24 years ago today I was born! Between freaking out that I’m getting old and time is going way too fast and being excited because I’ve always loved birthdays; my mind is literally all over the place at the moment.
Birthdays are great for celebrating, but this year I wanted to reflect a little. 24 years seems like such a long time and I’ve experienced so much, especially in the past couple of years.
Some good things, some bad, but through everything I’ve gone through, I’ve learned a lot.
Here are 24 of the most important things I’ve learned in 24 years.
1. Take your makeup off before you go to sleep. No excuses, your skin will thank you. If you’re lazy or forgetful, keep makeup removing wipes next to your bed.
2. You don’t have to do what society tells you to do. For the longest time I tried convincing myself that I wanted to get married, buy a house in the suburbs, and have kids all before 30. The sound off all that never truly made me happy or excited I realized, so I stopped pretending that was what I wanted out of life. Do what you want, live how you want, don’t waste time thinking that there’s a specific type of life you’re “supposed” to be living or working towards.
3. Get enough sleep! Don’t skip on sleep because you’re too busy or you have too much to do. You’ll function so much better when you’re well rested. Your skin will look better, your body will feel better, and your mind will feel clearer. (This is something I’m obviously still working on, I get manic sometimes and function on less than 3 hours of sleep a night, but I always end up crashing and it sucks.)
4. Heartbreak is inevitable. You will get your heart broken at least once and you’ll probably break a few hearts too. Breaking someone’s heart hurts more than getting your own broken IMO. Regardless, that pain will pass and you’ll get through it.
5. Accept that there are things you can’t change. You may have no control over certain people, situations, or events and as hard as it is to accept that, you have to.
6. But there are things you can change. If you’re feeling stuck, or something doesn’t feel right to you or if you aren’t happy about something in your life just remember that you have the power to change it, even if you feel like you don’t.
7. Support the people you love. If your friend loves creating art, buy her shit and promote her everywhere. If your brother is in a band, be the first person buying tickets and telling everyone about his upcoming show.
8. Drink water! It’s good for your health, your skin will thank you, and you’ll feel better overall.
9. Invest in a steel water bottle. You’ll have no excuse not to drink enough water throughout the day and you’ll save the environment by not wasting plastic bottles, two benefits!
10. Face your fears, whatever they may be. You won’t get over anything you’re afraid of by avoiding it.
11. There’s always a reason behind the actions of other people. It doesn’t excuse any behavior but it is something worth thinking about.
12. Explore yourself sexually. Don’t be afraid to try and experience new things. Learn your body, what you like and don’t like. Sex should be something you fully enjoy and if you’re not, there’s something missing. Also keep in mind, vanilla is only good when it comes to ice cream (wink wink).
13. Everyone has a different level of tolerance when it comes to the pain and traumas they endure. What might seem like nothing to you, could really be extremely difficult or traumatic for another person. It’s not a competition of who “hurts the most” or who’s been through worse shit. Instead of trying to one-up someone, focus that energy on supporting someone who may need a little extra love.
14. There is a difference between resting and giving up. It’s okay to take breaks, no matter how long. Get rid of the mentality that just because you call it an early night or you skip out on plans or because your mental health is slipping just a little bit, that means it’s time to give up. Allow yourself to take a break, you deserve it.
15. Time has no meaning when it comes to how significant a relationship is. Just because you’ve known someone for 28 years doesn’t necessarily mean your bond with them is stronger than the one you have with someone you’ve only known for 3.
16. Find time to workout, even when you feel like you don’t have the time to. Exercise is not only good for the body, but crazy beneficial for the mind as well.
17. You’ll learn a lot of important lessons from unexpected people and experiences.
18. People are allowed to change. There’s this sick mentality that people aren’t allowed second chances, that people shouldn’t be given an opportunity to fix their mistakes. If someone is willing to, and showing an effort in changing, allow them the opportunity to. They might just surprise you.
