Today I turned 25. I thought I’d have a little more of a quarter-life crisis moment, but honestly I’m feeling pretty okay. Maybe that’s because I had my quarter-life crisis when I was 20 because I’m kind of a weirdo like that. Regardless, I am officially twenty-five. And for the first time, I actually feel sorta like a grownup. It’s weird, I never thought I’d get here. It’s like I’ve finally transitioned from “adulting” to just “adult.” At the same time, I also feel incredibly young, in the best way. Like this is the start to some of the best years of my life. Crazy stuff.
Generally when I think about this upcoming year, I’m really excited. I just feel like it’s going to be a big year full of firsts & surprises. In retrospect, I feel like 24 was a year of preparation, maybe for all these exciting things I’m anticipating. I learned a lot of things when I was 24. There were a lot of big events that occurred as well as long stretches of stagnancy. Both periods taught me different things–all valuable lessons that life thought I needed to learn. So, as I normally do on my birthday (you can check out 22, 23 & 24), here are some things I learned this past year. Twenty four, you were a doozy–thank you for the wild ride.
1. Call your mom.
Call her just to say hi. Call her because you have great news. Call her every day for a week because you think your world is ending (relax) & she’ll reassure you it’s not (she’s right). Just call your mom. She loves you probably more than anyone in the whole world, and there are certain times when only your mamma can make you feel better.
2. Read You Are A Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life.
This was probably my favorite book I’ve read all year (and I read A LOT). I recommend it to pretty much everyone. It’s categorized as self-help which I know will deter some people but it’s funny, well-written & changed my perspective on a lot of things. Whenever I need a pep talk, I flip through my copy. Helps every time. Get it here.
3. Follow your heart. Seriously.
True story: Exactly a week after I turned 24, I sent out 10+ job applications. While my first job out of college gave me valuable experience, I knew in my heart it wasn’t what I wanted to be doing forever. On top of that, I had just gotten out of a long-term relationship, and I refused to be unhappy in my professional and my personal life. So I did something about it. It is probably the biggest cliche of all times, but I’m glad I followed my heart because my second job fits me so well & I can see it being the start of a really fulfilling career.
4. If it sparks your interest even just a little, it’s worth exploring.
In your 20’s, you finally have a little more freedom and money to find the things you love to do. So if something sparks your interest, even the tiniest bit, look into it. You might find a new hobby, a new friend or just make a new memory.
5. Be nicer to yourself.
Cut. Yourself. Some. Slack. I’m the worst at this. The WORST. I’m so ridiculously hard on myself and for what, really? Of course I’m going to push myself to achieve the things I want to and hold myself to a high standard, but all the self-criticism isn’t really worth it. Be nice to yourself. Invest time in self-care. The world is full of people who will be mean to you, you don’t need to give yourself a hard time, too.
6. Power moves only.
PMO or GTFO. Some of my favorite memories from this year were when I decided to care just a little bit less and go for it. We’re still so young & there’s a lot more fun to be had.
7. Make a birthday bucket list.
This was something I actually started just this past year & I can’t wait to do it again for 25. I just kept a note on my phone of the big and very small things I wanted to do between 24 and 25. They didn’t have to be crazy (“try a new workout class,” “go to the art museum,” “buy lululemon leggings”) or they absolutely could be (“get a tattoo“). It was fun to check off each thing I did and made me look forward to different things throughout the year.
8. Take back your mornings.
Because mornings are sacred & you deserve a little peace and quiet before your whole day turns into a hectic sh*t show.
9. Handwritten notes go a long way.
Birthday cards, thank you notes to potential employers, pick-me-ups & love letters. Handwritten notes are one of my simple joys. They take a little bit of effort so they show that you care. Never underestimate the power of a good handwritten note.
10. Enjoy the process of things.
Things I hate: driving around trying to find a parking spot, making my lunch the night before, unloading the dishwasher, taking a shower/getting ready for bed, etc. As you may have noticed, these things are all a process, requiring multiple steps to reach an end goal. I hate processes. I truly do. I do not “trust” them well, regardless of what Philly sports fan say. I rather just get from point A to point B without anything in between. However, I’ve learned this year, that more often than not, daily life is a process. You have to complete x, y & z before you get where you need to be. So I’m attempting to make an effort to enjoy the steps along the way–they’re just as important as the end point.
