Cindy September, Western Cape creator of the Fallen Angels’ List (which pays tribute to those who have been killed in South Africa), has compiled another List today – on her 40th birthday – that celebrates life. As she reached this latest milestone in her life, Cindy asked herself: What lessons have I learned?
“Here’s my list (from very personal, sometimes joyous, sometimes painful experiences). Some of these took me 40 years to not only learn the lesson, but to also understand and apply it,” says Cindy.
A South African’s Life Lessons Gained by the Age of 40
1. Your immediate family are the ones who will ALWAYS stand up for you, even if you had a fight 5 minutes ago.
2. Life is really short. It can literally change in the span of 5 minutes.
3. The value of your friendships are not found in how long you’ve known the person, it is found in the mutual effort made as well as who will be there during your darkest times
4. No matter how hard you pray, how sexy you look, how smart you are… if someone doesn’t love you, there is nothing you can do about it.
5. As cliche as it sounds, putting yourself first and loving yourself is really the most important.
6. Live your life the way YOU want to live it.. Because it’s YOUR life
7. Some people really come in your life for a reason or a season.. Know the difference
8. Listen to your gut instinct
9. Travel the world alone.. At least once.. Nothing pushes you more than having to be in a foreign country alone and having to find your way
10. Don’t just make bucket lists, actually tick some stuff off
11. If a friend or a lover does not make an effort to maintain the relationship, move on
12 its ok to have emotions.. It’s better than pretending to not have them and stuff them down
13. Make each day count
14. Most of the stuff you worry about isn’t even so big when you think about it
15. It’s ok to be proud of your accomplishments, even if other people think you are bragging
16. Never give up on love, no matter how many times you get hurt
17. Going to church regularly doesn’t make you a better Christian, just as standing in a garage doesn’t make you a car – what’s more important is how you live, how you treat others and how you give to those who are less fortunate than you.
18. Everything is going to work out eventually
19. Always be friendly and helpful.. You never know when you are going to need that person again
20. Having lots of money or material things doesn’t make you happy, because when you die and you are lowered into the ground, you can’t take anything with you
22. If you need help, ASK…
23. If you have issues inside your head, go speak to a professional.. There is no shame in saying that you need help to sort some stuff out
24. Crying and showing vulnerability doesn’t make you weak.. It actually shows your strength
25. Forgive people who have wronged you or mistreated you.. Not for them, but for yourself… Holding onto grudges does nothing but poison you slowly from the inside and there is nothing uglier than a bitter person
I thank everyone who impacted on my life – both positively and negatively – because you all contributed to making me who I am – strong, kind, humble, funny, caring, positive, insecure sometimes, moody sometimes, perfectly imperfect.
Here’s to life… Living it, loving it, laughing through it… To the next 40!
By Cindy September