I’ve been 27 for a whole month now. I’ve officially crossed from my mid-20s into my late-20s. It’s a little scary but I’m trying to embrace getting older because there’s absolutely nothing I can do about it anyway. To celebrate the journey of life and growing older, here are 27 things that I’ve learned along the way, in no particular order:
- When someone tells you they love you, try to believe them. That person probably means it, even if you think you don’t deserve to hear it.
- Be kind to yourself – fill your mind with positivity, fuel your body with goodness. But with that said …
- Treat yourself and stop with the deprivation because honestly? that occasional sprinkle donut or scoop of Rocky Road is awesome and you deserve it.
- Speak your mind, but don’t let that be an excuse to emotionally wound someone else. Words are powerful and can be hurtful – understand that and speak accordingly.
- Be a little kinder than expected.
- Pay for the car behind you at Starbucks sometimes and if someone pays for you, always pay it forward.
- Life is a marathon, not a sprint. Slow and steady ultimately wins.
- Even if you take two steps back for every three forward, you’re still moving in the right direction.
- Don’t worry about making your bed everyday.
- Make your bed sometimes just to say that you did.
- Embrace your weird/nerdy/quirky side – never apologize for loving comic books, Once Upon a Time, Harry Potter, or Disney World. NEVER.
- Be exactly who you want to be, always. If that means you change your clothing style, favorite music genre, or favorite activities weekly – do it.
- Try not to listen to the awful things that your head or reflection in the mirror tell you.
- Forget the number on the scale. In fact, throw that scale off a cliff and do not buy a new one.
- It’s okay to cry. Humans are emotional creatures and showing your emotion does not make you weak.
- Embrace minimalism – surround yourself only with people and material possessions which truly add value to your life. Chuck the rest.
- It’s okay to have a bad day sometimes. Don’t let that bad day bleed into the next.
- If you’re struggling with something, anything – find someone you trust and tell them everything. They love you and they will be there for you, always.
- Set goals for yourself but don’t live life according to a set timetable. Things change and that’s okay.
- Your past does not define you. You are not your mistakes.
- Falling in love is scary but try to let yourself do it, even if you’re afraid of getting hurt.
- Making an effort to visit the friends who live in different cities/states/countries is awesome and important. Do it as often as possible.
- Pay attention to what’s happening in the world. Watch the news. Know your rights. When given the opportunity, always always always vote.
- Good listening skills are invaluable. When someone is speaking to you, put down your cell phone and open your ears.
- You can change your mind about things – the person you were at 18 is not the same as the person you are today at 27.
- Love what you do for a living. If you don’t love what you do, find something else to do.
- It’s okay to put yourself first sometimes. Don’t give so much that you lose yourself in the process. You can’t pour from an empty cup.
Have something to add? Share the most valuable things you’ve learned in the comments below.
This morning I woke up feeling hungover – but not from alcohol consumption. Are emotional hangovers a thing? I’m going to say yes because it’s the only explanation for how I’ve felt ALL DAY today – emotionally hungover.
Y’all – I’m an ugly crier. If you ever have the opportunity to see me cry, you will agree. I have come to accept that I’m an ugly crier in recent months because I’ve been doing a lot of crying. Yesterday evening was no exception. I had to say goodbye to a wonderful friend last night and I ugly-cried. I set a new personal record for number of minutes spent crying. I cried walking to my car, I cried driving home, the last thing I remember doing before falling asleep was crying. I ugly-cried so hard that I woke up this morning looking like I’d been out until 3am intentionally touching the eyes of young children with conjunctivitis. Beautiful imagery, I know – you’re welcome. Let me tell you that trying to put lash-extending mascara on with eyes that more closely resemble puffy pink Peeps is not fun or easy.
I’m not going to sugar coat it – saying goodbye sucks. Even when you know that it’s not really goodbye, saying goodbye to someone who has been more than a friend – a cheerleader, a coach, a confidant, a sounding board, a shoulder to cry on, a mom when a dose of tough love is calling your name – hurts. Walking away from that last hug and final words knowing that person won’t be just around the corner anymore is tough.
So I’d like to take this opportunity to dedicate this blog post, to make it an open-letter to you – having you in my corner has meant more to me than I can put into words. All that emotion was more than just saying goodbye … it was me feeling your favorite word – gratitude. Gratitude for your enthusiasm for life, your bright spirit, your wisdom, your positivity, for you. I am so very thankful that you walked into my life two years ago and that I walked away last night a better person because of your presence in it. I have learned and grown and blossomed and I owe much of that to you. I left my comfort zone, I stepped out into a new world in spite of my fears and reservations because you said “It’ll be okay!” I believed you and I’m so glad that you were right. It is okay and it always will be.
So – here’s to you. Here’s to a new city, a new adventure, a new set of people to encourage and inspire. I already know that you’ll be great because that’s just who you are. I hope that I will someday have the opportunity and the privilege to touch someone’s life the way that you have touched mine.
Sometimes, we have to just cry it out and then shake it off – because it isn’t really goodbye, it’s just see you later. 💜
I always said that one day I would have my own blog with my own MYNAME.com address and it would be super fancy and totally awesome. Because I wanted to be a writer, you see. I wanted to write things, things that matter, things that people want to read. I wanted to have one of those blogs that everyone talks about, that everyone anxiously waits on for updates, that gets noticed by the right people at the right time and all the sudden, BOOM! Everyone reads your thoughts about life and they want to be your best friend and give you a publishing deal and auction off the rights to a film about you, starring you.
As you might have noticed, living in the clouds is something that I’m really good at. As I continue to “grow-up” and (maybe) become more mature, I have found that this peculiar little personality trait of mine isn’t really going anywhere. I’m a dreamer, and a big one at that. Everyday is a new idea, a new ambition, a new desire to learn and grow and do and see. For now, I satiate these desires through reading, which will always be my favorite pastime. As a kid, I used to read to escape my sometimes not-so-pleasant reality, to explore other worlds and become someone else for day. Reading was my first great love. Somewhere along the way, I fell in love with writing too.
Naturally, I’m about six years too late to jump on the blogging bandwagon and become a star. Fortunately for me, that isn’t my goal anymore. I just want to read and learn and write and share it with the world. A lot has changed, but wanting to write, to be a writer, to read for the joy of it, hasn’t changed for me. I have a voice and a lot to say. I’m not so sure that the world is going to care about what I have to say right now, but maybe one fine day in the future, it will. A girl can dream, right? :)
Care to join me on the journey?