Quarter of a Century
Here we are. 25 years. A quarter of a century. The last of my "early 20's". And by we, I guess I really mean "me", but for journalism purposes "we" just sounded better. I honestly struggled with what direction to take with this post. This birthday feels so monumental for me, turning 25 and being at such an incredible place in my life, but what I'm feeling and what I want to share with you guys is surprisingly hard to put into words. I am going to try anyway. To make this a bit easier for me, I am going to give you some HARD FACTS (aka a numbered list because yes, I'm type A like that) of what I have learned in my 25 years and what I hope some of you can resonate with.
1. YOU CANNOT CONTROL EVERYTHING
What? Crazy, I know. I struggle with this daily, but I am also here to tell you, the sooner we can accept that we can only control OURSELVES and OUR ACTIONS, the better off we will be. Your anxiety about anything other than yourself, is pointless and consuming. Let it go.
2. DON'T FIGHT FOR THOSE WHO DON'T FIGHT FOR YOU
Believe them when they treat you as an option. Believe them when they blow you off for the 5th time with a terrible excuse. Believe them when they don't text or call you back, time after time. EVERY SINGLE PERSON IN THIS WORLD HAS POTENTIAL, BUT POTENTIAL IS NOT REALITY. When they show you who they are, believe them and peacefully move on. You will thank yourself later.
3. HARD WORK IS THE MOST IMPORTANT QUALITY
Cliche? Maybe. 100% True? DEFINITELY. People notice hard work. If you aren't the hardest worker, you are replaceable.
4. FRIENDSHIPS AND RELATIONSHIPS ARE NOT BUILT ON CONVENIENCE
If you want to be a friend, a real friend, you better prepare yourself for inconvenience. Your duty to be a good friend or boyfriend/girlfriend is not about what is convenient or easy for you. BE THERE. Be constant. The people in your life that matter, deserve that.
5. DON'T BE AFRAID TO CARE
The saddest thing in the world to me is the people who have closed themselves off from ever feeling any kind of emotion or love. We were made to care. We should care. More people should care. YOU CAN BE STRONG AND SENSITIVE. Emotions and vulnerability do not make you weak. The strongest people love the most because they have the courage to do so.
6. IF YOU DON'T KNOW, ASK
It's as simple as it sounds. Never assume you know everything or that you don't need help. Put your pride aside and ask. It's a quicker and much more intelligent route.
7. YOU AREN'T COMPETING WITH ANYONE
Life is not a competition. Your Instagram account is not a competition. Your body and health is not a competition. Your appearance is not a competition. Comparison is the thief of joy. Repeat 5x daily.
8. YOU SHOULD CUT YOUR HAIR
Seriously, it's empowering. And it grows back anyway.
9. IT'S OKAY NOT TO BE OKAY
We are taught to never let a boy see us cry. To get up, wipe the dirt off, and keep running. Well I'm here to tell you, life is tough. There will be days when you can't muster the energy to pull yourself out of bed. There will be days when you don't understand why everything keeps going wrong. We are all entitled to these days. It's insane that we live in a world that expects us to always be "on". Allow yourself to shut if off occasionally. You owe it to yourself.
10. TAKE PICTURES, KEEP A JOURNAL
One day you won't have a young mind and be able to remember everything. More and more lately I have spent time keeping a photo journal and I can't wait to look back at all of my memories. [gallery columns="2" size="large" link="none" ids="4466,4467"]
11. TRAVEL, TRAVEL, TRAVEL!
Traveling changes you. You learn about yourself and other cultures. You learn how to be independent and how to adapt. Yes, it costs money, but the experiences and growth are truly priceless.
12. YOU'RE NEVER TOO COOL TO CALL YOUR MOM/DAD
I take pride in my relationship with my parents. They are my best friends and we talk frequently. It doesn't mean I'm a baby or dependent on them, I just truly value their presence in my life and all of their experiences and life advice.
13. BE KIND TO PEOPLE THAT SERVE YOU
In any industry, whether it be restaurant work, retail, your Uber driver, they don't deserve to get the wrath from your bad day at work. They are there to do one job and that is to serve YOU. Please tip them, give them grace if they mess up (yes, they are human too), and understand that they aren't below you in any way, so please don't speak to them like they are.
14. DIFFERENCE OF OPINION DOES NOT VALIDATE HATE
You cannot dislike someone because they don't agree with you. It is okay to disagree, it is never okay to belittle someone or bully someone because you disagree with anything they say or do. Tolerance is necessary in this world, for everyone.
15. DATING APPS SUCK
Need I say more?
16. INSTAGRAM IS NOT REALITY
Yes, a blogger is saying this. Instagram is awesome and one of my favorite things ever but please remember it showcases best moments, pictures, outfits, trips, etc. Don't take everything at face value. It is edited, it is curated. Don't compare real life with a highlight reel.
17. LIVING ALONE IS THE BEST THING EVER
I had never lived alone until this last year. Waking up to a quiet, clean, apartment is so peaceful. Yeah there are times when I get lonely, but overall, I love having my own space and it being 100% mine.
18. COFFEE IS BETTER HOT
Sue me, but it's true. Iced coffee just doesn't do it for me.
19. LEARN TO BE SILENT
More times than not, this world needs less voices, less opinions, less anger and speaking without thinking. This world ALWAYS needs more listeners. Always, always, always.
20. TATTOOS DON'T HURT
At least mine didn't. And I didn't regret it like I thought I would either. Two solid wins in my book.
21. "OLLA KALLA"
It is well. Everything is well. You'll be okay and life will go on.
22. DON'T CHANGE TO MAKE OTHERS LIKE YOU MORE
Sometimes it isn't on purpose, but you find yourself acting different depending on who you are around. My goal each year, is to become as authentically myself as possible. Make that a goal and try to stick to it.
23. ONE BAD MEAL DOES NOT RUIN YOUR FITNESS PROGRESS
I am going to continue to beat this into my head, year after year. BEING CONSISTENT is the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT part of being healthy and fit. One lazy day or cheat day does not ruin that if you are consistent.
24. IT'S OKAY TO MISS PEOPLE WHO BROKE YOUR HEART
Everyone thinks you have to hate them because "They are stupid and don't deserve you". Whether or not this is true, if you cared about them, you will miss them. It's okay to miss the good stuff.
25. NOTHING IN LIFE IS DEATH UNTIL YOU DIE
While it may seem that something so terrible happened that you simply can't continue, you can and you will. Death is the only final say. Until then, you have an opportunity every day to wake up and be better. To love more, to change your life or someone else's. Life isn't over, not matter what you have been through or will go through, you are strong enough to come out the other side, better than ever before.
"CHEERS TO 25 YEARS"
Thank you all for all of the love and support and birthday wishes. Truly means the world! xx