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Lessons Life Has Taught Me So Far

Updated on January 3, 2018

What is Beauty? Look within You

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Lesson One - Beauty is Fleeting

I was a sad child growing up. I always wanted to fit in, I always wanted to be cool, but I just wasn't. I wasn't cool, I wasn't hip, and mostly, I wasn't happy. My day was spent preoccupied with thoughts about what other people were thinking about me.

Now I realize that not everyone is like me, but I do know one thing, it takes time to realize the things that truly matter in life and the things that don't.

I know I still have a lot to learn, but I don't fear aging, I embrace it. Many people may not relate to me but my life has only gotten better as I have gotten older. I have never been happier, never been healthier, never been more content with the way my life is going.

Beauty fades, time heals most wounds, and wisdom most definitely comes with age. Listen to your mother, cursing isn't cool and sometimes rules should be broken.

No, I'm not ranting, I'm just laughing at myself, knowing that my fifteen year old self and my future fourty-five year old self are both laughing at me for my ignorance.

You Only Get One of Them, So You Might As Well Live It!

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Do you agree that with age comes wisdom?

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Lesson Two - The Human Will is Amazingly Strong

Do you want to learn a new language? Do you want to change your job to something totally different? Do you want to change your life to something totally different?!

No matter what your goal is, almost anything in the world can be accomplished if you set your mind to it and commit.

When I was young, I was a hobby hopper. I went from jazz to tap to ballet to gymnastics, then to band to color guard to debate to the school paper. I LOVED starting new things. I just HATED following through. Commitment was something I couldn't conceive.

A point in time came when making a commitment wasn't a matter of sticking to a hobby, but rather a matter of life or death. It was only when I had found myself at my lowest - when I was desperate enough that I didn't just want to change, I needed to change, that I could find the strength to commit.

As a recovered drug addict and a recovering anorexic, I have witnessed the human will accomplish amazing things. Not only have I seen it in myself, but in others as well - people who beat the odds again and again because they had a drive, a fiery passion buring within them pushing them forward.

Travel as Much as You Can! The World is a Big Place!

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Lesson Three - Nine Times Out of Ten I am My Own Worst Enemy

I can't begin to tell you how many things I wished I had done but didn't do because I feared that I would fail. Doubt and fear, two powerful emotions, are self created, self controlled. When I have allowed doubt and fear to rule my life, I put limitations on myself before ever even starting. I set myself up for failure.

Realizing I was my own worst enemy put me back in control though. Knowing that and believing that allowed me to try things that were outside my comfort zone, things that I would never imagine doing.

One of those things happens to be my career today, art. If you asked me a decade ago if I would ever consider art as a future profession for myself, I would have laughed. Yet today I own my own photography company and sell my own fine art for a living.

All I had to do was get out of my own way.

Lesson Four - Do What Makes You Happy

This is coming from someone who bounced around many colleges over the time span of almost eight years, majoring in practically ever major available before finding my passion in life.

Yes, I began college many years ago as a pre-law major, then communications, then marketing and accounting, and journalism, and English. Not only was I switching majors, I was switching towns, switching colleges, I swear I was switching bodies!

Who I was when I graduated high school and who I am today are very different people. We all grow, change, evolve. Life goes on, even when you don't want it to.... sorry. The key is to make every moment count by doing what makes you happy.

Sure, money needs to be made so that bills can be paid, but when push comes to shove, I work to live, I don't live to work, and I hope that never changes.

Slow Down Enough to Appreciate Things

People are always in a hurry. Slow down! You will be amazed what you notice when you take the time to appreciate things.
People are always in a hurry. Slow down! You will be amazed what you notice when you take the time to appreciate things. | Source

Surround Yourself with Those Who You Love, and Those Who Love You

I am getting married in one week to the greatest man I have ever met. I have come far in my life and have overcome many obstacles. I look forward to the future and appreciate the past.
I am getting married in one week to the greatest man I have ever met. I have come far in my life and have overcome many obstacles. I look forward to the future and appreciate the past. | Source

Do you have life lessons you have learned yourself?

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Lesson Five - Keep Things in Perspective

I remember when I was younger I had a doll named Emily. Okay, she was bunny, and I still have her, but regardless... When I was younger and I got Emily, she was clean, yellow, and had pink bangs.

One day I decided to give Emily a haircut. My mom came into the bathroom and asked me what I was doing and I told her I was giving Emily a haircut. (It was pretty self-explanatory I thought). My mom then told me about how Emily's hair wouldn't grow back the way my hair did naturally.

That was when I cried, for hours. I was so upset that I had cut her bangs I think I talked to Emily that week more than I ever had - apologizing for ruining her hairdo and for not having hair that can grow.

When I was five, this was the biggest problem on my plate, my doll's lack of hair growth. By the time I turned thirteen, I realized that the world was much larger, and that the biggest problem had nothing to do with dolls, but rather pimples. When I got to 18 the biggest problem in the world was finding a way to get away from my parents.

I think you get where I was going with that. With age comes wisdom (sometimes, not always) and the more I learn through life. the more I realize how important it is to keep things in perspective. Take things in stride.

If you handle every situation you encounter like it is the most important thing in the world, you will burn out. Remember my other lesson about the human will being strong? That is how I know that I can handle what life throws at me - by keeping things in perspective.

© 2014 Kathleen Odenthal

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    • Kathleen Odenthal profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathleen Odenthal 

      3 years ago from Bridgewater

      Thank you so much Julie!

    • Julie K Henderson profile image

      Julie K Henderson 

      3 years ago

      Thank you for offering these nuggets of wisdom. I especially enjoyed the story about you cutting your bunny's hair thinking it would grow back. Good luck with your marriage and your writing!

    • whittwrites profile image

      T.B Whitt 

      4 years ago from the Philly area

      I see myself in your words. Great Hub on life. Keep on writing I can't wait to read more of your words

    • Kathleen Odenthal profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathleen Odenthal 

      4 years ago from Bridgewater

      Thank you Ruby Rose!

    • Ruby H Rose profile image

      Maree Michael Martin 

      4 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

      Great lessons you have learned in life. What a greAt foundation for your marriage and art.

    • The Examiner-1 profile image

      The Examiner-1 

      4 years ago

      I thought that was very interesting Kathleen. I learned some things as grew up but I also knew other things since I was young. For that last poll I learned that there are things where you should think before you do, such as wearing an oven mitt BEFORE touching a burner that has been off for only 15 minutes. I gave it thumbs up, and shared it.

      Kevin

    • Kathleen Odenthal profile imageAUTHOR

      Kathleen Odenthal 

      4 years ago from Bridgewater

      Thank you all for your kind words! And Eric, the photo you mentioned was taken from the main part of town in Sedona, Im not sure of the name of the mountain. What can't be seen in the picture are two rainbows that were hovering over the mountains! It was beautiful!

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      4 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      Pretty sure that first photo is Jack's Canyon at Village of Oak Creek and it is beautiful.

      Great hub on some great lessons. It is always good to have them laid out like you have done. Congratulations on being in love.

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 

      4 years ago from Central Florida

      Kathleen, it sounds like you've come a long way. I agree - we are our own worst enemy. I'm glad you realized that and got out of your way!

      Congratulations on your upcoming wedding. I wish you all the happiness in the world.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Congratulations on the upcoming marriage. Best wishes to you and your fiancé. Beautiful thoughts here.

    • FlourishAnyway profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      4 years ago from USA

      The most enduring lessons are often those we learn the hard way. I enjoyed reading this and viewing your beautiful photos. Best wishes on a long a successful marriage, Kathleen.

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