A few weeks ago, I turned 23. It’s honestly something that is very weird for me to think about. I’ve always associated this age with being basically a real adult but I’m not quite there yet. When I was a kid, I thought I would be married by 23 yet here I am, 23 and not married which is 110% fine by me. Right now, my 20’s is all about learning more about myself and trying to figure out what I want in life. It’s about making mistakes and using life experiences to shape me into the person I want to become. So here are 23 life lessons I’ve learned by my 23rd birthday!
1. Self-love is so important – This is something I’ve been working on recently. It is so important to love yourself and take care of yourself. One of my favorite ways to do this is by taking a hot shower, put on a face mask, listen to some calming music, and lay in bed.
2. Let yourself be angry or upset about a crappy situation but then learn from it and let it go – Bad things happen and it’s okay to get upset about it. But in the wise words of Elsa, let it go. Take that bad situation and turn it into a positive to help you grow from it and learn from your mistakes.
3. Get rid of the toxic people in your life – Whether it be a bad friend, a crappy boyfriend, or someone you just don’t like, get rid of them. Don’t keep them in your life if they aren’t nice to you or don’t respect you.
4. Eat the cupcake and/or drink the wine – This is why I would never be able to diet tbh. Life is way too short to not enjoy the not so good things like dessert and alcohol but just do it in moderation!
5. Treat yo self – This has been something that I’ve been doing more frequently lately but it’s okay. Just like eat the cupcake, buy yourself something that you really want, or treat yourself to a nice massage or something. Do something for yourself that brings you happiness even if it’s a little thing.
6. Do something crazy – For me, this was moving to Orlando after college to work for Disney even though I knew I would have an end date for my job. But if I didn’t do this, I would have regretted it for the rest of my life. I’m not saying you have to move halfway across the country like I did but even something like dying your hair a different color or going zip-lining if you were afraid of heights is something that can open your eyes to new possibilities and gain some self confidence.
7. Date around – Now I’m not saying go sleep around, but go on dates with different people! This helps you learn more about what you want and don’t want in a partner and it’s fun to just go out and meet new people. Before I started dating my current boyfriend, I went on dates and enjoyed getting to know people that I otherwise would never know.
8. Embrace your natural beauty – Some of y’all reading this wouldn’t know but I have naturally curly hair and am kind of lacking in the eyebrow department. I have really red cheeks and sometimes I have breakouts. I wear a lot of makeup because makeup is something I enjoy but I have learned to not be afraid to not wear makeup while out and about. I have learned to love my curly hair especially with living in hot and humid Florida because it’s honestly too hard to maintain my hair when it’s summertime.
9. Don’t try to change yourself to impress a guy – I’ve been down this route before of changing myself to impress guys and the relationships obviously failed. Why even try being someone you’re not? If that person doesn’t like you for who you are, they aren’t worth it.
10. Take a chance on someone you thought you wouldn’t like – If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll see I have a new boyfriend. When I first met him, I thought he was cute but I didn’t think I’d actually like him since he kind of seemed like a dingbat. But one night at a party, we started talking and he turned out to be the nerdiest and goofiest guy I’ve ever met. He never fails to make me laugh and picks me up when I am down. We think it’s funny that we both thought we wouldn’t like the other and yet here we are!
11. Have an emergency fund – Sometimes shit hits the fan and things go wrong. Having some money set aside is something I’ve learned the importance of since living on my own and not relying on my parents as much to help me out with money.
12. Don’t be afraid to ask for help – I sometimes hate asking for help like a lot of others do but it’s something that you shouldn’t be ashamed of. Asking for help gives you another way to look at something or can just lift a burden off your shoulders which is sometimes exactly what you need.
13. Get out of your comfort zone – Before working to Disney, I was very introverted. After working for Disney, I can talk to just about anyone about anything. Disney brought me out of my comfort zone by forcing me to interact with all sorts of people and is the reason why I landed my current job as a VIP Tour Guide.
14. Dance it out – Some of my favorite moments from Grey’s Anatomy is when Meredith and Cristina dance it out and I owe it to them for this one. If you are having a good day, dance it out. If you are having a bad day, dance it out. Dancing it out almost always makes everything better.
15. Invest in some staple clothing – Get yourself some well fitting dress pants or suit, a go-to jacket, a perfect pair of jeans, some basic yet flattering t-shirts, and pair of shoes that go with just about everything and you’ll keep those items for a long time and they will never go out of style.
16. Wear sunscreen – When I lived in Florida the first time, I was so good about wearing sunscreen, especially on my face. But since I’ve come back, this is something I haven’t been as conscientious about. But this is something that I’ve learned to do as teenager because I was that teen who refused to put enough sunscreen on and would get fried. Sunburns are no good and no fun.
17. Pay your bills on time – With student loans, rent, utilities, and credit cards, paying my bills on time is something I’ve become more aware of especially since graduating college. Autopay is a lifesaver!!!!
18. Learn to take care of an animal on your own – If you didn’t know, I rescued a cat that my roommates found outside. Theodore O’Malley, my cat, has quickly become the light of my life and learning how to take care of him on my own has been such a rewarding experience. I love him so much and he came into my life at such a perfect time. I love getting to come home to him after work and having him greet me at the door and even when he does things like knock my mirror over, I can’t help but not be mad at him because he’s so darn cute!!
19. Don’t settle for less than you deserve – You are a queen (or a king) and you should always know your worth.
20. Always carry a portable charger – When you spend as much time on your phone as I do, I always carry 1 or 2 portable chargers with me. You never know if you or a friend will need it! You never know if you’ll end up with a dead phone and lost in an unfamiliar place.
21. It’s okay to have lazy days – I can work anywhere from 40-70 hours a week at work and sometimes you just need to spend your days off being a complete lazy bum. My boyfriend and I did this last week and it was honestly much needed. We legit watched movies and laid by the pool all day and it was glorious.
22. Talk to your parents more – Oddly enough, moving away from home has brought me closer to my parents. I see them more now than I ever did when I was in college and even though I don’t talk to them every day, I try to talk to them more than I did back then. They like to make sure I’m alive and well and I know that they worry sometimes and want to know what’s going on in my life.
23. You do you boo – In the wise words of one of my favorite fellow VIP Tour Guides, you do you boo. Don’t be anyone else and don’t like anyone tell you otherwise. You do what makes you happy.