This past Saturday, (March 10th) I turned 24. I’ve always felt like 24 would be a monumental year for me. I don’t know what all will occur this year, but I’m ready for it. My birthday has always marked the beginning of a new year for me. I tried to hit the ground running in January by making some new year resolutions, but I wasn’t really inspired. Inspiration is what held me back from posting. I wasn’t sure how to begin this post. I took another long and much-needed break for my sanity. This break was different from the others. It truly made me think about all of the lessons I’ve learned over the years.
If you are signed up for my newsletter (if not, click here to subscribe) I discussed how I read this post by the Minimalists. It made me think a lot about how I am currently using social media and my blog. It also made me think about how I want to continue using both going forward. So I took a step back to make sure that I’m using everything in a way that I want to. What I consume matters to me especially the older I get. I begin to look at things differently each year and I’m learning what is and what is not working.
fourteen things i’ve learned in twenty-four years:
1 | IT IS OKAY TO SAY NO. // I used to feel bad for turning down an event that I did not want to attend. I no longer feel this way. Because if I will feel miserable going, I’m going to please someone else, or I just don’t feel like it – then it’s not worth it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with saying no to something you do not want to do.
2 | I DON’T HAVE TO DO ANYTHING I DON’T WANT TO DO. // As, I just mentioned above I have learned that it is okay to no do something I don’t want to do. We all have choices. We can choose to buy a lot and never save, just like we can choose to eat healthy. Yes, there are things out of our control, but there are a lot of things we can control. So instead of complicating life and making things a lot more difficult for ourselves. I’ve learned to stop doing things that I don’t want to do. Because there is no point in making myself miserable for no reason in all areas of my life.
3 | IT IS OKAY TO TAKE CARE OF MYSELF. // As much as I discuss self-care and being true to yourself I did not truly learn the importance of this until the last few months. Relieving stress and anxiety in order to take care of myself matters. If getting a massage, going for a walk, or going to my favorite store to browse is a way for me to slow down for a moment it is important to do. We all put so much pressure on ourselves to do more and be more that we hardly ever stop and look around. Taking a moment to clear your mind and relieve stress is necessary and something we all need to do.
4 | MAKING MY HEALTH A PRIORITY SHOULD BE A PRIORITY. // I am the first to say that I’d rather grab Chick-fil-A and a Coke than take an hour to fix a healthy meal that will make me feel better in the long run. You know why? because of convenience. But the older I get I’ve learned that what you eat and what you do for your health matters. Taking care of your health: mentally and physically matters. Making my health a priority is my number one priority for 24.
5 | MOST FRIENDSHIPS DON’T LAST & THAT’S OKAY. // I’ve learned the hard way and the easy way that some friendships don’t last forever. Sometimes it hurts to know that someone you’ve been friends with for 20 years no longer talks to you, or someone you’ve hung out with everyday won’t return your call. Some people are in your life for a season, or a specific reason. And once that season is over it’s time to move on.
I’ve learned so much from relationships, in general. I remember graduating high school thinking that I would still talk to all of my classmates and that we would never grow apart. Currently, I regularly speak with two of them. While everyone else has moved on with their lives, just like I have. Learning that friendships end is one of the most important lessons to learn in life. Because it’s not always your fault that you don’t speak to someone anymore. We grow up, we get married, we move to different states, and we simply lose touch without realizing it. It’s life, y’all and we all get through it.
6 | I NEED TO BUILD LONG LASTING RELATIONSHIPS THAT I CARE ABOUT. // The relationships you have in your life matter. I’m talking about relationships with your parents, siblings, girl and guy friends – not just romantic relationships. There have to be people in your life that you can turn to when life gets hard. Because let’s face it – it does, a lot. There needs to be people in your life that you can call up and go see a movie with. I’ve learned that building relationships with people are very important. Whether it’s strengthening my relationship with my parents, or making new friends. I’ve learned that I need to get out of my introvert cave and be social. Because no one wants to go through life alone even when you like your alone time.
