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I WAS WEARING:
Cotton T-Shirt Dress: $8.99 – $9.99
Ainifeel Genuine Leather Shoulder Handbag: $125 (dupe for Hermés Lindy)
25 years ago, Yours Truly was born today! Yes, I’m officially 25 years old and have existed on this planet for a quarter century.
I don’t think I am in any way “old” nor am I too “young,” but I’ve definitely reached an age where I have learned a lot of valuable life lessons that have made me wiser with each passing year, and some of them I wish I’d been told before I had to learn the hard way. Here are 25 of the most important life lessons I’ve learned so far.
#1: Getting out of your comfort zone is oftentimes the best way to grow
You can either make the choice to be a boring hermit or explore life and its neverending offerings by getting your ass off the couch and out the door. Trying new experiences will teach you a lot about yourself, both good and bad. Key takeaways from this? You will recognize your strengths and learn to give yourself more credit, while also noticing your shortcomings and giving yourself the chance to work on them.
#2: Body acceptance will come with age
Everybody knows how important it is to love yourself, but really, it’s a lot harder to believe this in your heart over your brain. As you grow older, you’ll eventually grow out of the self-deprecating thoughts and learn to appreciate your flaws.
#3: You shouldn’t feel guilty to take a break
Sometimes it is often believed that working nonstop is a symbol of reaching adulthood, but it’s actually not. Recognizing that you are human and giving yourself a break is a huge lesson in self-love and taking care of yourself.
#4: Ego is a real thing that should always be put in check
On the opposite end of the spectrum, sometimes self-love can fall into the realm of ego and arrogance. Of course, you should always give yourself credit where credit is due, but it’s also equally as important to keep your ego in check and stay humble.
#5: Sometimes positivity can be the only thing that will keep you going
I’m sure by now you’ve realized that you will always have bad days. No matter how bad your day is going, understand that the day will always come to an end and tomorrow will be a new opportunity to start a new day off on the right foot.
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#6: Learn to laugh at yourself
I think this is probably one of the best lessons I have learned at my age. Taking yourself too seriously and always striving to be perfect will cause you more frustration than satisfaction. Nobody is perfect, so you shouldn’t expect yourself to be either. Also, if you don’t learn to laugh at your mistakes, then somebody else will.
#7: If you never ask, you will never receive
There are so many times I have felt worthy of more than I was given and these will forever be missed opportunities to receive the amount I felt I was worth. You will never receive what you want if you never ask. Whether in business or in relationships, people cannot read your mind, so it’s important to ask for what you want. The worst you will receive is a “no.”
#8: You should never feel bad to say “no”
On the other side of things, you are not obligated to say “yes” to every single request you receive. If your boss is always asking you to stay late or if you’re forced into a situation you aren’t comfortable in, always remember that “no” is an option and you should never feel pressured to agree to anything you don’t want to do.
#9: You will never win everyone over
If you’re forcing yourself to please everyone around you, then you will never be happy. This is your life after all, so why should you spend it trying to make everybody else happy? Ultimately, you can strive to be loved and wanted by everyone, but there will always be someone who just won’t like you. Like Dita Von Teese says: you can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, but there’s still going to be somebody who doesn’t like peaches. Fuck ’em (well, she didn’t say that last part, that was me).
#10: Admitting you are wrong is the most empowering ability you can possess
Okay, you’re human and you make mistakes. There isn’t anything wrong with being wrong. In fact, admitting you are wrong can oftentimes be the best thing to do in a dispute as it empowers you and renders your opposer powerless. Sometimes you might even know that you are wrong, but your ego just won’t let you admit it. Again, keep your ego in check.
#11: Understanding someone else’s perspective is the best way to let go of grudges
Every time you get into an argument, it’s only natural to feel hurt and question the actions of the person you’re arguing with. But have you ever taken a step back and tried to understand the reason for their actions? People don’t do things without a reason. Sometimes putting yourself in someone else’s shoes will give you insight into their actions and will help you forgive them more easily.
#12: You cannot control anybody else’s actions except your own
Everybody knows that you should always “be the bigger person” in an argument. But what does that really mean? It doesn’t necessarily mean to let go of things, but realize that everybody does or says things for a reason and you cannot control what they say or do to you, no matter how painful it may be. The only thing you can do is control your own actions and how you react to it. A person cannot make you mad – choosing to feel and give into these emotions are conscious decisions that only you can decide.
#13: You are not obligated to be friends with everybody
Another very valuable lesson I have learned. Just like how you can’t please everyone, you have no duty to be friends with everybody you know either. If you don’t like someone, why be friends with them? This doesn’t mean you have to be rude to them, but you don’t have to be best friends with them (or friends at all). Learn your limits, draw your lines with people and learn to stay within those boundaries.