11. Find a hobby.
Bullet journals, photography, book clubs, hiking, watching documentaries, writing your novel, reading, coloring books, baking, knitting, slam poetry, whatever. Just something you can do purely for fun that’s not going to work, going to the gym or going out.
12. Pray (or breathe or meditate)–Just get out of your head.
Hi, my name is Kasia, and I’m an over-thinker. Pretty exhausting really, thinking about everything, every day, all the time. Sometimes you just need to…stop. Clear all your thoughts and re-ground yourself. Whether that’s through prayer, meditation, yoga (!!!), being in nature, etc., find something that allows you to sit & be quiet. Get out of your head, just for a little bit.
13. Watch Friday Night Lights.
And watch it often. Texas forever, baby.
14. Go back to grad school, if you can.
Obviously this completely depends on your desire to go back to school & financial situation, but if you want to do it and can afford it, go to back to grad school. Like right now. Most of us are unattached & have the time to commit to it, something we may not have in the coming years. Going back to school was one of the best decisions I made this year. I’ve always enjoyed being a student, and there’s something about being in a classroom again that makes me abundantly happy. Just go back and learn.
15. Ask for help when you need it.
Because honestly, most of the time, I have no f*cking clue what I’m doing. I can pretend that I do, but I don’t. It’s so much easier to just ask someone for help when you don’t know something vs. helplessly & aimlessly attempting something and creating a huge mess/headache. If you just asked for help on how to hang floating shelves in the first place, you wouldn’t have 8+ random holes in your drywall. Fact.
16. Keep track of your “coincidences.”
My friend Danielle and I believe that nothing is truly a coincidence. You know those random, small events that are just so perfectly serendipitous that you couldn’t have planned them better yourself? I don’t really believe they’re “coincidences.” Attribute them to God or the universe or fate, whatever. When I look back, these “coincidences” often pushed me in a direction to better and new things. I started keeping track of them because it’s really interesting to see how these “random” small things play out. If you think this idea is cool, read this book.
17. Take two Advil before bed to avoid a hangover.
With a big glass of water, and you are GOLDEN the next day. I swear by this.
18. Travel. Travel. Travel.
Doesn’t have to be far, but change up your surroundings. Sometimes just a change of scenery can help you gain a whole new perspective, get you out of a funk or just re energize you. Again, most of us are unattached at this stage in our lives and can pick up and just go to a certain extent. Take advantage of it.
19. Buy the shoes.
Because life is pretty short, and the shoes are pretty awesome.
20. Make your life easier in the ways that you can.
There are a lot of things that are in your control. Sometimes it doesn’t feel that way (trust me, I KNOW), but a lot of things in our daily existence we have the power to create and change. Make life easier for yourself by simplifying it or improving the things that you hate. Sometimes you have to get creative, but you’ll be so much happier.
21. Only hang out with good people who make you happy.
I honestly don’t have time for sucky people. Maybe that’s just the reality of growing up, but I rather spend my time with people who make me happy (because that’s obvious, right??!) If you don’t connect with someone anymore or spending time with them doesn’t make you happy, it’s okay to let them go. Everyone’s better off in the long run.
22. Don’t knock therapy.
I’m super open about having gone to therapy in the past & honestly, I’m a huge proponent of it. Even if you’re unsure about it, talking to a completely unbiased third party can do wonders for your mental health. Navigating your 20’s is tricky–there’s no shame in asking for a little bit of help with it.
23. Keep a journal with you at all times.
Because sometimes hand-writing a stream of consciousness is hella cathartic.
24. Let. It. Go.
Sometimes you just have to let it go. Let it be & let it ride. Honor here. We’re all a little bit afraid of the unknown, but hanging on so tightly to our plans/fears prevents us from enjoying where we are right now. This will always be a work in progress for me, but life has a funny way of working out, every single time.
Thank you so much for all the people who made 24 wonderful. I can’t wait for 25. &.