26 Lessons I’ve Learned By Age 26

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As you get older, you should be taking in all the life lessons life has to offer. You take them in, and they help you grow and become a better version of yourself. I’m grateful for the lessons, the love, the heartbreak, the failures, and the success. I’ve learned millions of lessons in my 26 years, but I made a list of some of the most important to me.

LIFE TAKES RISKS

In order to have the life you want, you have to do things you’ve never done before. Being an adult is fucking scary. There are a lot of unknowns. But you gotta take leaps of faith. Everything you ever wanted is on the other side of fear. If you fail, you get up, adjust, and try again. You keep going.

BE HONEST AND OPEN ALWAYS

Most kids tell white lies. They are afraid of getting in trouble with their parents. But guess what? You’re an adult now. There’s no point in lying. I’ve learned that you should put yourself out there and be open. Speak your truth even if it hurts you, even if it hurts someone you care about. Speak your feelings. You’ll feel free because of it.

LOVE HARD EVEN WHEN LOVE IS HARD

Relationships can be difficult in any capacity. Your friends, family, and loves are going through life just as you are. They have their ups and downs like you. When it gets hard to love them, you have to love them even harder. There were definitely days I wanted to punch my ex and leave, but I didn’t. One bad day. One bad moment will not last forever. You can’t let it affect your whole relationship. With love, you have to take the good, the shitty, the amazing, and the boring.

SOMETIMES YOU HAVE TO BE YOUR OWN HERO

One thing that I recently learned about myself if that I rely too much on people. I relied on my husband to treat me like I treated him. I relied on my friends to cure my FOMO. I relied on my mom for everything. I relied on everyone around me to make me happy. After my breakup, I had to take a hard look at myself.  I had to save myself and rely on myself. Life is not like a Disney movie where the man rescues the princess. You have to be your own superhero and take life by the balls. You make your life what it is. Are you happy? Fix it.

NOT EVERY PERSON WHO ENTERS YOUR LIFE IS MEANT TO STAY

There are many reasons why the universe puts people in your path. What i’ve learned is that some people enter your life to help you get through a situation, some people are there to teach you a lesson, and very little are actually meant to stay. Appreciate the time you have with that person and move on if they want to leave. Find meaning in why they were in your life. I was married to someone I thought I was going to spend my life with, when he left, I questioned why. I realized the people who want to stay in your life will find a way. When they don’t, you have to let them go.

IT’S OKAY TO FAIL OVER AND OVER AGAIN

Failure is inevitable. No matter how hard we work, sometimes things don’t go the way we plan. Failure makes you stronger. It makes you better and teaches you to keep going. Don’t be afraid to fail. Usually, when I fail at something, it means that life is leading me into something better.

YOUR GUT IS NEVER WRONG

Always trust your gut. You know what’s good for you and what isn’t. Your body usually knows that something is off way before you do. Often we ignore our gut and end up in a bad situation.

DON’T CHASE PEOPLE WHO DON’T WANT TO BE CHASED

The only people you need in your life is the people who need you in theirs. If someone wants to leave, let them.

YOU NEED PEOPLE IN YOUR CORNER

You can’t go through life alone. You need people. I don’t think I would have made it through my breakup without my best friends. They talked me through my best days and my worst days. It’s good to have someone to talk to, especially when you are really going through it. Honestly, all you need is two good friends and your parents. Most parents love you unconditionally, even with all your faults. Your two friends chose to love you and will stick with you through thick and thin.

RELATIONSHIPS SUCK BUT KEEP TRYING

One of the hardest things to do as an adult is dating. Relationships are hard. You have to balance your life and schedule with them. Some relationships last. Others not so much. It hurts, but you keep going. There’s someone for everyone. You just have to go find them.

YOU ARE YOUR OWN WORST ENEMY

YOU ARE NOT YOUR NEGATIVE THOUGHTS.

EVERYONE IS GOING THROUGH SOMETHING YOU KNOW NOTHING ABOUT

Everyone has bad days. You know how it is when nothing goes right. Other people are going through the same. Someone could smile in your face but be broken inside. Be nice. People are only human.

