24 Things I Learned at 24

Is it just me, or does 25 seem way older than 24?

Something about being a quarter century old seems a little insane (though I recognize the subjectivity of that statement).

As I move into my next year on Earth, I am, again, looking back at the lessons this past year brought. 24, overall, was a good year. It was a challenging year, and I learned a lot, but I’m better off for it all. I felt good about 24 at its outset, and that feeling delivered. I’m downright excited for 25. As I take these lessons from 24 into 25, I have confidence that my time as a quarter centurion will be memorable:

1. Life is too short to spend in toxic situations with people who don’t lift you up.

2. Mindsets don’t change overnight…it takes time and energy and practice.

3. Inner change starts with personal awareness.

4. Not everybody has a growth mindset, and that’s not something you can force on someone.

5. Saying negative things about someone for no better reason than that you don’t like the way they are as a person doesn’t accomplish much of anything. It may feel good in the moment, but moments are fleeting. Your unkind words say more about you.

6. Focusing less on other people’s (often perceived and sometimes totally inaccurate) problems and focusing more on what I can do to lift myself up is all around for the best.

7. Some problems truly aren’t worth solving.

8. The little things are the stuff of life.

9. As much as I love to travel and experience new things, I also love to chill at home and embrace my neighborhood, my home, and my bed.

10. Natural light is my friend. Living in a dark basement is not.

11. The people you choose to surround yourself with does, indeed, say a lot about who you are.

12. Watching students grow is one of the greatest joys of being a teacher.

13. Being a teacher is never easy, and being a substitute teacher is sometimes downright cruel.

14. I’d rather do less work, make less money, and have more free time than do all the work, make all the money, and have no free time.

15. It’s incredible to build relationships with students across the globe via video chat while teaching them a language that is foreign to them. I know many of my VIPKIDdos better than I know most of the people I see daily in the flesh and blood.

16. Maturity doesn’t necessarily come with age.

17. Ya can’t change other people. What you can change is how you react to other people.

18. I spent the better part of my teenage years and early twenties thinking I was nothing like my parents, and I preferred it that way–turns out my mom and I are similar in a lot more ways than our shared facial features…and I tend to be attracted to men who have a similar personality to my dad. Life is funny that way.

19. You must embrace where you come from. It is an essential part of who you are (In other news, I pretty much cried when I watched the Superbowl Halftime show on Youtube the day after…I don’t know what the heck Justin Timberlake was wearing, but it was Minneapolis and that justified all the feels).

20. Completing my 1099’s wasn’t as scary as I thought it’d be.

21. Subbing is a great experience, but I don’t like going to different, often times new schools everyday. Lucky for me, I’ve been going to one school pretty consistently since the beginning of 2018.

22. I love Myers-Briggs and always will, but MBTI is a guideline not a lifeline.

23. Education is the field I need to be in. The more I’ve moved into teaching, the happier I’ve become.

24. Growth takes time and life takes time…and truly allowing that time can lead to beautiful things.

My little brother, who in DC for a few weeks, is taking me out to dinner for my birthday. Isn’t that sweet? Here we are with Lincoln at Gettysburg, a picture that, first and foremost, went to Mom.

6 Replies to “24 Things I Learned at 24”

  1. Wishing you a happy birthday! Likewise, I’ll be turning a quarter century later this month, and it really feels like there’s a notable difference between 24 and 25.


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