25 Lessons For 25 Years!

Hello readers! If you’re reading this on the day this is posted, it is officially four days until my 25th birthday. That is two and a half decades or a quarter of a century. Still, while it sounds grand when said with pretension, it’s a relatively small number. That said, I’ve learned a lot in that amount of time. I figured I’d share with you 25 lessons that I personally learned that I will be taking with me into my 25th year. Without further ado, 25 lessons for 25 years:

  1. Be True To Yourself: We get one life to live. It’s too short not be living as our authentic selveseven if who you are and what you enjoy seems outside the norm, as long as you’re not hurting anyone, be that and do that—plus, the way I see it, authenticity attracts authenticity, and I want to be around people who will be themselves and who will let me be my true self.
  2. Love Yourself: It can be hard for us, as people, to love ourselves when we have so much influence from the media and maybe even people in our lives essentially telling us not to—loving yourself though, and finding that peace of accepting who you are is essential to living happily.
  3. Be Gentle With Yourself: Stress is a huge part of life and a lot of times we put too much pressure on ourselves to measure up to a standard that somebody else set. The best thing to do is be gentle with yourself and understand that you’re human and that life truly doesn’t have a standard.
  4. Not Everything Is About You: I’m sure this seems a bit contradictory to the last few lessons but it’s true. Not necessarily meant in the sense that you shouldn’t look out for yourself. More so meant as not everything that goes wrong is your fault, not every rejection is a reflection of you, not every bad day is because you did something wrong, etc.
  5. Save Your Energy For The Right People: Only give the energy to people that they’re giving to you—it’s unfair and unnecessary to go above and beyond for people who constantly fall short with you and your needs.
  6. Mistakes Will Happen: You’re human and you will mess up. It’s important to acknowledge that, take accountability when you do, and grow—just don’t beat yourself up when it does happen—it’s a natural part of life and learning.
  7. Feel Your Emotions: I think there are many situations when people try to put a timeframe of how long you can feel something for. Not only is that unfair, but it’s unreasonable. Everyone is different, and it’s important to fully experience your emotions and let them settle in your brain so that you can comprehend how you truly feel about certain things.
  8. Let Go Of Things/People That Don’t Make You Happy: This one could be controversial and is also not always simple to do. That said, I think it’s important to let go of things and yes, even people, who don’t align with your energy and don’t make you happy. If neither of you are contributing to the other’s life in an even remotely positive or constructive way, there’s not really a point of being around the person anymore. The same goes for material objects and clutter that you don’t truly need but maybe hold onto because you feel like you have to (spoiler alert: you don’t and if you don’t like it/haven’t used it, toss it or even donate it!).
  9. Life Is Not A Competition: It’s so easy to get obsessed with comparing your life to others and feeling the need to measure up or even do better. This is unnecessary, everyone has a different path! As long as you’re doing what makes you happy and trying to better yourself for you, and living your life for yourself, you’re already successful enough.
  10. Take Everything One Step At A Time: Overthinking is a curse and a lot of us do it! We tend to jump ahead of ourselves and end up in a jumbled mess of half sorted tasks and goals. The best thing to do is approach everything with baby steps. Live minute to minute and understand that things can change in an instant. Then realize that not everything has to be done all at once anyway and that it’s ok to do things one by one and at a gradual pace.
  11. Rejection Is A Part Of Life: There will be times when rejection will play a part in your life. Whether it be with relationships, clubs, or jobs, it’s ok to not always get everything you want. It gives you the opportunity to improve and maybe even find something better for yourself.
  12. It’s Never Too Late To Do What You Want: This is another one that I’m sure some people can argue. Still, I don’t think there truly is a timeline on anything. If you really want something, go for it.
  13. Make Time For Fun: In a world where it seems everyone is on the go and trying to be as successful as possible, it’s so easy to get consumed by working. Having fun can even feel like we’re failing somehow but I assure you, you’re not. Life is short, have fun!
  14. Don’t Stress What You Cannot Immediately Change: This can be easier said than done but it kind of goes back to the baby steps thing. Stressful situations will constantly arise but we have to try not to let it constantly rule our lives—if you can’t change it at that very moment, put it out of your mind for the time being and start gradually working towards a potential solution.
