One year ago today, I celebrated my 24th birthday. I remember feeling like I “had it all”, a high-paying job, a sweet family, and even a fancy beach getaway planned to celebrate. Regardless of what I had achieved on paper, I felt empty, lost, and riddled with anxiety. I remember sitting comfortably on a beach chair, watching the sunset over the clear blue ocean, surrounded by peace and silence. Even amid this environment, I was trying so hard to force myself to feel happy, and I just couldn’t budge.
This year, my life has changed entirely. I feel at ease and like I’m exactly where I am meant to be. Here are some of the valuable lessons learned along the way.
25 Lessons Learned in 25 Years
- Confidence and faith will carry you through many of life’s challenges.
- Always honor gut instincts. If you feel pulled to do something, run don’t walk.
- Your flaws are not meant to be hidden, they are a valuable part of who you are. Look them in the face, accept them, revel in them.
- Difficult conversations are the most important ones to have.
- Life doesn’t come with an agenda (or user manual), sometimes you have to let go and allow things to unfold.
- If you want to have money to spend and money in the bank, you’ve got to put money in the bank first. Or else you’ll just spend it all.
- Rest is required if you want to be successful. Constantly rushing around won’t win you any type of metal, it actually won’t win you anything at all.
- Eat what makes you feel good, dieting is stupid.
- Your relationships with others are a mirror of the relationship you have with yourself.
- Money is great but it doesn’t buy happiness. If you want both, then do what you love with passion and it might just become a reliable source of income.
- Make time for the people and things you love. Life moves fast and every moment that passes is precious time you’ll never get back.
- Always make your mental health a priority.
- Pain is a necessary part of life. If you strive for constant comfort, you may end up disappointed.
- If something didn’t go to plan, that does not mean you failed.
- Have patience with yourself and others. We’re all in this together.
- The most challenging times in my life have humbled me and had the biggest impact on who I am today. Try to see this moment for what it is, even if you’re not exactly where you want to be.
- Success, happiness, it’s all a work in progress. Give it time and trust the process.
- Focusing on your goals is important, but you have to find contentment in the present moment. If not, you may end up constantly chasing after a dream that you’ll never reach.
- Don’t run from your past. Look it in the face and seek understanding within it (even the ugly stuff). It’s what brought you to this moment, so it matters.
- You don’t have to spend a lot of money all the time to have nice things. You can take your time with well-thought-out purchases and still have the items you love without breaking the bank.
- It’s worth it to take a closer look at the aspects of life that cause you feelings of guilt and shame.
- Your job has a big influence on who you are (it may even become you). Choose wisely.
- Seeing your parents as flawed humans (just like everyone) may help you forgive any of the mistakes they’ve made.
- No matter how hard you try, you will forget things. Try to be present and take in as much of the present moment as you can.
- Pregnancy, the newborn days, your kid’s younger years — it’s all a tiny sliver of your life as a whole. Don’t waste it away by wishing for days of independence, those days will return and when they do you’ll wish you soaked up these moments.
Another year of life and so many valuable lessons learned are just a few of the many reasons why I feel blessed today. Thank you to all of the amazing people in my life who have influenced me in a positive way and supported me throughout this past year, as it hasn’t been any easy one.