Live a Life Well-Lived

Love big, take risks, make mistakes... and embrace the scars. Reflections on my life and advice to live your unapologetic self.

Quite possibly the worst question to ask someone else is, “How can I be more like you?” It’s not them you want to be. It’s you: but the best version of yourself. If nothing else, be the maximum version of yourself. But if you are looking for a starting point, what follows is a reflection of my own life — and how I grew into myself.

Maybe it will give you ideas on how you can live life fully, or if nothing else, maybe it will help you realize you’re further along than you think…

Push yourself out of your social comfort zone.

Go with your friend to that random party.

Stay for the magic show, and wonder why you have a bent fork in your purse in the morning.

Make your money mistakes early.

Pat yourself on the back for learning to trade stocks. Make a lot of money and then lose most of it.

Remember you are young enough to start over.

And learn to invest more responsibly.

Get your heart broken.

Fall in love. Think you’re gonna marry them. And when they wake up one day and tell you they don’t love you anymore, deal with the fallout.

Throw yourself into work. Realize your own toxicity. Pull yourself out of it.

Date a lot.

Someone poorer than you. Someone richer than you.

Someone you have nothing in common with but for the sole reason that you know they will love you more than anyone else ever will.

Regret that power.

Learn how to process guilt.

Feel awful that you’re stringing them along. End it.

Get sick to your stomach that you punished an innocent person because you were still angry that someone else stopped loving you.

Tearfully apologize. Don’t do it again.

Learn to forgive yourself.

Pledge to spend the rest of your life finding the humanity in everyone you meet.

Give yourself grace every time you fall short. And do better.

Love your neighbor like you always said you would.

Buy a cab for the lost drunk stranger at the club. Exchange numbers to make sure she gets home safely.

Don’t regret the unexpected expense.

Try different careers.

Allow yourself to get bored, then change jobs quickly.

Don’t overthink the randomness of that work, but do try to connect the dots when you look back.

Make time for fun even on business travel.

End up at a poker table in Vegas. Yell good-naturedly at the dealer.

Cash the $500 purple chips you found in your laptop bag as you race to check out and make your flight on time.

Travel. Anywhere.

Dance in a parade on Bourbon Street when you’re 7 months pregnant. Get lost on the 27-mile Haleakala bike ride.

Shrug at the Charles de Gaulle security agent when he finds the wine you accidentally packed in your carryon. Laugh when he lets you pass anyway.

Embrace big feelings.

Argue with your boss. Eat crow when you realize she’s right.

Cry when your friend’s mom gets cancer. Feel his pain like it’s yours.

Cradle your baby after they cut him out of you. Marvel at the love that fills you up like they always said it would.

Practice self care. And get good at it.

It’s not a spa day. It’s constantly redefining your boundaries.

Surprise yourself with the realization that boundaries are not closed doors. They can be open fences.

Don’t take yourself so seriously.

Belt out your worst rendition of the Carpenters’ “There’s a Kind of Hush” at karaoke with new friends. Be mortified when one of them reveals himself to be a pro singer.

Get over yourself. Just remember how genuinely he clapped for you.

It was my birthday this month. I’ve been looking back on my mistakes, losses, and wins.

As embarrassing as some of them are, I can’t regret any of them.

Except for maybe the singing thing. My singing voice is terrible.