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21 Things I Learned by my 21st Birthday (part two)

Updated: Jun 2, 2020

I genuinely think that last week's post has been my best one up until now (keywords: up until now). If the reason you're here is that you've read the first part of this post last week and now returned for the rest, I'm so glad you're back. If you're here without having read part one of this blog topic, I'm glad nonetheless, but I recommend you go and read the first part before you go deep into this one.

So, as promised, here are the 11 remaining lessons Fa from the past wrote in hopes I read this year and actually applied them. She'll be surprised to know that I'm not only doing that, but I've also been sharing them online. Who can blame me? They're treasure gold.


11. Don't treat yourself like you wouldn't a friend.

Picture a time in which a friend came to you looking for advice or support after having done a thing they're not really proud of. How did you respond? I, for instance, listened to them, reassured that the past is the past and they can only go forward from here, treated them to ice cream or coffee, lovingly told them they are in their right to express emotion as part of their healing process but that sooner or later they will have to go on, and in doing so, they would have learned and improved. All of this while promising them that I won't leave their side. You want a friend like me, don't you? Duh! No, but seriously, what differentiates you from your friends? We're all humans in this thing called life that consists of mistakes, lessons, and growth. You want to succeed as much as you wish to see your friends succeed, then why is the treatment to yourself different than the one you provide them with?

12. You'll never finish the task of getting to know yourself, and that shouldn't discourage you. You are an entire Universe.

Have you any idea of how complex the human mind actually is? Let's not get scientific.... buuuuut we have around 29,000 thoughts per day and an approximate of 100 trillion connections in our brain (oops, couldn't resist the science urge). Then, to top it all off, we are in constant evolution: learning new things as we go, unlearning behaviors, meeting new people, going through some life-changing events, viewing different and maybe completely opposite parts of the world, adopting new habits, values, and mindsets, all while never living the same exact moment twice. Whew! I'm excited.

13. To doubt your path is to doubt yourself and the Universe.

Have you discovered it yet? There's no such thing as a right decision. Or a wrong decision, for that matter. There are only decisions taken. Inside those, we have the beneficial decisions, the hurtful ones, the thoroughly meditated decisions, and the split-second decisions. You see, it's not so much that you choose something because it's the right path to walk on. Rather, the path becomes the right path because that's the choice you took. Not happy with the end result in the present time? Can you trace it back to a single decision you made? I'm sure you can't. The key is not in going back, but forward.

14. The shadow you know so well appears more often when growth is present.

My shadow friend makes appearances when circumstances are tough and I'm forced out of my comfort zone. In those moments, I'm given the opportunity to grow and absorb the entire potential of my hardships. Cancer, divorce, breakups, death, unemployment, depression, failure...

"That's not the tragedy. It's if you don't take the time to understand: Why was that placed in my path? What am I supposed to learn?" (Robin Roberts, 2020)

15. Courage is not the absence of fear.

Courage is acting on your goals and dreams despite the presence of that fear. That's the courageous part of it; it wouldn't be as brave if you had no fear due to knowing exactly what's going to happen.

16. Signs are our hearts speaking, but that doesn't make them mean any less.

We are in constant communication with the Universe. Ask for a sign, you will receive. You might think you didn't, but you might not have been listening. I was hard-headed too. I was a skeptic. I still am sometimes. But Albert Einstein once said...

"There are only two ways to live your life: as though nothing is a miracle or as though everything is a miracle."

You can ask the Universe for a sign... or you can make one up yourself. Why would that mean any less? You are the Universe, the Universe is you. Make your own luck.

17. We love with our inner child. Don't judge it. Raise it to communicate.

The moment we are born, we begin learning about relationships, starting with our parents (primary caregivers). It's not surprising to learn that a lot of our behaviors as adults, such as our attachment style, were harvested in us while we were children. I'm not going to go all Freudian about it because, to be honest, that dude doesn't really convince me. But I think you know what I'm talking about, and if you don't, just notice the next time someone goes immaturely petty during an argument. This is only natural. Try to be loving and understanding towards your inner child and continue the process of raising them to communicate, because it's been proven that the more vulnerable we allow ourselves to be, the greater the sense of love and belonging.

18. Failure just means that certain circumstances or people did not align with what we had to offer at the time.

We try and try and try and try... but we fail. Our relationship fails, our job fails, our projects fail. "Am I good enough?" You are. Maybe the world wasn't ready. It wasn't your time. That's more than okay. I find that we often get jealous of others' achievements because they thrive when ours aren't picking up. Your time will come. Don't worry, there's plenty for everyone. And the real failure is when you stop trying altogether.

19. Almost everything will work again —and maybe even better— if you unplug it for a few moments, including you.

Thanks Anne Lamott. The only difference between grape juice and wine is time. Give yourself that time. Give yourself a break. We are like any other man-made machine that works optimally after being rebooted... just more complex, with feelings and a free will.

20. In a relationship, agreement is optional, but understanding is necessary.

Many times, I've heard it being said: the most important thing in relationships is communication. Or trust. It alternates between the two. I partly disagree. Communication is essential, yes, but what good would memorizing phrases in another language be if I don't really know what it all means? Understanding, on the other hand, is the purpose or end goal of communication. No need to agree, simply make the effort to understand.

21. Success is not about getting the response you want, but about handling the response you get.

And when all else fails and you don't seem to be going in the desired direction, take a hint. Not everything will go as planned: we are too stubborn and forget that some things are not in our control. Stop. And listen (refer to point 16). Do what you can with what you already have rather than continuously frustrate over what you are lacking. Focus on what's thriving. Surrender spiritually.

"And when you think you've surrendered, surrender some more." (Gabrielle Bernstein, 2016)


So that's it! These 21 lessons have guided me through life this past year and so. I admit they slip my mind now and then, so I'm not exactly religiously consistent, yet I still see tremendous change around me.

When I feel in need of recentering myself, I reread them. So, if these touched you in any way, and if like me, your mind tends to go back to old patterns, I encourage you to revisit them whenever and share them (made easier with the icons below) with those you care about most. They'll remain on this blog eternally, as I with them, bringing you new, enjoyable content.

Yours truly,


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