What Being 23 Taught Me

Tomorrow is my 24th birthday. I cannot tell you what being 23 taught me. It’s been one of the worst and best years of my life. It was exactly six months of joy and six months of pain and agony. However, I have a beautiful chance to learn from this tumultuous year and tomorrow put it all behind me as I turn 24. 

You cannot control other people’s reactions to your choices. Good or bad. You have to let it go and realize that if they chose to let something affect them negatively for the rest of their life, they have made that choice. You still have to live your life. Understand that although their pain and negativity might be justified for a short while, you are not responsible for their choice to remain that way. 

Learn to say “I’m sorry” and own it. I have this issue with admitting to my mistakes and flaws. I want to say that I did something wrong because I am a victim of circumstances or someone else’s choices that cause something to go wrong. Apologize. Own your part in the issue. Don’t be a doormat but learn to gracefully say “I’m sorry” without an excuse. (Shout out to my mom for trying to teach me this lesson all my life but I finally got it this year.)
Floral Romper with tights for winter // The Adored Life
Floral Romper with tights for winter // The Adored Life

 Let go of those jeans that you have never fit in, even at your thinnest, and realize that you need to embrace where you are and have realistic expectations of your body. J. Crew toothpick jeans will never fit my curves. Move on and realize you don’t get back the time that you spend pining for another body. 

 Beyonce has as many hours in the day as I do but also has a nanny, personal trainer, assistants and entourage. We have the same number of hours but don’t compare what you have gotten done to someone else. 

Floral Romper with tights for winter // The Adored Life
Naturally Curly Hairstyle // The Adored Life

There isn’t a blueprint for your life. You make your own choices, good or bad, and have to live with the consequences. 

Learn who your real friends are and tell them you appreciate them. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that there is less and less time to cultivate the friendships like I’ve had with my childhood friends. I am thankful for the people I have met in recent years and have learned that when you find someone who gets you, get them and do everything you can to tell them you are thankful for them. 

Naturally Curly Hairstyle // The Adored Life

Floral Romper for Winter // The Adored Life

There will come a day that your sisters are less annoying and old than you thought they were. In fact, they are probably pretty cool. Woah, I know. I know. Either that or you will realize you are maturing and becoming old. 

Don’t apologize for being who you are. You might feel alone for a long time but when you stick to your principles, stay true to yourself, you will find people that utterly understand you. Those people are worth waiting for. 

Floral Romper for Winter // The Adored Life

Black Over The Knee Boots // The Adored Life
Romper: C/O Aeropostale (similar) (similar)
Boots: Rock and Republic (almost identical) (flat version)
Necklaces: H&M and Forever 21 (very similar) (similar)
Earrings: INPink (identical)

Get your sleep. I am the type of person that needs eight hours of sleep. If that means going to bed at 9 pm then I will do that. I’m not a late night person, I never have been. Learn what is good for your body and give it what it needs. 

Your life isn’t a competition so stop comparing your life, stats, numbers, money, whatever is your thing, to someone else. “Don’t compare your beginning to someone else’s middle.” It’s been my motto for 2014 and a daily reminder on my desktop. 

You are never too old to dream. Ever. You are never too old to say that you want something new for your life. One of the saddest things about growing up is that we stop playing, pretending, using our imaginations. Never stop.