23 Things I’ve Learned During My 23rd Year

Hi. Thank you so much for clicking in because that tells me that you likely value, at least in part, what I have to say. As I sit on my plane to North Carolina, I find myself deeply pensive and equally grateful. I’m writing this on the 19th of June, 9 days before my birthday, so that I can schedule it to be published the morning. The purpose of this blog post is to share the lessons and/or ideas that I’ve learned leading up to this 24th birthday. I hope that you can take something from it just as I have. These are in no particular order, and many of them are things I am continuously working on.

Let’s get right into it, shall we?

1. READ. Read as much as you can. Read whenever you can, provided that it’s not taking away from your current situation. There is so much power in the written words of the many great leaders and individuals who have lived before us (or are still living now). Books are 1 out of 2 of the greatest things that money can buy. Reading will enable you to grow in every way possible, evolve into who you the universe needs you to be, deepen your spirituality, awaken your soul, heal your heart, and every other meaningful process.

2. Small contributions matter. You don’t have to make huge changes to make a difference in the world, but you can always chose to contribute LESS to the negative, the suffering and the pollution. Maybe it’s limiting meat, maybe it’s not using plastic straws, not littering or picking trash up and throwing it in a garbage, being silent when you want to scream, helping out someone with their groceries even though you’re in a rush, etc.

3. People are who they are, the only sane option is to accept them as they are. Everyone is different; we have different upbringings, cultures, beliefs, preferences, habits, desires,… you can chose to fight who they are but it’ll only cause suffering in all parties, especially you. LET THEM BE. Accept them entirely and watch the beauty unfold when that happens.

4. Family is important. Don’t be embarrassed or ashamed of their dysfunction. Accept them and cherish the deep bond that you share. Make amends where and when you need to. Pride has no place here. The childhood familiarity and mutual love, despite external factors, is invaluable and won’t easily be replaced.

5. Friendships are important, too. Not everyone will go hard for you, not everyone will connect on a deeper level with you, and not everyone feels the same way as you… the ones that do need to be acknowledged. Treat them right and you’ll lift each other up.

6. Not everyone wants the best for you. Simple as that, but don’t take it personal. Do your best to hope for the best for them, despite that understanding.

7. Most of us are lost, most of us are dealing with poison inside, and most of us have known great loss in some way. Our actions, behavior and words will tell when we are still lost, have poison inside, and are dealing with pain. When someone acts out or speaks out intending to be hurtful, just understand that they are suffering and they’re coping the only way they know how to right now. It has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.

8. Speak up. Whether it’s defending someone, speaking the truth, or interrupting a wrong of some sort- speak up! Don’t be afraid of ridicule or appearances.

9. Listen to your intuition. Often times you can feel when something is off, when something is about to happen, or when making a critical decision. Listen.

10. Say “I love you.” When I was younger, I would hate when my mom made my siblings and I say it, but now I find myself wishing I would have said it more often, and to all of those who I felt it towards but kept it inside. You might assume that people know it, or even be embarrassed or shy to say it, but those words are powerful and they are beautiful. Say them often.

11. Never leave on bad terms. Always let your parting words be words of love, gratitude or peace.

12. Lose all identities. You don’t need to identify with ANYTHING in order to feel whole or connect with others. Abandon them all and open your heart, body and mind to endless possibilities.

13. Accept your imperfections, acknowledge your beauty. Your body is the only one that you’ve got from now until death. Why do we spend so much time hating it and trying to change it and contort it with money, make up and unhealthy patterns? Someday, we will wish that we had learned how to accept it and truly be grateful for it.

14. Get off your phone. There’s a time and place that it’s perfectly acceptable to be glued to your phone, but it’s almost never when there is someone with you. It does nothing for you. It’s a mindless obsession that our society and my generation has created. Break away from the addiction.

15. Work your ass off. Good things don’t usually come easy. Work ethic is crucial and it’s everything when it comes to overall success.

16. Wake up early, and go to sleep when you’re tired. The day isn’t meant to be slept away. When the suns out, you can get so much more done. Make time for your goals! Time should never be an excuse. And show your body that you appreciate what it does for you by giving it the rest and recovery it needs.

17. Enjoy the finer things in life. Don’t obsess over food and drinks. Food is amazing. And having a few drinks with good company is also amazing. And what’s also amazing is sitting outside admiring some natural beauty. You won’t remember your weight at a certain age but you will remember feelings and experiences.

18. Don’t sweat the small stuff; bad things can happen and it’s okay. Car got broken into and wallet is stolen? Got into a car accident but everything is okay? Got a ticket? Got fired? Have to work later than expected and be in again earlier than usual? Lose something pricey? Have a cancelled plan? ITS OKAY. It happens. Nothing good will come from fighting the reality and allowing emotions to boil until they explode. Accept it, move on.

19. Words are powerful and they can’t be taken back, so be silent when necessary. Don’t complain. Don’t gossip. Don’t use them to cause pain. Don’t speak out in periods of high emotions such as anger, jealousy, impatience, frustration and hatred. Be silent. Be still.

20. Travel, whenever you can and wherever you can. Take luxurious vacations but also travel to the places that people don’t often want to go. Travel and see the world in all of its diversity. Travel to learn, to make an impact, to serve and to become better.

21. Money matters, but not that much. In the end, what will the amount of money in your savings account be worth? Money causes people to become greedy/selfish, act unconsciously and deceitful, and so on. Use it wisely but don’t place so much emphasis on it that it ties into your happiness.

22. Be FEARLESS and take chances. You never know until you try. Failure it apart of success, not the opposite of it. Don’t be afraid to fail or if other peoples opinions. You’ll recover and you will find a way to go on. Just go for it.

23. Be present. All that matters is this moment. The past holds no value and the present needs no anticipation. Be fully, wholly and entirely present right now. The universe deserves you.

Thank you to every person who took the time to read this. ♥️

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