28 lessons in 28 years
28. Which means I’m basically 30! But 20-freakin-8! Sounds old, right? You know, I actually don’t think it is and I’m happy to be turning 28. Who knows, maybe it’s out of relief that I’m not yet thirty. Maybe it’s because I’ve unintentionally been telling people all year I’m 28 when I’ve been 27, or maybe it’s because the other night I was convinced my boyfriend and I were about to be 29. Or maybe it’s because people regularly think I’m still between 21-25! Whatever it is, 28 is young and there’s still so much left to figure out, do and experience.
I love birthdays. So naturally, I love my own birthday and I wanted to celebrate it somehow on my blog. And because of who I am and what my blog is about, what’s more fitting than sharing the 28 lessons I’ve learned in the past 28 years!
So here’s to being 28, still young & thriving!
1. Having a routine keeps you grounded
I admire those who live life on a whim, but I’ve discovered that I thrive when I have a stable routine but with space to be spontaneous. I call it living the best of both worlds :)
2. Always have a plan A, plan B and plan C
I’m an optimistic dreamer who loves to plan (is that an oxymoron?) so I always have a plan A, B & C in the works. Maybe it’s a control thing, but it feels safe knowing that I have something to fall back on and follow if things get crazy or don’t go as planned.
3. Be adaptable to life’s curveballs
While it’s great to have multiple plans it’s also important to be flexible in those plans. If something doesn’t work out, cry over it for a second, wipe those tears and move on to the next plan. As my family and I used to tell my dad, be flexible so you don’t get bent out of shape!
4. There is no such thing as the perfect timeline
I’d like to thank those Baby Boomers and Gen-X parents for putting this thought into our heads that we have to do or be something by a certain age. Yeah…no. Growing up I was sure I’d go to college, graduate at 22, start a career, fall in love, get married at 24, have babies, and then buy a house. When my timeline didn’t go as planned I felt defeated, I felt like I did something wrong. Sometimes I still struggle with this. But we’re living in a time where we’re putting off traditional timelines to do whatever the hell we want! And you know what? There is absolutely nothing wrong with that! Take your time figuring out who you are and what you want. You do you boo! There’s no rush!
5. If you don’t ask, you don’t get
For me this translates into if you don’t tell they won’t know. For 2018 my resolution was to always speak my mind and say what I wanted. If you don’t ask for something you’re just robbing yourself of time spent cherishing a blessing. So don’t be shy – go ask for whatever it is you want!
6. Forgive! Forgive everyone, everything. But above all, forgive yourself
I have always found it so strange that people refuse to forgive or that they find it so easy to hold a grudge forever. Do yourself a favor, don’t hold a grudge, forgive them (however long it takes to get there) and then let that sh*t go! I feel like what’s talked about even less is forgiving yourself. But believe me it is so liberating. Forgive yourself for not getting those straight A’s. Forgive yourself for not getting to the gym. Forgive yourself for choosing to watch Netflix all day. Forgive yourself for splurging on that outfit. Forgive yourself for hurting someone (but please don’t forget to apologize to them). Forgive yourself for letting yourself down. Don’t be so hard on yourself. You’re only human.
7. Your only limit is your mind
I’m fiercely competitive. I usually only put myself out there if I know I can get it. I’m also a major doubter of my intelligence & capabilities. It makes me wonder what if I hadn’t doubted myself or put myself out there in certain situations. Maybe I could have had that blessing a long time ago!
8. Starve your distractions and feed your focus
You have dreams? Great! Are you being passive or assertive? Feed whatever your passion is. I’m guilty of wasting my days off from work with surfing the Internet, browsing Instagram and watching Netflix from my couch, but what is that getting me? WHERE is that getting me? If you want to see your dreams manifest, you should do something about it and put yourself in positions or situations that push your dreams further.
9. Life is a collection of shades of grey
Okay, look. I used to be a very black and white, by the book person and it either was or wasn’t. Sure, some things are definitely like that, but I’ve come to learn that there are all these different shades of grey in the middle.
10. Traveling is good for the mind, body & soul
There are some people who are meant to travel the world and experience different cultures and ways of life. And there are some (weird) people who aren’t meant for that. To each their own I guess. All I’m saying is that I believe it truly broadens your worldview and will probably make you a more empathetic and compassionate human being – and that can’t hurt right?
