Hey, friends! Tomorrow is my 25th birthday! I can’t quite believe that I’m a quarter of a century old, and it’s making me a little nostalgic to think back through all of the years that have flown on by.
From moving to another country, winning the state championship for high school dance, attending and graduating undergrad, getting my first real girl job, starting a blog, and deciding to go to grad school, so many great things have happened in such a relatively short time frame.
And of course, there have been the bad things. Parents divorcing, losing my dad, losing grandparents, break-ups, rejections, and internal struggles.
But I’m grateful for these 25 years for what I’ve learned, and the best thing about being 25 is that I’m still learning. Each day, I have the opportunity to discover something new about myself and the world around me.
Taking a little inspiration from my friend Jennifer, here are 25 of my favorite lessons from the past 25 years.
25 Things I’ve Learned in 25 Years
1. Always listen to your intuition. When you get that gut feeling that something is right or wrong, don’t ignore it. You often know the answer before you even realize it.
2. Don’t use nail polish as eyeshadow on a barbie doll…and then try to remove it will nail polish remover. Her entire eye will wipe off.
3. Be curious about everything. When you assume you know things, you close yourself off to opportunities. Instead, ask deep and meaningful questions and wander off by yourself every now and again (sorry for doing this to my parents from a young age and giving them anxiety attacks).
4. There is more than one way to do something. If what you’ve been doing doesn’t seem to be working, think of five different ways you could approach the situation. Then try them all and see what works.
5. Bangs don’t really work when you have curly hair. Thanks for giving them to me anyway, mum.
6. Self-awareness is an underrated and undervalued skill. The next time you have a job interview, tell them why self-awareness is actually your greatest asset after you’ve read this blog post.
7. Skincare first, makeup second. Makeup is great for covering up and enhancing, but a good base means you need less makeup anyway. Take your makeup off every night, and always moisturize!
8. Take a risk and go down a completely different road from everyone else. You might just win first place at the dance team state championships (or, you know, whatever it is you’re doing).
9. Don’t make excuses for people who aren’t pulling their weight. So if a guy texts you every day but never wants to hang out, you’re not actually important to him. Move on.
10. Sociology is a valuable major. Despite what people think, sociology has taught me life lessons such as the importance of humanity, compassion, and acceptance. There are so many issues in this world (and country alone) that people are oblivious to, and we need a little more open-mindedness and willingness to find solutions.
11. You will meet people who dislike you even though you know they have no reason to. Don’t waste your time trying to change their minds.
12. Dry shampoo is actually a gift from the gods. If you were cursed with naturally greasy locks, dry shampoo is a best friend for life.
13. The solution to most problems is a hot shower and a good cry. Also, it’s okay to cry in the bathroom at work when everyone and everything is frustrating you. Hiding under your desk is also acceptable.
14. Don’t worry about getting all of the details set in stone immediately. Part of the fun is letting things unravel as you go.
15. Travel far and wide and as much as you can. Some of my favorite memories have been while traveling, and I can’t wait to be able to explore what else is out there in the great big world.
16. Embrace your weirdness. I am so freakin’ weird and yet people still want to be my friend (for the most part). Authenticity is always in style, so don’t hold back the quirky things that make you you.
17. Everybody you meet knows something that you don’t. If you have trouble making conversation with strangers like I do, remember that everyone has a story to tell. Everyone has something they can teach you, but it’s your job to try and figure out what it is.
18. Having a capsule wardrobe makes life so much easier. While I still haven’t quite mastered the art of getting ready quickly, choosing outfits has become a breeze since I started a capsule wardrobe last year.
19. It’s okay to not like the taste of alcohol. Or to not want to drink when everyone else is. I’d take coffee over wine any day.
20. Some people will bring out the worst in you. Some the best. And others, the most. Hold on tightly to the ones who bring out the most.
21. Obsessing over healthy food is not healthy. When I started getting interested in health and wellness in college, I went through a period of being completely obsessed with how healthy the food I was eating was. It’s now classified as a type of eating disorder, and it ain’t no joke.
22. If you accidentally grab the leg of the man evaluating your driving test while shifting the car into reverse, you will pass. It may be the most embarrassing moment of your life, but at least you’ll get your license.
23. You don’t owe anyone an explanation. If someone doesn’t understand the reasoning behind your actions, you do not have to justify them. It’s your business, and yours alone.
24. Always listen to Leslie Knope. She was so right when she named the three most important things in life: friends, waffles, and work. Work always comes third obviously.
25. Contentment over happiness. A lot of people spend their lives hoping and searching for happiness. Instead of doing that, I’ve started recognizing and acknowledging the little details in my every day life that bring me contentment. Happiness is like a roller coaster with it’s ups and downs, but contentment is a steady state that accepts the good with the bad and makes it work either way.
And there you have it! Cheers to 25, eh?