List: lessons "grown up life" has taught me

No one is going to do the work for you.
My natural tendency is to sit things out and see what happens. Throughout high school and college I just sort of went with the flow. I went in a direction I was interested in, but I never really thought about anything beyond the near future. I did what I was supposed to do and I got good grades, but I was never the girl that went the extra mile.
Which is all fine, unless you want to actually have a say about the direction in which you want your life to be headed. Back in late 2013 I decided that it was enough. I'm embarrassed to say that it took me a full year of unemployment after graduation to get to this point, but that is a story for another time. From the moment I started thinking more constructively about what I wanted and how I could achieve this, my life started to turn around. I started creating my own opportunities.
I've learned that if I'm not going to stand up for myself and ask for what I want, no one is going to do it. And I've learned that the best way to make sure you actually get what you ask for, is by showing up and doing the work. Going that extra mile. Being proactive, and letting others see and hear you.
I'm still not very good at this, but I'm trying, and I'm learning as I go!

Take responsibility for your work. 
For the screw-ups and for the successes. They are both yours. And you know what? Owning your mistake feels super scary at first, but it feels so liberating afterwards. You don't have to worry about what will happen when you tell X about Y, or when you have to deal with Z. And you know what? Most of the times it's much less terrifying than you expected it to be.
Also - celebrate your successes. They are yours to celebrate. Don't come up with excuses for why this became a success. You did the work, and it payed off. BOOM.
When you're done celebrating your victory, file it somewhere so you can find it back when you need a pick-me-up.

Organize your shit from the get-go...
This counts for personal and professional shit.
One of the most important ways to stay focused is to have your things organized. By things I mean your inbox, your desk, your papers, everything. It helps tremendously down the road. Especially since you won't have to clear out 3500 e-mails from the last 9 months... (Woops!)
I'm now pretty close to having my shit figured out at work, next up is figuring out an organizational system at home. Last week Imre and I spent 45 minutes looking for an IKEA receipt that apparently was thrown out. Not helpful.. Clearly this is a lesson I'm in the process of learning :)

Do the things that make you happy.
In my early twenties I kind of lost touch with what I wanted, what my values were, what I liked doing, what made me happy. I lost the connection with who I really was deep down. Over the last few years I have, very slowly, been rediscovering these things about myself. I learned that I like exercising. Say whut?! Yes, me. The girl that hated anything that involved moving your butt, likes to do so now. Loves to, even. I also love to be creative. This took me a while to discover and get comfortable with. Especially sharing the stuff I make has been pretty scary sometimes. But it gives me tons of energy, too. And that's what this is all about - discovering the things that give you energy.
What I've also learned is that you need to keep checking in. Just because something gives you energy today, it might not do so in a few months.

Sleep. It will make you feel better, I promise.
It really is pretty simple and logical, if you think about it. If I get too little sleep, I get cranky, tired (no shit!) and insecure about everything. It seriously took me 26 years to figure out that this gets better when I get enough sleep. And get good sleep. Things that contribute to this are:
- exercising regularly;
- going to bed early (no shit, Sherlock..);
- no screens in the bedroom. This is something I have to keep working on;
- having a clean, organized bedroom - this in on the to-do list for April;
- reading a book before going to sleep. This has been my favorite for as long as I can remember, and it is a ritual that is very dear to me.

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