43 Things I’ve Learned Along The Way

Approaching my 27th birthday and being closer to 30 than to 20 inspired me to reflect on what I’ve learned along the way and what I’m still learning every day…

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1. Don’t apologize when you don’t have anything to be sorry for.

2. Read the email before you send it. Then read it again.

3. Things usually don’t work out for a reason. Trust the universe.

4. “Be kind anyway.” If it’s good enough for Mother Theresa, it’s good enough for you.

5. Goals matter. Make a 25-by-25 list or a 30-by-30 list or a 50-by-50 list. Write it down and then live it out.

6. Hold the door open – literally and figuratively.

7. If they only call or text you at 1 a.m., it’s a booty call. If you’re not okay with that, cut them out of your life before you get more attached.

8. People will not take you seriously if you don’t know how to use the right kind of “there,” “their” or “they’re.”

9. Most friends come and go. A few last a lifetime. Forgive them when they’re not the best version of themselves.

10. If you can’t laugh at yourself, it’s going to be a long life.

11. You’re never going to have this body again. Don’t waste it.

12. Practice being able to compartmentalize the parts of your life and the emotions associated with them. Life is messy, but you don’t have to be a mess.

13. If you have to think about whether you should tweet/text/post something for more than 30 seconds, don’t tweet/text/post it.

14. Always have a five-year plan.

15. Every day, write down something you’re grateful for.

16. Don’t burn bridges. It’s a small world.

17. Make it a practice to always have a plane ticket booked.

18. You will have regrets. Just try not to have the same one more than once.

19. Close your mouth and open your eyes. (Thanks, Mom!)

20. There is absolutely no substitute for class. And if you have to say you’re a lady, you’re probably not.

21. You don’t have to have kids if you don’t want them. You don’t have to buy a house because you got married and people expect you to. You don’t have to save 10% of every paycheck. Make your own rules.

22. Details matter. They really, really matter.

23. Never let them see you cry.

24. The real world is just like high school, but with money. Gossip gets around, it pays to be cool and there will always be mean girls. Just don’t be one of them.

25. Preparation > luck.

26. No one else can make you happy if you’re not happy with yourself. To expect them to is setting both of you up for failure.

27. If you don’t want anyone to find out, don’t do it.

28. Paste a smile on your face and fake it ‘til you make it. This and “keep calm and carry on” apply to all areas of life.

29. Don’t waste your time trying to make other people look bad. Make yourself indispensable.

30. Unfortunately, things can always get worse.

31. Figure out your go-to restaurant, bar, city attraction, cocktail and bag.

32. Trust that voice in your head. Trust you gut. Trust the hairs on the back of your neck. Trust the butterflies.

33. At any new job, it takes at least six months to feel like you have the beginning of a clue of what you should be doing.

34. If you have to pick between traveling and saving money, travel. Always travel.

35. It’s okay to be alone. Yes, it’s lonely. Yes, it gets annoying when people constantly ask you if you have a significant other. Shine on.

36. Take care of the people who take care of you.

37. Never ask someone to do something you don’t know how to do or aren’t willing to do.

38. Appearances matter. It may be unfair and superficial, but they do. Get a manicure. Invest in a nice bag. Figure out the best makeup and clothing style for your skin and body type.

39. If you can Google the answer, don’t ask your boss the question.

40. Hug your parents. Tell them thank you. (It doesn’t matter if they’re your biological parents or your stepparents or your grandparents or your best friend’s mom or your older sister. This applies to whoever raised you.)

41. You’re never going to not be tired. Might as well make your peace with that now.

42. Believe in something bigger than you – God, Allah, Buddha, karma, justice, the universe. Just believe.

43. “Buy the ticket. Take the ride.” ~Hunter S. Thompson. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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