7 | MY VALUES ARE IMPORTANT. // What and who you stand for matters. The longer I am in the workforce I notice that what you believe and value is important. Because as the saying goes: if you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything. It’s important to be aware of what is going on in the world and of your surroundings because those things matter. And defining my values is something that I wanted to do before I turn thirty. I’m educating myself more and more each day to truly hone in on what I value and what I truly care about.
8 | I HAVE TO BELIEVE IN MYSELF. // I remember sophomore year of college, I was becoming a people pleaser. I didn’t understand why and I hated it. I felt like everything I was doing was for everyone else and I didn’t believe that I could accomplish what I truly wanted too. It was the turning point I needed to truly start believing in myself. You have to believe in yourself. Otherwise you will be unwilling do anything that will push you further in life and out of your comfort zone.
9 | SAVING FOR RETIREMENT IS IMPORTANT. // I used to think that I’d care more about retirement in my late 30s or 40s. But I’ve learned that the earlier I start saving and preparing for it the easier it will be when I need to retire. Planning for your future matters because you never know what will happen. You also don’t want to get into a situation where you cannot retire until you’re 75 or older. So learning more about finances and preparing for your future is important.
10 | IT IS OKAY TO SPEND MONEY. // Since beginning my minimalist journey I have felt bad about spending money on anything. Whether it is lunch with a friend, face wash because I ran out, or a pair of jeans because I don’t own any. It didn’t matter what I was spending money on nothing felt like a necessity. Therefore, I needed to save everything instead of spend.
But I’ve learned that none of that makes any sense. It is okay to spend money on things. I do it a lot actually and there is nothing wrong with spending unless it becomes excessive. Recently, I re-did my bedroom and bathroom. I spent money on items I like in order to make my space feel like my own. There was no need to justify my purchases because it is okay to buy new bedding. I’ve learned that life is more than minimizing everything you have. If you live with intention you shouldn’t feel bad because you made one impulse purchase. Life is a whole lot more than that.
11 | HOW I TALK TO MYSELF MATTERS. // One of my favorite quotes states: “When a woman becomes her own best friend, life is easier” ― Diane Von Furstenberg. This quote is so true! The most important relationship you should have is with yourself. Because you have to live with yourself whether you like it or not. If you are constantly talking down to yourself or telling yourself you are ugly you’ll be miserable. But once you start treating yourself like you would your best friend, or a family member your outlook on everything starts to shift. You’ll see the world differently and things about yourself that you don’t necessarily like will become apart of who you are that you can appreciate.
12 | THERE IS NO POINT IN WORRYING ABOUT THINGS THAT ARE OUT OF MY CONTROL. // Like, I’ve mentioned above this is something that has always been hard for me. I’ve written a post about letting go of control because it was literally consuming my life. I’ve had to learn that something I cannot control such as buying things because we need them is not something I need to feel bad about. it is out of my control to have to pay bills, and do other “adulting” things. It’s not necessary to worry or feel bad about things like this.
13 | MY HAPPINESS IS COMPLETELY UP TO ME. // Ultimately, your happiness is up to you. There are things outside of your control that can influence how you feel. But if you want to stay upset that is your choice. I’ve made the conscious effort to not allow outside influences to make me feel a particular way. For instance, if I am at a store and someone is rude to me I can allow them to ruin my entire day, or not. The approach I have been taking is kill them with kindness. Because you never know what is going on in someone’s life. One’s actions towards you nine times out of ten is not about you, it is about them.
I am a realistic. So choosing to be an optimist over a pessimist is something that I’ve had to work on. Because I’ve decided to be happy and enjoy life. I no longer have the energy for being sad, rude, or upset for no apparent reason.
14 | I DO WHAT FUELS ME EVERY SINGLE DAY. // I have learned that creativity fuels me. I need to be creative every single day. Whether I express my creativity by listening to music, listening to a podcast, writing, or watching YouTube videos. Creativity encourages me to be better in all aspects of my life and it is a way that I love to express myself. Once you learn what fuels you, you’ll be unstoppable.
what is an important lesson that you have learned?
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first image via Studio Diy.