Birthdays are always a special and interesting occasion for me because – another year older, another year wiser – am I right? 25 is such a big milestone – I’m a quarter of a century old! It’s crazy, when I turned 18, I use to think I was such an adult – boy… did I still have a lot of growing left to do. At 25, I’m still growing into the woman God made me to be, and I’m still learning lessons in this beautiful thing called life.
Down below are 25 of the most important lessons I’ve learned in my 25 years of life.
- Life comes at you fast, don’t forget to slow down every now and then to take it all in- One minute, I was 15, the next, I’m celebrating my 25th birthday! Time has definitely sneaked up on me, but that’s because I use to get so caught up with trying to live life (almost like a robotic routine) that before I knew it, I’m here. There were so many moments I wish I could have slowed down and really take in. So whether its slowing down to really enjoy my 25th birthday, or just stopping to appreciate the flowers and good weather, just take the time to appreciate the joys of life as often as you can.
- Perfection doesn’t exist- but your idea of “perfection” can- Growing up, I wanted to be ‘perfect’. Get perfect grades, have perfect behavior, go to a perfect top school, find a perfect man, perfectly live happily ever after…… Yeahhh so far I have I strayed from this idea of perfection. Instead, I got into a lot of trouble growing up, got good grades- not perfect, but good enough to get a degree from UMiami, and my man and I are far from perfect. BUT, what’s perfect to me is sometimes making mistakes and laughing about them afterwards, or when my guy and I get into a disagreement, but then he tries to tell a funny joke in the middle of it to make me laugh. What’s perfect to me is being imperfect, but having my guy love me for who I am anyways. Whats perfect to me is sometimes not always knowing my next move, but somehow figuring it all out in the nick of time. Find your own perfect and FLOURISH.
- Don’t be mad about making mistakes, be mad at not learning a lesson after- I use to beat myself down whenever I made a mistake (probably because my past endeavors in search of perfection). That’s no way to live; in life, you WILL make mistakes, tons of them, but the biggest mistake of all is not learning a lesson afterwards. It’s okay to mess up, we’re only human. There are tons of things I’ve said and done that I wish I could take back more than anything, but one thing I never want to have taken away are the important lessons each mistake has taught me.
- The world is so much bigger than me & my wants and needs- Sometimes I get so caught up with me and my own selfish desires, that I forget that there is a whole big world out there so much bigger than that. I remember there was a time I was having a meltdown about something so minor, a typical “first world problem” as some would put it. My guy had to remind me that the world is so so SO much bigger than that. Not that what I was crying about didn’t matter, but more so, there are legitimately more real things to be upset about, count your blessings- not your perceived problems.
- But I can still be at the center of my world- You can still put your wants and needs first without being self-centered. This is about staying true to yourself in your actions and needs.
- People’s opinions of you don’t matter- I use to be so self-conscious about what people thought of me, almost to the point of social anxiety. In the grand scheme of things, people’s opinions of you really don’t matter. The people who loved me or hated me back in high school have ZERO effect on my life today. The only opinions you should be concerned about is with your own, your chosen loved ones, and the place where your next paycheck is coming from, okurrrr?
- Happiness (sometimes) is an option- ALWAYS choose it when it is- I say sometimes because there can or will be moments where the choice to be happy is out of your control – that’s life sometimes. Though, there will be opportunities where the choice to be happier will be in your hands, like holding onto unnecessary anger from an old argument, or choosing to beat yourself down over a past mistake. Cut yourself the same break you wish people cut you! Let go of any unnecessary negative energy, you deserve happiness – everyone does.
- Live your life on your own terms, on your own (and God’s) timing, not what society tells you the timing should be- Growing up, I use to think by 25, I’d be a happily married attorney working on my second kid… Wow… How far I’ve strayed from that timeline, but you know what? – THAT’S OKAY! Don’t feel insecure about not achieving something in a certain timeline. We are all unique individuals on our own unique time.
- Always try to be kind- This should go without saying. The world needs more kindness in it. Why not start with yourself?
- Not everyone is going to like you- You could be the most beautiful sweet smelling flower out there, and there will still be people who hate flowers. Not everyone will appreciate or like you for who you are, and that’s okay. My only concern is to try to be the best person I can be, and to treat others how I’d like to be treated. Sometimes I may not get that same treatment back, and that’s fine too. Just keep on being the best version of yourself and forget what the haters think.
- Never be afraid to ask for help- This one is SO important. Nobody became a somebody all on their own. Help was required at different parts of their journey. I use to be someone who was too proud to ask for help. Whether it be something as simple as asking for help in class, or something more major like asking for help getting through a tough time, always ask for help. There is no shame in saying “I can’t do this on my own, I need help.” So ask, whenever you may need it – there are soooo many people out there who would be happy to lend a hand.
- Be protective of your energy. Energies are contagious, so watch who you surround yourself with- Your energy and peace of mind is too important to not pay attention to what you surround yourself with. I never knew how true the phrase “Birds of a feather flock together” was until I’ve seen it play out in my life. Who you surround yourself with is either a reflection of you, or have some sort of effect on the energy within you. Surround yourself with good, uplifting people; people who are reflection of the kind of energy you wish to give to the world. Hanging around toxic people will affect your own energy and peace of mind – protect your energy and your mental peace with everything you have.
