Last week I celebrated a birthday! Twenty-four?? Time sure does fly.
So, I guess this post is a little late, but we’re doing it.
Eric and I spent my birthday weekend in Michigan at a cabin with friends. We went a year ago, so it was a blast all over again. Throughout the post, you’ll see pretty photos E snapped.
As I turned another year older, I couldn’t help but get sentimental and reflect on the lessons I’ve learned something about in the past twenty-four years. Especially after such a big one last year.
Now, I know what you might be thinking – Dayna, twenty-four is not that old.
I totally agree, and that’s not what I’m saying at all. Regardless of age, I think we can grow wiser each year as we experience the world. That makes me really happy, and nostalgic.
So after sorting through these thoughts, below I’ve gathered the 10 life lessons I’ve learned at twenty-four.
1. No one has it all together.
I used to look around and think the peers, friends, and families I saw had their whole lives together. The truth is most of us are figuring out this life thing as we go along, and no one is perfect. Everyone has faults and struggles. We all fight battles. You’re never alone and you’re never the only one who feels this way.
2. Traveling does wonders for the soul.
I’ve been lucky to visit some really amazing cities growing up, but it wasn’t until I backpacked Western Europe in 2015 that I realized how eye opening travel can be. Traveling exposes you to new points of views and cultures. It feeds your sense of curiosity, wonder, and keeps your mind open. It is a must.
3. Things that matter now might not be such a big deal later.
There are times when it seems like something in that moment will affect everything forever. I can be very indecisive and over analytical. I’ve had to learn to take a deep breath in these moments and ask myself if whatever it is will truly matter down the road. Often it won’t and it isn’t worth worrying over.
4. Never stop learning.
Learning looks different for everyone – formal education, reading self-help books, keeping up with a certain news publication, finding online how-tos, etc. The point is it’s important we don’t get complacent and we stay hungry for growth. I think this mentality and knowledge feeds into our relationships, passions, and helps us to be our best self.
5. Be grateful for hard times. They make you stronger.
These past few years have taught me this lesson for sure. Hard times can show us heartache like we’ve never known, but it can also bring out our most determined selves. They’ve made me braver and stronger. They’ve brought me closer to God. They’ve showed me how I can be better moving forward.
6. You can have it all, you just might not be able to have it all at once.
I’ve written about this topic before here. We juggle a lot. Between family schedules, work, a social life…and oh, of course our own passions and health, it can easily feel like we have to pick and choose what to pursue. The truth is you can totally do it all. Just know you won’t always be perfect and excel at everything, at the same time. That’s okay! We have to cut ourselves some slack and pursue balance.
7. Be bold and weird and whatever else you want.
Basically be unapologetically yourself. In our younger years, this can definitely be a challenge. Freshman year of college, I realized pretty quickly we should 100% feel comfortable to be ourselves. Always. Everyone’s human. No one’s perfect (see lesson #1). Our talents and our differences make us special (corny, but you know it’s true). So take the risk, speak your mind, and go out there and S L A Y.
8. Take it one step at a time.
I get stressed very quickly if I let an idea bubble up in my mind into a seemingly impossible task. I’ve learned to take a deep breath and break whatever it is down into smaller bits. When you take a step back, it becomes a lot more manageable and can put things in perspective.
9. Passion + persistence pay off.
Those things that make us happy? Inspire us, motivate us, give us big dreams? Yeah, those are the things that deserve our time and effort. Investing in our passions might not always be easy, especially with all the busyness life sends our way. It takes time, money, and self-discipline, but it’s worth it. We love these things and we owe it to ourselves to pursue them.
10. Always be thankful.
Life isn’t perfect, but wow, aren’t we lucky for all we have? There’s times when things are going amazingly well, and others when we’ve been thrown a curveball. I’ve learned that in both circumstances, and everything in between, it’s important to be thankful.
What are some of the biggest life lessons you’ve learned so far? I’d love to hear below!
P.S. Want to see more of Eric’s photography? Check it out here.