The clock struck midnight — February 1. My 25 birthday; halfway to 50; a quarter of a century, if I’m lucky enough to live 100 years. I half-expected a Cinderella-esque transformation at that very stroke of midnight. Instead, I slept. My 25 birthday? Like any other day. I should’ve dropped birthday expectations long ago, but there’s something about birthdays that excite me. You’re another year older, another year wiser?
I don’t consider myself an expert on anything, especially life advice, but I thought I’d share a few things I learned in my 25 years of life.
- You can’t plan the future (and, yes, sometimes that’s scary).
For as long as I can remember I’ve been a “planner.” It eases my anxiety a great deal to know (and prepare) for my next moves. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to schedule out every second of life. It’s something that I’m still figuring out and accepting.
2. It’s hard to keep in touch with all of your friends/acquaintances…
but make sure to keep the good ones around. The ones that stick with you through the hardships in your life and are there to celebrate life’s joys with you, too.
3. Assess your values and establish them as priority.
It’s important to identify your values and prioritize them. You’ll refer to these values when developing friendships, relationships, starting new jobs, etc.
4. It’s OK to ask for help.
Seriously. Anytime, anywhere, any situation. Ask for help, if you need it.
5. Single life isn’t all that bad.
It’s during the times that I’ve been single that I’ve learned the most about myself. I’ve focused on self-love, my health (all aspects) and finding time for my passions. Embrace your single-ness, it’s not the worst thing ever (even if it feels like it sometimes).
6. Take time to discover yourself and your values/beliefs.
This doesn’t happen overnight. And this might be something that you take time for regularly.
7. There’s not ONE right way to pursue wellness.
Some prefer yoga, others prefer lifting. I’ve found that running helps relieve stress. After I picked running up a year ago — I took a long hiatus post-high school — and since then I’ve signed up for a number of runs to keep myself motivated. Find what works for you. Research. Talk to your doctor. There’s a plethora of ways to eat and exercise, you’re bound to find something that works.
8. Pursue what makes you happy, not necessarily what will make you the most money.
I will never forget this piece of advice my dad gifted me.
9. Find time to travel/explore.
Go beyond your comfort zone. Learn something new. Be a tourist.
10. Support a cause.
Do some research and donate your time or money (or both) to something greater than you.
11. You don’t have to be religious to be moral/a good person.
13. Regularly take “me time”.
See above. It’s important to just relax and spend time treating yourself.
14. Learn to let things go.
It’s not worth hanging on to hatred towards someone or something (unless it’s the Yankees). Once I started to move on from past grievances, I felt better about myself. Also see: Kesha’s song.
15. Perfection isn’t real.
Still accepting this one. More on that later.
16. You never stop learning (if you keep an open-mind).
My favorite thing, in the last year or so, is to check out non-fiction books from the library. Reading non-fiction allows me to expand my knowledge on a topic I already appreciate or want to know more about. Keeping up on current events is quick way to learn information about the world around you.
17. Coffee is the lifeblood that fuels champions.
It’s never let me down.
18. Mental health is REAL.
Mental health is real. Mental health is real. Mental health days are real. Mental health should be treated like physical health. Mental well-being is important.
19. Conflict is a part of life.
How does that saying go? “Life isn’t always easy.” …or something like that.
20. Take risks, even if you fail.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve failed when trying something new, but I suppose that’s a part of life. It’s like in basketball when you’re trying to shoot a three-point basket, but you actually airball.
21. Don’t compare yourself to anyone.
Social media is super deceptive. It’s not hard to see someone’s life and make assumptions based off what is shared. Remember that every person is unique. There’s no “timeline” to life.
22. Don’t harbor regret.
It’s like the saying, “live and learn.” There’s a reason for everything — even if that reason was solely to teach a lesson.
23. Let ’em talk.
Like the Kesha song.
24. Trust your gut.
Because it’s probably right.
25. You can do whatever you set your mind to.
Bring your ideas to life and act. Waiting for the “perfect” moment will get you nowhere.