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22 Lessons in 22 Years

SURPRISE – it’s my birthday! Tomorrow, technically, but heck I’ve been mentally celebrating for what feels like a whole year. Because champagne. Ha! I tend to get super sentimental and introspective always this time of year, so I rounded up 22 of what I think are the best (/funniest/most genuinely helpful) lessons I’ve learned in my 22 years of life on this planet so far. Kudos to The Mint Julep Boutique for the most perfect laidback (& comfy!) birthday dress. So (SO) easy to dress up or down lickity split, and versatile through, like, every season. #winning.

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  1. Sometimes you just have to jump through the hoops to get to the other side. Sometimes just finishing period is more important than finishing first or finishing with finesse.
  2. We all have specific strengths (and not-so-strengths). Think of your talents on a 1-10 scale, where a 1 is something you’re really (really) bad at, and a 10 is your best. Instead of stressing out about the things you’re just not that stellar at, focus on turning your 6’s into 9’s. Having a bunch of 2’s into 3’s means you’re still generally mediocre at a bunch of things you’re likely not in love with either, whereas turning those middleground numbers higher means you’re capitalizing on your would-be strengths and making them even stronger.
  3. Two cats are better than one.
  4. Change happens, but change equals growth. Sometimes we control the change, sometimes it totally blindsides us, but either way, we are always in control of our *attitude* towards change.
  5. Not all friendships last forever. Focus on the ones that focus on you, too. If you find yourself being the one to make effort to make plans time and time again, it’s time to move on to people who value you just as much as you value them.
  6. At bare minimum, add lipstick + mascara. You’ll look more put together, AND you’ll feel more put together.
  7. Treat yo’self. Regularly. Unashamedly. Unabashedly.
  8. Don’t get so caught up in trying to figure your life out that you forget to live it.
  9. When you see someone’s wallet on the sidewalk, pick it up and bring it to the nearest building, contact the person on social media, and/or put it in the mailbox to be delivered to their address. Never steal from it. That way, when you forget your own wallet on a late night center city train, karma will come back and you’ll have it recovered, completely intact within two hours.
  10. Buy yourself flowers. You’ll never feel bad about it. And they’ll make your day everyday for a week.
  11. You’ll never regret being nice to someone. You will regret being an asshat. Don’t be an asshat.
  12. Leopard print will always be a neutral.
  13. Everyone you meet, you meet for a reason. Whether that reason is for momentary perspective, a mood uplift, the start of a lifelong friendship or love, the start of a relationship that will end badly to teach you a lesson or help you grow, to make you pause and prevent something bad from happening, to make you pause and think about something – it’s all with its reason. Respect that, and embrace that.
  14. The higher the heel, the closer to heaven. But only if you know how to actually walk in them. Learn how to walk gracefully in heels.
  15. When you’re cooking a whole chicken in a pot to make chicken soup, make sure you take out the paper-wrapped giblets inside the chicken first. Otherwise, you’ll make a big mess.
  16. Being a hustler is exhausting. Why do we work? We work to live. Remember that when you’re debating putting your job over your friends. Because what seems to mean more in the moment might not be what matters more in the grand scheme of life.
  17. When in doubt, adopt another cat.
  18. Learn to laugh at yourself easily and readily. Don’t take yourself too seriously – no one else is taking you that seriously. They’re too busy thinking about themselves anyways!
  19. You don’t actually have to show skin to be “sexy.” When your skirt just barely covers your vagina and your boobs are hangin’ out, you just look uncomfortable, and that’s not sexy. What’s sexy is your smile, your confidence, and the way you treat other people. The right guys will notice that – not (just) your cleavage.
  20. When you’re at the edge of your comfort zone, leave it. Force yourself to try something new, do the unexpected, and surprise yourself. In those moments, you blossom and grow.
  21. Don’t be afraid to kiss him first. Or ask him for his number, or Facebook friend (and message) him, or go out of your way to make it work. Sometimes you marry him. 😉
  22. When in doubt, choose kindness and grace. Kindness and grace always win.

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Dress // Shoes (similar, same brand)

BONUS LESSON: Don’t shoot photography with balloons on windy days. It’s a s***show. A really funny, really frustrating s***show. 😉

What are the best lessons you’ve learned in life thus far?

Share one (or a few) of your favorites lessons in the comments below. I would lovelovelove some of your fabulous wisdom to kick this year off strong! And going off of number 7, treat yo’self to this black and white dress. It’ll become a closet staple, I swear.

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