Reflecting on my 24th birthday: 24 lessons I’ve learned
I remember thinking on my 22nd birthday that I was finally getting older, “but imagine what 24 will feel like.” For some reason 24 sounds so much older! There’s a younger feeling about being 21, 22, or even 23. But despite all that I am EMBRACING 24 and I’m the kind of person that feels like everything gets better with age!
Well Scorpio season is among us! Scorpios are known to be the most “secretive” of the signs, and while I don’t like to spill my heart out completely on the internet I do love myself a good deep conversation (or in this case, blog post). I thought it would be fun to reflect on some simple lessons I’ve learned in my 24 years of life. Comment below and tell me if you can relate to any of these life lessons!
- Sometimes something we didn’t think we wanted turns out to be the greatest gift.Funny story to start this out: my brother was born premature and my parents spent weeks with him in the hospital. I was used to being the only child so when they finally brought him home I said, “I don’t like him. Can you take him back?” Well, flash forward 22 years and he’s pretty great if I do say so!
- Don’t be afraid to fail. In this interview, my good friend Lexy said she feels like failure doesn’t exist and rather everything is just a learning curve. I love that.
- Be kind, be mindful of what you say to others, be humble, be a nice person. “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” –Maya Angelou. Sometimes I haven’t forgotten what hurtful things people have said to me. And I don’t doubt that I’ve said something that hurt someone. But if we can be more mindful of how we come off to people, of how our words or actions affect people, I think we should try our hardest. Being nice doesn’t make you naïve, fake, or a pushover, it just means you care how you make other people feel.
- It’s okay if you realize people don’t have a place in your life anymore. This has been a huge learning lesson for me over the years. I always felt a personal conflict with issues like this; wanting to be nice and not hurt anyone, yet also staying true to myself in knowing that someone doesn’t align with who I am as a person. Follow that inner voice. You might make mistakes, but everyday things will become more and more clear
- Take time to be interested in your Grandparents and spend time with them. They’re gone sooner than we think. My Grandma passed away a few months ago, and that marks the last living grandparent I had. I deeply cherished every one of my grandparents and I only wish I had more time to spend with my Mom’s parents who passed away when I was much younger. See you on the other side.
- Hustle with heart…but not always. Taking time to pause and reflect is often just as powerful as being busy.
- Follow your heart. I’ve always been a firm believer of this when navigating life, careers, love, friendships, you name it. Don’t let the pessimists get to you. Doing what’s right isn’t always easy and what’s easy isn’t always right but your heart will help you navigate that. I find that somewhere along the line your heart and your mind work together.
- Preserve your memories. Keep a journal, print out your photos and put them in an album, take video! I’ve learned too many times that technology is temporary and photos and videos get lost along the way. In a way, our own memory is temporary too. I recently realized that gone are the days when people walk around with the big hefty home video cameras and that makes me a little sad. No one is truly preserving the videos they take. I don’t know about you but I want to look back on my life when I’m 90.
- Be a rebel, take chances, create your own path. In 2012 I Facebook messaged Drake Doremus who directed one of my favorite all-time movies that made me want to be an actress and writer/director called Like Crazy. I asked him some advice and he gave me the most honest answers I will always remember. Here’s exactly what he said in response, caps and all. “WATCH A LOT OF MOVIES AND FOLLOW YOUR HEART. DON’T TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER AND DO WHATEVER YOU WANT ALWAYS. BE A REBEL.” Thanks for responding to a random stranger, Drake.
- Sometimes figuring out what you DON’T want to do can you lead you to clarity for your true purpose. During my first year of college I was still getting clear on what I really wanted to do in life. It was a time of change and growth and coming into who I was as a person. I still felt mildly embarrassed to admit that I wanted to act and I hid behind my love for writing. I ended up doing an internship at Warner Brothers for MadChance Productions and it was a great experience. It taught me so much and oddly enough I learned so much about what I definitely didn’t want to do. I did not want to be a producer’s assistant and sacrifice my soul. I did not want to be a script supervisor or editor or PA etc. the list goes on. However, one night when I got the chance to be a PA on set I learned that it would kill me if I didn’t take the chance to act. I remember looking at the actors while I was a PA and thinking, “I would give anything to trade places with you right now.” It hit me like a ton of bricks that it would be sad if I lived my whole life with that feeling and vowed not to do that.
- It’s okay to be both introverted and extroverted. I like to go out and have drinks with my friends and be social but I also really like being alone and making lists and reading a good book. Don’t feel like you have to fit a mold of anything or anyone, just be yourself.
- Be mindful of who and what you put your energy into. If it’s not being reciprocated or you feel like it adds negativity to your life, let it go.
- The sound of your dogs snoring will make everything fade to the background. Really, what’s better than coming home and snuggling up to my dogs and hearing them sleep so soundly. (cheesy, I know. But 100% the truth).
- Study your craft diligently, be driven, have laser focus. The people that do this, no matter what industry you’re in, are already a step ahead of those who put half effort into things.
- Social media is not real life. I’ll say it again…SOCIAL MEDIA IS NOT REAL LIFE. (check out this video that explains this perfectly). Man, social media is such a love hate thing for me. I know we’ve all had our days when we wish we had what was on the other side of the screen. But remind yourself that 9/10 what’s on the other side of that screen looks a whole lot different in real life. I still believe that social media can be used for positive things, but I’ve learned to check myself in the comparison game online.
- Don’t be afraid to be ahead of the game. I’ve always had that entrepreneurial spirit about me (and I’m sure so many of you reading this do, too!) I started my Etsy shop back in 2013 and no one my age was really doing that. Not because they couldn’t but I just think no one my age really had an interest in doing that at the time. Part of me felt embarrassed to talk about the fact I had an Etsy shop at that time and I’ve learned it’s okay to stand out of the crowd. Be confident in your ventures.
- Just begin. The hardest part about doing the work is just sitting down and starting.
- Actions speak louder than words. Plain and simple.
- Anxiety can be paralyzing. I’ve struggled a lot with anxiety over the past couple years. I don’t have many answers here, but I’ve learned to breathe and look at the bigger picture.
- Deep conversations are the best way to connect with someone. I don’t know if I’ve learned this or if I was born this way but Lord knows I love to have deep conversations with people. Deep, meaning more than small talk. What makes you tick, what do you dream about, what do you think shaped you into who you are, etc. So if you’re ever having a day when you want to talk, head over to Instagram and you know where to find me!
- Speak with confidence about what you love. I wrote an entire blog post on this and it’s really a huge lessons I’ve learned over the years.
- Going out of your comfort zone helps you grow as a person. It can be as simple as going up to someone at an event and having a conversation, or joining a new community, or applying for a new job. That little pang of fear or sickness you feel when you’re doing something new…you’re growing! I wrote a blog post about how joining this network of women helped me out of my comfort zone and truly helped me grow as a person.
- True friendships are hard to come by. True friendships are a two way street, not one a one lane highway. They are empathetic, they care deeply about you just as you do for them, they never let anything get in the way, they love you for you. Remember, quality over quantity. I look at some of the friendships I’ve had for over 10 years and there’s nothing like a love for a person like that.
- You can’t control what will happen in your life. This is something I still struggle with all the time. I worry about the “what ifs” and it’s a constant reminder that I have to give up control and focus only on the factors I can control.