Today is my forty-second birthday. I am officially twice the age of 21 – the last age anyone looks forward to. Wow! It took so long to get to 21, but it was such a short ride to 42. Where did the time go?

I have been thinking about that 21-year-old woman this past week. Although she was half my age, she was far from a kid. She was married, a home owner, employed full time and going to college at night. She was a hard worker. She was also naïve, low on self-confidence and unaware of how strong she really was. Her journey is what got me to this point today. I am not envious of her youthful ignorance. I do, however wish I had her hair pigment, her non-creaking knees and the ability to sneeze without bracing for back pain.

That woman imagined a life like mine, but wasn’t 100% sure how she was going to get there. With my 21 extra years of life experience, I thought about what I might tell her to ease her mind.

1. You are on the right road, but don’t be afraid to take the scenic route once in a while. You will eventually find the road again and be on your way.

2. Don’t listen to the naysayers. Follow your heart. It will not lead you astray.

3. The reason there is no guide book in life is because everyone’s journey is different. Imagine how boring people would be if we all did the same things in life.

4. Be patient. It will happen.

5. Volunteer. Be charitable. Share your blessings with others. It will come back to you one day.

6. You picked a good man. He will help you achieve your dreams.

7. There is no “perfect” time to do anything – change jobs, have children, etc. If you believe you are ready, you will find the strength to do it.

These last thoughts I learned from my husband:

1. Surround yourself with people who believe in you.

2. Don’t spend your time seeking the approval of those who don’t believe in you. You will never convince them otherwise.

3. People don’t change, they evolve.

4. The things in life, that make you a little nervous and sit just outside your comfort zone, make life worth living.