23 Years Old + 23 Lessons Learned

Photo Credit: Chess Media
I know, you're probably thinking is this girl really posting an article a blog post the week AFTER her birthday...and I absolutely am. I let the news of Trump get me into a funk, but it will not trump me continuing to produce content. I let this man really get to me on my special day and put a damper on my week. Nope, not going to happen anymore.

So with that, here's 23 lessons I've learned in my 23 years of life. Trust me, they're valuable no matter how old you are and no matter what your vision is for your life. They're not the fake and superficial advice you've heard your entire life, so I suggest you let them marinate for a bit. 

1. ALWAYS have a plan B....and C. No matter what you're doing in life, there is always the need to think of the possible outcomes. I know some may think of this as anticipating the worst, but if you always focus on that one outcome and it goes left, you don't want to be on your ass. Trust me, I've been there. 

2. Be honest with yourself. I had THE hardest time being honest with myself for so long about a multitude of things. But I finally came to the realization that in order to better yourself you have to be able to call yourself out on your mistakes so you can correct and perfect. 

3. Drink a hell of a lot of water...seriously. I used to go an entire day with drinking one cup of water. You can't produce the best work if you don't have the best insides, so get it together and drink up. 

4. Get off of your cell phone and social media. I've been blogging for years now and one thing I wish I'd practiced early on was to LOG OFF.  Your phone is designed to keep you in tune with what everyone else has going on and staying focused on that for too long shifts the focus away from what you actually need to do. Focus on you and take time to do so AWAY from your electronics. 

5. Going with the flow is easy if you're in the right ocean. The earlier you surround yourself with like-minded people the better. If everyone in your circle has the same goals for themselves it's so much easier to add some new adventures to your life. Being spontaneous was definitely something I wanted more of in my recent years and bringing the right people in my life made it happen.

6. If you love it, buy it...on Amazon. I'm a HUGE supporter of Amazon because so many clothing stores buy the same wholesale items and charge $35 for a $15 dress on Amazon. If you love it, see if it's on Amazon and if it is...buy it. No excuses. 

7. Accept that you will have friends, associates and people you know. Everyone is not your friend in this world and that is absolutely OKAY. The sooner you come to terms with that, the happier you will be with your social life. It took me such a long time to accept that I can count my actual friends on one hand, but once I did it changed everything. Own the friendships you have and stop worrying about the ones you don't.

Myself + Wandarelux (Photo Credit Chess Media)

8. Family really isn't forever. Eventually you will lose family members so cherish your relationships and make every moment last. I know sometimes it's annoying, but at the end of the day you never know when that boring family function will be the last. Make family important, ALWAYS.

9. Experience will forever trump education. I don't care how many years of school you've mastered or how good your GPA was, if you have no experience actually applying your knowledge it's somewhat worthless. I'm not saying education isn't important, but actually utilizing it is what sets you over the top. So once you get some knowledge go that extra step and get some practical experience. 

10. Your love life is YOURS...keep it that way. Everyone and their mother has an opinion on how a relationship is supposed to be, but none of them are in your relationship. What works for you may not be practical for them and that's fine! Keep your relationship yours and just enjoy what you've built. You two love birds managed to stay together this long, so obviously something is working.

11. Let your grind speak for itself. You never want to be the person who's "done so much", but has to prove it every time they open their mouth. Don't tell people about your accomplishments, let them acknowledge them and bring them to light. At that point you'll know you're definitely doing something right.

12. It's okay to be picky with your friendships. Not every friend is what you NEED. You may want a friend to stick around but you don't need their negative energy and bad tendencies at this point in your life. Pick friends who inspire you, uplift you and make you want to do better. If that's not your friend, you should start being a bit more picky.

13. There are no pats on the back in the real world. People will see you doing great things and a select few may follow suit with their own endeavors because you inspired them...but they'll never tell you that. Stop looking for that pat on the back. Accept it. The way I see it if you know you moved someone in this world to do something, that's influence and it's down right priceless.

14. People will pay for value. One of the greatest lessons I learned is that people will pay you for something they deem valuable. In order for them to see something as valuable you have to SHOW THEM. Relying on a product/service to show people why they should pay you isn't enough. Sometimes you have to say "Hey, this is valuable and here's why..." 

Photo Credit Chess Media

15. Friendships are the foundation of true love. Now I don't have science to prove this one, but I truly and wholeheartedly believe it. Being in the situation I am with my beau, I've grown tremendously and learned how to love him and myself. Our generation has lost learning our partners and really building a friendship with them. So don't get caught up in the Netflix and chill tendencies most millennials have. If you do, you may miss out on a "real relationship" with someone. 

16. To each his own when it comes to "success". Realizing that your idea of success may not look like another person's is HUGE. To some getting a GED and a steady pay check is their idea of being successful, while others have this notion that until they become a CEO of a Fortune 500 company they just don't make the cut. Set up your own idea of success and go for it. 

17. Closed mouths don't get fed. I touched on this in my previous post on pitching as a small blogger and I'll reiterate it again...if you don't ask for what you want you will never receive it. Don't wait for people to reach out to ask if you want to be a part of something. Contact them, set the tone and get it done. 

18. Wigs are the greatest thing known to man. For all my ladies who want to switch their hairstyle for the low...Wigs. Are. Life. You can be a different person every day of the week and your actual hair is still completely intact underneath it all. If you want to drastically change it up, get a wig. You won't regret it. 

19. Money is valuable, but investing it is priceless. You have a ton of money...that's all fine and dandy, but if you're not doing anything of value with it you'll stay stagnant. So whether you choose to invest it in yourself, your future, your business or your tools, invest it into something that will get you closer to your goals. 

20. Take advice from the RIGHT people. I realized this when I became a blogger; people who had NO idea how to even start a blog tried to give me advice on what I should and shouldn't do. Take advice from people who are excelling in the respective area of interest. So if they aren't poppin', I'd think twice before listening to what they have to say. 

21. Take care of yourself, because who else is going to? If you don't make your needs and health a priority, nobody will. Really understand that people. You HAVE to make it your mission to make sure you as a being are in tact. So fight for your needs and never settle.

Myself + Wandarelux (Photo Credit Chess Media)

22. Research, then act. I'm definitely a believer in learning by doing, but you can learn after doing some well thought out research on what you plan on doing and then actually going for it. Don't blindly do things and wait to see the results. Educate yourself a bit, then take the plunge. 

23. Be whoever the hell you want to be. Seriously. You were put on this Earth for a reason. Shine and be who you are on the inside. You'll always have people who love you for it, people who hate you and people who want to be you. Accept that, accept yourself and flourish. 

I'm 23 and I'm ready to take on the world. Any other valuable lessons you've learned in your twenties? Let me know in the comments below! Also, check out my video with my girl Wandarelux below. We went to the playground to act like children again because, let's be honest, ADULTING SUCKS.

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