  15. Let Other People Help You: I know, for me, I have a very hard time letting others help me out if I’m overwhelmed. A lot of times this will cause me to feel isolated and shut out, like nobody understands. So asking for help and, more importantly, letting someone help you is vital to your mental well-being! You can’t do everything on your own.
  16. Help Yourself: While getting help from others is super important, we also have to remember to help ourselves! Sometimes that means taking initiative to seek help from others (which will ultimately help you) and it can also be reflecting on what it is we need to do (whether for ourselves or for goals and tasks we might have to achieve).
  17. It’s Ok Not To Have It “Together”: There’s a chance that you might not feel like you have it together all of the time. Whether it be mentally or physically, or even in terms of your job, finances, or what your house looks like. The important thing to understand is that it’s ok! Nobody has it together all of the time and if there is something about your life that genuinely bothers you that much, taking steps to work on it is good enough.
  18. Take Care Of Yourself: Mental and physical health are both incredibly important. We’re told our whole life to take care of these things (mainly physical even though mental is just as important but I digress). Still, many times we let these things fall to the wayside, and prioritize other’s needs over our own. It’s not a bad thing to care about others, but we also need to take care of ourselves. Treat yourself as though you are someone you love and give yourself the care that you’d give to them or that you’d want for them to give to themselves.
  19. Always Try To Grow And Improve: We can always improve on something. While it is important not to force change on ourselves and make it stressful, it’s also important to take accountability for yourself and grow as a person. If you learn something new, try to apply it as much to your life as you can until it naturally sticks.
  20. Don’t Be Afraid To Make Changes: Change can be terrifying but it’s important to try not to let it hold you back. I think what helps me is understanding that no matter what I personally do, change will happen anyway. So, if there is something that I’m fearing because it will be a change but I also want to do it, I’ll try to do it anyway for the fact that, at the very least, I have control of that change and I acknowledge that changing is a part of living.
  21. Never Give Up On Your Dreams: Dreams can seem far fetched and tricky but even if it’s something that seems unattainable hang on to the goal of fulfilling it. Take little steps to get there and make it a big goal—something to work up to gradually! For example, if you want to act, start with a club or community theater—it’s a small step but a step nonetheless and it fulfills at least the partial goal. Overtime, you can work your way up to acting classes and auditions and then hopefully you end up achieving the dream. If you don’t achieve it in completion or to the extent you thought you would, that’s still ok as long as you’re trying and giving that dream some sort of space in your life. Just never give up on the idea of it completely.
  22. It’s Ok To Occasionally Do “Nothing”: Sometimes you need a complete rest day, and that’s fine! Take a day to just totally relax and reset, you deserve it.
  23. It’s Ok To Spend Money: A very scary concept but a fact. I’m not saying to constantly splurge on things you don’t need and forget about your bills, but the age old saying “you can’t take it with yourings true here. While it’s great to try to have a savings (in this economy that’s kind of laughable), it’s also great to get yourself something everyone once in a while!
  24. Step Outside Of Your Comfort Zone: It sounds intimidating but sometimes doing things that are generally outside of your general notion of comfort can be good for you. Talking to new people, trying new things, tasting new food, going to new places (all while still acknowledging that we’re currently in a pandemic and that we must do these things within reason)—as the saying goes, “variety is the spice of life” dear readers, and you might just enjoy that spice!
  25. Keep Going: This one seems vague and, in a sense, it is. Whatever way you interpret this—keep going in life, keep going after your dreams, keep going for the things that make you happy, keep going after new experiences, keep going after improvements for your life, etc. etc. etc.—no matter which one applies to you, just keep going.

I hope you all enjoyed reading some of the things that I’ve learned so far. I’m proud of the knowledge I’ve gained, even in just this year alone. I’m also aware that I still have so much more to learn and that’s ok! This is a part of life, and I’m happy to grow, learn, and change until my time on this planet is finally done. Maybe this list struck a cord with some of you out there. If that’s the case, even better—we can grow and learn together.

Published by gcalavano

I am a 24 year old who uses the following pronouns: she/her/they/them. I am queer and mentally ill and I’m just trying to live and figure out how to remain true to myself but also grow as I go!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: