Things I know to be true at 32


In a few hours I will turn 32. Normally around my birthday I start feeling a bit blue as I reflect on the past year wondering if I have accomplished all my goals, but today as the all too familiar feeling started to rise, I blurted out, “bullshit!” and started writing out the things I’ve learned about life thus far. 31 was a great year for growth and change and I thought I’d share the most meaningful lessons with you.


1. I am complete and happy on my own.

After about 8 years of intense self discovery and soul searching, I can finally say this phrase and mean it. Here are the cliff notes on loving yourself, ACCEPTANCE.


2. Overthinking will result in misguided anxiety and unnecessary suffering.

Doing (or thinking) the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is indeed insane. Whatever you can do to get out of your head and stop the spinning, do it.


3. Gratitude and a positive outlook are the key to happiness.

Things could always be worse, way worse.


4. If you want change, you have to do the work.

It’s going to be hard and painful, but it will be worth it.


5. If there’s only one person who truly knows and accepts you, that is enough.

You know who you are.


6. You are enough. You don’t have to keep raising the bar.

You don’t have to beat your last time, you don’t have to increase your weights, you don’t need recognition or praise. You’re good.


7. It’s the god damn journey, not the destination.

The oldest cliche in the book, but also the truest. Love the grind, enjoy the hustle. This is your becoming.


8. “You can’t have bravery without courage.” – Dr. Brené Brown

Getting in the ring, falling in love, trying something new, it’s all scary, but that just means that it’s meaningful to you. The things that scare you the most can also set you free.


9. Owning a dog is to know unconditional love.

2014-07-23 22.11.15


10. Your parents will always be your biggest fan and love you like crazy.

Let them. Savor every moment with them. Tell them you appreciate everything that they do for you.



11. To be loved is to be seen.

The good, the bad, the smiles and the tears, all of it.


12. No one is thinking about you as much as you think.

So do what you want to do anyways. Bowling, writing, surfing, traveling. Anything. Make time, save up, and do it.


13. Loneliness is curable (and mostly in your head).

Everyone deals with loneliness, we actually aren’t alone at all. Call someone. Get to know them and let them know you. The world is smaller than you think.


14. Action and consistency leads to success.


15. Sensitivity is a gift, not a weakness.

Go ahead, cry your eyes out, let your guard down, tell someone you love them, you’d be surprised at the response.


16. Laughing at yourself is the best medicine.

You’re not that important, things aren’t that serious. You’re going to be ok. Be silly, be you.


17. If you have the chance to get inside and fight, stay inside.

This is obviously a boxing reference, but it’s also a metaphor for life. If you have something worth fighting for, hold your ground and fight for it. You might get bruised and beaten along the way, but at least you know what you’re made of.


18. Yoga heals everything.

Seriously everything. Broken hearts, lost souls, aches and pains, runner’s knee


19. Meditate.

Focus on the breath.


20. Never give up.

A dear friend of mine used to say this all the time, and to this day it still rings in my head every time I want to give up. I’m always glad I saw something through to the end.


21. Escaping is an illusion.

Booze, drugs, shopping, food, in the end you still come back to you. Start there.


22. Running is freedom.

With the wind in my hair and the ground under my feet, I can do anything.



23. “Self esteem grows by doing esteemable acts.”-Mastin Kipp

You know what you’ve got to do. Do the right thing. Do the hard thing.


24. “Just because you work hard at it, doesn’t mean you’ll achieve. If you work hard and dedicate yourself, you give yourself a chance.” – Luke Tyburski (Finding Mastery)

I returned to fighting this year and thought this was going to be my triumphant calling back to boxing. After two years off following the death of my last trainer, Richie, I didn’t know if the will to fight was in me, until I simply decided it was. After intense training, sparring, dieting, meditating, yoga, and watching hours of boxing, I thought for sure that I was going to prevail and the universe was going to lead me to victory. This was my path! That wasn’t the case. Not only did I lose once, but I lost twice … in a row. I learned that just because you want something bad enough, and work your butt off, it doesn’t mean you’re going to get the desired result. Sometimes an experience is just that, an experience.


25. You can move on from tragedy and get back to yourself.

From death, from heartache, from debt, from addiction. If you put in the work and seek help, you can grow from this pain. All things pass with time. Be patient and kind with yourself.


26. Partying and binge drinking stopped being fun a long time ago.

Like a long time ago. Now you have to deal with the consequences. After a decade of heavy drinking, this year I decided to give up the sauce for good. I’m an all or nothing type of person and I finally have had enough. I am amazed at how all the “problems” I thought I had, disappeared. Life is so much better. Seriously, let it go.


27. Don’t fill your life with meaningless stuff. “The stuff you own end up owning you.” – The Minimalists

I’m still working on this, but if I don’t absolutely love it, or absolutely need it, I get rid of it.


28. If you need help, ask. It’s out there.

You are not alone, there are solutions. The tribe of people who have helped me on this life journey is a short, but crucial list. I am forever grateful for your support, acceptance and guidance.


29. Connection is everything.

It’s why we exist. If you feel a connection, with people, nature, a higher power or yourself, embrace it. Protect it.

