39 Things I’ve learned by age 39
Wrinkles populate my face and white hairs are my first crown… that’s some scary sh#t… I am either close to entering middle age or I am already there but in denial.
Being lost and unclear at 39 is very frightening, but also not too uncommon. Looking back at my less wrinkled years and the things I’ve lived, made me realize that I’ve learned a lot, so I decided to write this list of 39 things I’ve learned by age 39.
- The value of true friendship – I know many people and with many of them I keep a close relationship, but only one of them has been there for almost two decades. Curiously enough there were only two years out of those twenty that we spent time together on pretty much a daily basis. Then I moved back to my country and he stayed there. We lost contact for a while, but we found each other again and it was like not a single day had passed. Those are the kind of friends that will be at your wedding and your funeral.
- The importance of financial education from an early age – I never received financial education neither in school or from my parents. The financial education I received was “son, here is your allowance, save it or spend it well…” That is not much guidance when you are in elementary or even highschool. As you might expect, growing up with those financial basis was a disaster. There was a point when the amount of debt I had accumulated was so stressful that some really ugly thoughts crossed my mind. So please, if you have kids, teach them how to give to the less fortunate, how to save and how to invest smart.
- That writing a list of 39 things I’ve learned is quite difficult and probably not very interesting… – You have your own list, so finish reading this post, like and share it, get off your butt and start writing it. It will help you appreciate the things you have and will teach you to be thankful.
- To let go – I was very depressed for a while, but I wasn’t aware of it, at least not before I hit rock bottom. I lost my most meaningful relationship, I was close to getting my car repossessed and from one day to the next I had no place to live. In the midst of that storm, I was forced to learn to let go, let go of my possessions, my relationship, my fears, my problems and the light at the end of the tunnel shone brighter than ever. I gave it all to God and he took care of it.
- To love – I’ve fallen in and out of love countless times, more than I care to remember, because 98% of those were not real love. If it hadn’t been for that storm that I went through, I would have not experienced true love. And because that love I experienced, I learned what it is to love someone. This is an ongoing process and it takes commitment and dedication.
- To be loved (work in progress) – This is a work in progress because 39 years of mind molding and heart shaping unpleasant experiences are not so easy to overcome.
- Forgiveness – Forgiveness is not a gift for the person you forgive, no one deserves forgiveness and is not in our nature to forgive. Our nature is to protect ourselves, so if someone hurts you, you create a barrier to prevent that from happening again. But that only hardens your heart. Forgiveness is a gift you give to yourself. By forgiving you tear down those barriers and free yourself from having to raise them again. Forgiveness is love, forgiveness is freedom.
- To be vulnerable – This has been the hardest lesson I’ve learned but is also the most rewarding… I will not comment on this because it is up to you to experience this.