27 Things I've Learned in 27 YEars
I am a proud Type A planner. If the house were burning down, I’d most likely grab my day planner or my to do list (or my cat if he’s reading this).
So, here I am on my 27th birthday, miles away from what my 17 year old self had put in her 10 year plan. I don’t have a romantic partner, I don’t have dogs or kids, I don’t own a house, I work from home in my sweats instead of being paid to travel around the world in sick power suits and I still take three minutes to compare which rice is fifty cents cheaper at the grocery store.
Heck, I’m miles away from where I thought I’d be a mere 365 days ago.
I love reflecting around my birthday. This year, it was wild to recognize how much has changed in my life the last year and that, sometimes, you can’t plan your life to the minute. Sometimes, you just have to listen to your instincts, know your values and priorities and then keep taking risks and saying yes (unless you want to say no; saying no is just as powerful).
I thought I’d share some of my reflections from this year with you: 27 things I’ve learned in 27 years.
- Never stop being dazzled. By how cute your cat is when they cross their paws. By how incredible that first sip of coffee in the morning is. By how great it is to fall asleep beside somebody you love.
- Treat yourself the way you treat your best friends/loved ones. Give yourself the same patience, understanding, tough love and kindness.
- Better to do something imperfectly than nothing perfectly.
- Align your spending with your values. This has led me to such a healthier relationship with my money. When you know what you value, you don’t feel guilt around spending and you can also feel stronger in saying ‘no’ to other purchases that don’t align with your values.
- Celebrate the small wins. They are still wins.
- A secure future means nothing if you hate every moment of getting to it. Spend the money. Eat the pizza. Take the time off.
- Put yourself out there over and over again. Ask the “silly” questions that will lead to you learning quicker. Tell romantic partners exactly what you want. Try new things and go after what you want in life. Love fully and live fully and make mistakes and learn from them.
- Getting a handle on your finances is sexy. It is empowering. It gives you choices. It gives you more time to enjoy life. It lets you not have to financially depend on others, which can sometimes result in staying with the wrong person.
- Saying no to something means saying yes to something else.
- Have a mentor and a mentee. You will learn so much and be part of a circle of support that can absolutely change lives.
- Surround yourself with people who feed your enthusiasm for life.
- There is no right way to live a life. The life you dream about is somebody’s nightmare. And vice versa. You need to figure out what matters to you and then don’t be swayed by pressure, social media or others’ dream lives.
- A person should add to your life, not complete your life. (Aka, Rupi Kaur’s poem).
- Keep your standards high. Don’t let time, loneliness, or frustration let you lower them.
- Never be ashamed of asking questions. It means you prioritize knowledge over the risk of somebody judging you. Also… how else are you expected to learn?
- You can do anything but you can’t do everything.
- Self care is not just baths, face masks and ice cream. It is also making difficult choices that are better for you overall: it is going to to therapy, it is setting boundaries, it is calling out your own bull$hit.
- Start investing as soon as you can. Even if it’s just $50/month. Even waiting six months can make a big difference in the long run.
- Communication is kindness. To yourself and to others. How can people know what you want or what you’re feeling if you don’t communicate it?
- You know when something or someone in your life isn’t working. Listen to your intuition and then be brave enough to make that change.
- It’s never too late to start over. In a relationship. In a career. In a place.
- Growth isn’t easy or comfortable. But it is beautiful.
- Every door that closes opens another door. I don’t believe in fate or that ‘what’s meant to be, will be’ but I do believe that there are multiple beautiful versions of this life we get to live and so every rejection is simply a redirection (learned this beautiful phrase from Next Up’s Dealing with Rejection course).
- “You are not required to justify your existence on earth through constant improvement. You are not a fortune 500 company, you don’t have to show increasing profits. You don’t have to earn your right to be here by putting yourself to higher and higher standards. You just get to be here. You belong here. You are loved on earth.” – Elizabeth Gilbert
- Get your butt off of social media. I love social media. I think it’s a beautiful device to devour art and connect and be updated on your friends’ lives. But there are limits. And there’s a line where it no longer is a positive thing. Find those boundaries for yourself and notice when it’s no longer adding to your life but taking away.
- Find a few inexpensive, nutritious and easy meals that you can master making. Even when you’re tired, hungover or unmotivated, you’ll be able to feed and energize yourself.
- Being kind to someone else should not mean being unkind to yourself. There’s a balance between showing people empathy/patience and not letting people walk all about you.