I woke up today not really feeling any older, but I’d like to think I’m a little bit wiser. In honor of my birthday and my experiences in the past 28 years, I wanted to share 28 things that I have learned so far.
1. Not everyone is going to like you. This one was difficult to accept, but as I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that it doesn’t really matter what other people think. It seems no matter what you do, there will always be someone watching and hoping you will fail. Forget about them, ignore them, and focus on all the love and positivity that surrounds you. As long as you are happy with who you are inside and out, that’s all that matters.
2. You are not required to like everyone. You don’t even have to have a reason for not liking someone or not wanting to have them in your life. Sometimes we just know when we are better off without someone. Not liking someone does not make you a mean or bad person, just don’t push it in their face. Which brings me to my next one…
3. Be kind. You never know what someone else is going through or what they have been through. The old rule we learn as kids still applies here. If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all!
4. Stop comparing yourself to others. Comparison is the thief of joy. You don’t have to look like the girls on Instagram or in magazines, and you don’t need to make $100k+ a year. Stop worrying about if you’re skinny enough or if your lips don’t look like Kylie Jenner’s. What kind of car you drive, hand bags you can afford or number of followers. These things don’t matter to the people who love you, and they do not make you who you are. It took me a little to realize that I should embrace the things that I have. my more muscular build. And that I don’t need all of the department store sized closets to be happy. Instead, we should all be happy with what we have. I have to admit I still compare myself to others from time to time, who doesn’t? But ultimately I am happy with my life and I will keep pushing to pursue my goals based on what I want, not others.
5. Love your family. Family comes first, and regardless of what differences you may have it is important to stay in touch and let them know you love them. I am lucky enough to have my mom as one of my best friends, and I am so grateful. I lost my dad at 18, and there are so many things I wish he didn’t have to miss out on, but I am thankful for my step-dad and the love and care he has provided. Some people aren’t as fortunate to have their parents or even any of their family still around. Never take your family for granted.
6. Follow your passion. If you don’t care much for what you do or simply aren’t passionate about it, you will most likely want to give up or you won’t enjoy your life. Seek whatever fuels you and excites you each day. It may take some time, but never stop striving to do what you love. It doesn’t matter how old you are or how little experience or knowledge you have. You can always start small, dream big and take action to achieve your goals.
“Find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”-Mark Twain
7. Everyone starts somewhere. If you are doubting yourself, remember that everyone started from the beginning of some sort. Building a career or hobby does not happen overnight, it takes hard work, dedication, hustle and most importantly passion!
8. Nothing comes easy. Wouldn’t it be great if we could all wake up and someone handed us a successful career, $1 million, and a gorgeous body? Unfortunately that’s not how it works. You have to work hard! You may not become a celebrity, but at least at the end of the day you can be proud of your accomplishments. You worked hard for them, and you deserve them.
9. Take care of yourself. You only get one body and one life, so make sure you are giving your body and soul what it needs! Get enough sleep, drink enough water, exercise, eat well, and take time to relax. We all know those, but we sometimes forget to treat ourselves. You deserve to pamper yourself as well. Make yourself a priority each day. Go get that massage or pedicure!
10. Skincare is your friend. I know, it’s so expensive but it is totally worth it. I wish I would have developed a better skincare routine when I was younger. It’s never too early to start protecting your skin and preventing aging! After investigating in good skincare, I will never go back to just washing my face with makeup remover and going to bed. You’ll have to pry my sheet masks and anti-aging creams from my cold, dead hands!
11. Moisturize! I feel like so many young teenagers with oily skin avoid moisturizer like the plague (myself included). Stop. Now. Moisturizer actually helps to balance your skin, and your older self will thank you!
12. Coffee gives you life. If you don’t like it, learn to…your college and working self will thank you.
13. Don’t worry, be happy. Worrying doesn’t do anyone any good. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best, but don’t waste any precious time worrying about things you can’t control. Looking back, I should have relaxed way more in high school and college. You don’t have to be perfect at everything, we all struggle sometimes and mistakes help you grow. Everything will be fine in the end if you work hard, stay focused and stay positive.
