20 Life Lessons in 20 Years (and some cute baby pictures)

"Do you remember your birth? I certainly don't. It seems
odd that we don't remember such a pivotal day in our lives."
- Cole [a villager in my Animal Crossing town]


Wow, look at me! Look how excited I am to have another birthday! My mom has always described my birth as "the fastest but most intense" of all her children. Not much has changed, as she continues to use those same words to describe me now. And truly, I move very fast and am very intense so it really does suit me. Isn't it interesting to hear the stories of someone's birth and compare it to the person themselves?

My birthday is the first kid birthday of the year in my family. I’m twenty years old today, which is really awesome and I’ve been thinking a lot about how I have an entire lifetime to do and pursue my many interests. I used to think if I hadn’t made something great of myself by, say, the age of twenty-two, that was it (which is ridiculously silly). I always thought there was a time limit on greatness, or fulfillment, or anything valuable. This is, of course, false. I know that now, that a lifetime is plenty of (and also not nearly enough, let's be honest) time to pursue creative living. So! Because I love reflecting, I’ve taken some time the last few days to really think about the biggest things I’ve learned from ten to nineteen, things I want to carry with me into the future.

First of all, wow, ten years old to nineteen years old is a ridiculous growth period! Through the last ten years of personal development I've learned and heard a lot of things from my parents, teachers, mentors, friends, and many of those lessons are ingrained in me so deeply and have shaped the way I view and live my life. I wanted to share with you a list of twenty lessons and ideas that I try to carry with me every single day, and hope to walk out in this next decade of life.

Greta's 20 Life Lessons

1. Keep your standards high.

2. Laugh at yourself, don’t take you (or your art) too seriously.

3. Even if they’re not logical or right, your feelings are your feelings. Express and address them.

4. Your value does not come from what you look like. You can be beautiful, you can want to be beautiful, but being beautiful is not what makes you valuable.

5. Keep your nose clean, do good instead of simply doing time. The work you do now is a foundation for the work you do later.

6. You attract people who are in the same season of life you’re in, so work to be in a good season.

7. Every fourth idea is worth pursuing.

8. If you’re afraid and asking yourself “what if ____ happens?”, just answer the question. That answer is probably not as bad as you think.

9. You can’t change how other people act, you can only change how you react.

10. How you spend your days is how you spend your life.

11. You have what you say.

12. The world is run by those who show up.

13. You can play hurt, and you can play well. Choose to be a victor, not a victim.

14. Focus on becoming the right person instead of finding the right person.

15. 10,000 hours is what it takes to master something. It’s never too late to start practicing.

16. Your perception is your reality.

17. You can do all of the things some of the time, and some of the things all of the time, but you can’t do all of the things all of the time.

18. You always have a choice.

19. Happiness is a choice.

20. God is good. All the time.


I realized a while ago that being a teenager is decidedly Not Fun. I just wanted to be done with school, to move on with my life, move on from immaturity, move on from everything I didn't like. I have to say, being on the other side of that journey is like a breath of fresh air. For anyone out there who is a teenager and struggling (especially all of my babies who are now high school juniors), I feel for you, my door is always open, it really does get better.

Oprah says that "the more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate." I'm happy to celebrate being twenty, feeling so young but with a solid twenty years of memories and growth under my belt. My siblings celebrate by posting hideous pictures of me on social media (see life advice #2), I receive really kind texts from friends and family, I get ice cream. I'm feeling really good about where I am, sitting here at twenty years old.

Thank you to everyone who has been a part of my life in these past twenty years! What do you think of my list? Does anything stand out to you? What would you add to your own list of life lessons? I want to know your thoughts, comment below!