Life Lessons on My Birthday

This post was originally written for Oakmoss, a collective that I started a few months ago. The creative team is awesome and I am so glad that we're all able to work together. Be sure to check it out and tell us what you think, and join in on the collaboration opportunities as well!

First, let me start out by saying thank you to all the readers and supporters of Oakmoss Collective these first two months. We're slowly but surely growing and learning all about working with people in creative means and stretching ourselves to grow and be creative and at the same time celebrate the simple beauties of life.
I would be lying if I said that this past year was amazing. I would be making up stories if I said I learned how to live with less and appreciate all that I have in a matter of days. The journey to simplistic living can be a long one, and life isn't always happy and perfect. That's one thing I love about life though; we're always learning and growing even through the storms. Sometimes, no matter how hard we try to adopt simplicity, life can get complicated. It is in these moments when we learn the most, otherwise we get swept up and lost in chaos.
In a year, a lot can happen. In a year you can meet new people, make new discoveries, visit new places, and hey, you can even start a website and artistic collective! In a year you can lose your job, a friend or loved one, all your money, or your health. So much can happen in 365 days. I'm writing today to share with you 22 things that I learned this past year. Why 22? Well, simple. I turned 22 yesterday.
Well, maybe 22 life lessons is a little much for one post. Maybe we can stick to the good solid number of 5. So here are 5 things that I've learned over the course of this year!

  • You should never say no to help. 

    • There were countless times when I was at a loss for what to do, I needed advice in a situation, or I just couldn't get something completed by myself. I was hesitant to ask for help at times because I didn't want to seem incompetent or weak. In all honesty, it takes humility to ask for help. That is one thing I am really glad that I learned this year. I'm not better than anyone else, I'm not too good for another person's help. Saying, "Hey I don't quite understand, can you help me out?" is a great way to get better at something and build strong connections.
  • Don't wait until tomorrow.

    • Tomorrow may not come. You may not have time tomorrow. That person might need to talk today. The opportunity isn't likely to be sitting around waiting until you're ready. Life keeps moving, even when we're tired or busy. Make the most of everyday and make time for those people in your life! I am so glad that I've learned this lesson, although at times it was a hard lesson to learn. 
  • Live with less.

    • Learning how to live with less is something that I started to learn over the last few months. I've moved back home from college and then to a new live-in position at an Inn and the constant packing and unpacking is exhausting! Next weekend I am helping my fiancĂ© move into his new apartment and it got me thinking: We just don't need all of this stuff. I am slowly downsizing, selling and donating clothing and knick knacks that I no longer want or need and it just feels so good! Living with less is freeing.
  • Save.

    • Growing up, I had the hardest time saving money. I'll admit, it is still hard for me to save over a few hundred dollars. This year I started a budget and asking myself do I really need this? (it helped with #3 as well). I've slowly been creating the habit of saving up for a rainy day and it feels great, knowing that I can be secure if something were to happen.
  • Kindness is best.

    • This one is an ongoing lesson that I am learning. It is good to be kind. It is good to be nice and polite to people in your life, and even to strangers. We hear the phrases "Be kind to everyone because you don't know what battle they're fighting," and "No act of kindness is ever wasted," but how many of us are really that selfless? It is a constant decision, just like love, to be kind to others. This past year, just like every year, I have been offended, tested, hurt, selfish, angry, and completely oblivious to situations. In each of these times, I had a decision to respond with kindness or do my own thing. I would love to say that I responded in kindness each time, but I didn't. For this I apologize, but I am learning and growing and blooming. Kindness is important; Christ calls us to be compassionate and loving (and this includes being kind to people!) You know, "treat others how you'd like to be treated?" Every day I am trying to be a little kinder than necessary and hope to encourage others to do the same.

  • These life lessons are ones that did not necessarily come easy. There was confusion, pain, and some growing pains but I look back on this year and I am grateful. Grateful for the people in my life, grateful for the situations I was in and the opportunities I had, and grateful for the lessons that I have learned. God is so good to get me through another year and to teach me about myself and about life. I hope that you continue to bloom + grow this summer and that you celebrate your blessings everyday. 

    What are some things that you're learning this year?

    Also, don't forget you can save on ad space until June 30th! :)


    1. You have inspired me Natalie to look at loving more simply. I too have accumulated way too much over the years and just need to downsize and simplify!

    2. Don't wait until tomorrow seems to be the message of this year. I was always waiting for tomorrow because tomorrow was perfect. I hadn't messed it up yet. Then I realized that because of God's grace, "right now" could be perfect too.

    3. That makes me so happy! Good luck Tammy :) Downsizing can get tricky but it feels so good to clean out the closet and get rid of clutter

    4. That is so true! Thank you for sharing that Maison :)

    5. I came down here to write a comment, and found yours. I don't really know what to say, but thank you so much for this! I'm still working on the second part, and I'm glad you commented this.

    6. Thank you so much for this post! I agreed with all of it :). My favourite was the first. It's so easy to think that if we simply "try, try again" we'll get it. But sometimes it takes a combination of trying and outside help to move forward. Thank you again!

    7. Live with less-- AMEN. Definitely a lesson I wish I learned sooner.

    8. So true! Trying once or twice can seem like enough before we want to give up, but it's important to persevere and ask for help sometimes :) Thank you for reading!

    9. I am STILL learning it everyday. I love to shop and get new things but every day I have to remind myself that if I can live without it, it's probably best that I do. Then I start to appreciate everything else a little bit more!


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