I celebrated my 28th birthday over the weekend and like with most birthdays it brought up a lot of feelings and led to some reflection. I always thought I would be the type to not be bothered by turning 30 but here I am at 28 years old having a minor meltdown over it. I honestly did everything I could to ignore my birthday yesterday. I was just not feeling it at all. Not even a little bit.
As much as I tried to ignore it though it happened and it led me to think about a lot of things that I’ve learned over the years. So as I start my 29th turn around the sun here are 28 things I’ve learned in 28 years.
1. Celebrate your little victories! It’s the reason I named my blog what I did. Because little victories are just as important as the big ones. Making a good meal you didn’t think you could. Doing something you like but weren’t sure you could do. Going to the gym. Whatever it is that might be little don’t forget to celebrate it.
2. Blood family is important but not everything. I’ve learned this the hard way and it’s taken me a long time to come to grips with it but it’s true. Sometimes the family you create for yourself with your friends will prove to be more to you than your blood family. Of course that’s not to say your family isn’t important because they are but it’s not the end of the world if you don’t have a great relationship.
3. Be obsessively grateful. About every little thing you can be. It’s so easy to see the negative and be sucked into feeling like life is shitty. Find any title thing you can and be thankful.
4. On the other side of that coin, don’t feel guilty about feeling bad about your struggles. It’s important to realize that yes things could be worse but even if you understand that you still get to feel upset or sad if you’re going through a hard time.
5. The planet is important! Do whatever you can to help it. Turn the water off when you brush your teeth, reuse things as much as you can, recycle, turn the lights off! All that good stuff. Oh and don’t use plastic bags for fruits and veggies at the store. You really don’t need them.
6. Go to concerts! There’s nothing like live music. It’s one of the best things out there and if you love a band make sure you go see them if you can.
7. Dance it out! If you’re having a bad day put on some music and just dance. You’ll feel better I promise!
8. Self-care is super important. Taking a bath. Going for a walk. Reading a book. Whatever it is you can do for yourself to just recharge a little bit.
9. Read! Read! Read! Anything and everything you can just read. Use your imagination escape into far away lands. You will be a better person for it I swear.
10. Meditation is probably the answer to everything. At the very least taking 5-mindful minutes a day is important.
11. Don’t take your health for granted. You may not feel like going to the gym but if you’re physically capable of going and working out hard for yourself just do it. You would miss it if you weren’t able to do it. Trust me on this.
12. You don’t need to go on a diet. You just don’t. Just eat healthy real foods most of the time. Eat your veggies. Eat good protein. Eat food with real ingredients. Eat when you’re hungry. Eat good but don’t restrict yourself if it’s not necessary.
13. Some friendships aren’t made to last. Most don’t so hold on to those amazing friends that do stick around and don’t stress about those that don’t. If someone is meant to be in your life they will be.
14. Travel!! I’ve not had the chance to travel nearly as much as I would like but the bit that I have done has been everything to me. You’ll never regret going to an amazing new place! It’s worth it every single time.
15. Don’t waste food. I know it’s hard not to sometimes but as soon as you become aware of how much you throw out you’ll start being mindful about using all the food you buy.
16. Everybody can cook. Yes even those of you who think you can’t. I swear you can if you just put in a little effort and you’ll be thankful when you eventually start cooking most of your meals.
17. Don’t tear yourself apart over the way you look and don’t compare yourself to other people. We all have things we wish we could change about ourselves but you are so much more than any little thing you aren’t thrilled with about your body. (This one is hard I know but it’s worth a reminder.)
18. Don’t be a book, music, anything snob. Let people enjoy what they enjoy and don’t make them feel bad about it.
19. Don’t ever forget the wise words of Amy Poehler “Good for her. Not for me.” What works for someone else may not work for you and that’s okay. We all have our own way of getting through life and we don’t need to feel bad if someone does things differently than us. It’s not always right or better. It’s just what works for them.
20. Life often has other plans than the ones you anticipated and it’s okay to readjust your plans. Maybe things didn’t work out the way you thought they would and maybe that means you have to improvise a little bit but it’s okay if that happens.
21. You’re not alone. Whatever it is that has you feeling like you’re the only one dealing with something you’re not. There’s always other people who have probably dealt with whatever it is too and can maybe offer some support or comfort.
22. The internet mentality of everyone being a horrible person if they do anything remotely “problematic” is ridiculous. People can be taught what is wrong and what is right but it’s not at all helpful to just call them a horrible person for one mistake.
23. Healing isn’t linear. If you struggle with mental health problems you’ll know that sometimes you’re in a really good place but you might end up right back where you were before that and have to find your way back. Dealing with any kind of mental health issue isn’t easy and more often than not it will be very up and down.
24. Don’t settle. For anything. In love or life whatever it is. You deserve to be happy and to chase your dreams whatever they may be.
25. It’s okay to ask for help if you need it. Don’t be so prideful or stubborn that you don’t admit if you need help.
26. Take care of your gut! Seriously. I’ve learned how much our gut health impacts the rest of our body and it’s important to eat the right foods and do the right things to take care of it!
27. Life is short and there’s no such thing as saying I love you too much. Tell the people you love that you love them while you can.
28. Just be yourself! You are unique to this world and you don’t need to try and be someone your not. You bring something special to the table and don’t try and get rid of that.
Here’s to year 29 and learning new things about life and what it all means.