Priceless birthday gift

On my 29th birthday, I went into San Francisco with a sign reading the following lines:

“Today is my 29th birthday.
Would love your wisdom and advice
What must I do and know before turning thirty?”

I camped out in the centre all day and wrote down people’s responses in a little notebook.
At the end of the day, I posted all I had learned on Facebook:

“This was -in all honesty- one of the most fulfilling things I ever did.

Received numerous emails and messages via facebook and whatsapp with proverbs, short stories & people’s reflections on my personality. Most lovely and much much appreciated.Then spent half the afternoon celebrating the joy of meeting strangers and engaging in great conversation through a simple sign with a question.

Here’s the uncut version of all wisdom & advice given today while camping out at Union Square. One thing I thought was remarkable was the emphasis there seemed to be on preventing that you’ll regret the things you are deciding NOT to do.. The other things that will stay with me longest are at the bottom.

First advice I got when starting out:
If you really want to do something, you have to DO it.

Quote-like-and-lovely-things-I heard:
– Enjoy the weather.
– Wake up early everyday and run. Enjoy the day.
– Love as much as you can.
– Turn forty and make sure you don’t ask yourself ‘what if’.
– Live in the moment.
– Don’t say no (unless things are obviously going against your morals]. Say yes when someone asks you to go to a museum, for example. [I applied this right away when a yoga teacher offered me a free class this Sunday. I hesitated but then thought ‘why not’? So I’ll be in downward-facing dog this Sunday.]
– Be humble.
– Cherish your relationships and work at them.
– Find your ‘native genius’, is what she called it. We all have a natural kind of intelligence, the things you’re good at that take no effort at all. Get to know what those things are. It’s your guide to joy and will send you home.
– Get a husband.
– “Call your vocation, your avocation.” Learn how the business-world works. Money is convenience, learn business. More importantly, find a business that you’ll miss when you don’t go there.
– Take one day at a time.
– Enjoy your day to the fullest.
– Live in the present, not the past or future.
– See as much of the world as you can.
– Don’t stress too much. Don’t take life too seriously.
– Get a tattoo. [Already have one!] Get more!
– Get some good advice.
– Go to Africa.
– Remember you’ll never be as young as you are now.
– Don’t change anything. Keep the same ‘zest’ for life that you seem to have now.
– Enjoy your life & have fun.
– Keep cycling.
– The moment of stillness changes to scenario. Your body is your temple.
– Drink some wine.
– Live abroad.
– Remain adventurous.
– Spend more time with your family.
– Explore the things you’re interested in. [wished he had done that more earlier in his career]
– Keep listening to others’ opinion. [said she thought I was a great person and that it was an awesome thing to do this.]
– Stay outside of trouble. [policeman’s input who I think was checking if I was asking for money]
– ‘Before you run, or walk, tie your show laces. If you want to be the ruler of the free world, it’s a 24/7 job. [talked about entrepreneurship after I talked about Dopper and the goals, and the discomfort it sometimes causes. according to him that’s a good thing] If it doesn’t hurt you, doesn’t bother you, it’s not real.
– Don’t take free advice
– Keep doing what you’re doing. It’s awesome.
– Prioritise friends and family.
– Happiness is in direct correlation with loving yourself and having love in your life.
– Don’t keep cell phones near your body.
– Don’t hesitate. If you feel you are capable, take the risk. Otherwise you’ll regret it later.
– Zoom out.
– Don’t sweat the small stuff.
– If you believe in something and you fail the first time, don’t think its about you. You didn’t try hard enough or you did something wrong trying to achieve it. Try again. Don’t give up.
– Always do what you feel you have to do. So you never look back and say: I wish I’d done that. Never look back that way. Follow the dream.
-[picture below. Girl that came out of nowhere and gave me her advice on a napkin. ‘Don’t put your life on hold for a man. Find a balance between the two.’]


Will stay with me longest:
– Purchase a high-power microscope. You’ll unlock a whole universe before you.
– Spend time with a man who actually likes women as people. [emphasised the need for sisters to cause appreciation]
– Remember it’s about the small moments.
– Ask your grandmother what you kept talking about when you were ten. Remember what you liked as a kid. You’re naturally drawn to certain things when you are a kid, and that interest is not driven by what you think attracts the opposite sex or impresses your parents. [advice that stuck with me most. this man changed his career-path and decided his new direction after asking his grandma what he kept talking about when he was young.]
– Just persevere. It’ll work out in the end. [this guy stopped and was so clear about this advice. no hesitation in what he wanted to say. ‘just persevere’.]
– Write down how you are feeling right now. Your perspective on life today. If it’s negative, change it. If it’s positive, refer to it always.
– If you’re going to max out on one thing, let it be love.

– Go to burning man.

Thanks lovelies.
And thanks kind people who took pictures and were awesome today x