23 Things I Wish I Mastered Before I Turned 23

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May 22, 2018

A few days ago I celebrated my 23rd birthday (yep-I know, how #old…just kidding I’m definitely rare in the Houston wedding photographer community). I thought to myself, “if only someone told me…” and decided that I guess I might as well be that someone. So, here we are!

  1. Life happens. Even on my birthday when I planned for the least unplanned party ever, I still managed to get stressed and burn half of the food, leave the drinks and decorations,  get stuck in traffic, run late to my own event, and ten more things. Seriously. Things go wrong so just yell “plot twist!” and move on!
  2. Don’t feel guilty about who you are. If you love staying in and cuddling up with your pup, then do it!
  3. Turn your notifications off. Unless you’re in a situation that requires immediate contact with others, it’s okay to turn off your notifications and live off the radar for half the day. Give yourself a break from social media and focus that energy into something productive like… oh, I don’t know, maybe that laundry you put off for two weeks.
  4. Be an active listener. Yeah, that’s right-I’m talkin’ about you, Miss Chatterbox. Don’t just listen to say something in return. Just listen. Take it all in.
  5. Meditate. This stuff isn’t just for when you’re confused about your path in life or when you can see steam coming out of your ears. Meditation has shown to increase productivity by increasing attention and focus.
  6. Take your time. Whether it’s to slow down how fast you eat your food or if you need another semester in college, follow your natural pace. You know when things are going to fast for you to process, so take a deep breathe and slow down.
  7. Everything is going to be okay. Even if it doesn’t feel like it right now.
  8. Life works out in funny ways. Sometimes you face decisions in your life that weren’t your first choice but down the line, you will look back at this moment and be grateful that you had a detour because it brought you somewhere unexpected from which you gained something really special.
  9. Be tenacious in everything you do.
  10. Don’t be so hard on yourself. So what you got a C? So what you didn’t get the job you wanted? It says nothing about you. The fact that you haven’t given up is what says something about you. Show the world you know how to get back up on your feet and try again!
  11. Treat your body well. Stop feeding it junk food! Take care of it, it’s the only one you have.
  12. Say thank you every day. Embed gratefulness into your life.
  13. Use positive language. Even on days the sun looks like it won’t be coming out.
  14. Work hard. Play harder. Go on that vacation you have been dreaming of. You deserve it!
  15. Get started on that #adulting thing. It’s not very fun.
  16. Gain perspective. Not everyone is like you and thinks the way you do, and that’s okay because no one expects you to be like others either.
  17. Learn to declutter. Try and donate every month to rid of things you don’t need anymore but that someone else might.
  18. Love your mistakes. They are your greatest teachers.
  19. Embrace change. 
  20. Improve yourself. Go read that self-help book you have been eyeing for a while but have been too afraid to take to the register. Reflect. Make yourself better everyday.
  21. Rest. Our generation loves to keep going but you have to stop and relax at some point. Otherwise, you will find yourself burning out which could set you back more than that one nap you avoided.
  22. Make time for fitness. It’s so easy to get caught up in life and push off the gym. It’s a necessity and helps our body remain conditioned and healthy. Make time for that pilates class. You owe your body!
  23. Do what you love! I am choosing to never give up on science and art. I need to challenge myself intellectually while also having a creative outlet to test my mind in another way. There is no this or that, yes or no. There just is what you love and that is that! Keep pursuing what you love and never lose sight of it!

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