By Kristen Manieri

28 Lessons Learned

We are surrounded by teachers. I know this because I’ve made a decision that every single person I meet has something to teach me. All I need to do is be open and pay attention.

On a hike last week, I saw an older man sitting on a rock in total silence gazing at the lake below. He taught me to remember to make time for solitude. Just the other day, my friend’s two-year-old son reminded me that it’s okay to let people see your disappointment. And just this morning, my friends Tonya and Jaina taught me that we’re all different and that I shouldn’t assume we each filter and process the world the same way.

The lessons I learn can often be difficult to see at first glance. They don’t always make sense or seem obvious in the moment. Sometimes they’re hard-earned and painful.

Thankfully, there are other times when the lessons come served on a silver platter. Bullseye. A direct hit.

This is exactly what happened when I opened Facebook yesterday to find 28 lessons delivered to me in my news feed.

These have been distilled and articulated by Taylor McGowan, my daughters’ former P.E. teacher and an all-around great human being. Taylor just turned 28 and she took the time to write down what she knows to be true so far.

I wish I had had the wisdom, awareness and the focus at 28 to go through this exercise. It never crossed my mind then. But now, at 45, I am so drawn to Taylor’s words and to her intention to make sense of her life experience so far.

So, with her permission, I share these words with you with the hope that they inspire you to reflect on your own life lessons. Thank you, Taylor, for sharing your insights with the world. You never know what a difference we make when we share our truth. Today, you made a huge difference for me. Happy birthday!

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