#14: Expecting your loved ones to be perfect will make you lonely
You have loved ones, and they care for you in the ways they can. Expecting ultra-specific things from them will only make you feel let down and prevent you from seeing all of the good things that they do for you. It’s important to have expectations, yes, but you can’t get mad at your friends for something as trivial not throwing you a surprise birthday party when they’ve been there for you during your break-ups, family hardships and every other hard moment you’ve ever encountered. Learn to appreciate what they have done for you rather than focus on what they have not done.
#15: Your ideal partner should possess 3 traits: responsibility, self-security, and selflessness
Having a responsible partner is a given, but they should be able to balance self-confidence without being arrogant. Having a partner who is secure in themselves means they won’t freak out if you go out with your friends because they trust you. It’s also important that they are selfless, always consider your feelings and strive to make you happy.
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#16: You should never be in a relationship with someone if you are constantly hoping they will change
You should enter into a relationship and appreciate the person that they are already, flaws included. If you’re banking your relationship’s future on the idea that your partner will change eventually, then you should move on, because there is no point in being with the person they are currently. Live in the present, not the future!
#17: You are going to miss your mom’s cooking
Once you move out, trust me when I say you’re going to miss your parent’s cooking. I always took home-cooked meals for granted, but after moving out I’ve always found myself coming to my parent’s house and engorging myself on my mom’s cooking. There’s nothing like Mom’s cooking!
#18: Distance truly does make the heart grow fonder when it comes to family
Whether you’re an only child or one out of a bunch of siblings, you may very well miss your family when you go your separate ways. I never truly appreciated my 3 older sisters as we grew up forever fighting and hating each other, but now that all of them are married and starting their own families, it makes me prioritize spending time with them. Same goes for my parents: I’ve started nagging myself about a lot of things my mom used to “bother” me about – did I skip lunch? Have I been taking my vitamins? Did I renew my car registration before the deadline? You really take everything your parents nagged you about for granted when you’re left to fend for yourself.
#19: “Fake” and “respectful” are not interchangeable words
I’ve always prided myself on being “genuine” and not fake, but after meeting so many new people over the past years, I’ve learned a huge distinction between being fake vs. respectful. Being respectful to everyone regardless of whether you personally like them or not does not mean you are fake. Being respectful also doesn’t mean you have to bake this person a cake for no specific reason or bend over backward for them if you don’t like the person. Being respectful means that you treat them like a decent human being – you don’t need to spoil them with insincere gestures or flattery you don’t genuinely mean.
#20: Buying things will not make you happy
This. I cannot stress enough how much buying things will not fill the void of whatever is causing you unhappiness. In the past, I’ve ran my credit cards up to over $10,000 in debt and I don’t even remember what it was that I was buying because I no longer own any of those things! I could have put all of that money towards constructive things like saving up for my future, but I didn’t. Whenever you’re tempted to spend money because you feel bad, pause for a moment and ask yourself if whatever it is you’re buying is really essential.
#21: …But paying off your credit card will
Ah, adulthood. Doing responsible things like clearing out your debt, putting more money into your savings account and being able to put food on your table feels much better than throwing your money away on frivolous purchases.
#22: You are 100% accountable for your failures
This might be a bit harsh, but it’s definitely true: blaming your lack of success on your boyfriend, your parents or your living situation is not going to solve the fact that you haven’t accomplished what you want to. You have to hold yourself accountable for not just your own successes but your failures as well.
#23: You will never achieve your dreams if all you do is dream
Inaction results in zero results. You can have extremely big dreams, but you will never achieve them if you don’t take steps towards them. Everything starts with a single step forward. You can either make moves or make excuses.
#24: You can plan all you want, but sometimes you’ll have to learn to roll with the punches
I’m a very calculated person. If plan A doesn’t work, I’ll always have a plan B. There’s never anything wrong with planning – in fact, I recommend it – but sometimes, life will throw you curve balls that you may never be prepared for. When these things happen, you have to learn how to adjust and improvise accordingly.
#25: It is never too late to start anything
From being a photographer to an esthetician and even a Realtor, I’ve switched career paths at neck-breaking speeds and spent a lot of time regretting my decisions because I didn’t pursue a traditional path of going to school and getting a degree. Now that I’ve found my path in blogging, I’m grateful that my varying previous employment allowed me to hone skill sets in multiple fields because I was able to apply all of this knowledge to my blog. So no matter what it is that you want to do, realize that it is never too late to start anything you want to do, whether it’s a new career or hobby.
What are the most valuable life lessons you’ve learned so far? Let’s chat in the comments below and don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter for more blog posts.