With 2014 looming around the corner, I decided to reflect upon the past year and what I’ve learned.
Turning 25 was a big one for me, and with it came a lot of personal growth and learning experiences. I would like to share them with you and I encourage you to do the same. It allows you to pause and note any changes, progress, setbacks, and lessons you’ve experienced so far.
So here it goes — 25 things I learned the year I turned 25.
25. That learning to fully love yourself doesn’t equate to selfish or arrogant love. It means being patient with yourself, being kind to yourself, and embracing self-compassion.
24. That it is true what “they” say. At the end of the day, I only have myself to say goodnight to. It is important to have others to be happy with, but most important, it is important to be accepting of yourself.
23. That traveling is the best. I’ve always traveled but 25 was the year I traveled for me. I went with family, friends, alone. I drove two hours to places, 15 hours to some, and flew eight hours to others. I stayed within the U.S. and I left the U.S. Traveling expands your mind with each new experience, and fills your life with memories and beautiful moments. With each new place I see, the world seems to get bigger.
22. I learned more about what my interests are, without judgments. I let myself be, enjoy, see, hear, taste, smell, and feel without worry of what others might think or say.
21. That being alone is more than fine. And by alone, I mean not only in the ‘single’ sense, but alone in having no other humans around. This one took a bit, but I finally find solace in moments I can just be alone. I look forward to them.
20. People aren’t always who you think they are. And that’s okay.
19. How to let go. This was a big year in learning that I can only control what I say, do, feel, or think. I cannot control anything anyone else does.
18. Friendships are important. And maintaining them is not a difficult task. It takes one minute to reach out in a letter, a call, or a quick message to let someone know you are missing them.
17. That family will always be there and can often surprise you by how much so. I continue to appreciate more and more the support and love that I get from mine.
16. There’s no limit to what we can do as people. I have learned that hard work, perseverance, and optimism help me find what I seek.
15. If my heart isn’t in it, then I wasn’t meant to get it.
14. Even if my heart is in it, sometimes you still don’t get it. And it is part of life to suffer hardships and life really can just be completely unfair. Our child selves learned it quickly and were right.
13. Intuition is a powerful thing. Listen.
12. That I am accountable for all of my past, present, and future mistakes. Blaming others will only stunt my own growth.
11. I’ve learned that some people will amaze you. Some people will disappoint you. Some people will shatter you. Some people will appreciate you. Some people will inspire you. Some people will love you. Some people will dislike you. And they can be complete strangers. Or they can be people you love or know very well.
10. Even if people break your heart, it doesn’t mean you should stop searching for the one who won’t.
9. That not eating right and not exercising actually begins to take its toll. And that taking care of your skin is more important than covering it up with products.
8. That 25 is a weird age between feeling like a kid and feeling like an adult, both of which can fluctuate throughout even just a day.
7. Pushing to know “the answer” will only leave you more frustrated. Trusting that all will be well and all is already well is much better on the mind.
6. That being in the moment allows you to fully understand what it means to live. Moments that I allowed myself to be fully present are the ones that are most vivid in my memory.
5. That we can get a lot done in a day. Even in an hour. So get up, get out and go.
4. To stop second-guessing myself. To make a decision and walk away and trust that I made the right one.
3. That there’s a perfect balance between being prepared and being spontaneous. I basically overprepare and plan so that all is covered and then go with the flow. I plan so I can relax.
2. The above is what works for me. I have learned that what works for me might not work for you.
1. Do what works for you, what speaks to you, what comforts you, what inspires you, what amazes you, what amuses you, what lights you, what guides you. And do it completely without any judgments, worries, or self-doubts.