25 Things I’ve Learned in Turning 25
By Karina Lafayette
1. None of us know anything
“All I know is that I don’t know.” And I don’t even know who said that, but the point is, none of us really know. What was normal five hundred years ago and what’s normal right now, won’t be normal in a decade. So just chill, meditate, and do your best with what you know. Human curiosity can often make things more stressful than they need to.
And as for the quote, that was a joke. I do know who said it- it was Socrates. 😉
2. It’s not how old you are that matters, it’s how you got here
Your age doesn’t decide when you’ll get married, go to school, or go back to school, or when you’re career as an actor/singer/dancer/doctor/entrepreneur will happen. You do. Just ask J.K. Rowling, or Colonel Sanders.
Whether your goal takes off at 18, 25, 40, 60, etc; what matters is you got there.
3. Forget planning (too) ahead
Last winter I had a stable job and a cute apartment in Montreal. At that point I thought I would stay there at least for two more years. Then things got bboooringg. Fast-forward to midsummer and I was on my first flight to Toronto. My life needed shaking up and shake it did.
The point is, it’s great to plan, but stay flexible. In my experience, the last-minute decisions have been the best.
4. See your mistakes as a part of success
Sometimes making a mistake can actually be a good thing, because it’s the thing that will put you back to the drawing board. It’s also the universe’s way of letting you know whether you’re on the right path.
5. You’re only competition is in the mirror
Don’t compare your life to anyone’s instagram. A filter doesn’t reflect the inner reality. Chances are you’re living at least one thing someone else could only dream of having.
6. Surround yourself with anyone whose like-minded and who supports you
“Is that gonna make you money?” “Do people need it?” “Become a doctor like your father.” “You think you’re gonna be the next Scorsese?” (My mother said that last one.)
People who say these things might mean well, but they’re speaking from their experience, not yours.
Like I say, I rather fail doing what I love than succeed at what I hate.
7. You can’t choose your family, but you can choose your tribe
Sometimes the people we grow up with aren’t the ones we spend our lives with, and that’s totally okay.
8. Cut ties with toxic people
People who are energy draining, who always complain without taking action, people who put you down and make you feel not good enough; Relatives who see caring for their kids as a “favour”, when it’s their job to; People who do “nice” things for you only to benefit themselves… pff!
9. Let go of ghosts
By ghosts I mean that friend who tends to flake on plans, or who only shows up when your life is at its best, or that dude/dudette who texts and sexts you when they’re bored- nahh bro. Yes, I get the fact not everyone knows how to handle real issues, but a person who truly cares will be there at your darkest hour and for your brightest moments.
Yeah, you can do better. Trust me. When it comes to your tribe, less can be more.
10. Learn the difference between ‘alone’ and lonely
Being alone means being comfortable in solitude and with yourself. Being lonely is when you feel there is a gap that needs to be filled with other people’s company. You’re already a whole person, and you’re good enough. Remember that.
11. Be picky with potential love interests
Just because someone finds you attractive doesn’t mean they care about you or respect you. Depending on what you’re looking for, if you want something long-term, be picky. Be super picky. You’re allowed to want a person with certain values and interests. You’re allowed to have a “type”, without being shallow.
12. Enjoy being single before getting into a relationship
In the past I would make the mistake of chasing after people who were emotionally unavailable. When I realized this had to do with lack of self-worth, I decided being alone was better than chasing (whether you’re a male or female). When I stopped chasing that’s when things began to change…
Love will happen for you when you learn this. It’s the universe’s way of telling us “good job”!
13. People’s opinions are more about them than you
14. Take advice with a grain of salt
Unless it’s really, really constructive to your success. Otherwise:
15. Network network network
They say you’re the average of the five people you’re closest to- choose wisely.
16. Accept who you are because it’s the only person you’ll be
According to astrology it would take about 2300 years for the planets to be in the same degree they were in when you were born. You’re a snowflake! ❄️ Congrats! So trends, ditch ‘em. You’re awesome already.
17. Don’t be afraid to reinvent yourself
It may sound counter-intuitive to the previous point, but being happy with yourself doesn’t mean getting complacent. Whether it’s to learn a new language, new skill, start exercising, or letting go of expired beliefs you were raised with, every day is a chance to be a better version of you.
18. Money doesn’t buy happiness
Of course it can make happiness easier to access, but from personal experience I’ve been able to feel happy regardless of how much is in my bank account.
During the rough times and good times there’s always something to look forward to, even if it’s something as simple as a hike by the river.
19. Fight for your cause
Everyone has a cause. You don’t have to be a revolutionary, but if something affects you, be it against racism, sexism, for health care, funding for medical research, etc.- anything you care about, is worth hearing about.
20. Express yourself
Related to the previous point, write blogs, make videos, grab a mic/camera, pen, send editorials to that newspaper that pisses you off, wear makeup (if that’s your thing), wear clothes that make you happy... You got a voice for a reason. Use it.
21. Have compassion
You don’t know they’re story and they don’t know yours. It doesn’t matter if they’re a jerk (with some exceptions). Something made them that way. However you can have compassion and still choose to step back from them. Everyone’s experience is different and it’s important to understand that.
22. Be vulnerable
Your feelings matter. Not everyone will agree with them and that’s totally okay. Your feelings are a part of who you are. They might be uncomfortable, but they’re your body’s way of giving a warning sign. Being vulnerable also means asking for help when you need it. And saying “I love you” when you mean it.
23. Have gratitude
Life isn’t going to be perfect, even for a millionaire. You’re allowed to feel sad, but no matter what, there is always something good happening. Have gratitude, especially for the people who care about you.
Get a scrapbook and fill it with good times.
24. Spend time on what matters, not on what flatters
Quick fixes, pyramid schemes, none of that works. There’s so much that wants your attention nowadays, so focus on what will move you forward. Having compassion is great, but don’t waste your energy on something if someone is already taking care of it. We’re seven billion here. We got this.
25. Eat the damn cookie!
It’s one thing to be healthy, it’s another to deprive yourself. Like that Sheryl Crowe song, “If it makes you happy, it can’t be that bad.”