28, I think this officially means I’m in my late 20’s. I can’t believe I’m writing a blog post about being twenty-eight. Does this mean I’m getting a walker? Life throws a lot of curveballs at us. It can be hard, but I like to think that no matter what happens, it’s all good and there’s always so much to learn.
I’m not even slightly naive to think I have no more life lessons to learn in the future, but I’ve experienced a bunch of things that have taught me a lot. Some were hard lessons, some were easier, some I’m still working on, but in the end, that’s life, isn’t it? The constant ebb and flow of events that shape us into who we are.
I think it’s only appropriate that I share the twenty-eight life lessons I’ve learned with you (so far!)
Life Lessons I’ve Learned
- Trust your intuition/gut. Trust your heart. Listen and follow them. This may be some of the oldest advice in the book, but what I’ve learned is that it’s easy to know when to give this piece of advice, and it’s easy to hear this from others when you think of it yourself. But it’s hard to follow it. But no matter what anyone says and if it doesn’t make sense, do it. You’ll never regret it, I promise. 99.9999% of the time, your gut is right.
- When you think you’ve found yourself, you haven’t. Looking back at my life throughout the years, throughout every stage I thought I had myself all figured out. The funny thing is, it was never true and I was a completely different person. Society gives this weird pressure that we have to have our lives figured out by a certain age, and you have to accomplish certain things by a certain age. But what does that even mean? I truly believe there’s no such thing as “having your life together” and you will probably spend your whole life trying to actually have it all together. Enjoy every freaking minute of it.
- Don’t worry about what your life looks like to others. Pay more attention to how it feels and how it looks to you. After all, it’s your life.
- Nothing is really as bad as your mind leads you to believe. I spend so much time in my own head, the good and the bad. But the bad is what always gets me. My mind will make me think it’s worse, or that something is small – is big. It’s not true. Focus on the good, and the good gets better.
- Always be kind. I’m going to go with the famous quote here to sum this one up “people won’t remember what you did, but they’ll never forget how you made them feel”. That’s all I have to say about that.
- Dogs are the best. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in my past 27 years, is that dogs really are (wo)man’s best friend. They show unconditional love and loyalty, plus you can’t help but smile when you see their cute furry little face.
- Continue to learn about yourself. Take all of the quizzes (Enneagram, Myers-Briggs, Love Language), pay attention to how you react and respond to things – good and bad. The better you get to know yourself and how you react, the more you’ll be able to make conscious and intentional decisions and take control of your life.
- Don’t be afraid to talk about how you feel. I’ve always had an issue doing this because of the vulnerability, but for fear of…? Who knows, but you name it and it’s true for me. But I also know that no one really knows how you feel if you don’t voice that, and as much as we’d (sometimes) like, people can’t read your mind. It’s not healthy to hold in your feelings, and they will always come out eventually anyways.
- Invest in your skin. You’re never too old to start a skincare routine and it is 100% not something to skimp on. You’ll spend your entire life with it. Wear clean beauty *cough Beautycounter cough*, drink water, moisturize, and wear sunscreen.
- Dreams can, and do come true. *insert eye roll* I know. But I’ve thought things “weren’t for me” but still dreamt or hoped for it.
- There’s no such thing as traveling too much. Take every opportunity in your life to travel, it’s always worth it. This doesn’t have to be a lot of time or money, it can be a simple weekend trip and talk to locals. When you travel you get to experience new people, new places, and cultures that you wouldn’t be exposed to without. From traveling you will be exposed to new ideas, food, ways of life that you never would have tried. I’ve left my heart in so many places and there are so many places I still want to travel to. Through traveling, I have learned to appreciate diversity and different opinions.
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. This is 100% something I wish I could go back and tell my little self. I used to stay up at night worrying about stupid shit, different scenarios, that half the time didn’t even happen or it didn’t matter 5 days later. Laugh off the small issues and don’t stress them because in the grand scheme of things – small stresses don’t matter.
- But also soak up small moments. Like when you walk through the door and your dog is beyond excited to see you after work, a beautiful sunset, smelling flowers – appreciate them. A yummy dinner spent with people you love, the way you laugh like no one makes you do when you’re with your best friend, the way you and your parents have a certain banter – embrace it. These are moments that won’t last forever. It’s important to take a step back from life’s busy days and take a moment to appreciate what’s right in front of you.
- Let your life experiences shape you. The special moments where you’re filled with so much happiness that you wish you could bottle up that specific feeling, but also the horrible ones that you never want to think about ever again. I’ve been fortunate or not so fortunate to go through a lot in my 27 years, bad and good. Most of life’s experiences leave you with life with the thought that it will not ever be the same – and that’s true. Feel it all, because you’ll be better and stronger for it.
- If it doesn’t fit, don’t force it. There are times where we want something to work out so badly, but if it’s not right or meant to be, it won’t. And there’s nothing you can do and no amount of effort will change it. If it’s not right – it’s not right. Sometimes letting go means making room for what does fit.
- Ask too many questions. We’ve all heard, there’s no such thing as a stupid question, and while I don’t 100% believe that asking questions and being genuinely curious is never a bad thing. Ask lots of them. Stay curious. Be inquisitive. Don’t forget to be open to their answers and remember there’s no way we can know it all. Asking questions is how we learn.
- Take the initiative. It’s so easy to sit around and wait for people to set things up for us, for our friends to call us first, to them to say “I love you” first, that it’s hard sometimes to take the initiative – the first step, the big move. Introduce yourself, ask questions, make the plans, say what’s on your mind. Our lives are so much more fulfilling when we take the initiative ourselves.
- You can’t please everyone. No matter what you do or who you are, criticism will always be there. We can’t please everyone – and that’s okay. This is also why being confident in your decisions and who you are is so important because, at the end of the day, you’re the only one who has to live with it.
- It’s okay to say no. Setting boundaries is healthy and don’t feel bad for sticking to them. It’s always okay to say no sometimes.
- It’s good to say yes. Just as important as saying no is – saying yes is important too. Take the opportunity if they scare you – in fact, that should be more of a reason to say yes. Push yourself past your comfort zone.
- Strive to be the best you every day. Every day you have a new chance to have a fresh start and make an impact. You can always improve and learn from yesterday. If you’re not learning and growing, are you really living?
- Communication is key. Good (+open) communication has so much value on every aspect of our life – personal and professional. Don’t just talk, but also listen and respond appropriately. Say what you mean, mean what you say.
- Gratitude is powerful. Taking 30 seconds and thinking about something I’m grateful for will always change my perspective and make me happier.
- Prioritize your passions. Make time for the things that make you happy and feel full of life. This may be a project, a hobby, anything you love. It’s always worth it.
- It’s okay to fail. Learn from it. Grow from it. But always get up and keep going. Don’t let the idea of failure stop you.
- Putting on your favorite outfit, doing your hair + makeup goes a long way. This goes for the good days, the bad days, the slumps, the highs, and the lows.
- Love with everything you have. Throughout life, you go through so much negativity and heartaches – breakups, friends/family drama, deaths, betrayal, but don’t ever let that stop you from opening your heart. Every person and every situation will teach you something about not only life but also yourself. Love everyone as much and as hard as you can and you will never have any regrets.
- Don’t take life too seriously – it’s meant to be lived and enjoyed.
It’s mind-blowing to think in 365 days, I’ll turn 29 and will be living out my very last year before entering my 30’s.
I’d love to hear what you would add to this list!
~ XOXO, the 28-year-old, Amanda // Blonde out of Water