As I woke up this morning cozied between my dog sleeping right against me and my S.O.’s arms wrapped around me, I couldn’t help thinking, “Man, it’s a good day to be 27.”
And it is! Today is my 27th birthday, which I admit I’ve had conflicting feelings about. Part of me sees 30 hauntingly looming ahead and I feel a little panicked that I’m not a super successful adult who totally has her shit together. Then I remember that isn’t how life works because no matter how old we get, the concept of smooth sailing once you “reach” success is entirely theoretical. Which brings me to the other part of how I’m feeling–confident and proud of myself and what I’ve accomplished, especially this past year.
Because without a doubt, 26-year-old me learned a lot from 25-year-old me and grew into a better person. Just like I’m sure the same will happen from 26-year-old me to 27. Only 2 years ago, I was in a weird transition phase of my life and had no idea how I’d enter my desired career field or move to California to be reunited with my boyfriend. That birthday felt like a crushing reminder of what I hadn’t accomplished, and now I wake up on my birthday genuinely wanting to cry from the joy and fulfillment I feel in my life. (Seriously though, I just started tearing up.)
I look to this next year with my head held high and a big smile on my face. I’m committed to continue learning, growing, and achieving as I finish strong in these last few years of my twenties. I have several big goals and while they’re daunting, it’s so exciting to actually build out the plan and strategy to make them happen. Understanding myself and how I tick, becoming more aware of what methods work best for me to follow through, and learning how to form better habits are the driving factors to this beautifully fulfilling life.
Reflecting back on these past 27 years, I think about the lessons I’ve learned along the way–whether they’re little nuggets of info or big eye-opening truths. So, to ring in my 27th birthday, here’s 27 life lessons:
1. There are certain things truly worth the extra dollar splurge. Like skin care.
2. Value your time and worth in the work environment. Stand up for yourself and be where your opinions, hard work and time (including outside of work) are valued and appreciated.
3. Your writing does not have to be perfect. The fact that you are writing is most important, because it fuels your creative spirit and helps you get in touch with yourself.
5. Give your nice clothes the love they deserve and send them to the dry cleaner. Also, sometimes, clothes really are supposed to “hang dry.”
6. It’s not the end of the world when you have to wake up extremely early. It’s just really, really inconvenient. BUT on the bright side, it’s wonderful to begin the days with productivity and then consider 8am to be “sleeping in.” Having a morning drink you positively love helps with the motivation to get out of your cozy bed.
7. Experiment with different types of exercise until you find your calling. I tried and tried to fall in love with jogging, but ultimately bikram yoga was the exercise most rewarding for me.
8. Drinking a bottle of wine on a weekday is not advisable. Hang overs are a very real thing and get exponentially worse each passing year.
9. Even if you don’t fully (or even partially) comprehend what your significant other is saying when he/she relays the latest about their work/hobby, give your S.O. your attention. Listen to their tone, make eye contact, and offer your sincere interest in them (if not the work/hobby). While these may be our individual passions and pursuits, there’s still something special about sharing your ups and downs with the most important person in your life.
10. Learn to cook and, what’s more, how to enjoy doing it. Knowing your way around the kitchen and how to strategically grocery shop are big money savers!
11. Eating healthy truly is all it’s cracked up to be. There’s a significant difference between healthy living and dieting, both mentally and in the results.
12. Just because you write everything that needs to get done on your to-do list does not guarentee it will be accomplished that day. Prioritize your tasks by establishing a goal for the day, and the very first step of time management is focusing on a single task.
13. You can always count on your furry-legged baby to cheer you up. And there’s nothing quite so special as those enthusiastic greetings whenever you walk through the door, or weekend snuggle sessions in bed.
14. Give your parents the immense credit they deserve. Call/visit them regularly, share tidbits of your day with them (no matter how mundane), and celebrate every achievement, big and small. They’re your biggest fan and love you more than you can imagine.
15. There’s a time and a place for sarcasm. Specifically, be aware of those “no” times to avoid awkward interactions.
16. Make the most of where you live, even if it doesn’t feel like home. It’s essential to be happy in the moment and learn how to live in the now.
17. Surround yourself with positive people and be a positive contribution to others’ lives. No one has the time or energy to consistently be around negativity.
18. Be present in the moment. If you find yourself scrolling your social feed just because, look up and see how you can better use those minutes.
19. It’s okay to say no. In your professional setting, in your relationships, to a few of the hundred projects you want to execute. Equally, it’s important to recognize what is, actually, a responsibility because the hard truth is sometimes there will be things we don’t want to do, but gotta buck up and push through. It’s called being an adult.
20. The people who enter your life have a purpose and impact, even a small seemingly inconsequential one. Your childhood best friend who helped you come out of your shell. The stranger who helped you with directions. Your dick of an ex-boyfriend who cheated. A difficult colleague who you had to learn how to effectively work with.
21. Similarly, everything happens for a reason. I have complete faith in the Universe for opening another door when one closes, and helping guide us on this life journey.
22. Small acts of reaching out add up. Sending a “hi!” message to an old friend. Giving a spontaneous hug to your loved one. Planting the seeds in your network. They’ll get noticed and be appreciated.
23. The pain and heartache of losing loved ones never leaves, no matter how much time has passed. You learn how to rebuild and experience your life, savor happiness, and live with purpose. Time helps heal your life around the wound, but the wound itself will always stay open.
24. Subarus need more oil changes than your average car, and if your four-wheeled baby starts making funky noises, never put off a trip to the mechanic (yes, even if it cost you $200 for a diagnose–that’s a whole lot less than a new engine… trust me).
25. Social media numbers are, ultimately, just numbers. Each individual behind those posts and accounts has a behind-the-scenes story, and we’re only seeing what we’re invited to see. Enjoy social media for what it is and utilize it to its fullest for business, but it’s simply unfair to yourself to compare your own story with what you see from others.
26. It’s not necessarily about how often you argue with your significant other, but how you communicate during the argument to come to a resolution.
27. The road to your dream career may not be glamorous, yet even that entry-level corporate job to get your foot in the door serves its purpose and provides opportunity and experience to hone your skills.
Linking up with Jenn of Going the Distance for What’s Ha “Pinning” Wednesday!