23 Lessons on my 23rd Birthday

On Friday I celebrated my champagne birthday! 23 on the 23rd! HAHA lame I know but why not make your birthday more exciting, right?!  In my twenty-three years of life, I feel like I have grown up a whole lot and transformed into a young woman whom I am proud to be when I wake up every morning.  I figured, why not share some of the ‘wisdom’ I have acquired in my short 23 years on this earth!  I know 23 seems young but I feel that in the past few years especially, I have learned so many integral lessons that have allowed me to be in the happiest state I have ever been in!  In no particular order, I am going to share those 23 lessons with you:
 

  1. Believe you are awesome!  If you don’t believe in you, how do you expect anyone else to?!
  2. Make time for family and friends.  These are the people who will always be in your corner, regardless of good or bad times.  Remember that and cherish the time you spend with them.
  3. Don’t forget about your ‘day ones’.  I know it sounds like a cheesy statement but in making time for friends and family, remember those who were with you from the start.  Things may change; we may get amazing jobs, or move to different places.  Always remember those who were cheering you on before anyone else was interested in being your friend.
  4. Good vibes only.  Too many times we let the noise and opinions of others affect us.  Forget about them and make room for only the positive.
  5. Work with people who are different from you. If we all worked with individuals who thought the same as us, we would never be challenged.  Work with others who possess different strengths than you and learn from them and their thought processing.
  6. Create me time.  Do something for you that you enjoy.  Whether it is watching your favourite movie in your pjs or going to a yoga class.  Do it for you.
  7. The best company is yourself.  Often times we are afraid to be alone.  I for one LOVE it! I only recently got a roommate (whom I adore!), but I am totally fine with being alone.  I love the silence and calmness it brings, or the craziness, if I have my music blasting for me to dance to. 
  8. Be single.  I have always been a person in relationships.  I am not saying to never be in one but we need to be comfortable and confident on our own before we invest in creating an identity with someone else.  We will feel more fulfilled within those relationships once we can   find our individual identity.
  9. Don’t sacrifice your identity for someone else.  Whether it be to fit in with a group of friends or for a significant other (or potential partner), never lose sight of who you are and what you believe in. Share your opinions and values and be respected for them.
  10. Fill your own cup.  Lots of us love to be givers.  And to those who play that role in my life, especially my mom, I am grateful.  However, if we don’t take the time for self-care, how are we supposed to have enough left to pour out for others?
  11. It’s just food.  Don’t get caught up in feeling guilty about what you did or didn’t eat and certainly don’t think you have to make up for it by working out extra hard.  Enjoy your food, whether a healthy option or indulgence. Then move on and get over it.
  12. Listen to your body.  Whether it is to recover from injury, take a nap, meditate or read, listen to what your body is telling you! I have learned this countless times through injury that I need to allow my body to rest.  We are given one body to live in during our lifetime so we need to take care of it and treat it with respect in all capacities: mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually.
  13. Find your passion.  I was fortunate to have stumbled upon fitness instructing in the summer after my first year of university and it has now blossomed into a career I am passionate about.  Whether it is a career or a volunteer opportunity, find what makes you wake up every day, hungry to be the best and provide the best for those around you.
  14. Respect everyone.  Don’t judge a book by its cover because we never know what someone might be going through.  Regardless of someone’s job, education, age, race, or sexual orientation, as humans we all deserve respect.  More importantly we need to be kind to one another.  
  15. Be unique and show your individuality.  Don’t worry what other people think of you.  You define you.  You will be more successful in whatever you do, and ultimately happier when you stay true to who you are and what you believe in.  Be confident in yourself.
  16. Never settle for mediocrity.  Success in anything requires hard work.  What you put in, you get out.  Wake up every day not settling to be mediocre, but to be the best.  Be ready to put the blood, sweat, and tears to get to the top. The view will be worth it.
  17. Less stress.  I am proud of myself for really conquering this personally.  I used to let everything get to me. What people said or thought of me I took to heart.  As soon as I began to let go of that, I became happier than ever and the least stressed. 
  18. Be grateful.  For family. Friends. Food. Shelter. For waking up to another day with endless opportunities. Life is short. Be thankful for all of those special people around you and the experiences you have.
  19. Take chances.  You will never know until you try.  Things might not work out, but there is the chance they will when you take that first step.  Go for it!
  20. Lean in.  Especially as females, step up.  Stand up for yourself.  You are just as important as your male counterparts.  Create your own identity separate from your partner, your friends, your family.
  21. You can’t please everyone. And when you try to it can become exhausting.  Make a decision and run with it.  Not everyone will be happy, but that is not your job.  
  22. Say no. You simply can’t do it all.  Often times we want to say yes to everything.  When we take on too much we begin to spread ourselves thin, get less enjoyment out of each experience, and are unable to invest the energy needed to do everything to the best of our abilities.
  23. Keep looking forward.  Don’t dwell.  Only look back to see how far you have come.  We may question our decisions or have regrets but all we can do is to learn from them and move on.  


To narrow down my life lessons thus far to simply 23 was definitely a challenge, but the above list resonates with me from my personal experiences.  I hope you take the time to apply some of these lessons into your own lives or perhaps make a list of your own to not only reflect on your life but to encourage you to be the best version of yourself.

e fierce.  Be strong.  Be vibrant.

Rachel

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