Another year has passed, and a slightly wiser Ali has emerged.
Reflecting on this past year has shown me that, once again, so much can happen in just 365 days. Looking back, it all feels so fast and chaotic. Situations and experiences, both positive and negative, whirling past you as you grasp on to every last bit of them. Hoping to remember every detail, looking for the lesson in each and every one of them.
But even in those mundane, day-to-day, and seemingly boring moments, we’re changing. The truth is, through every single little thing we experience, no matter how insignificant it seems, we’re learning and growing. The beauty of life is that it’s ever-changing and ever-teaching, and if we redirect our thoughts and focus on what these experiences are teaching us, we can start using them to our advantage.
And that right there is a little bonus lesson for you. (Consider this post 26 things I’ve learned this year..)
I’m not some wise old philosopher, or maybe I am. But I do enjoy sharing the little life-changing things I’ve learned with you guys. Here’s 25 more of them:
|Pictured to the right, in a floral designer gown, is a young philosopher in the making (aka me).|
Divine Intervention, Cheap Thrills & Learning How To Heal | 25 Things I’ve Learned in 25 Years
1. Open yourself up. Whether it be just one or twelve, make some new friends. Allow people to love and support you, without pushing them away. You’re deserving of love and good relationships, regardless of what your brain might try to tell you.
2. Engage in healthy debates. There’s billions of people on Earth, and most aren’t going to agree with your opinions on everything, and that’s okay and actually really, totally cool. We’re all different. We all have different perspectives, thoughts, and have experienced different things, so of course our opinions on things are going to differ. Learn to take those differences of opinion and turn them into healthy debates and even learning experiences. We all kind of have something to offer and teach.
3. Every single thing you’ve gone through and every single feeling you’ve had, or are going to have, or are currently feeling, are all real and valid. Allow yourself to cry, scream, and grieve, but don’t allow the bad things you’ve experienced to be excuses for your own bad behavior. After all, at the end of the day, you are responsible for your own healing.
4. Utilize the “Do Not Disturb” feature on your phone. Or just turn notifications off every once in a while. We’re all so consumed by social media, whether we’d like to admit it or not, and sometimes we need a break from it, even if we don’t consciously realize it.
5. Read more. It doesn’t even matter what you read, just read. Read a novel, read a biography, read a list article, a gossip magazine, or the back of your cereal box. Just fucking read.
6. Don’t get so caught up in numbers. The numbers you see on the scale mean nothing as long as you’re healthy and happy with your body. The number of followers you have mean nothing if they’re not supportive or engaging. And the amount of money you have in your bank account means nothing if you aren’t happy with the life you’re living.
7. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, You can’t do it all on your own, nobody can. Swallow some of that pride and push aside that nagging voice in your head telling you that people aren’t going to help you, and ask for some help when you need it. You’d be surprised by how willing people can be to help someone in need.
8. Believing in something is better than believing in nothing. Believe in whatever you want, religion, astrology, miracles, yourself, just believe in something.
9. Invest in yourself. Don’t work a 9-5 job you hate and then go home and do absolutely nothing for yourself. You don’t have to have a side hustle, but a hobby or a kick-ass workout or self-care routine allows you to refocus your attention back on bettering or taking care of yourself and your needs, which is important!
10. You are not your mistakes. We tend to spend way too much time reflecting on our past mistakes, letting them become a part of who we are. We beat ourselves up, and in turn, stunt our own growth. Mistakes happen, we’re not perfect, and they should be viewed as an opportunity to learn. But don’t just brush the mistakes you’ve made off. Own up to them, recognize that you’ve made a mistake. Reflect on it for a bit, figure out why you made the mistake, and either fix it if you can or move on.
11. Challenge yourself daily. Do things that force you out of your comfort zone, expose yourself to things that challenge you. You can go big, but you don’t necessarily have to. You can start by making small changes in your diet, you can start playing a new sport, or you can take some music lessons. Remember, you don’t grow in your comfort zone.
12. If you want to be good at something, you need to practice the shit out of it. Unless you’re born with the lucky, and very unlikely, ability of being able to be amazing at anything, you’re going to have to learn how to do the things you want to do. And of course that takes time and tons of hard work! But if it’s something you want, it’ll be worth it.
13. Life isn’t fair. You can spend your whole life crying and complaining about how unfair your life is or has been, but unless you actively do something about it, nothing is going to change. Cry and complain for a minute, and then work towards making some changes. Playing the victim will do nothing for you, and crying about the past won’t either, trust me I’ve tried.
14. Keep lotion with you at all times. Hand lotion in your bag, one at your job, one next to your bed, and one in the bathroom for right after a shower. Your skin will thank you. (Oh, and drink lots and lots of water).
15. You can be more than one thing. You can be intelligent, funny, ambitious, introverted, and sexy. You can be adventurous, sarcastic, loving, and lost. You can like beauty and makeup and still be really into astronomy or psychology. You can enjoy partying and maintain a perfect GPA. Interests and hobbies don’t define us. Oh, and ditch the stereotypes.
16. Go after what you want in life and let people think you’re foolish, crazy, or stupid. It’s not their life to live, it’s yours, so live it up.
17. Do your part in keeping the environment clean. Whether you believe in climate change or you don’t, it’s important for all of us to do our part in creating a healthier, cleaner, and happier place for us and every other living creature on this planet, both present and future.
18. Learn how to walk away from things that don’t bring you happiness or don’t benefit you. Life is short, and there’s absolutely no time for negativity. Unfollow those people you don’t actually like, end those relationships that are toxic, and leave that job that’s causing you to come home crying every day.
19. Take care of yourself, physically. Be conscious of what you’re putting into your body and what you’re putting on your skin. Work out or just stay active. You’ve got this body for the rest of your life, so take good care of it.
20. Give things a chance. Ya know, don’t judge a book by it’s cover and all that. Those people you think are totally lame, could actually become close friends of yours. That food that looks disgusting could end up being your new fave. Open your mind.
21. Don’t forget to leave yourself some time to relax. You don’t need to work yourself to death to prove that you’re a productive member of society, and it’s certainly not the only way to become successful. Yes, hard work pays off, but if you don’t take a little time to chill out- or sleep enough- you won’t be able to work as hard as you could, which just results in a half-ass job.
22. With the right people, anything can feel like adventure. Find, and embrace, the thrill in the simple and beautiful things. Less cheap thrills, more simple ones.
23. Your thoughts have a huge impact on your life. As hard as it can be, try focusing on the positive and thinking about the positive. It won’t happen overnight, but with some work, and help if needed, (no shame), you’ll get there.
24. Some people just aren’t going to like you, for no good reason too. Don’t even bother trying to change their minds, it’s a waste of your time. You can’t be everybody’s favorite, and that’s okay.
25. Call it fate, divine intervention, or the universe giving you everything that’s meant to be yours. Some things are just meant to be, and you’ll know when they are.
Some more words of wisdom: