26 trips around the sun | 26 Things I’ve learned (so far)

I woke up this morning and circled the sun for the 26th time. When I stop and really think about that, it’s hard to believe because I feel like I’ve been here for a lifetime longer and a lifetime shorter at the same time. And so much has happened in my life in the last year alone, that I feel as though I’ve aged at least 5 years. Aging is strange. While I feel like I’ve accomplished and overcome so much at my age, I also feel like I should have accomplished so much more. But alas, here are 26 things I have learned so far, anyway. ⚡️

1. Your feelings are valid. Regardless if others have it worse. Everyone struggles, but your doubts and fears deserve to be understood too.

2. You are never too young to fail because you are never too young to learn.

3. Instead of focusing on what you don’t have, ask yourself: “What could I make out of this absence? What DO I have?” And be grateful for that.

4. Even in leaving, you have to take your time. Don’t rush just because you’re uncomfortable. Take your time to breathe the air then breathe it out. Go with your first instinct, but be gentle.

5. Love in different ways. You’ll receive it back in different ways too.

6. Accept things for what they ARE, not what you think they SHOULD be.

7. Hold onto your faith for the simple fact that it makes you feel good.

8. Where you’ve been and who you’ve been does NOT equate to where you’ll go and who you’ll become.

9. Don’t take life so seriously all the time, it’s really not that serious. Just be happy.

10. There is not a single human being you wouldn’t LOVE if you knew their story. Get to know people, put yourself in their shoes, have an open mind. Love their differences.

11. You cannot change someone into being someone they are not, simply because it is what YOU want for them. Everyone is their own person. Focus on yourself.

12. Love ends sometimes. What you thought would have been forever was squeezed into a smaller infinity than you are used to – it’s as simple as that.

13. With every heartache and struggle comes a very, very, very important lesson and opportunity for growth – never take this for granted.

14. A lot of people have come into your life and a lot of people have left, and that’s okay. A close friend once told me people come into your life for 3 reasons: for a reason, a season, or a lifetime.

15. Let things come and let things go. Nothing is promised to you, so stop acting like you are entitled to things and stop getting so upset when things don’t go your way. Simply appreciate what you have while you have it, and once it’s gone, let it go.

16. When no one else is there, make sure you’re the first person you turn to when you need love, encouragement, and appreciation. You’ll always have yourself.

17. Some of the happiest moments of our lives are viewed in hindsight. Try to beat this by realizing a good moment while you’re IN it. Drop everything and fully embrace being happy. A smart writer once said: “A thousand moments that I had just taken for granted – mostly because I had assumed there would be a thousand more.” Don’t be like this guy.

18. What you’re struggling with right now is molding you into a new version of yourself, and without this hardship, you’d miss this growth!

19. Life is so, so, so short. Failure will happen to you. Struggles will arise. People will leave. You will question yourself, your abilities, your faith, your surroundings – and that’s okay, that’s normal, it happens.

20. Do not stop loving. Do not stop caring.

21. Forgive, forgive, forgive. Mostly, forgive yourself because oftentimes, you are in the wrong, but have too much pride to recognize it, accept it, and change it 🙂

22. The truth hurts, but get used to it (see: above)

23. Nothing will keep you from living your best life if you believe in yourself and your abilities.

24. A job does not equate to happiness or “having it all together.” You will not find comfort or JOY in a 9-5. There is no more stability in a cushy career than there is in loving the right person and creating a home. Everyone is on their own paths, and if yours looks different than the next person, there is nothing wrong with that.

25. It’s just after your darkest hour that the sun will begin to rise. Think back to every single time you were in your darkest hours, feeling lost and broken, but decided to keep holding onto that sliver of hope. What happened? The sun rose. every. single. time. And it will continue to rise, and so will you.

26. You are never stuck somewhere you don’t want to be.


I’m grateful for another chance, another year of life, more opportunities to grow and love and live. I hope these little lessons will help you, too! What are some life lessons you’ve come to learn and love? ❤️

26 trips around the sun | 26 Things I’ve learned (so far)

Twenty-four today

I’ve felt this summer day 24 times.

And while so many things have changed over the years, I’ve never felt so much like myself as I do right now in this very moment. 

This morning, I was standing on my balcony thinking about everything I’ve done in the 24 short years I’ve been on this planet. I tried to look at my life from an outsider’s point of view, racking up all of the things I’ve accomplished, trials I’ve overcome, friends I’ve made and lost, places I’ve been to, dreams I’ve had. I stood there on my balcony and I felt a tremendous sense of pride for myself. I don’t give myself enough credit, so today, I’m letting myself feel all of it. And it feels great.

Before getting ready for the day, I stood in front of my bathroom mirror. Self-analyzing. Me at 24. Me not wearing a trace of makeup, with hair messy from a good night’s sleep. The corners of my eyes that wrinkle and cheeks that puff up when I smile. The millions of freckles that seem to outline the bed sheet markings on my body. I breathed in, and I breathed out. I’m alive, and I feel alive.

I’ve spent 24 years with myself and I still learn something new every day, I come to terms with and fall in love with a new part of myself all the time, and that’s gotten so much easier as I’ve gotten older. Something in me is just much more appreciative than when I was younger. I’m getting somewhere. I’m making progress. I feel like I’m officially an adult. I’ve done so much since my 23rd birthday. I moved out of my parent’s house, moved across the country for a job, got promoted at that job, met my boyfriend’s parents, traveled a lot, felt highs and lows, and ultimately grew into the person I am right now. And I really love this person.

And I think for the first time, I realized that my birthday doesn’t have to be significant to me, it doesn’t have to be some huge ordeal filled with celebration and outrageous gift-giving and party-throwing (although, both are nice).

As I sat with myself this morning, I realized that a birthday doesn’t mark an age, but a time. A snapshot of a time I’ll look back on when I’m older and say, look how young, look at the smile in my eyes, remember that little apartment, remember how stressed I was over silly little things. I’ll look back at this time and wonder how I got from here to there, and I’ll realize I did it all because I’m strong-willed and confident in myself.

Thank you God for giving me 24 glorious trips around the sun! 

Twenty-four today