I turned 23 at the beginning of February, and it was one of those birthdays where you wake up and actually FEEL different. I felt older (in a good way), wiser (in an even better way), and more ready to take on the world than I ever have been. I thought I would share some of my thoughts and what I’ve learned in my 23 years with you.
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Marrying someone 5 years older than me at the age of 21, growing up the way I did, being raised the way I was, starting and running my own businesses, moving so far away from home so “young”, and all of the experiences, challenges, and circumstances that come with all of those things have taught me some life lessons.
- There is absolutely nothing you can do to please every single person on this Earth. Accept that there will just be some people that won’t like you, whether that’s for a specific reason or for no reason at all, and be yourself unapologetically.
- There will be people that tell you that you’re “too young”, “too naive”, “too inexperienced”, etc. to do things. Unless they have your absolute best interest at heart and aren’t being selfish in saying those things to you, don’t listen to them. You’re capable of more than what other people will give you credit for.
- Save as much money as you can while you can. You’ll be thankful you did.
- Learn how to say “no.” If there’s something you don’t want to do, even if it’s a good thing, and you don’t want to do it, say “no.” It took me 23 years to do this, and I still struggle with it.
- Listen to other people’s opinions. Even if you don’t agree with them, let them tell you what they believe.
- Respect people, even if they don’t deserve it. Kindness can change a person.
- When God promises something, He’s not lying. Have faith in Him, NO MATTER WHAT. No matter how much you get ridiculed, no matter how much hate you get, don’t be ashamed of what you believe.
- Invest in 3 things: a nice pair of shoes, time to yourself – wherever that may be, and good quality items that allow you to pursue your hobby.
- Marriage isn’t always the easiest thing in the world, but if you marry the right person, it is the most fun and amazing thing in the world.
- Don’t plan your entire life. Make a to-do list for the day, and let the distant future worry about itself.
- Traffic sucks, but there’s nothing you can do about it. Be patient.
- Kombucha is an amazing thing. Take a shot everyday in the morning, and enjoy not getting sick.
- Don’t beg God for what YOU want. Ask God to make your desire what HE wants for your life. Instead of being disappointed that you didn’t get your way, you’ll be insanely happy knowing that you’re in His will.
- Take pictures often. Life really does fly by, and you’ll want to look back on memories.
- While taking photos is great, remember to put down the camera and enjoy being in the moment.
- If something in your life is having a negative effect on you, remove it; whether that’s a person, an app, a habit, etc. Do what’s good for you.
- If you have a mental health issue, don’t be scared to talk to someone about it. No one can help you if they don’t know what’s going on. (On that topic: If you want to end your life, I beg you not to. There are so many amazing things you’ll miss, so many amazing people you’ll never meet, and a much better life that you’ll never get to live. Speaking as someone that was once in your shoes, trust me. 1-800-273-8255.)
- No one can force you to react to anything in a certain way. If you want to fight fire with fire, that’s your decision. If you want to treat people with love and kindness, regardless of what they’ve done or said to you, that’s also your decision. It doesn’t matter how nasty people are to you. The way you react is in your control and is your decision and your decision ONLY. Your actions are your own responsibility.
- Give yourself a genuine compliment everyday. Major confidence booster.
- Embrace your natural hair. You’ll save a ton of time getting ready.
- Don’t be scared of change. Sometimes the biggest and “scariest” changes turn out to be the best things to ever happen.
- High school popularity doesn’t matter. Who you were in high school doesn’t matter. After you graduate, it’s an entirely different world.
- Love yourself. Be proud of yourself. Be humble, but accept compliments. Those 3 things are so important.
I know I have a lot of life left to live and even more left to learn, but some of these are things that people older and wiser than me have taught me, and I’ve implemented them into my life. Hopefully you can learn something from this as well, no matter how many years of life you have under your belt!