December 17th, 2015

24 Things I Learned by 24

24 Things I Learned by 24 | Sara du Jour
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.

  1. People can always surprise you. Both in the best way possible and the worst.
  2. Aspire to trust yourself so deeply that no one’s manipulations can ever make you second-guess yourself.
  3. Live with integrity. Make choices that are true to your ideals and you will live with no guilt or regret.
  4. 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.
  5. You cannot bear a great burden alone. Choose who you share things with carefully, but open up to at least one person.
  6. 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’.
  7. 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.
  8. If you are asking for the same treatment that you offer, you are not asking for too much.
  9. The right people will be able to make you laugh even in the face of utter devastation.
  10. There is magic in the world. It lies in sublime moments – moments that defy all odds and surpass even imagination.
  11. 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.
  12. Do not hope to change people. Your only power is in whether or not you choose to associate with them.
  13. Nothing is permanent. You will learn this again and again and again.
  14. Fight fair. Never go for the low blows.
  15. You will be amazed by how quickly you can adapt to change.
  16. You can survive that which you previously thought impossible.
  17. “Lazy” self-care days are as important and necessary as driven, motivated, “productive” days.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Be a little wary of people who always choose their words carefully.
  21. How we act when we’re happy shows who we are. How we act when we’re in great pain does, equally.
  22. 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.
  23. Don’t give any person or any circumstances the power to steal your joy.
  24. Be yourself unapologetically. The people who are meant to be in your life will find you, and stay.


  • Lieselotta37

    sretan rođendan, Sara :) I love your “things I learned by…” posts. wish you all the best, never stop being yourself :)

    • saradujour

      Thank you so much! It’s always good to hear feedback on which types of posts people enjoy. x

  • Harriet

    This is beautiful, Sara! As always, thank you for sharing this part of yourself with the world.

    The one thing I would love to hear further thoughts on is #20 – and perhaps, the comments section is not a place you might want to have this discussion, in which case, I can always email you (if you don’t mind)! I feel as though too many people aren’t careful enough with their choice of words. I’m a strong believer in the importance of words and that even though there is that phrase “actions speak louder than words”, I feel as though people forget that words are loud to begin with.

    What do you think? But again, thanks for sharing this profound and insightful piece. Happy birthday!

    • saradujour

      Hi Harriet! Thanks for leaving a comment. While I agree that words are important, what I meant by that was just to be aware that people who always pause to think carefully before speaking are often withholding certain information. In my experience, people who don’t allow themselves to react immediately and genuinely with those closest to them aren’t always being honest. x

  • Kathryn

    Thank you Sara. I needed these words today and I am grateful to have come across this post. :)

    • saradujour

      I’m so glad you enjoy this post, Kathryn – thanks for leaving me a sweet comment! x

  • Niki

    Your wisdom and maturity astonishes me. This has got to be my favourite “things learned by…”. All the love and happiest of birthdays to you dear.

    • Goodness, thank you! That’s such a kind comment, Niki. Happy holidays! x