23 Things I Learned at 23

10325790_10152635194017345_6923522118976578692_n“Nobody likes you when you’re 23” is what you’ll probably hear 6 or 7 times on your 23rd birthday. Thanks Blink-182 for these lyrics that will haunt all 23 year olds.

But there’s more to that: “And you still act like you’re in freshman year.” … which is a completely accurate description of how 23 has been for me.

Today’s the end of that. I’m glad 2014 is over. I’m glad that tomorrow I’ll be 24. It’s been a rough year. But I’ve accomplished a lot! I’ve graduated college, gotten a full-time job with benefits, went to a stuttering convention (what even!), had 7 cavities filled and a broken filling replaced all within a few hours… but I’ve made a lot of personal changes too. More than anything, I’ve learned that I have no idea how to handle things in a healthy and effective way. I’m starting to.

Here are 23 things I learned this year. Enjoy.
(PS: The pictures look best through Chrome Browser haha)

  1. Starbucks is life. When you’re out of the house 12 hrs a day / 5 days a week, at least.1
  2. You can’t fix everything or everyone.
  3. It’s OK to hold onto people and things too long if you need, but it’s better to let go.
  4. Commutes are painful, but man, is it ample reading time. Make the most of it.
  5. Letting go of toxic people is so freeing.2
  6. People change and sometimes that change is awful. You can’t live in the past.
  7. Age stops mattering in the workplace if you work hard, act professional, and keep up.
  8. If someone doesn’t feel emotionally safe to be around, it’s OK to distance yourself – no matter how much they “act” like a good friend.3
  9. Not everyone matures. Not everyone matures quickly. Be patient with those whom you love and are good.
  10. Have hard talks. Be assertive. Ask for what you want. You’re not a bad person for demanding respect.
  11. Looking cute is actually really fun.6
  12. You owe yourself happiness, love, and freedom. No person is going to give it to you.
  13. It’s good to tell your secrets to those you love, but it’s best to tell them only to those who make you feel safe.
  14. How to apply lipstick. (Thanks, Delaine.)
  15. Walk heel first. Not flat foot. That’s why your hamstrings muscles are so tight, you big goof.4
  16. You don’t need to be so hard on yourself. You’re young. You’re full of mistakes you’ll still make. These will be some of them.
  17. Never apologize for expressing your needs, wants, or creative dreams. Ingrain this into your soul. 5The world should not be sorry for your wonderful and unique experience.
  18. There’s bad, but the good is good.
  19. A year isn’t inherently “good” or “bad.” Take things day by day.
  20. Open your heart a little more, even when you’re sober.7
  21. Take all the selfies you want, even right before graduation. You’ll thank yourself later.
  22. Forgive. Forgive. Forgive.
  23. People are often more forgiving than you think. Ask for forgiveness.

What have you learned this year?

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