14. Take time to disconnect. I know this seems to be a difficult task in today’s society, but honestly no one has to be connected to their phone, computer, etc. 24/7. Put the phone down. Have a conversation with your spouse. Spend time with your pets. Get outside. A huge world exists behind our screens, and you don’t want to miss it!
15. You are worth more than your money. Unfortunately, there are still people out there who only value you based on your bank account. They suck. There are so many things that matter more than money. Having a beautiful heart and soul should be what draws people to you, not your monetary worth.
16. Just EAT IT! Don’t be afraid to have a donut, or some ice cream, or an entire pizza. Stop obsessing over food and the scale, and just enjoy life. As long as you have some balance, you should be able to eat the things you want. Practicing moderation can help you in so many different ways.
17. Pay it forward. Buy the person in line behind you their coffee, or breakfast or whatever you prefer. It can really make a difference and turn someone’s day around. And you never know, maybe they will keep it going and some day you may have someone pay it forward to you.
18. Save your money, but spend it. Contradictory right? It is important to save your money. Today people have to save more than ever before just to afford a home or even education. But at the same time, you can’t take your money with you when you pass on. Go out to dinner with friends or buy yourself something nice from time to time. It’s your money, you choose what to do with it.
19. Get all dolled up. Every woman loves to get dressed up, put on a little lipstick and a pair of heels. A little primping can go a long way at lifting your mood. Call up your friends of have your husband take you out for a nice dinner. We deserve to feel beautiful.
20. Travel every chance you get. You don’t have to be a world traveler or a travel blogger, but go on adventures. Go on weekend trips or road trips. Save up for your dream vacation. Most of my greatest memories come from traveling and getting to see new things. Possessions are great, but at the end of the day life is all about the experiences.
21. Criticism is there to you. This wasn’t the easiest for me to accept. Yes, there are always going to be people who criticize everything you do just to hurt you. That is not what I am talking about. I am referring to the people who truly have your best interest in mind, and want to see you succeed. If they try to tell you a better way of doing something, or provide you with something to work on, listen. Often times they have been in the same position and have valuable information that will help you. They are not trying to bring you down, but instead show you how to flourish in what you are trying to do.
22. Get out of your comfort zone. The best way to actually overcome your fears is to face them. Live your life outside of your comfort zone and you will be amazed at the experiences you will be introduced to. It allows you to grow and accomplish things you would have never done if you stayed comfortable.
23. Don’t wait for a perfect moment, make a move. There will usually never be a perfect time to start or do anything. There will never be a perfect time to start a business, quit your job, get married, have kids, get in shape, or whatever it is you want to do. Instead of waiting for that perfect moment, take action! Start a business or go on that date. Accept that job offer or take that trip. Make a move to start your life and achieve your goals.
24. Speak your mind, but be careful. People can’t read your mind. Having people try to guess what you’re thinking or assuming that they know what’s going on with you, will often lead to disappointment. If you want something, let them know. If you know where you want to eat, don’t say “I don’t know.” If you’re upset or sad about something, talk about it. At the same time, if people don’t ask for your opinion, you probably don’t need to give it. Unsolicited advice can sometimes just make you look like a jerk.
25. Everything happens for a reason. This doesn’t mean that you should wait for things to happen to you, that’s the last thing you should do. Strive every single day towards your biggest goals and dreams in life. If you don’t get that job, or he doesn’t call you back, it’s often because there is something better waiting for you. And you just have to focus on living your life, and trust that the Lord will provide you exactly what you need.
26. Love is worth the wait. So many people think that if they don’t have a relationship, they are doing something wrong in life. That is not true. Don’t just rush into things because you want to feel loved. Waiting for the right love can allow you to truly work on yourself. Decide what you really want in life, and learn to love yourself first.
27. Don’t sign anything without reading it. Read the terms and conditions, your contracts, and anything that you’re agreeing to before clicking “I agree” or signing on the dotted line. You’ll save yourself a lot of embarrassment when you try to contest to something that you did, in fact, agree to and even more than that, by reading them you’re actually being an advocate for yourself. Have your own back. Don’t assume anyone is going to have it for you.
28. Time flies. Enjoy your teenage years, I know people say it all the time but it will be gone in the blink of an eye. Spend time with those who matter, including the Lord. You can spare10 minutes daily for quiet time. Never take a single second for granted.