As much as I hate to say goodbye to twenty-five, because that was a pretty kick ass year, I can't wait to see what this next year brings! When I first sat down to write this post, I thought it would be hard to come up with such a long list. But the funny thing was, when I sat down to write my list, it all just came flowing out. There are so many things I wish I could go back and tell my teenage self, but than again, I had to learn all of these lessons on my own. And because time travel doesn't exist, I thought I would just share my list of twenty-six things I learned by the age of twenty-six with you.
1. You really don't have to have it all figured out. I am happy I took my time figuring out what I wanted to do with my life. It took lots of growing, mistakes, and self reflection to get where I am today.
2. You don't have to race into college; it is okay if you don't go right after you graduate high school. I dropped out of art school at nineteen. I am actually happy I didn't finish. I wasn't ready for it or the big city life that came with it.
3. Be grateful you didn't peak in high school. Seriously. I hated high school, but what I learned is that people who typically peak in high school don't go very far. I promise no matter how bad your teen years feel, it will get better. In fact, life will get really, really amazing.
4. Karma exists. Always put the shopping cart back.
5. You really can create your own family. While my "traditional" family dynamic has always been somewhat dysfunctional, the family we have created has been nothing short of amazing.
6. Your parents aren't always right. This actually came from my mom. The best advice she gave me in my adult years was that although she is my mom, I am an adult and I can make my own decisions. I don't always need to listen to her.
7. It is okay to try all sorts of things. It is also okay to fail or decide you don't like something. You will never know if you truly enjoy something or where your passions are if you don't at least give it a shot.
8. Trying new things aren't restricted to just your teens or twenties. I am sick of seeing quotes along the lines of "your twenties are your years to figure it all out." How boring would life be if you had everything figured out by your thirtieth birthday?
“You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.” -C.S. Lewis
9. It's okay if you don't fit the traditional timeline. Marc and I always talked about having kids before he was thirty. He is currently thirty-one and we still don't have kids. We even tried for a little while, and it didn't work. And we found out that it might never work. But what we realized is that we are truly happy with our family size. We don't have to follow the traditional path just because that is what society tells us to do. So to answer the question everyone asks, no, we aren't planning on kids anytime in the near future.
10. I am not always right.
11. Communication really is key. Don't be afraid to voice your opinions, but also take time to really listen to others.
12. You aren't going to change someone's mind on politics or religion, especially over Facebook. For the love of all things good, please stop trying.
13. It is better to have a handful of amazing friends than dozens of okay friends.
14. Everything always works out the way it should. Period.
15. It is important to take a break from life. Although yoga sounded like a great idea, it didn't work for me. Instead, I enjoy a few chapters of a book every day.
16. If you don't like the situation you are in, do something to change it. Wether it be a job, relationship, etc.
17. No one cares what you look like in a bikini. Go to the pool and get your hair wet.
18. Trust your gut. If something doesn't feel right, listen to those little warnings in your head. If something does feel right, go for it and don't stop until you achieve what ever it is.
19. Eat dessert and buy the dress.
20. The law of attraction is real. We attract what we believe we deserve.
21. Only you can control your happiness. No one has the power to dictate your emotions. It is also important to remember you teach others how to treat you.
“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn, or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.” -Denis Waitley
22. Respect yourself. Chances are, you think far too many nasty thoughts about yourself each day. Things you would never say to a friend. Instead of focusing on things you don't like about yourself, train your mind to focus on things you do like.
23. Even the most talented people have to practice.
24. Don't waste your time on people or things who don't deserve your energy. Stop watering dead plants.
25. Start each day with positive intentions. Wake up believing it will be the best day ever. Don't forget to celebrate every little victory.
26. Life is truly the most amazing gift we have been given. Stop worrying so much and start living. Live as though you are writing your own adventure and and write the most epic chapters you possibly can imagine.