23 Things

I initially wanted to start this post as 23 things I want to do while I’m 23, but I have a bit of an issue with such resolution-type posts… mainly because life is entirely too unpredictable to commit to such a lengthy list.

So instead, in the spirit of learning lessons and growing from them, I decided to reflect on the 23 things I learned before turning 23:

  1. When torn between going to the gym or spending time with people you love, pick the latter. The miles can be run some other time; the memories are far more precious.
  2. That said, when you feel like you need some alone time, don’t be afraid to take it. We can’t be social all the time, and sometimes, it’s okay to make yourself a priority and recharge your batteries. Your mental health will thank you.
  3. That said: don’t be afraid to talk about your health, mental or otherwise. If something hurts, go to a doctor. They’ll fix it, or at least give you options to do so. If you’re struggling emotionally, there is nothing wrong with confiding in someone, be it personally or professionally. We are human beings, and inherently flawed as such. There is no harm, or shame, in admitting that we aren’t perfect and we need help. Everyone will at some point or another.
  4. Taylor Swift has the perfect song for every occasion. I don’t care what anyone says, I will always love her songs for being so relatable.
  5. Some things are better left unsaid, like your not-so-positive opinion of someone’s outfit. Other things, especially the hard things, need to be spoken. No matter the consequence.
  6. Traveling is exciting, invigorating, and an essential part of life – but it is just as important to take the time to be rooted, and relax.
  7. You won’t stay in touch with everyone, no matter how close you were at one point or another. Social media has made it much easier to keep up with people, but there’s a difference between liking every Facebook post and actually knowing what’s going on in their lives.
  8. Then again, when you meet the people who matter most, no amount of distance or time spent apart can sever that bond.
  9. Music can create some of the best connections. So can food.
  10. Pineapple does not belong on pizza.
  11. Loss is an unavoidable truth of life. Whether its the loss of your favorite keychain, losing a game, or the painful loss of a loved one – each loss will help shape us. Maybe we find a new favorite keychain, or learn to stop trying to play the game we just aren’t good at, or a new community who help pull you through a season of grief. Loss will happen, but good can certainly come from it.
  12. Some people will never forgive you for your transgressions. These are the same people who won’t see that you had good intentions even if you mishandle a situation, or let you forget about that time you said something you didn’t entirely mean. These aren’t the people whose opinions should matter.
  13. It’s not as easy to live without a washer and dryer (and dishwasher) as you might think.
  14. Social media is a highlight reel. It’s also a wonderful vessel for communication and a tool to express yourself. Also, most people don’t care if you double post on Instagram.
  15. Sentimental jewelry is worth investing in. Maybe it was frivolous to spend thirty pounds on a Claddagh ring from that tiny silver shoppe in Scotland, but I’ve worn that ring proudly every day as a reminder of both my grandmother’s Scottish heritage and the amazing adventure I took to Edinburgh.
  16. Not all great wine comes in expensive bottles. (However, my favorite wine does.)
  17. Having lofty dreams is totally cool. Having unrealistic expectations is not.
  18. Sometimes, the vision you had for your life at a certain point won’t pan out the way you thought it would… and it will turn out better than you could have imagined. No, I’m not living in London and writing a glamorous travel blog like I once thought I’d be by 23. Instead, I’m dwelling in the desert, quietly exploring new places and experiencing new things, and absolutely loving life.
  19. It’s important to make sure you don’t accidentally select the Uber Pool option. Otherwise, you and your friend might end up in a questionable part of Queens with a bunch of people you don’t know.
  20. Turning away from God during hard times might seem like the easy solution, but it’s absolutely the wrong one. Even if we are angry at Him for putting us through a certain season, we need to turn to Him for guidance. He has reasons, and a plan. Trusting in Him will make everything easier.
  21. The finest things in life are family and friends.
  22. Never buy a romper that is not stretchy enough to step out of without getting entirely undressed. Also, never buy a romper that ties in the back.
  23. The best kind of love shows up when you least expect it.

Here’s to another 365 more days around the sun, and to 24 life lessons to share a year from now.

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