2014 (thus far) has certainly been one for the books.
As I reflect on the last 7 months, I remain grateful for all that has happened (good and bad) because it’s made me a more self-aware, resilient individual. Last year this time, I was sort of dreading turning the big 2-5 because I thought it meant having a “quarter life crisis”. But I’ll let you all in on a little secret: there’s absolutely nothing catastrophic about turning twenty-five. In fact, it’s been one of the most liberating, eye-opening, and honest moments of my life. Check out these 25 lessons I’ve learned since turning a quarter century in January:
1. You can’t be everything to everybody. So you should just really work on being the best YOU you can be.
2. Never neglect ‘me time‘. – FOMO (fear of missing out) is completely fake, and it is alright to sit at home on a Friday night with your wine and watch Netflix.
3. Friends come and go. I’ve lost a few friends in the last few years, but I didn’t let it phase me because they were necessary in that particular season of my life. With that…
4. It’s totally possible to make new ones. Living in a city that’s crawling with millennials like D.C., I’m always meeting new people at happy hours, networking events and gatherings. Smile, shake a hand and you’ll be surprised at how far that can go.
5. Spend money on experiences, not things. Yes, I know the iPhone 6 is coming out next month, but what if you put that $250 toward your flight to Brazil next summer? Think about that for a second.
6. It’s okay to fail, just don’t let it define you. We all make mistakes and have moments of struggle, but they come to make us stronger. Trouble doesn’t last always.
7. Be honest. Use your words, friend. Everyone cannot read your mind. And being honest eliminates drama in the end, so there’s that.
8. Exercise. Zumba. Kazaxe. Pole Dancing. Kickboxing. Running. Doing some sort of physical activity will not only keep you healthy, but it will make your future 30-year-old self happy. Speaking of 30…
9. It is five years away and you should get excited. I thought turning 25 was a big deal, I’m starting to save my coins NOW for the #CeeDay30 celebration. Trust me, it will be epic.
10. Call/text/email your parents often, and tell them that you love them. Even if it’s to talk about the weather, I communicate with my folks at least once a day. The older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve come to appreciate them and their wisdom.
11. Admit when you’re wrong, and be willing to forgive. No one likes a Petty Betty — so when you’ve effed up, swallow that pill and apologize. And then
12. Just do it. Whatever dream, goal or idea you have in mind, go for it. We don’t need no hateration or procrastination in this dancery.
13. Cook for yourself. Stove top mac ‘n cheese is cool every now and then, but it’s vital that you know how to bake, broil, grill and sautee my friend. Pinterest and Buzzfeed Food are here for you.
14. Give back. Because to whom much is given, much is required.
15. Faith over fear. This one speaks for itself.
16. Read…a LOT. I’m talking about books, y’all (but the occasional READ is always necessary.) There are a number of books that are great for millennials: The Alchemist, The Four Agreements,
17. Write, too. Grab a journal and just write your thoughts out. You’ll feel a LOT better.
18. Love yourself like Kanye loves Kanye. Self confidence goes a very long way, but don’t forget to share that love with others.
19. Be patient. That corner office you want, your future beau/bae, the penthouse condo — it will all be here in due time. But for now, be grateful that you have a 9-to-5, enjoy the single life and appreciate having a roof over your head (with or without roommates).
20. Sometimes, it’s not always necessary to do it for the Vine, ‘Book or ‘Gram. Listen, we all can’t be as fly as Kim Kardashian and great 350-page books of our selfies. Sometimes, it’s okay just to enjoy the moment without holding up your iPhone or Android.
21. Ask for help when you need it. Closed mouths don’t get fed on this boulevard.
22. People from your past will surprisingly try to make themselves relevant in your present. It’s okay to say no, wish them well and keep it moving.
23. Put yourself out there, and don’t be afraid to walk in your passion. Take risks, set goals, surpass them, and repeat.
24. Be open to change. The world is going to keep evolving whether you like it or not. Find your groove, and thrive baby!
25. Be grateful. You can never be TOO grateful for anything, so pause every now and then just say thank you. “The expansion of our possibilities is connected to the depths of our gratitude.” – Pastor Mike Walrond.