oprah’s Life Lessons inspired me to write a few of my own:
1) Talk to strangers
Sometimes it’s good to talk to strangers. Especially while traveling. While walking in Genoa, Italy one day I started chatting up a guy at a fruit stand. He introduced me to some friends hanging out on a bench nearby. They invited me to sit and chat and offered me cheese and snacks. We laughed at our broken Italian/English (each person was from a different country). I learned things about Italy that only they could share, and even ended up with free food! (Of course you should always exercise good judgement with this lesson).
2) Never let your parents set you up on a blind date
My mother set me up with a chain smoker and deadbeat dad. Enough said.
3) Date an environmentalist
It was this lesson that inspired me to lean towards a more green way of life. It was from an ex that I learned about wind power, organic foods and clothing, and saving energy. I even learned a little bit of Italian!
4) Appreciate hot water but don’t waste it
I lived in Heredia, Costa Rica for six months without hot running water. Twelve years later I experienced days without hot water while in Ecuador. I now appreciate every hot shower that I take, but still limit my time in the shower to conserve some water.
5) Anything can be re-purposed
I have learned this lesson over and over again while creating vases out of glass water bottles and using old contact lenses as storage cases for small beads and materials. This lesson has also served me well when low on funds.
6) Lie about your age
Some of you probably follow this one already. This works best for the 30-and-over crowd (I don’t condone teenagers lying about their age). I know a number of people who won’t try things because they say they’re too old. Go out and have fun and don’t get hung up on a number. Telling yourself that you’re as young as you feel will help you to experience everything in life without restrictions.
7) Appreciate family
Perhaps the most important lesson of all! After my seizure, I learned to lean on my family and to accept and appreciate their help. I’ve always been uber-independent, so getting constant calls from family checking in on me was a bit annoying at first, but I’ve learned to look forward to these calls and to appreciate their love and support.
8) Be an introvert
Ok, I cheated on this one, since I am one already! Constantly being around friends and family can be exhausting. And with the constant social chatter of Facebook, Twitter and cell phones, sometimes you just need a little peace and quiet…a night in. Take some time for yourself to read, write, meditate, watch a favorite movie or read old love letters.
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