Guys. I'm 23 years old. When has anyone ever said, "Yay I'm turning 23 this year!" No one. Ever. Because truth is, this year isn't that great. Turning 18 I was legal to buy cigarettes or get a tattoo (neither things I did). 19 years old was the first birthday of college. 20 just put me one year closer to 21. 21 because alcohol. DUH. 22 was blah, but hey at least I was still in college. And now, 23... Out of college, job hunting, and thousands of dollars in debt. BOOOOO. However, with all the downsides of turning 23, I took some time to reflect on all the positive lessons I've learned thus far in life. If you are still interested, KEEP READING.
23. Invest in an air conditioner.
Something I wished I would've done before I decided to sit in my very hot no air-conditioned apartment bedroom to write this post.
22. Print out your favorite pictures and save them in a photo album.
Ok call me old school or a tree killer, but there is something so satisfying about being able to hold a picture in your hand. One that is not on your phone that is. I print my pictures out not only for that wonderful feeling, but because I don't trust technology. I have this incredible fear that one day, my pictures are going to disappear and be gone forever.(Anyone else or is that just me?) To avoid that pain and heartache, I always print my favorite pictures and you should too!
21. Try Yoga.
The first time I did yoga was in high school, and I hate to admit it but the only reason I took the class was because it was famous for being the "napping class." It definitely lived up to that name. The next time I tried yoga was in college and only because it was the hip and trendy thing to do. (Core power anyone?). I didn't really get anything out of it and truth be told, I low key hated it because I was TERRIBLE AT IT. Girls were so flexible bending their bodies every which way and I could barely sit cross-legged without being in agonizing pain. The only pose I could do without difficulty was corpse pose (aka sleeping pose, thank you high school yoga class). It wasn't until this last year that yoga took on a whole new meaning for me. Yes, it was a workout, but that isn't what left me feeling satisfied at the end of the practice. It was the noticeable, positive change in my mentality. It taught me to slow down and be in control of my mind, something I really needed help with. So I encourage you to try it. Not for the exercise but for the peace it brings your mind.
20. Dogs are better than cats.
Sorry if you are a cat person, but I just got a new puppy so you could say I'm a little obsessed with dogs right now. I MEAN JUST LOOK AT HIM.
19. If you don't want to go out one night, then don't.
In my opinion, there is nothing worse than not wanting to go out one night, then going out because all your friends guilted/easily convinced you in my case, to go out. Maybe college is different, but right now in life, I'm at the stage where some nights I'd rather just stay in and have a glass a wine (ugh I'm turning into my mom already) and that's OK.
18. Don't ever feel guilty about staying in and watching Netflix.
See the last lesson. Sometimes a girl just needs to binge watch some Netflix.
17. Hangovers truly get worse the older you get.
Maybe this is why I opt out of going out sometimes, but when I am hungover I am down and out for the count these days. We are talking popping Advil all day, sitting my butt on the couch and not moving type of hangovers. And they don't just last one, but TWO days.
16. College game days will always be fun even after you graduate.
15. Coffee is the best.
I didn't start drinking coffee until college and at first, I didn't get the hype. I'm a pretty high energy person already so I didn't really need it and it honestly just made me jittery. This past year though, my boyfriend got me hooked AGAIN. Now, I can barely go a morning without it.
14. Travel as much as you can.
I'm not saying you have to drop everything and travel the world, but if an opportunity ever arises for you to travel, even if it's just the next state over, then take it. I have learned so much about myself from traveling because it has forced me outside my comfort zone.
13. Dress for yourself.
If you want to wear sweats all the time because it makes you happy then do it! Or if you want to go all out and dress your best for a night on the town, then don't do it for anyone else but yourself.
12. There really is no place like home.
No matter how old you get, there is nothing better than going to your childhood home, hanging out, seeing your dog, and eating a nice homemade meal.
11. Family over everything else.
Yes, they drive me crazy pretty much all the time, but nothing makes me happier than spending some nice quality time with the fam.
10. Don't dwell on the past.
Dwelling on the past is so easy to do, but it only makes you have regrets and a life full of regrets isn't a life at all. As cliche as it sounds, just try and live in the present as much you can and you will thank yourself in the future.
9. Bad days happen.
Life isn't perfect and things aren't always going to go your way. What matters is how you handle those bad days. See the next lesson below.
8. Ben and Jerry's ice cream can cure any bad day.
If you haven't learned this lesson yet, are you even living? (Shoutout to the gals of S 37th Street).
7. Everyone could use therapy.
Alright so I hate to admit it but Ben and Jerry's can't cure all bad days and sometimes just talking to someone can make everything better. This year I tried it for the first time and I can honestly say that it's been life-changing. Everyone goes through something and sometimes talking to someone who isn't your mom or your best friends, opens your eyes to truths about yourself that you never would've figured out by yourself.
6. Wash off your makeup before bed no matter what.
I know it's the last thing anyone wants to do especially after a long night on the town, but trust me, you and your skin will be thankful in the morning. (see my latest beautE tip for reasons why it's so important!)
7. Invest in your skin.
For this lesson, I have to thank my mother. I can't remember a night where my mom didn't wash her face and lather it up with serums, anti wrinkles creams, and lotions. I never understood the point growing up but now I understand. Skincare is SO important no matter what age you are. It's never too early or late to start investing in your skin.
6. Relationships shouldn't hold you back.
Whether it's friends or a significant other, relationships should be a positive thing in your life. You should never have to change who you are to make a relationship work. If they are impacting you negatively, then it's time to rethink if you really want those people in your life moving forward. In my life right now, I've been lucky enough to find amazing friends and a boyfriend who allow me to be myself.
5. Hang out with the people who make you feel good every day.
Life can be out of our control a lot of the time, but who we hang out with is OUR CHOICE. Sometimes we forget that, but the older you get the more important this becomes.
4. You don't have to know what you want to be when you "grow up"
I've always hated the "what do you want to be when you grow up?" question. Anyone who answers that at a young age and actually becomes what they say, hats off to you.
3. You don't have to have everything in life figure out
Ok, this is similar to the one above but sitting here in my apartment without a job, watching Friends, and writing this post, I find myself repeating this over and over. Life will work out. I don't need to have everything figured out right now. I think in today's society there is this pressure that we need to, but truth is we don't. An even bigger truth: no one does!
2. There is always a reason to smile.
Sometimes you just need to find it.
1. You will turn into your mother.
No matter how much you try to avoid it, it will happen. Just accept it.