Birthdays are weird for me. I can remember my last truly enjoyable one being my 21st birthday. This year, I've had a lot of feelings about turning 26. I am now much closer to 30 than I am 20 and that's definitely a weird feeling but it's also exciting. 26 is definitely going to be a big year for me because I'm getting married and moving potentially twice before my next birthday. There are so many unknown and exciting things that are going to occur in the next 365 days that it's hard not to be excited about this birthday. (I also get to spend it with my mom for the first time in probably 4 years so that's really fun).
Last year, I did a YouTube video called 25 Things I've Learned in 25 years. I had so much creating that video that I thought I would do something similar for a blog post in honor of my birthday this year as well! Rather than do another post on the things I've learned, I figured I would switch gears a bit and give myself (and anyone else out there that needs this advice) a list of things I would tell my younger self.
Thank you to everyone who has sent sweet messages and birthday wishes to me this morning! I hope you all enjoy my unfiltered advice to my younger self!
1. Wash your makeup off at the end of every day.
Even if you don't want to.
2. Not everyone is going to like you.
You'll learn to attract the right people and repel the others eventually.
3. You won't learn to snowboard until you're 24.
Don't ever give up on your dreams, Y'all.
4. You don't have to apologize for saying no.
Admittedly, I'm still working on this even at 26 but saying no is something you shouldn't have to apologize for in any circumstance.
5. Listen to your heart more and your mind less often.
Anxiety has a way of crippling our intuition but always trust your heart and/or your gut first.
6. Everyone comes into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.
Don't just assume that everyone you make a connection with is going to stick around forever. Sometimes people show up for one reason or another, sometimes it's just to get you through a rough season, but eventually, you'll find the few who are going to be there forever.
7. Don't waste your time with boys who don't give a shit.
If you're spending hours worrying about what a guy is doing because he's not texting, calling, or spending time with you, ditch him.
8. You don't have to be friends with everyone you meet.
Sometimes people just don't click and that's okay.
9. You don't have to keep following people who make you insecure.
If an account your following is making you reflect negatively on yourself, your life, or your work in some way, unfollow them!
10. You don't have to invest in relationships that aren't pouring back into you.
If there's a friend that just takes, takes, and takes while all you do is give in that relationship, see ya later.
11. Forgive everyone who's ever wronged you.
You can't afford the wrinkles that come with holding grudges.
12. Pour love into everyone, regardless of how they treat you.
AKA answer every situation with love. Someone is being rude to you in the checkout line? Mind your manners and wish them a better day. Approach everything you do with compassion and understanding.
13. Write down everything your grandma says and never take her (or anything) for granted.
There are so many memories I wish I had recorded, so many questions I wish I had asked. You're not guaranteed one more day on this Earth so never take any moment for granted.
14. Love is always worth it, even though it hurts sometimes.
Each person, as mentioned above, has come into your life for a reason. All of those broken hearts have prepared you for the one that will hold it forever.
15. Always be yourself.
This is something we're still just learning but I wish I had started it sooner. Who cares that you're obsessed with Harry Potter and true crime podcasts? That you used to roleplay on message boards way back in the day. That you like to dip your french fries in ice cream or you put sour cream on everything or that you could eat pasta for every meal of the day?
16. Focus on your nutrition more.
I know I just said we could eat pasta for every meal of the day but let's be honest, we really shouldn't.
17. Don't binge on alcohol.
Bad habits learned in college aren't all they're cracked up to be. Plus, it makes you gain weight.
18. Hangovers get worth with age.
SERIOUSLY, WHY DIDN'T ANYONE TELL ME THIS.
19. Don't be afraid of spontaneity.
Say no less an yes more often. It will lead you to some pretty incredible experiences.
20. You are not defined by your mistakes.
Bold and underline that.
21. Pour into your friendships.
Never stop giving in to your true friendships (unless they're not giving back to you).
22. Never stop writing.
Don't let the fear of rejection, lack of time, motivation, life, etc. get in the way of your writing.
23. You'll hit your stride eventually.
And it will be so so so worth it.
24. Soul mates do exist.
One day you'll meet "the one" and it will be like you've known each other in 1000 lifetimes. Probably because you have.
25. People will never learn that West Virginia is a state.
Or that it even exists, honestly.
26. Time really does move so fast.
You will blink and it'll be the moment you've been waiting for. So see above where I said, don't take anything for granted.