26 Things I Learned in 26 Years

My birthday was October 18th (almost 2 weeks ago). It was a particularly odd one for me. I wasn’t sad and I wasn’t happy. I felt neutral.

I am grateful for everything I have, but yet not totally happy with where I am in life. The past few years have been difficult. I felt lost a lot of the time with all the twists and turns that came. Some of those twists I brought on my own, while some of the turns came unexpectedly. I’m proud of what I’ve conquered, but I’m not satisfied with where I am.

This year, I didn’t want to do the typical big ordeal. I didn’t want to travel, party, or act a fool. I just wanted to be me and understand myself more.

I went on a hike by myself in the morning and then sent out thank you letters to my immediate family members that spent parts of their lives creating mine.

I also reflected on what I’ve learned the past few years to try and find some purpose in all the madness to help me move forward.

Here are 26 things I’ve learned in my 26 years. I hope year 27 brings many more lessons and blessings.

  1. You cannot control life. I don’t care if you are the best analyzer in the world, you will not be prepared for what life throws you.
  2. Life isn’t as easy as you maybe thought it would be, but it’s also not as bad as you sometimes think it is. Everything has ups and downs.
  3. Take one day at a time when you are in the down part. Sometimes it’s just easier to focus on right now and worry about tomorrow when it comes.
  4. When tomorrow does come and it’s time to face something, actually address it. Don’t hide from your fears.
  5. Stop eating so much junk food. I know it tastes good, but honestly it’s not helping your body.
  6. Stop eating out so much. You are wasting money.
  7. There is nothing wrong with treating yourself though. Have the junk food and a night out when you need it.
  8. Life is really about balancing the good and the bad.
  9. Forgive yourself. I struggle with this. I wish I could tell you how to do it, but I’m still on that journey of not being so hard on myself.
  10. Forgive others. LET ME TELL YOU, THE PAST YEAR HAS BEEN BRUTAL with taking people away from me unexpectedly and making others sick. You do not know when someone is going to be gone. Forgive them.
  11. Find your group of people and love them. I have been beyond blessed with the family and friends I have. Sometime I’m not nice to them and they don’t deserve that.
  12. Be true to yourself.
  13. Don’t change who you are depending on who is around you.
  14. Learn to shut your mouth though sometimes.
  15. Pick and chose your battles. You don’t always have to try to teach people they’re wrong. It’s not your job…or maybe you’re actually the wrong one. Either way, stop trying to make everyone understand you.
  16. There is always room for growth. Sometimes I feel bad that I’m not where I want to be in life, but then I remember most people aren’t because we are all growing and learning.
  17. If you see a homeless person (moving to Cali showed me a lot of them) give them your water bottle, granola bar in your purse, left over food from the restaurant you’re leaving. I saw a friend do this once and it inspired me so now I try my best.
  18. You are in control of your thoughts. Yes, we all have negative thoughts and bad days, but you really are in control so take the time to dial back if you need to . (I’m working on this myself. I know it’s not easy.)
  19. Go on the date. I’ve met a couple guys recently and I find myself sometimes hemming and hawing about getting ready and wondering if it’s going to be worth it. You never know what can happen. Maybe it will be great, maybe it will be horrible…at least you got out of the house and had a free meal or drink.
  20. Love is love. If you come across a person you would never expect to like, but you somehow find yourself connected, just go for it. It really doesn’t matter who they are or what they look like if you genuinely find they make you happy.
  21. If that other person happens to be a girl (or someone of the same sex) and other’s don’t understand what you’re doing, don’t worry about them. Nobody else needs to understand your relationship with someone besides you and that person. (trust me, speaking from experience).
  22. Appreciate people’s advice when they give it to you. Consider it, but ultimately do what you want. Just because someone is looking out for you doesn’t mean they know what’s best. You have to live with your decisions; not them.
  23. Always listen to music. There is a song for every mood you feel. Blast it and embrace it.
  24. Try new things. I took pole dancing classes this month. Pleasantly surprised how much I liked it. I’m glad I didn’t let a stigma stop me from trying it.
  25. Stay grateful. I don’t care what kind of day I had. When I lay in bed at night. I say thank you for everything God (or whatever you believe in) has given me. There is always something to be thankful for. ALWAYS.
  26. Get to know yourself. You are stuck with you. You mine as well take the time to get to know you and love you because you are your own best friend and worst enemy. Being comfortable with who you are is going to take you far in life.

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