24 Things I Learned by 24
For the past two years, I’ve made a series of these posts: 22 Things I Learned by 22 and 23 Things I Learned by 23. I enjoy looking back at these posts and being able to see how my point of view has changed with time, or hasn’t. Today is my birthday, and I turn 24. I thought it was only fitting to reflect on my year, and share some things I know to be true based on my life experiences so far. And what a year it’s been! As always, I’d love it if you added your own bits of wisdom in the comments.
Without any further ado: here are 24 things I learned by 24.
- People can always surprise you. Both in the best way possible and the worst.
- Aspire to trust yourself so deeply that no one’s manipulations can ever make you second-guess yourself.
- Live with integrity. Make choices that are true to your ideals and you will live with no guilt or regret.
- Choose friends and lovers who will be honest with you no matter how painful the truth. A blunt truth is always better than a pleasant lie.
- You cannot bear a great burden alone. Choose who you share things with carefully, but open up to at least one person.
- If it’s important to you, do all you can to fight for it. That way, whether it succeeds or fails, you will not have to live with ‘what ifs’.
- Acting out of anger is never worth it. Speak only when you have calmed down enough that you can come from a place of fairness and compassion.
- If you are asking for the same treatment that you offer, you are not asking for too much.
- The right people will be able to make you laugh even in the face of utter devastation.
- There is magic in the world. It lies in sublime moments – moments that defy all odds and surpass even imagination.
- Be kind, be generous, even be selfless at times – but ultimately you owe it to yourself and your happiness to put your own needs first.
- Do not hope to change people. Your only power is in whether or not you choose to associate with them.
- Nothing is permanent. You will learn this again and again and again.
- Fight fair. Never go for the low blows.
- You will be amazed by how quickly you can adapt to change.
- You can survive that which you previously thought impossible.
- “Lazy” self-care days are as important and necessary as driven, motivated, “productive” days.
- Give yourself 24 hours of unadulterated grief when tragedy strikes. Let yourself wallow and fall completely apart. Then, start working on how to improve your situation.
- Believe in the best of people until they give you reason to believe otherwise. This will hurt, repeatedly, but it’s better than allowing yourself to become cynical.
- Be a little wary of people who always choose their words carefully.
- How we act when we’re happy shows who we are. How we act when we’re in great pain does, equally.
- Don’t take it personally when people try to take advantage of you. People will try. It’s up to you to set boundaries of what treatment you will and will not tolerate.
- Don’t give any person or any circumstances the power to steal your joy.
- Be yourself unapologetically. The people who are meant to be in your life will find you, and stay.