28 Lessons I've Learned at 28
What. A. Year. Last month I turned 28 and wow what an incredible adventure 27 was. This past year took me from living in New York to my new home of Los Angeles, a new apartment, career change, and lots of beach days later, I can’t help but look back on what an incredible year of growth 27 was.
The lead up to 28 has been a year of self-discovery, of figuring out who I am in a new city and a new job. It’s been a year of building confidence in being exactly who I am. Of stripping away the New Yorker armor or stress and frustration and realizing that calm and presence doesn’t have to be antithetical to being driven and career-focused. It’s been a year of being challenged by people who are completely different than me and opening myself to experiences I never would have had if I stayed in my New York comfort zone. A year of investing in my health, of learning to love fish tacos, of becoming a health coach, of spending days in my swing chair, of connecting more with my spirituality, of conquering the 405, of swimming in Malibu, of finding meaningful work and so much more.
A month into 28, I wanted to put together a list of the lessons I’ve learned this past year. I can’t wait to see what this next year has in store and all of the lessons that await!
*As a result of my truly being present this year and generally off social media, I spent less time taking photos and more time living in the moment so the below images are a few highlights from the year as there’s not too many to choose from!
1. Be Present: Living into the present makes every moment better and more meaningful.
2. Attention Is a Choice: You get to decide how much attention (and stress) you give to every situation. Choose wisely.
3. Believe in Magic: Trust in the magic of the universe giving you what you need to get where you want to go.
4. Life Isn’t All About Hard Work: Hard work is important. But relaxation, calm, and gratitude are equally essential and these two sides can coexist.
5. Embrace Failure: Failure is something to lean into, not be fearful of. It’s the “F” word we should all use more often.
6. Give a Sh*t About Money: Get a high yield savings account. I wish someone had told me this at 21! (Side note: Learn about how to manage your money!)
7. Get Comfortable with Quiet: Practice being quiet. No TV, no Instagram, no distractions. Often, the most important thoughts come up during those rare times of silence.
8. Wonder at the World: Don’t forget your sense of childlike wonder in the midst of the day to day. It will bring lightness to you and all you touch.
9. Embrace Sweets: Ice cream is still a valid choice for dinner, and I feel it will still be in my 30s.
10. Listen First, Speak Second: Listen more than you speak. Phone down, eye contact, ears open. It’s amazing what you’ll hear.
11. Send Love Into The World Constantly: “I love you” and “I appreciate you” are two phrases you can never say too much.
12. Go Green: Caring about the environment and practicing sustainability isn’t hippie, it’s necessary.
13. Walk It Out: A few deep breaths and a long walk will give you space when your thoughts feel like too much.
14. Be Mindful of Social Media: Social media is a drug that everyone should be mindful of using responsibly. Take breaks. See what a moment is like without the photograph. Ask the why behind each post.
15. Learn The Rule of 10: Asking yourself the 10s question is essential: How will this decision impact be in 10 minutes, 10 days, 10 months, 10 years? It’s really clarifying.
16. Adulting Means Baby Steps: Get your clothes tailored. Clean your apartment on the weekend. Cook a real meal. Strengthen your back to avoid your family’s “bad back” curse. Add one adult “thing” a month, and it won’t feel so overwhelming.
17. Honesty Is Important: Don’t be vunerable on Instagram. Be vunerable in real life. Tell people when you’re struggling. Be honest with yourself when you need mental help. Connect with others deeply through honest interactions and integrity.
18. Dwell in Possibility: One of my favorites from Emily Dickinson, open yourselves to the possibilities that life has to offer. Say yes. Expand your world by embracing the myriad of opportunities out there.
19. Take Time To Reflect: We’re all moving at such an insane speed we have little time to think about what we’re doing, where we’re headed, or who we’re becoming. Whether it’s journaling or talking to someone or just taking 5 minutes to think, reflection time is essential to live with more intention.
20. Honor Your Relationships: Work hard on the relationships you want to keep. Remember details, ask questions, and be all in when you spend time with humans you care about. Also remember to honor your relationship with yourself, it’s the most important one you hold.
21. Challenge Your World View Regularly: Read the news from a viewpoint you oppose. Surround yourself by people who differ from you. Challenge yourself in situations you’re unfamiliar with. You better yourself every time this happens.
22. Do a Feel Good Audit: People who make you feel bad about yourself or put you down are people you shouldn’t invest in. Value yourself and do an audit of your relatonships, step away from the ones that don’t build you up.
23. Smile. Laugh. Hug.: Smile at people you interact with. Find what makes you laugh out loud till you have tears rolling down your face. Embrace those you love. Even if it feels forced at first, it will help your health- mind, body, and spirit.
24. Pick Your One Corner of The World: A great lesson from my mom. When you’re overwhelmed by the state of the world, choose the one corner you’re passionate about helping and go all in to support that cause. You will make the biggest impact this way.
25. Adventure: Make time for excursions that bring you outside of your normal life. Take a drive without the GPS, go on vacation, take a different route home. This challenges our brain and also activates new areas, not to mention it’s fun!
26. Don’t Push Away Negative Emotions: When they bubble up, we often have a tendency to quiet them with distractions, anger, or a release like a workout. Give your negative emotions space to come up and exist and then pass through. Otherwise, they’ll wreak havoc on your body and bubble up later.
27. Work It Out: Move every. single. day. Workouts are essential to mental and physical health so find one you love and schedule time at least 2-3 times a week to get there.
28. Leap!: When doubt presses in, when fear seems to overwhelm, take the leap. You never know what lies on the landing so go ahead and jump.
Do any of these resonate with you? Add your lessons into the comments below!