- Be quick to forgive- This is a tough lesson to learn. When someone has done you wrong, it can seem so hard to get past that and get back to where you guys once were. To that, I say this: LIFE IS TOO SHORT to hold onto negative energy. Forgive, learn lessons, and move on. You never know what could happen tomorrow, so let go and reconcile that negativity today, and work towards a more positive tomorrow. Walking around holding onto unnecessary anger doesn’t do anybody any good.
- It is OKAY to say NO- Another all too important lessons. One thing I’ve noticed in my earlier years is that I would do things or go places because I felt like I had to. I had to quickly realize that I need to stay true to myself, and I honestly don’t have to do anything I don’t want to. Sometimes I would do things in fear of disappointing others. Like going to a party, even though I honestly didn’t feel like going. The term “FOMO” (fear of missing out) comes into play here. Stay true to YOU- If you want to do something for you GREAT! Don’t feel like doing something because you’re uncomfortable, tired, or just simply don’t want to, that’s OKAY too! Be honest with yourself, what you want, and what you can handle. You are not obligated to say “Yes” to anybody you don’t want to. FOMO only exists if it’s actually something YOU want to do, NOT what society tells you that you should be doing.
- If you’re ever in the position or get a chance to help someone less fortunate than you, DO IT- There have been a lot of times in my life where I have been down, and I wish someone stepped up to help me when I needed it. So, I made a promise to myself that if I ever found myself in position to help someone, do good, or just be a positive energy source for someone, DO IT. If more people helped each other instead of competing/ ignoring each other, the world would be a better place.
- Beauty is skin only deep- Physical beauty isn’t everything. Who you are in the inside is priceless. Beauty is easy to find, but a genuinely good soul seems rare nowadays. Your outward beauty means nothing if you don’t have a beautiful inside to match. Also, what makes us truly beautiful is who we are, the way God made us to be. I am a firm believer that each and every human is an unique work of art. There is no one “look” for beautiful.
- You cannot change people- I’ve tried changing people repeatedly… and failed each time. You can’t change people because it’s not your job to change people. You either accept people for who they are, or find the person that fits YOUR wants. Trying to take someone different than what you want, and forcing them to meet your standards does no one any good.
- Life is a gift, even if it’s painful sometimes- No matter how difficult and painful life gets, never forget how blessed you are to be living it. Life is such an awesome gift with so many different experiences – not all of them will be good – and that’s OKAY. Life is about taking the good with the bad, and creating our own stories & memories. Your story is a gift, even if it has it’s bad moments.
- It’s okay to not “fit in”- Fitting in was something I’ve always struggled with. I’ve never been one to be apart of the “in” crowd or the “popular kids”… but I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way. I don’t want to be like everyone else. I want to do what’s ME, not what’s POPULAR. Sometimes doing me is the complete opposite of what’s popular, and I wouldn’t have it any other way,
- You don’t need a relationship to be fulfilled- I as well as every young women needs to hear this. Sometimes, social media and pop culture force the idea of relationships giving someone “worth”. Well first off, I don’t need ANY MAN to complete me. If and when I want to get married, that’s okay. If I never wanted to date or have kids ever again, THAT’S OKAY TOO. You do not need a relationship to validate some ridiculous made up standard of what the norm is.
- Comparison is the thief of joy- I’ve compared myself to others, and each and every time it has led to me tearing apart my self confidence. Worry about yourself, you ARE enough. We humans are not meant to be the same; we are each unique beings with our own stories.
- Never prejudge someone, you never know what battles they’re facing- Looking back at anyone I’ve ever prejudged, it made feel guilty because each and every one of those people are human beings just like I am fighting a battle that I have no idea about. Same goes for anyone who’s ever prejudged me. We all need to cut one another a break more often. I’m a believer that all human beings want the same basic thing: to be happy. Life happens, and we all have our own unique experiences, and shouldn’t be judged because either our experiences differ, or us not understanding one another’s experiences.
- Never be ashamed of your story – It’s what made you who you are- There are things in my past experiences that I used to be so ashamed of, but ashamed for what? – I have no reason to be. If I had not gone through each and every experience I went through, I would not be the strong woman I am today. Sometimes we go through unpleasant things, but the outcome will shape something more beautiful that you could have ever imagined. Good or bad, your story is your story, keep on writing the pages without the shackles of shame and self-doubt.
- Don’t be afraid to have adult conversations- Not every conversation you have with a loved one will be a pleasant one. I’ve seen good relationships come to an end because people didn’t know how to successfully have adult conversations. Learn how to disagree, but still move on. Learn how to respectfully let someone know if they’ve wronged you. Learn how to forgive. Just always keep learning good communication skills. Those will help any relationship you have more than you know.
- ALWAYS CELEBRATE LIFE- Even if life isn’t currently going the way to want it to, life is a celebration- SO CELEBRATE. You’re here, alive, and still fighting the good fight of life. That in itself is enough to celebrate. Life won’t always be good, but always know that no matter what situation you’re facing, IT GETS BETTER. Even at rock bottom, the only place to go is UP. Life is going bad? Still celebrate the good. Life is going great? Celebrate that! Just enjoy your journey of life without letting any negative situation overpower the totality of your life story.
On this day of September 29th, 2018 – I am another year older, another year wiser. My birthday wish is the same as it is every year: To Keep On Learning Lessons in this Beautiful Life.
Thanks for reading!