30. Instead of searching for happiness, focus on what you’re avoiding.

I can’t remember where I heard this, but I immediately wrote it down. Let that sink in for a moment.


31. Your body is badass!



And one to grown on …

32. “Balance is sometimes a good excuse to not go all out. Make a decision to commit to something you believe although you can’t explain it to someone else. ” – Travailen

This has been my life motto for 2015. Find something you want to do, and make it your life. Go all out. Regret nothing.



I look forward to this next year and hope to add to the list. I’d love to hear from you. What has been your major lesson for 2015?

17 Responses to Things I know to be true at 32

  1. Suzy McKenna
    - December 1, 2015

    I am siting here with tears running down my face after reading this. I have spent years reading and studying all the books that are out there, and you have given me more knowledge than anything I have learned before. You make me proud to know you, Amy Willis. What a together young lady!!!! May you grow even more in 2016 and may all your dreams come true.

    • Amy Willis
      - December 1, 2015

      Thank you Suzy, I am lucky to have you in my life!

  2. Karen Sharp
    - December 1, 2015

    Amy, All I can say is “wow!” Your thoughts inspired me. Thank you for sharing. Karen

    • Amy Willis
      - December 2, 2015

      Thank you so much, Karen. I am happy to hear from you!

  3. Lacey Reinhardt
    - December 1, 2015

    Brilliant, intimate, and genuine. I’m in love with every morsel. You are my soulmate.

    • Amy Willis
      - December 2, 2015

      Let’s get on this book!

  4. Shawn
    - December 1, 2015

    Amazing stuff boat. You have a gift, very powerful isnghtful content. Thanks for sharing. Happy birthday!

    • Amy Willis
      - December 2, 2015

      Thank you very much, it means a lot coming from you, the original philosopher.

  5. leila peraza
    - December 2, 2015

    Happy Birhday Amy!! Thank you for sharing. Truly Inspiring.

    • Amy Willis
      - December 2, 2015

      Thank you so much for taking the time to read it. I appreciate your response.

  6. Valerie "Smallzzz" Duran
    - December 2, 2015

    First and foremost, Happy Be-lated Birthday! I hope your day was filled with love, laughter, and everlasting memories!!! I have to say that I definitely could not agree more with your thoughts. Unfortunately, this dream or rather thought of how adult hood would be so awesome and easy, so to speak, is probably the hardest task we could ever be assigned to. Besides the turning of an age, we hit so many turning points in life. I think that many of us forget the many accomplishments that we have achieved rather than the many times we have failed and the amount of negativity we have acquired over the years. As adults we tend to use the expression “I wish I was a kid again…”, forgetting the fact that many people are not able to make it to the coming year(s). Many don’t make it to their first day of school, first dance, first kiss, first love, first driving test, 18th, 21st, 30th, 40th,50th birthday and so on… We should rejoice how far we have come and the many opportunities that have come our way, whether it’s loving too easily, forgiving too much, trusting the wrong people, never taking no for an answer, or whether you will eventually learn from that last hangover. A few of the many things that I have learned over the years is to love and love unconditionally, forgive and move on because it’s not up to you to judge, help and do as much as you can, never back down from a fight, go into any situation open minded and optimistic,you are your own worst critic, surround yourself with positivity in order to receive that positive outcome in life, everyday is learning process, and always let the kid in you shine bright!!!
    “The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change-” :Heraclitus
    Again, Happy Birthday!!!

    • Amy Willis
      - December 2, 2015

      Thank you for this insightful response! I get so excited when people engage and share their thoughts. I wholeheartedly agree with everything you just wrote. We should talk more! See ya around the gyms 🙂

      • Valerie "Smallzzz" Duran
        - December 3, 2015

        Well I’m glad you found what I wrote to be insightful. I appreciate the fact that you also agree with what I thought and felt, there’s not too many people who are open minded and with a positive outlook on things and life! Yeah sure thing we should definitely talk more and yeah see you around the boxing scene!

  7. Brenda Reinhardt
    - December 2, 2015

    Thoughtful, wise and wonderfully written!! May year 32 be filled with amazing experiences, continued blessings, much love and laughter!!

  8. Sadie
    - December 4, 2015

    This was so powerful and BEAUTIFULLY written. So succinct and each one SO VALUABLE! Just reading each one gives me a sense of clarity and calm. As I read, I was like, “Yes! That’s so good!!” And then I re-read some of them over and over hoping they would sink in permanently as lessons learned! Ha! If only it were that easy! I’m sure these are HARD EARNED lessons for you. You make it sound so clear and easy… But I bet you walked through fire a few times to come to those conclusions. Thanks for trying to shorten the learning curve a bit for some of us who are still a bit stuck in some of these areas. This post just makes me want more just like it. Maybe a weekly reminder of each!! You’re an excellent writer. More please!!!! Now to go put some of them on post its around the house.

    • Amy Willis
      - December 7, 2015

      Thanks Sadie, it’s been a long journey for sure, and I still have sooo much to learn. It’s exciting to keep learning and growing, I glad I have people like you to help me understand what it all means. Love ya!