The Sol Compass

by Caitlin Hummer

25 Things I’ve Learned by 25

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25

Welcome back everyone!  Today I wanted to share with you a few things I’ve learned in my 25 years.  A lot of them sound painstakingly cliche, but sometimes we can really only learn these obvious lessons by stumbling through a few mistakes by ourself.  I am by no means an expert on life, but I did take a rather unconventional path in growing up, which taught me a few lessons earlier (and a few lessons later) than other people may have learned them.

 

  1. Never underestimate the healing power of a long drive with good music. (And coffee).
  2. Buying real pajamas will change the way you sleep.  If you don’t want to pull the trigger on a new mattress, just buy yourself some real pajamas.  Having clothes that are designated for sleeping helps your body figure out what it’s supposed to do better than climbing into bed in the same kind of clothes (such as leggings) you wear to workout in.
  3. Don’t sweat the small stuff.  It’ll just clog your pores.
  4. Life’s best moments are spent outdoors.  Nothing can replace the power of sunshine, fresh air, and wildlife.
  5. No one is really your friend until they’ve seen every dark shadow inside you…  And stayed.  The thing that amazes me most in this entire world is that my best friend is still my best friend.  She is the most beautiful and kind soul I have ever met and I cannot believe she still loves me after knowing me during a part of my life when I wasn’t very lovable.  That is true friendship.
  6. Try not to beat yourself up for the person you were at 20.  There is no part of me that likes the person I was between my 19th and 21st birthdays.  It took me a while to forgive myself and to let that person go; because without some of those tough lessons I might not be the person I am today.
  7. Living your life by a time table will not make you happy.  Everyone lives life at their own pace, and you may end up being grateful that you weren’t married with a kid and 30 like you thought you would be.  Our own experiences shape us all differently, and at different times.
  8. Life is short, buy the shoes.
  9. Investing your time at a job that you love is infinitely more rewarding than working at a place you hate.  If you’re going to spend 8 hours per day/5 days per week there, shouldn’t you enjoy it?
  10. Love doesn’t have to be romantic love.  We live in a great big beautiful world filled to the brim of things ready and deserving of our love.  This lesson was one that I resisted a little bit, but I have fallen in love with so many things over the past few years and it has only inspired me to try more and more new things.
  11. You only have one body so treat it well.  This extends from exercising regularly and eating well to taking good care of your skin and always taking your makeup off at night (this part took me 24 years to master).
  12. You are not for everyone.  Whether they are friends or significant others, you are not compatible with everyone on the planet.  Sometimes they realize this before you, and that’s okay.  It’s always a blessing in disguise to not waste any more time with people who aren’t right for you.
  13. Not being right for everyone does not give you the excuse to treat people poorly.  I once had a coworker that I was never going to be friends with, just based on personalities and interests.  We still existed and worked together pleasantly and respectfully, and I consider my relationship with her one of my most successful for this reason.
  14. Cutting toxic people out of your life needs to be done sooner rather than later.  It can be hard, but your mental health is so important it’s not worth suffering around those people who negatively effective you.
  15. Travel as much as you can as far as you can.  Life is not meant to be lived in one place.  I have learned more about myself traveling than I ever did at home.
  16. Sometimes, you just have to leap without looking.  I am the most panicked, calculated, logical person I know; and you can bet I have made three pro/con lists, a flow chart, and a time table before I make any significant life change.  The best decisions I made were the ones where I threw this well planned process directly out the window and just went for it.
  17. Let people know that you appreciate them.  This is probably my most valued trait.  As a manager, thanking people for helping you and telling them things they have done well is the most amazing tool for getting more out of your employees.  It’s also something I like to incorporate into my personal life.  I think telling people what you love about them is such a strong and powerful tool to strengthen your relationships and sometimes it’s just what that person needed to turn a bad day around.
  18. It will work itself out.  I spent most of my early (and mid) twenties panicking about literally everything.  The only thing that made my panic worse was everyone telling me not to panic.  I’m a little bit of a control freak, so not knowing how to fix things was constantly stressing me out.  Luckily I’ve learned that some things just need time to work themselves out.
  19. Do what feels right.  My friends, coworkers, and family are beyond sick of hearing me say this, because it feels like a cop out sometimes.  But at the end of the day, you just have to trust your gut.  My brain will play devil’s advocate all day long bringing me back and forth between different outcomes, but I think you always know what’s right for you.  Sometimes you just have to buck up and do the hard thing.
  20. Take a walk.  Sometimes this means taking time to yourself in the middle of an argument before you send that angry email.  Sometimes it means stretching your legs to get that creative energy flowing again.  Whatever it ends up being, taking a walk always helps.
  21. Having financial security will take away so much stress from your life.  Most of us do not have as much saved as we would like, but having enough savings to handle an emergency car repair or medical bill will take away so much stress from your life.
  22. Cooking for yourself will help your physical, mental, and financial health.  Starting Whole30 this month, one of my main goals was to force myself to cook more.  I was honestly shocked at how much better I felt physically after even just one week.  Added bonuses were not racking up a $30 dinner three times per week and having a lot of relaxing time at home where I learned new cooking skills and new nutrition facts.
  23. Don’t feel stupid if you don’t like what everyone else pretends to love.  I don’t like going to clubs.  In fact I can’t think of anything I want to do less.  It took me very little time after turning 21 to realize this, but it took me a little while longer to realize that I didn’t have to go.  You do you.  Spend your Saturday night with a face mask and a good book.  No one else gets to have an opinion on the way you live your life.
  24. If you have to ask what jazz is, you’ll never know.
  25. Starting over doesn’t have to be the end of the world.  Sometimes it’s refreshing to be able to wipe your slate clean and take the right steps to put yourself on a new path in a direction that’s right for you.

 

Do you guys have any lessons you’ve learned that you want to share?  Let me know in the comment section!

Hope you all have a wonderful day!
xo, C

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