26 Things I’ve Learned in 26 Years

Nuggets of wisdom from 26 rotations around the sun

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Taken from the beach at Lake of Two Rivers, Algonquin Park ON
  1. Wear sunscreen
    One of the kindest things you can do for your skin is to protect it from sun damage.
  2. Being mean just makes you mean
    Despite the fact that all the “cool” and popular people on TV are mean, acting this way doesn’t make you cool.
  3. You can have more than one best friend
    Friendship drama is a little overrated and unnecessary. Be friends with everyone and don’t worry if someone is jealous. That’s their problem, not yours.
  4. Don’t assume anything
    Just because you’re passionate about writing, doesn’t mean you’ll automatically get into the creative writing class.
  5. Take your makeup off at night
    Another kind thing you can do for your skin is to take your makeup off. Really wash your face and take care of it.
  6. Self-awareness is an important skill
    A little introspection will help you in moments of disappointment and even happiness.
  7. Drink water
    Don’t spend half your life in a state of functioning dehydration. Water is magic and will make you feel better most of the time.
  8. Read for pleasure
    Don’t read because you feel like you have to or because some people seem to read 100000 books a year. Read books you like because you like reading.
  9. Don’t keep toxic people around because they make you feel special
    Surround yourself with people that lift you up, because after the toxic people are done making you feel special, you won’t feel very good.
  10. English Lit. is a valuable major
    People will tell you ALL the time that you should’ve gone into STEM, but literacy is the backbone of communication. Without communication, society is lost.
  11. Your hair will grow back
    Cut it short, dye it purple, do what you need to do to express yourself. Though…
  12. Be kind to your hair
    Bleach your hair slowly and gently. Use deep conditioning treatments. You don’t want straw hair.
  13. Really appreciate your travel
    Don’t be the annoying 12-year-old who doesn’t care about the fact that she’s standing in a medieval abbey. These will be wonderful memories if you really savour the moment.
  14. Be weird
    Authenticity is best. The world needs your unique brand of weirdness, not another clone of a clone. You’ll be happier in the long run.
  15. Your body is fine, you’ve got work to do
    This is a phrase I read in an article ages ago (so many ages that I can’t find it to link it here), and it basically means that your body is an amazing tool in your life, don’t waste time worrying about how it looks.
  16. Nobody remembers that time you embarrassed yourself
    Because they’re all obsessing about the time the embarrassed themselves.
  17. Life is too short not to eat what you want
    Eating a balanced diet is important, but have those fries, eat that cake. Food fuels your body and sometimes the fuel needs to be ice cream.
  18. Don’t justify yourself to anyone
    Your actions are your business and don’t let anyone make you feel like you owe them an explanation.
  19. Write that book
    Paint that picture, bake that bread, do the thing that fuels your passion. It doesn’t matter if you feel like you’re not good enough, because you will be.
  20. Take a nap
    You’re probably not getting enough sleep, so do yourself a favour and get some extra sleep. Even a 20-minute nap is enough to refresh you.
  21. Let him ghost you
    A guy (or girl) ghosting you says more about them than it does about you. If that’s how they treat people, they aren’t worth your time.
  22. Keep learning
    The day you don’t learn anything new is the day you die. That sounds a little dark, but the sentiment is true.
  23. Go outside and spend time in nature
    The world around you is beautiful and it deserves to be appreciated. Fresh air and sunshine don’t hurt either.
  24. Ask for help
    There’s no shame in admitting you don’t know what you’re doing or that you can’t do something alone. Getting help does not mean you’ve failed.
  25. Choose contentment rather than happiness
    The pursuit of happiness is something people spend their lives on. But everyday life is not going to make you happy all the time. Happiness is fleeting, but contentment is something steady that can last.
  26. Listen to your intuition
    Your gut will tell you when something is wrong or right if you’re listening. It will not lead you astray.

Here’s to 26 more years of living and learning!

Written by

Writer || INFJ || Wellness junkie and chronic oversharer. jgoldsmithwrites.com/

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