Tomorrow, I am turning 24 years old.
(Just to be clear…Twenty-four. TWENTY-FOUR. TWENTY-FOUR.)
That statement doesn’t even seem real to me. I can still remember high school me. And college me. I’ve changed so much and so little at the same time.
This time last year, I was in a completely different state (Ohio) surrounded by completely different people. I had different goals and dreams. But here I am, happier than ever, with new goals and dreams…and most of the same people.
So, my birthdate makes me a Libra, but I’ve never really known what that means. I know my brother, my dad, and Kim Kardashian are all Libras as well…which is really funny to think about. And I know being a Libra has to do something with balance and peace. I’ve always liked that part.
This year has been full of challenges. Some I thought were going to break me. Some actually did. But I made it out a little stronger. A little wiser. A little more of the me that I’m meant to be.
This year I went to four concerts, I danced in the snow and played in the leaves, and I was a part of backyard fires and countless hugs. I visited 9 states (North & South Carolina, New York, Nevada, Illinois, Ohio, Georgia, Maine, and Massachusetts) and I took over 4,000 pictures. This year I lost my grandpa, my mom got cancer, and I learned how blind a good heart can be. Despite all of the hard parts, this year has been phenomenal. My mindset and goals have changed because I realized that life is too short to be anything but happy.
I wanted to share some of the things that I have kept in mind from this year. Some took me awhile to really grasp and some clicked right away. Here are 24 things I learned this year:
- Remember what you deserve and never accept anything less than that.
- When it rains it pours, but things always get harder before they get better.
- Not everything is meant to be, no matter how hard you work for them. But those “missed opportunities” are leading you to where you are meant to be.
- Life is too short to care about what people say or think of you.
- The truth will always come out.
- Let it go. You know what I’m talking about.
- It’s okay to not know who you fully are yet.
- It’s okay to not know what you are doing yet.
- Everything comes down to love. Live with that in mind.
- Forgiveness is a way of saving yourself. You have to accept the apology you never got.
- There is so much time. And there is not enough time. So don’t sweat the small stuff because it takes time from more important things.
- Let. People. Help. You.
- And always try to help others.
- Don’t apologize for your feelings.
- Attitude is truly everything. Change your mindset on a situation and watch how quick your life changes.
- Happiness is more important than money or a title. Do what you love, regardless of what you think you should be doing.
- Tell the people you love that you love them.
- There are always reasons to stop being good. Be good anyway.
- Staying true to yourself is more important than fitting in.
- Never regret being kind. Or loving.
- Dream. And chase that dream until you can hold it in your hands.
- Learn to go through things and grow through things.
- Give yourself a break. You are always your worst critic.
- And lastly, it’s okay to outgrow the people you love.
So, here’s to 24. I hope 24 is filled with more challenges, more growing, and more love. I hope 24 has more sunsets, drives with the windows down, Boston cream pies, and puppies falling asleep on my lap.
I can’t wait to see what’s in store.