I celebrated being a quarter of a century old this last week. Looking back on my life and comparing where I am to where I thought I would be at this stage is interesting because of how stark of a difference there is between the two. Living in an age where your twenties aren’t filled with babies and buying houses is new and exciting, but it’s also stressful and different. Millennials are having a longer youth than previous generations and I am finding that this stage of my life is only relatable to other people within my peer group. It’s exciting, but also worrisome, to constantly be wondering if I am where I’m supposed to be in life and if I am on the right track to achieving all the things I’d like to achieve. So, I’ve decided to make a list of 12 truths I’ve learned from my life thus far:
- a $4 cup of coffee is always worth it.
Some people will tell you to always buy cheaper coffee because spending more than $2 on a cold brew is ridiculous, but to be completely honest, my best coffee experiences always happen when I throw down $4 or $5 on a coffee. The ambience of the coffee shop is almost always cooler, the quality of the coffee is usually better, and it’s also nice knowing you’re probably helping this coffee shop to pay a living wage to its employees.
2. buy yourself nice clothing.
No one else is going to buy you good quality jeans, shoes that you wear every day, or a jacket you can’t live without. No one regrets an outfit they feel amazing in.
3. exercise for your mind, not just your body
When I exercise, I try to not think about my body at all. I don’t count calories, I don’t punish myself for food that I have eaten. I focus on having a healthy state of mind. I love to exercise because it eliminates my anxiety and I know I am creating healthy routines for life, instead of trying to achieve an unrealistic body shape.
4. read as much as you can
This is my biggest crutch in social situations. I try to read about current events from multiple sources so that when I am in a social situation, I have things to contribute to conversation and feel more involved in the community. I try to read both digitally and on paper because I feel like both are beneficial and serve their own purpose.
5. make your bed
I always feel like I have my life together when my bed is made. I just walk into my bedroom and it feels so put together. Regardless of what kind of day I had, I always have something consistent to come home to.
6. prioritize your time by happiness, not money
Sometimes I would get caught up on how if I spent more hours at work, I would have more money and that would bring me more of the things I loved. To be completely honest, since I worked in retail for so long, I look back and see so much of my time being spent at the mall as opposed to chasing my dreams and finding out what it is I really want to do. Lately I have been prioritizing doing things that actually make me happy, with time at my job making money. It definitely is a sacrifice because I am not able to purchase as many things, but I am happier, and less is definitely more. [Maybe add a line here to tie it together]
7. stop comparing yourself to others
Everyone’s path is so different. Some people will go to grad school, some people will live in New York City, and some people will start their own business, but you don’t have to. Something that has taken me a long time to learn is that one person’s career is not necessarily better than someone else’s because of the amount of money they make.
8. take time for breakfast
I have finally gotten into the habit of being able to sit and enjoy breakfast, even on weekdays! I have made it part of my routine to wake up earlier so that I am able to sit and sip on a cup of coffee in the morning before rushing into my day. I find that because of this, I feel less rushed and more focused on what I need to get done.
9. paying a competitive amount for someone’s skill level is crucial
Whether it is booking a photo shoot or getting your hair done, paying someone not only for their time, but also for their talent is crucial. When I first moved to L.A., I was surprised by how much it was to get a basic cut and color compared to Utah. Then I realized I am not only paying for a living wage for this person, but I am also paying to get my hair done by a professional. I have never walked away from my stylist disappointed, and she is such a perfectionist. She totally deserves every penny she charges.
10. learning to cook is vital
Eating at home is essential to living, so why eat mediocre food from a box? When I was in college, I relied a lot on box mixes and easy thrown together meals. Now, I have realized the work for a real meal is so worth it. I try to cook ‘real’ meals for dinner 3 or 4 times a week and I’ve really fallen in love with the process. On top of the better tasting food, I am saving money, and also feeling healthier.
11. life is too short to not do what makes you happy
A lot of people had unfavorable opinions of me moving to Los Angeles, but I decided to move anyway because I felt like I would be happier. I am SO glad I did. Chasing whatever makes your heart beat faster is the most important thing I’ve learned thus far in this life. Someone I love once told me “you need to be the leading lady in your own life” and I really took it to heart because I was letting other people’s opinions and insecurities strike fear in me, and stop me from following my own dreams.
12. have the confidence to make things happen for yourself
To jumpstart your career, you really need to sell yourself. I sometimes lose confidence when I am rejected when applying for a job or when I think about announcing an idea that I have. I am still learning to have the confidence to really chase what I want to do, and not be phased by an initial rejection.
blue cotton dress: from here
suede babouches: here