25 things I've learned in 25 Years

This year I am turning the big Two Five!  Ahh a quarter of a century! In some ways, my life looks nothing like I thought it would at 25. But in other ways, I’m exactly where I always pictured myself as a little girl. I’m living in a big city, I have a cute little apartment all to myself, I’ve got some of the best friends in the world, and I’m on my way to starting my own company. In reality, the only things I haven’t checked off are a husband and a puppy (which are both on their way in the name of Jesus) - so I would say I’m doing pretty okay.

For some reason as this birthday approached, I became a little more sentimental than usual.. more reflective. I thought about writing a letter to my younger self (yes, I know… cheesy) but I realized that some of the most important life lessons I’ve learned haven’t come from life-altering situations, but instead, small moments. So instead of writing a long sappy letter to myself - I figured why not make a list of all the things, big and small, that have made an impact on my every day life so far. 

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Here we go!  25 things I’ve learned before turning 25

1. Always start your morning with prayer 

2. Learn to hang out by yourself every once in a while

Staying home on a Saturday night is not the worst thing you can do. In fact, often times it’s the most rewarding way to end your weekend. I’m not an advocate of canceling plans, but when you’re body is telling you to take a breather and stop running at full speed - listen. Spend time drawing, or working on a puzzle. Watch your favorite movie and order-in your favorite meal.

3. It’s okay to have a small circle of friends (quality over quantity, people) 

4. Appreciate the season of life you’re in 

So many times speed bumps look like mountains. But hindsight is always 20/20 and every “mountain” that I’ve climbed has taught me a major life lesson I needed to learn. Instead of complaining about your current state, look for the things you could be learning during this time. 

5. Keep all your passwords written down in a journal

6. Don’t give your heart away too easily 

It’s nice to feel loved, wanted, and cherished. But don’t be so quick to let people in. Make people earn their place in your heart. Whether it’s friendships or dating relationships, always make sure your heart is guarded. 

7. You don’t have to tell your business to anyone who will listen.

 
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8. If someone is on your mind, give them a call

9. Adulting isn’t that hard… until It is

Growing up always seemed so scary. But having your own life is actually insanely fun. No one asking what time you’ll be home for dinner, you can buy whatever you want at the grocery store, and you can decorate your place however you feel… but there are fundamental “adult” things that I am truly terrible at - like switching loads of laundry from the washer to the dryer.. and like, taxes. But is 25 even considered being an adult? 

10. A good iced latte will solve all of your problems

 
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11. Traveling is the most rewarding thing you can do. 

12. Write down your feelings when you’re overwhelmed

If you’re frustrated, angry, sad, stressed.. whatever it may be that’s troubling you, write it down. I’ve learned that when it lives on paper instead of in my head, the problem never seems quite as big. If I’m upset with someone, I write down everything  I would want to say in a moment of weakness - and then I gather my thoughts for a much more rational conversation later on. 

13. If you have something nice to say, say it

14. Your life is not about you 

Your 20’s are a time to be selfish, yes. But your life is supposed to be about making an impact wherever you go. There are so many people on the other side of your yes. Your decision to donate to a charity, or serve in your church, or get coffee with a girl that you’ve met a handful of times.  You never know the impact that a smile or a compliment will have on someone’s day. Because after all, life is really just one big domino effect 

15. Always keep fresh flowers in the house

16. Celebrate small victories 

17. Laugh at yourself often 

I’ve found that I make fun of myself more than anyone else. It saves me from actually ever getting embarrassed. When you don’t take yourself as seriously as the rest of the world, you seem to enjoy life a little bit more. 

 
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18. It’s okay to ask questions

19. Be intentional in all things 

Ask your friends to go to dinner, say I love you, capture moments through photos, take advantage of pop-ups happening in town. Life is more fun when you live it on purpose.

20. Don’t ignore your passions … they often lead you towards your purpose.

21. Make time for new things. 

22. Never be the smartest person in the room

Surround yourself with people who inspire you and can teach you something new every time. Whether they are mentors, specialists in a certain line of work, or just a good friend with a different point of view, always make sure there is a good balance in your life. If you aren’t constantly learning something, that means you aren’t moving forward in life. 

23. Schedule coffee dates often

24. Your life will not go according to your plan 

Whether it’s your weekly to-do list or your 10 year life plan, don’t expect it to go exactly how you picture it in your head. There will be detours and there will be speed bumps. I’m not saying you shouldn’t make goals, but be sure to stay consistent to them even if they don’t align with how you envisioned it.

25. Play tourist in your own city

I am a firm believer in exploring the city that you live in. Whether that means making a reservation for the newest restaurant in town, or breaking your lunch-break routine, make time for an adventure. It’makes life a little more interesting when you are actively seeking out new ways to spend your day.