Good morning everyone (or afternoon or evening depending on when you’re reading this)! Since last Sunday was my 25th birthday, I wanted to reflect on a few lessons that I have learned throughout my life so far. I remember reading many of these posts from other bloggers after my 24th birthday, so I was excited to write my own this year!
Before we get into my list, I wanted to mention that I have not perfected these lessons yet; I’m still learning! These are the things that I aspire to practice everyday. There are so many lessons to live by (I could probably go past 25!), so I decided to go with the ones that came to my mind first.
25 Things I’ve Learned at 25
1. Nothing lasts forever. This goes both ways: the good things might not last, but neither do the bad.
2. Treasure every moment. On vacations, I used to mope around the day before I had to return home because I was upset that I would be leaving soon. I’ve learned that it’s better to enjoy the moment and make it count! Time is a finite resource, so you have to make the best of it.
3. Be yourself. Growing up, I feel like I was pushed towards ‘being normal’ even though I always felt different from everyone else. I continue to be a highly private person, but I think I’ve started to express myself even when it might stray from the norm. I love weird and quirky people, so I don’t see the positives of fitting into a personality that I’m not!
4. Don’t let anyone belittle you. Let’s be honest; your opinion is the main one that matters. There’s always going to be people who will try to knock you down, but do they really matter to you? Constructive criticism can be helpful, but people who look down at you are not. It doesn’t matter if they have more money, a fancy job, or more education-if you treat someone with respect and they don’t treat you the same way, their opinion on how you live your life doesn’t matter.
5. Spread positivity. This is such a simple lesson, but it can often be overlooked. There are so many ways to spread positivity, whether it’s directly or indirectly helping someone. You never know when you might be the light that someone needed to see.
6. Smile. Maybe I’m alone on this, but has it ever brightened your day when a stranger catches your eye and smiles? It’s such a small gesture, but it’s a simple yet positive way to acknowledge others.
7. Spend time outside in nature. Nature is so peaceful; it’s a wonderful place to contemplate something that’s on your mind or to get away from your thoughts for a moment. Besides, who doesn’t love getting some fresh air?
8. It’s okay to have feelings. It doesn’t make you weak if you’re sad or naive if you’re happy; it just makes you human.
9. Keep dreaming. Whenever I reach one of my goals, I always start dreaming about something else. Maybe it’s a new job or a creative pursuit or a new way to help others-I’m constantly striving towards something. There’s so much that I want to do and achieve, so I like to stay dreaming.
10. Don’t compare your life to others. I used to be so bad at this one! Everyone seemed to be prettier, smarter, more successful than me, and this led me to have a very negative headspace. I couldn’t appreciate the successes of others because I would think “why couldn’t I do that?” and look at their success as my failure. I felt like I needed to be the best at everything; otherwise, I wasn’t good enough. When you can celebrate the achievements of your friends and family though, it gives you extra reasons to be happy! Everyone has their own skills and downfalls, and everyone deserves the chance to shine at something they excel at!
11. Take breaks. I am an incredibly high energy person who feels as if I need to be doing something productive at all times. It’s good to take breaks, however, and it might even make you more productive when you come back! Sometimes all you need is a little time away from a project in order to brainstorm a new idea towards an issue that’s been stumping you.
12. Stay young at heart. Children can be so pure and full of wonder-they are oftentimes said to look at the good things because they have not yet experienced the bad. But you know what? No matter how many times life gets you down, it’s your choice on whether you let that impact your view on the world. Also, you may be an ‘adult’ but that doesn’t mean you have to lose your sense of imagination and adventure!
13. Listen; you never know if there’s someone who needs to be heard. People can have great ideas, but sometimes people don’t give them the chance to speak. Or maybe they have something troubling them, and they need to vent to someone who’s willing to listen. Listening is such an easy way to appreciate someone; plus, you’ll probably strengthen your connections and learn something too!
14. Being single is awesome. Being in a relationship is awesome too, but I feel like single life is the one that receives all the hate. I currently feel as if I’m in the process of learning and finding myself, so I don’t think that I would be able to do this successfully in a relationship. I tend to shift my personality based on who I hang out with, and in a relationship, I’d be hanging out with one person so much; how could I discover myself if I’m so influenced by one person? I’m also working on quite a few different things at the moment, and I don’t think I would contribute the necessary time and effort to a relationship.
15. Dance like nobody’s watching. I’m always listening to music, so dancing is a no-brainer. I’m not a very great dancer (I would probably get an award for most energy though!), but who cares-I’m going to do it anyway.
16. You don’t owe anything to anyone. You know what’s best for you, and while yes, it’s good to help others when you can, don’t do it when it costs too much for you. You don’t have to stay at your job or in a relationship simply because they need you. If you’re not getting what you need out of a situation, get out of it and don’t feel bad about it.
17. You CAN open up to people. I’m still working on this one, but you can open up to people and show them how you’re feeling. Some people may hurt you, yes, but others can help you.
18. When people underestimate you, use it to your advantage. I’m a quiet and sweet person, so I get underestimated a LOT. While being underestimated can be annoying, it can be a huge advantage too. If people don’t expect you to do anything, it gives you more of an opportunity to completely stun them when you prove them wrong.
19. Always say yes to coffee. Does this really need explaining? I practically live on coffee.
20. Try new things whenever you can. Whether it’s a hobby, food, or a vacation spot, make sure to spice up your life with new things! Some people like routines more than others, but it’s nice to mix things up every once in a while. You might end up discovering something that you love!
21. Never give up. On people or things. If you’re crazy passionate about something, don’t let other people extinguish it. If you continue and follow through, you’re bound to be successful at some point. Same thing goes towards people-everyone goes through difficult times and having someone stand loyally at their side can make such a huge difference!
22. Don’t dwell on things you should have or could have done. Living in the past doesn’t help anyone. If you made a choice you regretted, move on. There’s always new opportunities around the corner, so don’t let your past regrets cause you to miss out on future ones.
23. It’s okay to do things alone. It can be scary doing things by yourself, whether it’s attending a party or stating a lone opinion. Even when you think you’re alone, you’re not. You may be alone in the moment, but there’s likely other people going through or thinking the same thing.
24. Leave some time in your schedule to read. I love books of all kinds. Some are educational, some are suspenseful, some are pure fun. There’s a book for everything, and I love looking at different writing styles authors use! I still do not read as much as I would like to, but I try to incorporate it into my schedule as much as I can!
25. Failing is okay; refusing to take risks isn’t. I used to be a perfectionist (honestly, I still am at times) to the point where I wouldn’t do things because there was a chance I wouldn’t be successful. I realized that I’m never going to improve or be successful if I don’t try things that are not a guaranteed win for me. It’s okay to fail as long as you learn something from it and use your failures as a chance to grow!