What I’ve Learned After 25 Years

Twenty-five years ago on this very day, I emerged into this world. I would show you a picture of baby Jen, but I actually don’t have any available to me. So, just imagine me, except tiny and baby-like with blue eyes and blonde hair, because those are the traits I had for the first few months of my life according to my family.

I pondered on what one writes about on their blog for their birthday. I thought about just posting nothing as a birthday gift to myself, but I like posting, so I decided against it. I thought I’d write 25 things about myself, but that seemed like cheating. Then I considered what this blog is really all about and I thought I’d write some of the things I’ve learned about my life in the last 25 years. Especially in the last 3 or so years. I’ve done a lot of growing both personally and professionally and I really want to look back on this day and remember the person I was, so here I go.

1. I am a good person. I have value in this world and I have a lot to offer.

2. On a related note, if someone finds me wanting, it has a lot more to do with their own stuff and a whole lot less to do with my stuff. What matters is that I love me (see #1)

3. If I think positively about things and look at my life through a filter of positivity, I will be a generally happy person.

4. I am responsible for how I feel and think about something. No one is responsible for making me feel a certain way.

5. There are things in my past that have hurt me. This does not give me a right to feel victimized, entitled, or angry. It gives me the power to understand who I am, what I need, and how I can heal myself. I am responsible for taking care of myself.

6. There are people I have wronged, hurt, and been unkind to in my past. It is senseless and counterproductive to continue to beat myself up or shame myself for these transgressions. I can not change what I did, I can only control what I do in the future and the forgiveness and compassion I choose to show myself.

7. I have learned to be kind because I am not the only person who is struggling. We are all fighting a hard battle.

8. When I want something to change, I am responsible for being my own advocate. I must identify and understand how I feel and think, before I expect anyone else to understand me.

9. Throwing myself a pity party is the worst way I can handle a problem.

10. The world is a lovely place.

11. I am in a perpetual state of self-improvement.

12. I require friends who support me, encourage me, and accept me. If I cannot find these people, I am better off without them.

13. Move. Just keep moving.

14. The only person I can change is myself.

15. The last thing I should do when I’m sad is listen to sad music and talk to another sad person. It’s the worst idea ever, every time.

16. Cooking is by far the best thing I can do to practice mindfulness and clear the garbage out of my skull.

17. I want to change the face of mental health in America. I want to be a direct influence on how we choose to seek health services. I want to provide an alternative to the healthcare we have in this country. I want the world to see there is another way.

18. All of the “bad” things that happened to me have shaped the person I have become. I would not trade that person for anything in the world.

19. Always carry a bottle of water.

20. Drink in moderation.

21. I must nurture my spirituality. It is the way I conceptualize the things in my life I cannot control. It is how I apply meaning to my existence.

22. In the words of Kanye, “If you love somebody, you should go ahead and tell them. People never get their flowers while they can still smell ‘em.”

23. Accept.

24. Laugh as often and as much as possible.

25. Before I do anything, I must love myself first.



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Posted on by Jen Bingaman, M.A. LMHCA Posted in Fun., Mind
Jen Bingaman, M.A. LMHCA

About Jen Bingaman, M.A. LMHCA

Hi, I’m Jen. I’m a mental health counselor newly residing in Seattle, Washington. I strongly believe in the mind-body connection as the cornerstone of my professional ideology, along with the healing possibilities of puppies, a good glass of red wine, the smell of a new book, and the importance of travel.

  • http://organicallymo.blogspot.com/ Maureen

    Happy 25th Birthday! May this year bring you lots of joy! :)

    • http://www.thepursuitofsassiness.com/ Jennifer Bingaman

      Thank you!

  • http://rebekaann.blogspot.in/ Rebeka

    Those are all good lessons! And the pictures of birthdays past are good too :) HAPPY BIRTHDAY PRETTY LADY!

    • http://www.thepursuitofsassiness.com/ Jennifer Bingaman

      Haha, yes! I can’t believe I had two crowns. Birthday royalty over here. Thank you for the birthday wishes! :)

  • Sari14

    I’d say those are all bragable things that you have learned…and I second them! P.s. (1st pic) the long hair looks fabo!

    • http://www.thepursuitofsassiness.com/ Jennifer Bingaman

      Thanks dollface! Hopefully the hair will get there again!

  • AC

    First off- Happy Birthday! I don’t know you personally, but I feel like I know you a bit through your blog. You are such an inspiration to me! I love reading about your adventures and how you are able to adapt to life. The way that you are able to express your thoughts and feelings on different topics makes me reevaluate the way that I view things and makes me look in a direction that I might not have before. I really hope you continue writing your blog for a lonnnngggg time! And I hope that I am able to get my ducks in a row by the time I turn 25!

    • http://www.thepursuitofsassiness.com/ Jennifer Bingaman

      Thank you, Ashley! Wow, what a compliment – definitely made my Friday already. I’m overjoyed that you find some value in my ramblings and I will write as longggggg as I can. I promise! ;)

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