24 Things I’ve Learned About Life, Love, Business, and Pain at 24

1.) Sometimes it really is better to say nothing at all. Not because you have nothing to say, but because not everyone (or every situation) deserves the energy.

2.) Your circle of friends matters way more than you think it does. Elevate your circle–elevate your life. You are who you walk with. Remember that.

3.) It’s okay not to get it right: with love, with your job, with any of your decisions. You learn most by getting it wrong and deciding to build something better–don’t get so worked up, it all shakes itself out.

4.) Money matters. Figure your financial life out. Budget. Save. Invest. Now is not the time to show off what you’ve got–now’s the time to build your empire in silence.

5.) You can wait lifetimes for an apology that will never come. Not everyone has the heart to say what needs to be said and rectify what needs rectified. Have the strength to walk away with peace in your heart no matter what.

6.) The only way to heal a break-up is time and tears. Never force healing–let your heart take all the time it needs. But don’t you dare put your dreams on hold because you’re too sad to keep moving–cry it out for a quick 5, then get back in it.

7.) There’s always another way. Keep an open mind and you’ll go places.

8.) It’s imperative that you learn to say these things: “I’m sorry.” “You’re right, I’m wrong.” “That’s something I need to work on and here’s how I plan to…” “What you did/said hurt me because…” “What I need is…” “I need help.”

9.) Make sure you seek mentorship from people who know more than you do. Always walk into a room with the understanding that there’s plenty to learn and you certainly don’t know it all.

10.) Don’t be afraid to build something. Create something from scratch. Start your own business. Organize a charity. Create a club. Make something worth remembering. That’s the stuff that really matters.

11.) People will always, always, always let you down. Learn to listen, forgive, and act with grace.

12.) Dating is fun. Being single is fun. Both are totally okay and neither is the better option.

13.) Time continues to speed by quicker each year. Make sure you’re setting goals and reaching them, exploring the world and learning new things, and taking the time to soak it all in.

14.) Never miss an opportunity to tell someone you love them and remind them what they mean to you.

15.) Handwritten letters are the absolute best. Birthday? Letter. Graduation? Letter. New job? Letter. A random Monday? Letter. Skip the text and just write a damn letter.

16.) Even if they’re family, you don’t need to accept their toxic behaviors as “just who they are.” Blood or not, you always have the right to walk away or create space.

17.) At the end of the day, the only approval you need is your own. If you’re happy with the life you’ve created and the decisions you’re making, that should be enough.

18.) Therapy is a key piece of the self-care puzzle. Learning to analyze your habits and patterns and grow beyond them will help you find peace, joy, and positivity.

19.) Life goes on. Even when you’re sure it won’t. It will.

20.) Reading is incredibly underrated. Staying in on a Saturday night to dig into a really good book is always better than wasting $30 to get wasted with your friends.

21.) You have to learn to say “no” without any guilt. If it doesn’t align with your authenticity or it’s going to require energy you simply don’t want to give, say “no.” Confidently.

22.) Stop eating out so much. It’s the biggest waste of money you could possibly spend. Learn to cook good food and appreciate quality. Your body and wallet will thank you.

23.) Constant stress and tension is not the only way to live. If you’re waking up more days than not wishing you were in a different place, doing something different, or living a different life–something’s got to change. Don’t convince yourself this is just how it is.

24.) Be who you want to be already. There’s no time like the now.

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