19. Always be yourself. Forget about fitting in. To be honest, since fully embracing who I am and doing the things I love doing without worrying what others think, I’ve been so much happier.
20. People come into your life for a reason, no matter how short or insignificant their time in your life may seem. They may show up to teach you a lesson, or show you how to love, or much simpler things like how to dance or cook.
21. Find a good balance between staying in and going out. It’s okay to love staying in, laying in bed watching Netflix or scrolling through your phone but you should also spend time going out. You don’t have to go out drinking, (trust me, I never), but find things you do enjoy doing outside of your home and do them. There’s so much fun to be had out there!
22. Pay attention to your mental health. A little over a year ago I tried ignoring my declining state and brushing it off as just a phase. Unfortunately that didn’t work and I spiraled down a pretty bad depression hole and lost myself a little. If you feel like your mental health is getting worse for any reason, do what you can to help yourself. Go to therapy, find someone to talk to, know your triggers, and learn healthy coping mechanisms. It may seem hard at first, but trust me, it’s one of the most important things you can do for yourself.
23. If you want chocolate, eat fucking chocolate. Your diet will be fine. Honestly, you’ll do more damage refusing something sweet every single time you want it than if you just allow yourself a little once in a while. Just remember, everything in moderation.
24. If you want something, go for it. Take chances, take risks, allow change in your life. Want to start a YouTube channel? Fucking do it! You want to quit your job and travel? GO! You are the only thing holding yourself back from the life you truly want.
24 fucking years old. Damnnnn, I’m old. Well here’s hoping 24 is a good one!
Thanks for reading!
RIkki Parker says
I love this! Read the first one and was like … see .. needed to hear that lol cause I SUCK at removing my make up and my skin probably hates me! I love the water drinking tip tho! A lesson I’ve been learning as well! Great post!
These are great tips and learnt lessons! I'm turning 24 too this year. Happy birthday Ali. I hope you get everything and more this coming year xxx
Melina | http://www.ivefoundwaldo.com
Angela D says
Absolutely love lists like this! 🙂 You learnt a great deal! <3
x Angela / sincerelyangiejj.com
Happy birthday Ali!! I always enjoy reading what people learn in their lives and I can get on board with so much of this. I get what you mean about making the effort to go out- I tend to love staying in but going out needs to happen now and again. Also supporting others- I’m all about that. This is a great list. May we continue to grow through our respective decades 🙂 xx Jen
Jaye Rose says
Love this – although I am the worst for drinking water!
Totally with you on the whole bland vanilla sex thing though ��
The Sunday Mode says
Point number 14 really hit me because at the moment that relates to my life so much. I need to remember that if I take breaks or rest up, that that's not be being lazy or falling behind.
Julia // The Sunday Mode
Zoe's Natural Path says
I'm 25 I can fully relate each year getting older I'm like nooo! ? great blog I feel like I've learned such similar lesson ❤
Georgina Wangui says
Happy birthday Alexandra.. what an inspirational post.
I certainly wasn't spewing such wisdom when I was your age, but I got the hang of it eventually…
Have an amazing year!!!
Georgina | https://georginawangui.com/
This is a wonderful post! I'm 21, and all of this rings true for me. The main difference is that I have yet to put many of your points into action. I'm excited to see what 22 brings!
Hey girl I saw you post this on Twitter and I have to say I really loved reading this and your 24 lessons! I had no idea this post was from last year haha but it still all applies regardless! I have that same mentality when it comes to my diet. I’m not sold on going on a strict diet but I’m trying to just keep everything in moderation. I also agree with what you said about there being a reason for what someone does, whether or not it was good or bad. That insight can totally help us know how to act in response. That vanilla ice cream part made me laugh hahaha ? thanks for sharing!
Yay! So glad you found this and enjoyed it! (:
Mind and Love says
Great post, Alexandra! So many on this powerful list have their roots in knowing thyself and acceptance; understanding what one truly wants beyond societal and cultural expectations. Thank you for sharing!
Thank you so much!