As my birthday was approaching I started thinking about how far I’ve come in my life. Even in just the last two years, I have had so many things happen that have shaped me into who I am today. I found my career path, found my person in life, lost my mother, and had a baby and I have learned different things from every experience.
So in honor of my 25th birthday, here are 25 things I’ve learned in 25 years.
1. People don’t care about you. Blunt, yes. But what I mean by this is, nobody is watching you as closely as you think they are. It is so easy to get inside your head worrying about what other people think of you. Honestly, everyone is worrying so much about themselves, they aren’t focused on you. Do what makes you happy, not everyone else!
2. Nobody is going to fight your battles for you. This was one I had heard over and over again but only recently came to accept it. If there is something you want to change, it’s up to you to change it. Independence is so important so stand up for yourself and fight your battles.
3. Money is not the most important thing… but it will be. Not everyone will agree with this but something I’ve come to realize is, as great as experiences are, so is having money. All is fine and dandy if you want to explore the world, or splurge on that purse you’ve been eyeing, but if something happens (and something always happens) which costs you more money than you anticipated, you’ll be glad you have a back up fund. Live your life, but also be prepared.
4. Comfort rarely equals success. Being comfortable in life is important, but that doesn’t mean you’re successful. Successful people have one thing in common: they continue to grow. You need to stay on top of the curve, ahead of the game, and consistently improve in order to stay successful. So don’t settle for a life that is comfortable. Step outside your comfort zone and grow. Only good things will come from it. If you fail, then you’ve also learned, which is bringing you that much closer to reaching your goals.
5. Don’t expect what you want to be handed to you. Good things come to those who work hard. Plus, what’s the fun in achieving something if you didn’t work for it?
6. Be smart. This applies to everything in life. And I don’t mean just book smart (although that is great). I mean make smart choices. Choose the people you surround yourself with wisely and know your worth then stick to it. The choices you make today are going to determine where you are tomorrow.
7. My parents are WAY smarter than I thought. Sorry, Dad. Growing up I thought I knew everything and I wasn’t going to let anyone, my parents included, tell me otherwise. Now, I feel the complete opposite. I am constantly calling home for help because the knowledge my parents have is far beyond my knowledge of the world.
8. Yes, things have gone wrong… No, the world is not ending. Everything feels worse than it really is in the moment. Speaking as an over-reactor, I can say firsthand how terrible some situations feel when they go wrong. Emotions tend to be amplified in the heat of the moment. Take a day, wallow, then pick yourself up and deal with it.
9. Be Selfish. Self love is so important. If you don’t take the time for yourself, you will run yourself dry. It’s okay to be selfish sometimes and do things that make you happy.
10. Find your people and love them hard. Whether they’re family or close friends, keep the people who you care for close. Everyone needs a support system. Don’t let the people who care get away because sometimes you only realize this once they’re gone.
11. Good people do good things for other good people. It is as simple as that. Be a good person to others and it will come back to you one way or another.
12. Eat the brownie. Or cupcake or cookie. Whatever your thing is, indulge. Life’s too short to worry about that stuff. Happy people are healthy people. Just remember, everything in moderation.
13. Getting outside helps more than anything money can buy. Having a bad day? Go outside and sit in the sun. Being outside can do wonders for your mood!
14. It’s okay to be scared. But don’t let that stop you (obviously, within reason… don’t be putting yourself in danger and thinking you’re brave). Being nervous is a good thing! It means you feel there is something to lose. Use that and push yourself outside your comfort zone.
15. Yes, there is always tomorrow but do it today. It is so easy to put tasks off until later on but this almost never ends well. Procrastination is a habit that took me a while to break, but my work thanks me for it now. Who doesn’t love ending the day feeling accomplished?
16. Worry about what you can control and move on from what you can’t. Why worry about things you can’t control? If you can change it, then change it. If it’s out of your control, all you can do is accept it and move on.
17. You have to take the first step if you want to get anywhere. This one sounds silly and like it should be obvious but I think a lot of people forget that if you don’t ever start, you’ll never get where you want to go.
18. Be your own biggest fan. If you don’t 100% believe in yourself, how can you expect others to? You have to be your own biggest fan!
19. Every day is a fresh start. If things didn’t work out today, there is always tomorrow to try again.
20. Work smarter, not harder. Working hard is important but there is a limit. Find ways to work smarter to get ahead, not harder. Burning yourself out doesn’t benefit anyone.
21. Life without your Mom is hard. Hug your mom nice and tight because you may not realize it, but you need her, even if you don’t think you do. The bond with your mom is unlike any other.
21. Don’t be envious of the people succeeding around you. Support them. Nothing feels better than helping someone reach their goals. Wouldn’t you want the same for yourself?
22. A clean environment equals a clear mind. If you’re anything like myself, having a clean space where your spend most of your time will be crucial to your mental space. It’s way easier to think straight when you can see the floor around you!
23. Your life is not perfect. But neither is anyone else’s. So why pretend? Nobody’s life is sunshine and rainbows all the time (even if that’s what they would like you to think). It’s okay to be real about it.
24. Live in the moment. This one is very cliche. However, it’s a motto I try to remember every day now that I have a baby. Each day is different and you’ll miss the good, and the bad, times when they’ve passed. So enjoy each day and take it all in.
25. You CAN do it. I don’t think this one needs an explanation. Any goals you have are attainable. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Here’s to another year of learning.
Talk soon xoxo