So far my winter vacation has consisted of a series of naps in between watching How I Met Your Mother and spending time with people back home. I spent a few days watching my little sister before she went back to kindergarten. I saw a few movies. And I took pictures with some of my best friends (like the one above). 
Now, after 5 and half seasons of HIMYM, I’m starting to feel ready to go back to school. I have finally had the time to workout, and boy is my body feeling it. My legs ache, my back is sore, and I have 11 weeks left of a workout program I agreed to do with my roommate. (We’ll see how long that lasts.)
The thing is as soon as school starts, I’m going to regret wanting to go back. Everything gets busy so fast. I’m just running out of activities. I haven’t felt much like writing these days. Lately I have held myself up to impossible standards of finding the perfect subject to pick up blogging again after my impromptu hiatus. But I am making myself come up with something, because you can only watch so much HIMYM before having an existential crisis about the state of your life. It’s weird how much I can relate to that show when the main characters are in their thirties. 
On top of all that, every time I go on Facebook another person is headed off to study abroad. And it’s a little bit difficult to watch, not only because some of them are my friends, but also because up until a few months ago I thought for sure I would be one of them. 
But I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and there is something else in store for me back here. For now, since I have watched so much How I Met Your Mother, here are a few lessons I have learned along the way: 
1. No matter how well a first date goes, saying “I love you” is NEVER appropriate. 
But somehow you can recover from it and keep this person in your life (if your name is Ted Mosby)? 
2. If someone is meant to be in your life, they will come into it (or come back into it) when they are supposed to. 
Letting go of someone you care about it always difficult. Ted and Robin have been all over the place, but there’s no doubt that in some shape or form they are meant to be in each other’s lives. 
3. Life goals can change. And maybe they should. 
Everyone in the group has gone through a series of life changes. Marshall dreamt of being an environmental lawyer, but the reality of living in New York and trying to raise a family with Lily meant settling for a corporate job to survive. 
4. Sometimes dating isn’t about “finding the one”, but more about figuring out what you want out of relationships with other people. 
Ted was determined to find the one. He was ready to start find the woman he was “supposed to be with”, and start a family. But it took a lot longer than he expected. But all of the women along the way helped him grow and figure out what he really wanted out of a relationship. 

5. Growing up is hard. 
At twenty years old, it’s really easy to think that by 30 I’ll have it all figured out. But after 5 seasons of HIMYM, I’ve realized that growing up is an ongoing process, and no one actually has it all figured out.
6. The journey is just as important as the destination. 
Once Ted was complaining about how he wanted to find his wife and start his life now, but Robin reminded him that it was about the journey and not just having the life. He wanted to skip past all of the stuff in between and end up with his perfect family. But you have to keep in mind, that it doesn’t end there. Your life doesn’t start once you land your dream job or find your “soulmate.” It’s happening RIGHT NOW, and you have to be present in every part of the journey. 
7. Life doesn’t follow your timeline.
This one goes hand in hand with the last point, but I thought it was worth making its own separate point. You can plan your life out as much as you want. You can set dates for when specific life events should happen. You can envision where you want to be in 5, 10, 15 years. But nothing ever happens according to plan, and nothing is wrong with you for not having the life you thought you would have by now. 
8. You are AWESOME. 
Barney Stinson may be one of the most overconfident, narcissistic playboys of all time. But he got one thing right: you are awesome, and you should believe that.