This day marks my 23 birthday, and let me tell you, 23 seems a lot older than 22. So on this joyous occasion, I wanted to share some of the lessons I have learned during my short time on Earth. 22 to be exact.
1. Dry shampoo is your best friend.
Honestly, anything that saves you time is a good investment. Time is money people.
2. You don’t owe anyone your friendship.
It doesn’t matter if you’ve been friends with them since you were in diapers. if they were there for you when your mother died, or if they’ve paid off your college loans for you, if someone treats you poorly and like less than what you deserve, you do not need them in your life. Friendship is not something that can be bartered or traded. If someone has hurt you, or has not proven to appreciate you in the way that they should, kindly show them the door.
3. Learn to forgive.
Forgiveness never comes easy, and I’m not saying it should, but learn how to forgive the people that have hurt you. Holding on to hatred and anger doesn’t do anything but ruin your attitude toward life, so for your sake, try to let go. Don’t let the negative actions of someone else ruin your tomorrow.
4. No is a complete sentence.
5. The early bird really does get the worm.
Hitting snooze is incredibly tempting, but getting up earlier means more time in your day for adventures!
6. You will rarely regret saying yes to an opportunity, but will most likely always wonder what would have been if you say no.
“‘You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take,’ Wayne Gretzky. — Michael Scott.”
7. Investing in yourself is never a bad option.
You never lose when your investment is yourself. You are capable of anything you put your mind to, so whether it’s starting a non-profit or simply going to the gym, believe in the greatness you can accomplish.
8. You have the power to change someone’s world, even if you’re waiting for someone to change yours.
Nothing, absolutely nothing, makes life more meaningful than having someone tell you that you inspire them. I struggle day in and day out with questions of competency and worthiness, but when someone tells me that I have changed their life, every question I have about myself goes out the window. Believe me when I say that you truly never know when you can be the person to change everything for someone. Keep doing you, and know that along the way, you are inspiring someone just by being you.
9. Embrace what makes you different.
10. Experiences are vastly more important than objects.
I know I’ve still got a lot of years ahead of me, but I think the one thing I am most thankful for learning at a young age is to appreciate experience over all else. When you’re looking back on your memories, I hope you cherish your time spent with loved ones over the Kate Spade purse you got on sale.
11. Actions speak louder than words.
Don’t believe anyone until they act on what they speak. And challenge others, and yourself, to fulfill your spoken promises.
12. It’s okay to not be okay.
Take your time. You’re doing your best. Fight the fight, and don’t forget that I’m proud of you. Every single one of you.
13. Everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.
No one’s life is perfect, and everyone’s struggles are valid. I know a lot of people like to play the “I’ve Got it Worse Than You” Game, but no one comes out a winner there. Every single person on the planet is fighting a battle that they find difficult, and it will shape them into a different person. So keep fighting your own battle, and be kind to those who are fighting theirs. You’ve got this.
14. Always treat people better than they treat you.
At least try to.
15. You can’t make someone love you the way you deserve.
You deserve the world. And if someone isn’t willing to give it you, they don’t deserve you. This applies to relationships, friendships, and family. No matter how wonderful and amazing you are, you can’t force someone to see that. Instead, focus your efforts on the people who never needed to be convinced of your worth.
16. Don’t be afraid to try something new.
This extends to hobbies, friendships, ice cream flavors, activities with friends, books, and so much more. Say “yes” to as much as possible (without putting yourself in danger). You never know what you’ll learn about yourself.
17. People aren’t always going to like you, and that’s okay.
Your character is far more important than your reputation. Do you like who you see in the mirror? Do you approve of the choices that you are making? Are you making others feel loved and appreciated every day? Then keep doing you. No one needs to like you but you.
18. Stand up for yourself. No one else will.
19. A good mascara and a bold red lip really can fix all your problems.
I might be spending the day in bed binging “The Vampire Diaries,” but you can bet your butt I have a full face of makeup on and maybe even a bold lip color. Rocking a look that you feel confident in can change your day and your mood instantly. Don’t worry about what Karen thinks — she’s probably wishing she had the guts to do the same.
20. Home is not a place.
Home is the people you surround yourself with that make you feel loved and protected.
21. Let people change you.
You are going to meet so many incredible people in life. You are also going to meet some incredible jerks. Either way, these people are going to change you. They are going to show you that you are strong and brave. That you are giving and kind. That some people are only meant to be a sentence in your book , while others are a chapter. Let them change you, and you will change them in return.
22. Have fun.
Seriously. It’s only life.