25 things I’m Taking With Me As I Turn 25

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1. Happiness is never about a specific situation, it’s almost always about our thoughts regarding a situation. We can never wait for something to make us happy. We can wire our minds, train our thoughts, and learn that we are what makes us happy.

2. Your parents tried to tell you. There are times when your mother tries to tell you about her instinctual feelings, sometimes it’s your father who has them as well. You’ve dismissed them instantly but not because you don’t trust them, just because it’s harder for us to take the advice of those closest to us. They try to tell you the truth that they feel lies deep in their hearts. The hearts that beat for you with a truth that is constantly trying to protect you from all that can harm you. You, however, are trying to find your own truth and rely less on theirs. Well, give in to it sometimes – it can be liberating.

3. Best friends are a couple of people who you share a genuinely pure connection with. They are never to be mixed up with your close friends, good friends, or quite-okay-but-not-sure-of friends. They are the ones you never worry about playing games or letting you down. They hold you in high regards as you hold them. They are the siblings your parents couldn’t give you.

4. Listen to your heartYes, simple and straightforward. Your heart tries to tell you things all the time but sometimes you dismiss it with hopes that it’s at fault. It’s never at fault.

5. Self-love is the greatest medicine of the twenty-first century. Sometimes, we’re skeptical about speaking on self-love and its importance because we fear that we come off as self-absorbed. Well no, you don’t. If you can’t give yourself the love you expect from someone else, then you’re doing it all wrong. Your first and most important relationship is the one you have with yourself. We should love ourselves so powerfully that when someone comes to share our life, they will know instantly how it’s done.

6. Not everyone will express love the way you do. You can never expect to get things the same way you give them. We are unique beings with our different ways of loving each other. Learn to find it in the way they show it to you.

7. Manipulation is real and it will get to you. Some people are capable of manipulating you and without you knowing, sometimes you are capable of manipulating people. Keep your eyes open. Trust comes with time, friendship, experiences, and respect. It’s never to be handed out as a gift.

8. Some people are not worth your energy. Yes, you’re trying to be nice and friendly but know that not everyone deserves the energy you put out there. Otherwise, you’ll just find yourself depleted. Give it to the people who reciprocate it. To the people who make you grow.

9. You will only learn what love is once you have learned what it’s not. You will think you’ve found love because all the symptoms are there. No, darling. You will learn that sometimes it’s a blessing to meet the person who is not right for you. They will teach you that something much better will come along because whatever sticky situation you were in is definitely not where you want to be.

10. Never shut up about the tiny things that frustrate you. Do they talk a great deal about themselves and how strong they are? Are they throwing themselves a pity party for everything they’ve been through in life? Spell it out. Talk about what frustrates you. It will save you from prolonging the ending.

11. If they can only talk about their past, maybe they should stay in yours. You’ve heard it all before. You’re learning nothing new and they’re only dragging you into their pitch-black hole. You’re aspiring to big dreams, big love, and a big life full of possibilities. The only way to look is forward especially if you’re building something with someone.

12. Walk away. You know that the end is here so why don’t you act on itThis is the most underrated step you can take in your life. You should learn when to walk away. Don’t resuscitate what has already died. Walking away takes courage and it takes an unparalleled level of self-awareness. Remind yourself that you always have the choice of leaving a situation which isn’t for you.

13. Sometimes your kindness will be interpreted for weakness. People feed on kindness like it’s a weakness. Learn to accept that then dismiss it. You’re not kind because you’re trying to please them. You are kind because this is who you are. This is the only thing you should keep in mind. When people take your kindness for weakness, they’re trying to tell you something about themselves, not about you.

14. People’s words about you are a reflection of them, never of you. When you let that sink into your core, no one can get to you. The way people speak about you only shows who they are. Keep your words kind and you shall be kind. Keep your words hurtful and you’ll only be hurting yourself.

15. You can’t love someone into their potential, they have to do that for themselves. Just as you have to do it for yourself. Basing your expectations of a relationship on the hopes that someone will change is a recipe for failure. What a person is at the moment is who they will be in a minute, in a month, in ten years. If you can’t love them as they are now, you don’t love them at all.

16. If you feel like you have to prove your worth to someone, you’ve already let yourself down. Full stop. The end.

17. Some people try to show us their real faces but we choose not to see it. We always want to believe that someone is better than they are. Well, here’s the thing: when your friendship was put under the test and they failed miserably- then they failed you. When they show you who they are, then take them for who they are. They’re not better than they are acting. Their behavior = them.

18. Know who has your best interest at heart. They will all claim they do. You have better judgment than to believe that though. Stick with number 4 – you know who wants the best for you.

19. Rid yourself of toxic people. Most of the time, you’re keeping people around because you want to be on ‘good terms’ with everyone in your life. Well, forget that- it’s a myth. You will be on good terms with the people who are good for you. No further explanation needed.

20. Pursue what you’re passionate about. Don’t suppress, fly. We owe it to ourselves to follow our calling. Some write, some paint, some sing, some make people laugh. Whatever it is, we know it deep down and we know it calls us from time to time. Life should be nothing short of following what fills your heart.

21. Learn to deal with the grey zone between professional and personal relations. It will make it easier to take decisions. Know how to separate. Sometimes you do things for friends and sometimes you do things for your personal growth. You should never compromise your career growth. If the roles were reversed, no one will do it for you.

22. Wish people the best. You will free yourself from any toxic feelings. You will only be at peace when you know you have no hard feelings towards anyone or any situation. Despite what they have done to you. Sometimes you let them go and sometimes you keep them in your life. Either way, always with them the best. The energy you put in is the energy you get in return.

23. Your phone is overpowering you. Read from a paper. Write with a pen. Open an old photo album. Have a face-to-face conversation.

24. Travel. Every chance you get. With little or a lot. With friends or alone. Never stop exploring. We learn more by seeing, tasting, smelling, hearing and feeling. New cultures can be our new eyeglasses. New places can be our new comfort zones. All that is new brings something new into our lives. Everyone you meet knows something you don’t.

25. Never become a secondary character in your own story. It’s still your life. Even if sometimes it feels like it’s slipping away. Even if you’ve had a bad day, month, or year. It’s what you make of it. Your most treasured power is that no one is you. Your biggest advantage is that there’s only one of you. Learn to make that your never-ending project. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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