It’s not easy to identify which life events transitions you from a girl to a woman, but turning 25 this week, I felt that a mental transition had been shaping up for months. Throughout my early 20s, I packed my days with one passion pursuit after another, which I credit to what has helped cultivate what my life is so far. They were years of serendipity, aimless curiosity and travel. But now at 25, I have more intention with what I pursue. Not to say I’m no longer taking risks, in fact, I took more risks than any year before. But for the first time in my life, I recognized the limitations of time. As a result I began confronting my fears by conquering them. I left a relationship of four years and moved to New York, a city that had always intimidated me. I moved cross-country alone, without a support system or a concrete goal, and the experience was a challenge that taught me a life long lesson in capability and resilience to new situations.
Here are the top 25 lessons I’ve learned.
1. When you find yourself in the thick of an argument, ask yourself: Have I eaten today?
2. You can’t always change the circumstances you’re given in life, but you can change the way you look at them.
3. Don’t waste your time doing anything that drains you.
4. Recognize the value of investing, from the financial to the personal.
5. Identify the people who bring out the best in you, and nurture those relationships.
6. Taking a leap of faith can be easy if you break it down and plan ahead.
7. You’ll never get what you don’t ask for.
8. Keep a notebook (or note app) handy – inspiration is abrupt and fleeting, but writing down ideas keeps them grounded. At times they even manifest themselves.
9. If it’s not a FUCK YES! It’s probably a no.
10. It’s never too late to pick up a new hobby. I took a pole dancing class recently and was inspired by the bold and boundary breaking attitude of a retiree that took the class.
11. Your body has a limit, and respect those limits.
12. Navigating the complexity of adulthood can be confusing – sometimes the best form of solace comes from books.
13. Build your reputation on honesty and hard work, anything else will eventually catch up.
14. Expanding your hobbies is one of the best ways to open your perspective.
15. There’s creativity in problem-solving and being resourceful.
16. Nothing worth having comes along easy. Trust the process and keep trying.
17. Moving to a city or neighborhood that inspires you is one of the best ways to improve the quality of your life.
18. Nothing is fun after 10 years of the same experience- not even Coachella.
19. Sometimes staying in is way nicer than going out.
20. And if you are going out, avoid the weekend riffraff and opt for Thursday night plans instead.
21. Adopt a self-care routine that works for you, whether that’s meditation, yoga, or a skin care regiment. You’ll save yourself a lot of headache later.
22. Gratitude goes a long way, taking the time out to say thank-you will work wonders for building and maintaining relationships.
23. Learn to wake up early, and embrace it. Those extra hours make a difference on getting a head start.
24. Learn to love your work – and if you don’t, work on your side hustle to make that a reality.
25. Take accountability for your decisions, for the things that are going well, and for things that have gone wrong. Ultimately it’s empowering to know that everything you do is a choice.