1. Any guilt you feel about the life you didn’t choose. If you’d truly wanted to go down a different path, you would have. So forget about the ‘what if’s and start taking pride in the choices you made instead.
2. The friends who weren’t meant to last forever. Some friends are more situational than soul mates – and that’s okay! Let go of any relationship that starts to feel like it takes more energy to maintain than it’s worth.
3. Unhealthy love. You’ve been around the block a few times now, and you know how you deserve to be treated. It’s time you stopped settling for less.
4. Your ‘I-don’t-give-a-shit’ attitude. Let caring be cool again. Give a shit. Be unchill. Invest in your life, because it matters.
5. Your high school jeans. Girl, please. Your high school self would be a lot more concerned by the fact that you’re clinging this desperately to the past than they would be that you gained five pounds.
6. Making comparisons. Chances are, most of the people you’re comparing yourself to are jealous of you in one way or another. Live and let live. And be happy and proud of what you have.
7. Any shame about staying in on the weekends. You did sufficient damage to your liver in your early twenties – now it’s time to give into the urge to watch Netflix in your underwear.
8. The quest for your soul mate/forever person. You know there’s no such thing as a perfect partner – but you also know that hard work and commitment can foster a damn good relationship. And you’re no longer afraid of those terms.
9. Insecurities about your body. You’ll look back in twenty years and be appalled that you ever hated the way you looked at twenty-five. So don’t hate it. Love it. Abandon those insecurities you’ve been housing for too long.
10. Any client or employer who underestimates your value. If you’re no longer working entry-level positions, you shouldn’t be accepting entry-level pay.
11. Any grudges that are keeping you stuck in the past. Anger isn’t getting you anywhere productive – it’s time to cut yourself free of past disputes and finally start moving on with your life.
12. Other people’s unrealistic expectations for you. The field your parents once hoped you’d go into. The body you assume your partner wishes you had. Any version of yourself that’s been imposed on you by somebody else, against your better judgment.
13. Your own unrealistic expectations for you. All the ways in which you beat yourself up for not being ‘enough.’ You don’t have time for that bullshit anymore. You have many more important things to focus on.
14. The fear of failure. If you haven’t failed hard by 25, it’s probably because you’ve never attempted anything important. And if you have failed, you’ve realized it’s far from the end of the world.
15. The dreams you don’t want anymore. Our dreams change and evolve as we grow in life. Which means it’s pointless to feel guilt over a dream that would no longer make you happy– all that serves to do is to keep you away from the things you do want now.
16. Unsolicited judgments of others. You’re too old to waste your time worrying about what others are doing with theirs.
17. The excuses that have been holding you back. You owe it to yourself to put those aside and finally go for what you want, while it’s still possible.
18. Control over your circumstances. You’re old enough to know that you can’t control everything around you. But you can control your reaction to everything around you. And that is infinitely more important.
19. Senseless gossip. Sharing it, spreading it, being hurt by it – you have much bigger fish to fry these days.
20. Anger at your parents. They did the best they could, based on what they knew at the time. Even if they were total deadbeats, it’s time you finally stopped blaming your current circumstances on them and took back control of your life.
21. Fear of the unknown. You haven’t come this far and accomplished this much to suddenly let fear take over your life. By 25 you should know that growth often comes at the expense of comfort and safety.
22. Fear of confrontation. By 25, you know your worth – and you shouldn’t be afraid to ask for it fairly and evenly. There’s no reason to keep beating around the bush when it comes to what you want.
23. Fear of commitment. Now that the first quarter of your life is over, it’s a lot easier to let go of FOMO. You’ve been around the block a few times and you have a clearer idea than ever of what you’re looking for – so when you find it, you aren’t afraid to lock it down.
24. Any city, relationship or circumstance that isn’t growing you. You’re done wasting your time on dead ends. You know what you need and if you find yourself in a situation that isn’t giving it to you, you know enough to get yourself out of that situation.
25. Every former expectation of where you thought you’d be at 25. You don’t have to be married, supporting a family, accepting an Oscar or even employed in your dream field at 25. You just have to be living a life that feels genuine and authentic to you.
Everything else, it’s about damn time you let go of.