One quarter century of life. It boggles my mind how much I have grown, and how much I still have yet to grow. I can't believe I was just shy of 21 when I started this blog. Time passes so quickly.
I know this is totally cliché, and is pretty much a carbon copy of every Thought Catalog
article that exists. But, I mostly did this for myself. To reflect on what is important to me at age 25, and what I have learned in these 25 years, and what I have yet to learn. I'm not trying to say that I'm expert on these 25 things. Most of these are simply things I have realized are important to me that I am constantly trying to work on. I’m sure 5 or 10 years from now, my older, wiser self might read this blog post and cringe. But, that’s the beauty of life—we are forever evolving, learning, and growing. So, without further ado, here are 25 things I have learned in 25 years:
25 Things I've Learned in 25 Years of Life:
1. Give hugs freely. They are an instant mood booster.
2. Sleep. It is not only essential, it feels like heaven to hit the sheets after a long day.
3. That problem you have that seems like a huge deal? It won't matter in 5 years (or even in 5 days!).
4. Be assertive. Tell people how you feel. Stand up for yourself when necessary.
5. Do NOT be afraid to say no. You cannot please everyone, and you shouldn't waste your time trying to.
6. Work hard. Suck it up. Take a job that you think is "below" you. These are tough economic times. Tough it up and work hard.
7. That being said, if you are absolutely miserable in your job (or relationship, or any part of your life), DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. Go to grad school. Dump the jerk. Go into a place of business and hand someone your resume in person. And call to follow up. Over and over again.
8. Take a time out from social media every now and again. Yes, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are awesome. They allow us to meet new people and learn new things. Just don't forget to spend time with the people you love--without a screen in front of your face. Play a board game. Go for a walk outside. Be one with nature. Remember there is a whole world out there!
9. Stop comparing your life milestones to someone else's. At 25, some of my friends are married with 4 kids. Some are lawyers making six figures. Some are still living in Mom & Dad's basement playing guitar hero and working part-time at Costco. You know what? Who cares?! Do what makes you happy, and don't feel pressured to get married/move in with your boyfriend/have a kid/go to law school if you aren't ready, or if you just plain don’t want to, ever.
10. Avoid drama. You’d think it would go away with puberty, but it doesn’t. In some cases, it gets even worse. But you know what? It's not worth it. Leave it alone. Women need to stop hating on other women. We face enough adversity as a gender to begin with—why add to the problem by tearing each other down?
11. Quit comparing yourselves to other women. There will ALWAYS be someone skinnier/prettier/smarter/more fun/more successful than you. Find what you love about yourself and embrace it. Learn to deal with those things you can't change (I used to hate my freckles. Now? They're bad ass).
12. Take good care of your body. I learned this the hard way, through many years of starving myself, running myself ragged, and being hospitalized with a conglomeration of health problems. I WAS the skinniest girl in the room back then, and you know what? It f***ing sucked. I was miserable. Remember, the next time you find yourself "jealous" of another woman's “success”, that you have no idea what is going on under the surface.
13. More important than your body, take care of your soul. Find your passion. Read, sing, dance, explore, create. LIVE.
14. Stop trying to change people. It's not going to work. The older I get, the clearer it becomes that some people just plain suck, and they always will. Don't dwell on it. Find good, decent human beings who make you happy, and surround yourself with them instead.
15. Learn about the world. Learn about world issues. Look at both sides of the story. Learn the facts before you assume anything. Start becoming a citizen of the world.
16. Be careful what you post online. Those pictures of you and your bestie taking body shots off of a hairy man's chest might seem awesome at 21, but at 25 you will be cringing with embarrassment--as will future employers, future husbands, and your future children. Even a picture that is "untagged" or “deleted” is likely still floating in cyberspace somewhere, so please--use discretion.
17. However, it's ok to let loose sometimes. Tequila shots on a Wednesday when you had a bad day at work? Sure, go for it--as long as it isn't a daily habit. Sometimes, you just need that second (or third) glass of wine.
18. Read the fine print. Whether it's a lease for a home or car, some other major purchase, or even just some random toaster you found on Amazon, do your research. Read reviews. Ask around. You'll be glad you did later.
19. Step outside your comfort zone. It could be as small as trying a new cuisine, or as extreme as flying solo to a new country. Stretch yourself.
20. Work on the relationships that matter--and know when to let go of the ones that don't. My mom and I have had quite a rocky past. But, you know what? She's my mom, I love her, she birthed me and has provided for me, and I want her to have a relationship with her future grandkids. So, we worked it out. (Are things perfect? Of course not. But we are better than we have ever been before). It took years of therapy, arguments, and awkward conversations for us to get to such a happy point. That being said, know when to cut ties. If someone is harming your wellbeing to a damaging point and nothing seems to work to change that, it might be time to let go.
21. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Whether it is from a trained therapist or from a friend or family member, swallow your pride and ask for help when necessary. Part of being an adult is realizing when you just can't do it all by yourself. That's ok.
22. Treat yourself. Life is too short to never splurge on that fancy dinner out, that designer handbag, that spa treatment, or that saucy pair of shoes. Just make sure it is within reason, and only once in awhile. The novelty wears off if you keep doing it!
23. Stop worrying (so much) about what other people think. Of course, you want your boss to respect you, and you want your significant other's parents to like you. But guess what? Not everyone is going to like you. And that's ok. After all, do you like every single person you meet? Of course not. As long as you impress the people that matter, you're golden. (And if not, to hell with them.)
24. Say you're sorry. Life is too short to be a stubborn asshole. Admit when you're wrong. Stand up for yourself when you're right, but please...choose your battles wisely. Sometimes, it's just not worth it.
25. Love is the most important thing. Always.
I'll be back with a recap of my birthday weekend! :)