11. Love is absolutely sacrificial
We all have ideas of what love should be. I know I did before I found my guy. And every year my perception and idea of what love is expands. But one thing I’ve learned is that love is an act. Love is sacrificial. That word gets a bad rap but sacrifice is a beautiful thing. Today we make love into this notion that it’s a constant warm, fuzzy feeling (and it can be), or that true love just takes you as you are (and it can be). And while true love does do these things it’s also sacrifices. Sacrifice doesn’t mean losing. It means giving.
12. It’s okay to change for love, as long as it truly makes you a better person
While on the topic of love, I’ve learned that it is okay to change. It’s okay to let love change you, so long as its for the better.
13. Follow your heart, but consult your head
Sometimes your heart can’t be trusted. Sometimes your head is being too “inside the box”. That’s why I say to use both to check the other. I hold this idea that your gut is a combination of your heart and your head. When those two come together in one harmonious feeling you should def take heed.
14. It’s really never too early to start saving
I wish I would’ve started saving when I was younger, but now that I’m attempting to save I see that I would’ve been better off starting this forever ago. Having financial security is huge! Just go save. You can still splurge and go out, have drinks, buy those concert tickets, and save at the same time. Little by little it adds up!
15. Continuously take inventory of yourself
Please don’t ever stop looking within and seeing how you can better yourself. That’s a sign of real maturity!
16. Be careful of who you bring into your life and who you spend your time with
That old saying “You are who you hang out with” is actually true. Maybe you won’t notice it at first or you hold your ground for a bit, but eventually you start to mold to whomever you spend the majority of your time with. So be careful, make sure they are people you admire and strive to be like, because if you’re not careful, one day you’re going to wake up and be just like them – for better or for worse!
17. Don’t live the same year over and over again
Grow! Change! Do things differently! Why get stuck doing the same thing over and over?
18. It doesn’t matter if it’s been done before, it hasn’t been done by you
Have you ever desperately wanted to do something but stopped yourself because it’s been done a million times before? Yeah, same. But you are unique; you have your own voice, your own views, your own distinctive life that cannot be imitated by anyone else. Besides, do it for yourself and no one else.
19. A good skin care routine is a game changer
Who doesn’t love flawless skin?! If soft, dewy, supple skin is wrong, then I don’t want to be right! For real though, a good skincare routine can make you look & feel put together. So go find what products work for you and get that routine down.
20. A healthy lifestyle is absolutely essential
Healthy looks different to everyone. To me a healthy lifestyle is not just about food and the gym. It’s about adequate sleep, a healthy, confident mental state and healthy relationships with family, friends, partners and etc. When you’re in a good place you almost feel invincible!
21. Cultivate strong, healthy relationships
Quality over quantity! Strong, healthy relationships are what will get you through tough times. Don’t forsake them, nurture them and care of them because you def reap what you sow there.
22. Develop new hobbies
Developing new hobbies is in the same boat as growing and learning. Plus it keeps life interesting!
23. Don’t rush things
Things will happen when they’re meant to happen. There’s sweetness to taking your time and discovering life. On that same note, don’t force things either. Be assertive but also quick to realize if something isn’t working and be brave enough to do something about it.
24. You can plan all you want, but if you don’t act it won’t happen
I’m a planner. I love to plan and I love planners! But at some point you just gotta pull the trigger and go for it.
25. Move somewhere new
Please, just do it. Do it alone, do it with a friend or with a lover. I don’t care who it’s with, but please just do it. It teaches you so much about yourself and what you want out of life and relationships.
26. To know what you think, write it down.
Sometimes it’s hard to know exactly what you’re feeling or thinking. So my advice is to bust out your laptop, open up Word or Pages or whatever you use and just write. Write literally whatever comes to your mind and I promise you that you’ll eventually figure out what you think.
27. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
I used to hate asking for help, and sometimes I still do. In the past I thought it showed weakness. But asking for help is not weak, it is empowering! Those who can ask for help often find that it betters them in the long run!
28. Time spent alone is a must
I could go on and on about the benefits of spending time alone. But I’ll just leave it as it’s important to do it so that you can understand yourself and by extension others. It can be therapeutic, it can be invigorating, or it could be boring. Whatever you feel, I guarantee you it will shed light on a lot of things.
Take my 28 lessons and apply it to your life, or don’t. Whatever you do, I hope you grow and thrive! Cheers to being 28 now and still young!