February 25th 2018
“The years teach much which the days never know” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
It’s my birthday! I am super happy that my birthday fell on a day I normally post this year so I can celebrate with a nice blog post. Last year was the first time I did a “___ Things for ___ Years” on my blog, but it has been a tradition that I have kept with myself for years! So this year will be no different. Without further introduction, here are 23 things I learned in 23 years!
- Everyone makes choices in life. I made this one number one because my friend and I joke that it must be my most used phrase over the past year in both serious and joking contexts. What it comes down to is that you don’t have to agree with people’s choices, but they will continue to make them anyway. Don’t get hung up on the actions of other people.
- The path to success is paved with uncomfortable risk. Another personal favorite that I drove home tons over the past year. You can’t thrive if you don’t risk a little. The comfort zone is a nice place, but nothing grows there.
- A long friendship doesn’t mean a healthy friendship. Just because someone has been in your life a long time, doesn’t mean your friendship is healthy. Friends shouldn’t get a hard pass for making you feel bad just because they’ve been there for you for a while or were there for you in times of need.
- You don’t owe anyone anything. This lesson took me way too long to learn. In my heart, I always felt that if you had tons of good memories with someone and they helped you out of a dark place in life that you owed them something in return. You don’t. Don’t let yourself get taken advantage of just because you think you owe it to someone.
- Be less available. I have a horrible habit of being available for people constantly who are only available for me when it is convenient or beneficial to them. I am trying so hard to stop jumping when other people say jump.
- DO. NOT. LET. SOMEONE. INVALIDATE. YOUR. FEELINGS. I have had people over the past year try to invalidate my feelings, criticize my mental health issues, and define my mental illness for me. I have learned that no one has the right to tell me that what I feel is wrong, tell me the way my anxiety manifests is incorrect, or assign me mental illnesses I do not have. If you have someone in your life doing any of those things to you, rethink your friendship.
- I really hate writing about love. I am so bad at writing about love and relationships and my boyfriend. I feel like most people who read my blog regularly don’t even know I have a boyfriend. I can’t turn love into words on a screen or on paper like I used to. I need to live love in the moment.
- Stand by yourself. I used to back down from my own better judgment in order to preserve friendships and avoid drama. I realized that this is such a terrible disrespect to myself and my own judgment. I know what is good for me and if that hurts my friendships or causes drama, I’d rather deal with that than repress my own feelings.
- The universe can give and the universe can take away. I think the universe knows when it is time to let something go, so when I lose something, I know the universe is just making room for something better.
- You’re never done learning. I went to school and got my MBA, but I am still learning every single day. Be open to the new lessons life has to teach and be open to the people who are put in your life to teach you those lessons.
- Forgiving doesn’t mean accepting someone back into your life, it means ridding your heart of resentment. Holding grudges is tiring. If someone hurts me, I try to understand their side enough to forgive. I’m not perfect at forgiving people right away, but I think I’ve learn that at a certain point it is better to move on with my life than to hold on to resenting someone.
- Work hard, but be patient. People think that just because they worked hard that they deserve to be handed things. You not are entitled to success just because you tried really hard at something or because you are a good person who “deserves a lucky break”.
- Success is not a guarantee. To piggyback off the last one, you may never truly “succeed” at something you’re passionate about…at least not to the degree you’re expecting. I love blogging and work super hard at it, but I know that doesn’t guarantee me a million blog followers one day. However, I continue to work hard because I enjoy blogging and want to do well in whatever way possible.
- Life isn’t fair. It is a fact of life that I have talked about many times before. Life is not fair and it is not equal. Sometimes someone is going to get more than you, that’s life. Sometimes a lazy person who does nothing to better their situation will be spoon fed a bunch of shortcuts and handouts. However, if life was always fair, you wouldn’t grow.
- Plan ahead. This one is pretty straight forward. Plan ahead in blogging, in school, in work, in life. Always be one step ahead and be ready for what life throws at you.
- Take more pictures. Another really self explanatory one. Take pictures and preserve your memories. I am so much happier when I have pictures of memories to look back on, even years later. Looking back on my Instagram each year has really given me the best “year at a glance” I could ask for because it is literally all the highlights I have from the year.
- I love writing in notebooks. I also love rereading my old notebooks. Sometimes it feels really awesome to write without an audience and likes and tags and other factors. It is really refreshing to just write and say what I want to say without feeling the need to be precious or delicate or censored.
- I love things with history. I always knew I loved thrifting and collecting things with a long history, but this past year was really the year I began collecting some older things from my mom’s past primarily. My mom gave me tons of her old records from the 70’s and 80’s (that are in perfect shape because my momma knows how to take care of her things) as well as old Archie and Dennis the Menace comics (which again, are in really great condition). I also found a few copies of Nancy Drew books from the 60’s (I think) when I went thrifting early last year. I love owning objects that have been loved before I had gotten them.
- My personal style is a work in progress. I can’t pinpoint my personal style. Some days I feel super grunge and wear ripped jeans and edgy t-shirts and flannels and beanies. Other days I feel really feminine and wear flowy skirts and dresses and thigh high boots. And some days, I never leave my yoga clothes. I think my fashion sense is ever evolving but never finalized.
- My mom is usually right. I’d go as far to say that my mom is right about her advice and opinions 8/10 times. Who knew that at 23 years old, one of my biggest pieces of life advice is “listen to your parents, they know what’s up”?
- Life is not a competition. I get so discouraged when I see someone younger than me doing better than me. But life isn’t a competition and we all weren’t brought up the same way. There will always be people who have it “better” or “worse” than you, but just know that we are all on the same journey.
- Being unique means you should prepare to be copied. I am trying to remind myself this as often as possible. Whenever I see someone pilfer a quote I said to them or write something similar to me or buy something right after I got it and was excited about having it, I used to get annoyed. I felt like I was being stripped of a special thing about myself, especially with my writing. But I have learned that if someone copies my concepts or words, it should flatter me because it means that what I said is worth stealing…for lack of better words.
- There is a difference between going with the flow and being passive- I used to live my life with this “go with the flow” sort of mentality. However, it wasn’t until I graduated college that I realized I wasn’t “going with the flow”, I was being incredibly passive. I don’t like the idea of making waves and that has resulted in my flowiness becoming a lack of action. Just know that life and the universe can only do so much to push you in the right direction, but you need to put in work. I read this great quote on Twitter that really put it into perspective—“People pray for the cake. Then God gives them the batter, eggs, oil, icing, a pan, an oven, they get get frustrated and leave the kitchen.” You gotta bake your own cake.
Thank you so much to everyone who has supported my blog for almost 2 full years now. I have learned so much and grown as a writer and a person. I can’t wait to share even more life lessons as time progresses.