This past weekend I turned 25 years old. I spent the weekend with my family at my parents’ house on Whidbey Island, relaxing, playing games, and eating and drinking all of my favorite things. It was perfect.
For me, 25 feels like a significant age. It’s a quarter of a century and marks the second half of my twenties. I’ve noticed that I’m starting to settle into life and feel more comfortable with my independence (though, don’t get me wrong, I still call my parents about everything…but does that ever stop?). In acknowledging this, I thought I would put together a list of 25 life lessons learned so far.
1 / When the sun comes out for the first time in a while, save the chores for tomorrow and go outside. You’ll never regret it.
2 / Wear what makes you happy. Even if that means rocking the clear shoe trend when your family just doesn’t seem to get it.
3 / Worrying what people think is a waste of time, don’t let this hold you back. Also, they’re probably so caught up in their own head that they aren’t paying attention to you anyway.
4 / It’s okay to (and you should) laugh at yourself. (See this post for a recent occurrence.)
5 / Invest in good jeans, a (faux) leather jacket, and a signature scent.
6 / If something feels off, drink some water.
7 / If it still feels off, go outside, get some exercise.
8 / As my grandma would say, “Kill them with kindness.” When someone has only shown you kindness, it’s hard not to treat them with respect.
9 / Diet coke tastes best from the fountain.
10 / Try approaching people with the assumption that they are doing the best that they can. Having an open heart can completely change the dynamic and end result of your interaction.
11 / Take a trip to somewhere sunny at the end of winter. It gets you through the dreary winter months by giving you something to look forward to.
12 / Take care of your skin! Moisturize, exfoliate, wear SPF…it’s only going to get less forgiving as you get older, so create good habits now.
13 / The first step, of anything, is always the hardest. If you can just work up the courage to take that one, it will only get easier.
14 / If you wake up dreading work, you belong somewhere else.
15 / Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There is strength in knowing when you need it.
16 / Vulnerability is courageous and will lead to even stronger relationships. Read this book.
17 / The best way to grow is to continue to put yourself in challenging (and often uncomfortable) situations.
18 / Red skittles are the best flavor.
19 / Never fall the into the mindset of “having enough friends.” There is always something to learn from new acquaintances.
20 / That said, keep your close friends especially close.
21 / Every meal tastes better al fresco. Picnic as often as possible.
22 / The art of the “date plate”: create a spread of crudités, hummus or guacamole, crackers or chips, nuts, cheese, prosciutto or salami, and a simple cocktail (I like an Aperol spritz or a G&T. Bonus points for fun glasses).
23 / Roast vegetables at higher heat than you would expect, and eggs low and slow.
24 / Practice active listening.
25 / You are who you surround yourself with. Pick people who will push you to grow, support you, ground you, and love you endlessly. Choose wisely.