15 Things I’ve Learned in 23 Years

Well, it’s official – I’m 23-years-old.  I spent a while trying to come up with an interesting post for today, and basically I couldn’t come up with anything that hasn’t been done to death.  So here I am, with 15 lessons I’ve learned in 23 years (because 23 sounds like as good an age as any to be ridiculously cliche, so I might as well milk the opportunity), and a few I’m still working on learning.

life lessons

1. Not everyone’s going to like you, and that has to be okay.

2. It’s okay to not be the “best” at anything.  As long as there’s something you love, that you work hard at, that’s enough. Actually…I think I’m still working on learning this one.

3. Reality TV is crap, and none of it is a true representation of “reality.”  The sooner you realize that, the sooner you’re going to stop worrying about the absolutely insane way that members of the Big Brother house treat each other.

4. The only way to know something is important to you is if you stand up for it.  If you’re not willing to defend your beliefs, how can you say that they’re really important to you?

5.  It’s okay to want to be alone sometimes.

6.  There are certain people that you don’t want in your life because they’re frankly kind of awful.  As much as it sucks right now, it’s SO much easier to just cut them out.

7.  Sometimes, your cat really is your best friend (or is that just me?)

8. Move your laundry into the dryer AS SOON as it’s finished washing.  Okay…maybe that’s another thing I’m still working on.

9. You don’t have to be “doing what you love” for a living, as long as you’re making time to do what you love at some point.

10.  Sometimes, like when he’s biting you for NO REASON AT ALL, your cat is not at all your best friend.  Or is that just me, too?

11.  Online dating is a thing, and at some point you’re probably going to do it.

12.  It’s okay to have no idea where you want to be 10 years from now – I don’t think anyone knows for sure.

13.  If you make a promise, stick to it.  Don’t back out of plans with one person because someone else showed up with better plans.

14.  Read! Not just because it’s a fun way to spend your time, but because it teaches you about the world around you and about other people.  Read articles online, read the news, read books, read poems… Read whatever you can get your hands on because every sentence is another piece of your culture.

15.  Know who you are, and know what you’re worth.  Don’t let someone tell you that your standards are too high or that you expect too much – there’s someone out there who’s going to meet those expectations.

  • http://www.thesiberianamerican.com Olya

    Kiersten, I love these, especially the one about reading. Happy Birthday! :)

    • http://www.sheisfierce.org/ Kiersten McMonagle

      Thanks, Olya!

  • http://www.socalledhomemaker.com/ socalledhomemaker

    Love this! Happy birthday!

    • http://www.sheisfierce.org/ Kiersten McMonagle

      Thanks, Christine!

  • Beks

    Happy birthday! And #7, definitely! My cat got me through some terrible times. And won’t let me forget it. :-/

    • http://www.sheisfierce.org/ Kiersten McMonagle

      Thanks! And hahaah my cat is the same

  • http://bellebrita.com/ Brita Long

    Joyeux anniversaire!!!!! These are great, but especially #11 and #15, since I only found a man who met my expectations by using OKCupid.

    • http://www.sheisfierce.org/ Kiersten McMonagle

      Thanks, Brita! And yeah, I’m working on giving online dating a chance!

  • http://www.oakandoats.com/ Elizabeth Mayberry

    #8 – Move the Laundry. So hard but so true!!!!!!!!!

    • http://www.oakandoats.com/ Elizabeth Mayberry

      ALSO! Happy Birthday!

      • http://www.sheisfierce.org/ Kiersten McMonagle

        Thanks, Elizabeth! And I know – I’m so proud of myself every time I manage to fold the laundry right away!

  • http://marykeithp.blogspot.com/p/about.html Mary-Keith Piasecki

    Happy Birthday! 9. You don’t have to be “doing what you love” for a living, as long as you’re making time to do what you love at some point. – This is SOOO true! glad I finally learned it!

    • http://www.sheisfierce.org/ Kiersten McMonagle

      Thanks, Mary! And I agree – yeah, it would be nice, but work is work. That doesn’t mean you can’t still do what you love when you’re not at work.

  • http://www.thechroniclesofchaos.com Mia Sutton

    Happy birthday, Kiersten! And #14, absolutely. This should be everyone’s life motto. :)

    • http://www.sheisfierce.org/ Kiersten McMonagle

      Thanks, Mia!

  • http://texerin-in-sydneyland.blogspot.com.au/ TexErin

    Fantastic list! I wish I had learned all of those things by the age of 23 (it took me just a wee bit longer). But, I love be open to growing and evolving, so never stop learning :)

    • http://www.sheisfierce.org/ Kiersten McMonagle

      Thanks, Erin! There are definitely some things on this list I’m still working on, but I know I’m a lot closer than I was last year.

  • Jessica Marie

    Happy birthday! I learned #15 the hard way and I have to keep reminding myself of that lesson. I also agree with Erin, I wish I learned these things by 23 instead of 24.5, but I like being opened to growing and evolving. No one ever stops learning. :)

    • http://www.sheisfierce.org/ Kiersten McMonagle

      Thanks, Jessica! And I definitely know there are a couple things on this list I’m still working on…

  • http://theladyerrant.com/ Elle

    Happy Birthday! Haha, online dating is totally a thing and can definitely be successful. My brother and one of my friends met their current spouses through online dating. I’ve definitely struggled with #2. . .not that being “the best” was my goal, but I did want to know I’d be good enough at something to justify putting all the years of education into it. I’ve been working on stuff lately more for myself and trying not to limit myself from the start.

    I’m kind of in awe of those people from high school who knew what they wanted to be ten years from then and then DID it. . .but I’m grateful for my life decisions; unlike those people, my life after high school hasn’t consisted of almost ten years of school and post-grad stuff – which all sounds godawful to me.

    • http://www.sheisfierce.org/ Kiersten McMonagle

      Thanks, Elle!

      And exactly – I don’t need to be the best at anything, but I just feel like there should be SOMETHING that people can point to and say “yeah, Kiersten’s awesome at that” or that would help me know exactly what I should be doing. It’s definitely something I’m still working on.

      And I know! One of my good friends in college was like that – always had a 10-year-plan and she’s always gotten exactly what she planned for. I can’t imagine…

  • http://nomad-notebook.blogspot.co.uk/ Lizzy

    Hope you had a great birthday! Number 2 and 4…yes. Definitely still trying to come to terms with number 2 as well. Not being the best is actually a really tough thing to accept- and makes me at least, feel incredibly inadequate at times.

    The online dating one made me chuckle. I never really knew how widespread it was- my mum has used it and has been with her current partner for 2 years who she met on but now most of my single friends use Tinder and I had no idea until last week that they all went on regular dates with people they “met” on there! I’m so out of the loop.

    Lizzy from Nomad Notebook

    • http://www.sheisfierce.org/ Kiersten McMonagle

      Thanks, Lizzy!
      And I agree – I don’t need to be the best at everything, I’ve never been like that. But I just wish there were one thing that everyone could point to and say “yeah, that’s Kiersten’s thing!” you know? It’s definitely something I’m still working on.

      And I know! My mom actually talked me into it, but more and more I hear about people who use websites like OkCupid so it’s just not as taboo anymore.