22 blurred into 23, drunk on heart ache and on whiskey. About a month after my 23rd birthday I knew I had to make one of two choices - continue to hang out with my 21-22 year old self, or, start paving the road to becoming an adult. The latter sounded like a better decision, so I went with that. A big chunk of 23 was spent in heart ache; from guys, from the music industry, and from being homesick. But about 5 months into being 23 I took an incredible hiking trip that completely changed my life. When I stepped off the plane back in Nashville, I knew I couldn't spend anymore time wanting to be happy, instead I needed to actually decide to start being happy. So I did. I made changes, I mapped out the girl I wanted to be and the life I wanted to strive for, I stood upon the highest mountain top I could find and jumped off fearlessly - I was so surprised when I found out that I did indeed have wings.
23 Things I learned (and re-learned) this year:
1 > Be a reliable friend. Don't cancel your plans for "better" plans, return your texts, reach out, go the extra mile to be kind in unexpected ways. Good friends are hard to find and they are so worth putting in the effort to hold onto.
2 > Be picky when you're dating. Make a list of the core things needed in a partner and do not waste any time on anyone who doesn't have those same core values. Don't overlook red flags out of desperation to fulfill the feeling of love.
3 > Explore the Earth. "The world is a book, and those who don't travel only read one page."
4 > Physical Strength. I will never forget that over a period of 12 weeks, I went from running 1 mile to running 13.1 - I am able if I am willing.
5 > Your parents start becoming your friends. There's an age where relationships with parents starts changing. When they call up for support, when it's our turn to help them after they've helped and supported us for years and years.
6 > Make hard business decisions. The right thing is usually never the easy thing.
7 > The importance of taking care of finances. Budget. Budget. Budget.
8 > Don't live unhappy. Period. Do whatever it takes to do something that makes you happy every single day.
9 > Be your own biggest champion. Get to know yourself, get to love yourself. Be excited for yourself.
10 > Try new things. All kinds. Anything you've ever even had the slight interest in. Cause, why not?
11 > Push through problems, don't try to step over them.
12 > Don't procrastinate about chores.
13 > Go do things alone. It's liberating, knowing I am perfectly ok doing things on my own.
14 > Only buy a single pint of ice cream at a time so a whole gallon doesn't taunt you in the freezer for weeks. Yes, it took me 23 years to learn this.
15 > Volunteer. It moves the heart and moves focus onto others.
16 > The high from social media is a fleeting feeling.
17 > Don't believe everything. Do research.
18 > Having an opinion and being kind go hand in hand.
19 > Eat healthy during the week and treat yourself on the weekends.
20 > Be in the moment. Take it all in. Every detail.
21 > Journal.
22 > Cheer on others.
23 > Take an hour every single morning to spend time setting up the day. In prayer, journaling, writing, etc. Doing this has changed my life.
I'm so excited to turn 24 tomorrow!!! I get to spend the day with my best friend doing all of my favorite things!
Honestly, I am just about to start this celebration early and get a Blizzard from DQ.
Cheers to getting older!