Birthdays have played tricky games with me over the past 6-7 years. Sometimes I had unrealistically high expectations (Prince Charming knocking on my door at the knick of midnight), and other times my lack of self-confidence had me down. Some years were fantastic where I was surrounded by loved ones, and felt nothing but like a queen all of February 3rd. All in all, my birthday was just another day, and the only thing that changed was the number representing my age. This year, however, I self-reflected, and realized a lot has changed. Here are the 24 things I learned by now:
- Smile at least once a day. Even if you have to force it by watching an episode of Friends.
- Success does not have one definition. It is ever-changing, and it is different to every individual.
- Always apologize to your mother after an argument. Even if you’re right.
- Have hobbies.
- Admit your mistakes. Not necessarily to other people, but definitely to yourself.
- Give yourself the chance to be lazy. Sometimes. Not everyday.
- An education may cost you $35,000. If you make the best of it, it becomes priceless.
- Don’t let the small stuff get to you.
- Cancel out your negatives with three positives. They exist, I promise.
- Never dishonour your values.
- A couple amazing friends is better than a lot of acquaintances.
- Family always comes first.
- Forgive your family, even if they don’t apologize.
- Out of sight, out of mind. Don’t let the things that bother you or hurt you stay in your line of sight.
- Invest in your bags and shoes. These are pieces that will carry you as well as carry your tangible valuables.
- There is no finish line for success. Life is a journey full of big and small victories along the way.
- It’s fine if life doesn’t take you on the journey you expected at age 16, at age 18, or at age 21. Changes usually happen for the better.
- It’s ok to cry. It’s not ok to cry everyday. If you’re crying everyday, figure out how to replace those tears with smiles.
- When something bad or undesirable happens, compare it to the grand scheme of things. Not so bad anymore, right?
- If it can be fixed with money, it’s not that big of a problem.
- It’s more sustainable to own one fantastic shirt for $200 than 10 bad quality shirts for $20 a piece.
- Never stop learning. Beauty will fade, but intellectual beauty won’t.
- If you’re stuck in a job you hate, don’t quit until you have another option. You need money to survive, but make sure the rest of your lifestyle is awesome.
- Getting older isn’t so scary. It’s simply the evidence of growth.
Whether you are 16, 24, 40, or in your 60s, I hope these are life lessons that you can ponder on and potentially learn from as well. As they say, you can learn something from anyone, and who’s to say you can’t learn from little ol’ 24-year-old me?