24 Things I Learned By Age 24

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As my quarter of a century birthday approaches, I decided that it was time to chronicle some of the wisdom I’ve collected over the years. At first, I was upset that I will be another year older and still no closer to those hopes and dreams a twelve-year-old me scribbled into her Lisa Frank diary. However, it dawned on me that I am very lucky to be alive and very lucky to be living the life I live. Instead of mourning the fact that I’m indeed getting older (as most humans tend to do), I’m celebrating how far I’ve come:

  1. It’s okay to not know the next step. None of know what we’re doing!
  2. Not everyone is going to like you, and most of the time it is completely out of your control.
  3. There are going to be a lot of things in life that are a pain. Suck it up and do them anyway and chances are you’ll feel better afterwards. These include: working out, taking your car to get the oil changed, scheduling appointments, and making that long overdue call to Grandma.
  4. Everything that has happened to you has made you who you are today. Embrace both the good and the bad and know that there was a purpose for them both.
  5. Your parents aren’t always right, but they are 99% of the time.
  6. Kindness is crucial. You never know someone’s full history, so offer up a nice gesture to everyone you encounter.
  7. Vegetables aren’t a “have to” food-they’re actually amazing and incredibly flavorful.
  8. You can never know enough. Take some time to engage in thoughtful conversations, read as much as you can, and watch something other than that Law and Order: SVU marathon (because, c’mon there are like 5 a week).
  9. Elitism isn’t attractive. In fact, elitism is one of the ugliest trends plaguing our society.
  10. Instead of avoiding conflict, face it head on. When you have wronged someone, own up to it and apologize. We’re adults now!
  11. What you say can, and probably will, come back to haunt you. Proceed with caution…
  12. In regards to #11 and life in general, karma is a very real thing.
  13. Exercising isn’t just about looking good on the outside. Your body will thank you for it.
  14. Take time to nurture your new friendships, but don’t forget about those that have been there for you in the past.
  15. Life is too short to put on a façade for someone else. Wear what you want to wear, listen to what you want to listen to, and be the person you want to be.
  16. It’s perfectly acceptable to pig out on those forbidden foods with your friends once and awhile.
  17. Being alone isn’t the end of the world-it can actually be therapeutic.
  18. Create some time in your schedule that is devoted to doing nothing. There is no end goal and time cannot be spent answering emails, scrolling through social media, or folding laundry.
  19. Laughing is the best possible catharsis.
  20. Be careful who you trust your heart to (romantically or platonically). Most people have motives to earn your trust.
  21. Asking for help is not a sign of weakness.
  22. Learn to express yourself using whatever outlet suits you best. It may take some time to develop, but you’ll get there.
  23. Nothing in this world is permanent. The good times won’t last forever, so cherish them while they’re here. The bad ones won’t either, so learn what you can in the moment, and know they’ll pass with time.
  24. No matter what happens, no matter how many people break your heart, no matter how many twists and turns life throws at you, you’re going to be just fine. TC Mark

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