24 Thoughts for 24 Years

Today is my birthday (!!) so I thought I would switch things up and write a different kind of post. Here are 24 things I’ve learned in my 24 years of living. Some are about money; some are still a work in progress and others are simply about life, but all of them are things I’ve been grateful to learn.

 

  1. It Keeps Getting Better

The older you get, the more you know yourself and what you want. This results in a better life, more fulfilling career, meaningful goals, better relationships and a happier existence.

 

  1. Forever People

Forever people are the rarest and most wonderful gift of all. They are the people that you know will always be there with no questions asked, no matter what. Regardless of time or distance, these are your people. I see some of my “forever people” every single day and others a few times a year. I am so, so grateful to have them in my life.

 

  1. Stuff is Lame

I’ve moved 6 times in the past 6 years and if there is one thing my moves have taught me it’s that stuff is lame. I do not enjoy spending my money on it and I do not enjoy lugging it up and down stairs.

 

  1. It’s Okay to Be Boring

There’s a lot of pressure to ~quit your job, travel the world and be #free~ but guess what? It’s okay to love weekends at home and grocery shopping with your other half. These small moments are gifts, not to be wished away or felt bad about.

 

  1. We’re Going to Die

Live accordingly.

 

  1. Be Proud to Be You

It’s never easy to be different, but your differences are what make you wonderful. I’m proud to be LGBT and in a relationship with the love of my life. But in a heteronormative world, this means that I have to come out ALL. THE. TIME. (i.e. Unassuming coworkers ask if I have a boyfriend, grocery clerks ask if we are sisters, and real estate agents ask how long we’ve been “best friends and roommates.”) These encounters are glaring reminders that I am different than most people. As I continue to get older, I continue to embrace the fact that this is a good thing (despite what certain parts of the country would have me believe). It means I’m unique and authentically living my life. Being different is a gift.

 

  1. A Happy Living Space is Worth the Extra Cash

I’ve lived in a dirty studio, a one bedroom with two other girls and an apartment with a windowless bedroom and constant street noise. The lesson learned? Clean, safe, private, quiet accommodations are ALWAYS worth the money.

 

  1. I Hate Cars

They are money-sucking leeches that add an absurd amount of stress to life. They are also insanely convenient. I’ve reconciled those two facts by becoming a one-car household.

 

  1. Your Early 20’s are HARD

Oh man. Your early 20’s are depicted as a constant party and while there have definitely some parties, there has also been an insane amount of stress. There is so much pressure to “figure it out,” find the ~perfect~ career, live on your own, go out with friends, save money, find your partner, etc. That is a crap ton of stuff to figure out in a few short years. As I start moving into my mid-20’s, I am starting to feel the (internal and external) pressure lift as I slowly but surely start to discover what I want.

 

  1. If You Don’t Like Something, Change It (But Not Right Away)

If you’re unhappy with something in your life, then you should change it. But that doesn’t mean that you need to abandon ship and jump headfirst into the unknown. It’s better to make a plan and start working towards it, one day at a time.

 

  1. Unhappy Periods End…But So Do Happy Ones

Life is cyclical and nothing will last forever. Your happiness will eventually be met by stress or tragedy and your unhappiness will eventually lead to peace and joy. I’ve learned that this is a tough pill for me to swallow.

 

  1. I LOVE Saving Money

I never really enjoyed paying off my debt. It felt like I was digging myself out of a hole…in the middle of the desert…while sweating profusely. But if debt is like digging a hole, then saving money feels like planting a palm tree and preparing for a life of leisure in the shade.

 

  1. People Will Annoy You, Ignore Them

Whether it’s online or real life, there are SO MANY annoying people. Just ignore them.

 

  1. Try Everything and Then Curate

I love the rush I get when I try new things. But if I try something new and dislike it, I don’t try again. Life is too short to force yourself to do unpleasant activities. (ahem, snowboarding)

 

  1. Being Debt Free is the Best

That is all 😉

 

  1. Spend Time Outside

Quality time in nature is one of the best gifts you can give yourself. Enjoy it, soak it in and always come back for more.

 

  1. Running is My Favorite

I’ve been running nearly every day since I was 13 and it never gets old. The clarity, peace of mind and sense of accomplishment I get from a good run will never, ever cease to amaze me.

 

  1. Treat Yo’Self

This has been a tough lesson for me to learn, but taking care of myself is the best gift I can give myself and the people I love. It also makes life infinitely more enjoyable.

 

  1. My Life Doesn’t Look the Way I Thought It Would

There are so many things in my life that look NOTHING like I thought they would. But everything that has turned out differently than I envisioned has brought me more joy than I could have ever imagined.

 

  1. Routines Are Great (But They Have a Bad Side Effect)

I LOVE routines. I love waking up in the morning, journaling with a cup of coffee and then heading to the gym before work. I love arriving at work and settling in for the day with the same people. Routines are amazing, but they make the day go by so much faster. And when we only have a limited number of days to live, this isn’t always a good thing.

 

  1. Never Stop Growing

I graduated from college 1.5 years ago and in that time, I’ve learned that I love learning for learning’s sake. In fact, researching new money facts, reading biographies and going on interesting historical tours are some of my favorite pastimes.

 

  1. Aging is a Gift

One of the main reasons I love birthdays (my own and everyone else’s) is because living for another year is such an amazing gift. In fact, it’s the ultimate gift. Most people hate aging, but if I’m blessed enough to have a few more decades on this earth then I promise to celebrate each new birthday with more gusto than the last.

 

  1. Make Hard Decisions Young and Often

The best time to work hard, pay off debt and save money is RIGHT NOW. You will never again be as young or as capable as you are in this moment. I am so ridiculously grateful to my younger self for working three-part time jobs in college instead of taking out additional loans. I’m grateful that my younger self sacrificed convenience and didn’t buy a new car when my old one broke. But mainly, I’m grateful that my younger self buckled down and paid of my loans. My current self is so very grateful for all the hard work my younger self did.

 

  1. I’ve Never Been Happier

As I look towards my 24th year, I can genuinely say that I’ve never been happier or more content, and even though I know that the future will hold a plethora of twists and turns, I’m ridiculously grateful for this moment.

 

Any birthday advice or thoughts?

3 thoughts on “24 Thoughts for 24 Years

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