YOU DON’T HAVE TO EXPLAIN ANYTHING TO ANYONE

You’re an adult. You make your own decisions and don’t owe anyone an explanation. We look for approval from our friends and family. We don’t need it. Only you know what’s good for you. Don’t let someone’s own insecurities mess with your head.

YOUR RELATIONSHIP DOES NOT DEFINE YOU OR YOUR SELF-WORTH

If someone broke up with you, their reasons shouldn’t define who you are. It’s their opinion. That’s it. It doesn’t mean anything. They broke up with you because you were too needy, too insecure, too loving, too ambitious, bad at money, have an attitude problem, too boring, blah, blah, blah. That’s on them, not you. Just because they say you are something doesn’t mean you are.

TAKE MENTAL HEALTH SERIOUSLY

Mental health is important. Take care of your mind. Negative thoughts can create a negative life. If you need to talk to someone, go talk. I hear all the time, “Oh, therapy doesn’t work” or “it’s too expensive.” First, try it. It could help to have an objective point of view. Second, there are cheap therapists that could help. You have to look for ways to take care of your mental health.

FEEL YOUR EMOTIONS WHEN THEY COME

It’s okay to cry. It’s okay to be angry. It’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to be happy. Feel your feelings. It’ll help you get through whatever you are going through much quicker. Let the emotions out.

AVOIDING A PROBLEM DOESN’T MEAN THE PROBLEM GOES AWAY

Your problem is still going to be there, no matter how long you ignore it. You are just delaying the inevitable. Push through. You’ve made it through all the bad shit you didn’t think you could handle. Face the problem. Come up with a solution.

PERSPECTIVE. PERSPECTIVE. PERSPECTIVE.

It’s all about perspective. Some failures are a blessing in disguise. You didn’t get the job you want? Guess what a better one is coming. That guy you found on Tinder didn’t call you back? Guess what a better just swiped right. Try to see the positive in the negative.

YOU GET WHAT YOU GIVE

You project good karma, good things will come to you. You put out negative energy, you’ll be consumed with only the negative.

YOUR SITUATION WILL NOT BE THE SAME A YEAR FROM NOW

This time last year, I was in a long-term relationship getting ready to move. This year I’m out of my long-term relationship, getting ready to move somewhere completely different. My breakup was messy, but a year from now, my situation will be completely different. Change is good. Be open to it.

YOU HAVE TO CREATE YOUR MAGIC AND HAPPINESS

No one can create happiness for you.  It comes from within. Don’t give anyone the authority to control your emotions. You control your emotions. You control you. Be your own fucking unicorn and sparkle bitch.

SHOPPING WILL NOT MAKE YOU FEEL BETTER

This is true and not true at the same time. Shopping will make you feel better temporarily. It’s not a long-term solution. Do not attach your emotions to material things. If you do, all you’ll be is broke with a bunch of dope, unnecessary things. Channel your emotions to something else. Go for a walk, exercise, journal, watch your favorite movies, or have a self-care day. Leave your money where it is, your bank account.

IT’S OKAY TO BE ALONE

If you want to find out who you are, try being alone. You have to become your own happiness, your own entertainment, your own love. How can someone else be with you or love you if you don’t know who you are.

IT’S OKAY TO FAIL FORWARD

Failing forward means you fail. And keep failing. And keep failing. But with each failure, you try again. You get up and keep pushing. You adjust your habits and your mindset. When you fail, keep moving forward. Standing still won’t get you anywhere.

EVERYTHING YOU WANT OUT OF LIFE IS IN YOUR GRASP, YOU JUST GOTTA GRAB IT

Life will not magically change just because you want it to. You have to work at it. And try different things. You have to get up everyday and work. You want a different life? Why would it change if you keep doing the same things over and over? Make a difference. Go get the life you want.

ACCEPT THE THINGS YOU CANNOT CHANGE

No matter how hard we wish for things to be different, we can’t change anything. Accept things as they come and move on. We focus too much on the what if’s and the past. The past is just that. The past. It happens already. We can’t change it. We have to keep pushing and move on.

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