25 THINGS I'VE LEARNED BY MY 26TH BIRTHDAY

25 THINGS I'VE LEARNED BY MY 26TH BIRTHDAY

1. Life is now. Like happening right now. Start doing the things you've always wanted to do. Write them down. Make a timeline. Plan & execute. 

2. Don't sweat the small stuff. Most of the daily stressors you experience will not matter in ten years...most likely even in one year. 

3. Take care of yourself. You are responsible for your own happiness. Not your partner. Not your family. Not your friends. You know yourself best and what makes you happiest. When you're happy, everyone else that comes into contact with you will be too. Or will at least experience your radiating glow.

4. Positivity is priceless. This one always comes back to me.

5. Your work matters. No matter how insignificant or unimpressive you believe your work to be, there is value in it. Take pride in what you do and others will too. Commit yourself to a high level of quality work in your occupation, continually learn & improve yourself, and embrace failure as part of the process.

6. Isolation is avoidable. For us introverts, it's easy to fall into this self-inflicted trap. Make it a priority to surround yourself with people who are good for you. Even if it is just a few trustworthy comrades. No man is an island!

7. Be careful who you surround yourself with. Choose your influences wisely. They say you're the average of the five people you spend the most time with. Don't be too careful though or you'll just start hanging out with your succulents like one of my friends (ahem).  

8. Regularly unplug. Turn your phone off, turn everything off. Calibrate. 

9. Spend more time in nature. Taking a walk always changes my mood and perspective for the better. Always.  

10. Grow. Try hard things. Push the limits of your comfort zone.  

11. Let people know what they mean to you. Show love, grace, appreciation, generosity. 

12. Own a pet. 

13. Be open to change. Especially when it comes to people in your life. It's hella scary sometimes, but you have to roll with the punches. 

14. Always have a book you're reading. 

15. Be intentional.

16. Always have an open door. Yes, my home is not what I want it to be and is usually a mess, but most people don't even notice and the polite ones won't say something about it. Nobody is perfect. 

17. Make memories. Plan trips, occasions, experiences. Take photos. Make home videos. Don't let life go by.

18. Stop giving in so much. Yes, still compromise, but you know you're always the one giving in.

19. Take care of your body. Do things that boost your energy. Be healthy and involved in life. People rely on you, so do your part to make sure you stick around for as long as possible. 

20. Say yes more than no. You'll be happy and usually never regret going to parties or socializing with friends. This directly conflicts with #18.  

21. Talk to people in grocery stores. Or wherever. I learned this from my mom. Everyone is the same or going through the same things. It makes my day when I'm looking at tea or something and someone tells me I should try this kind or that. 

22. Show respect. In general. In relationships. In nature. In driving. In conversations. 

23. Forgive. Show grace always. Let them off the hook. 

24. Make new traditions and pass them on. 

25. Show pride in your identity. Your work. Your name. Your house. Where you came from. Everything. Go Pack Go.