28 (Sometimes Painful) Lessons I Learned By 28

1. If you have to guess where you stand with someone, you don’t stand anywhere with them.

Stop investing your time on people who aren’t invested in you. Your time is better spent on people who see you for the amazing person you are.

2. There is nothing truer than your instincts.

Trust your gut always. If you feel like something isn’t right, it probably isn’t. You will know when you have found what is right for you.

3. Family isn’t always blood.

Family is composed of the ones who love you unconditionally and support you through life. As much as this hurts, this isn’t always the family you are born into, but it doesn’t mean your family is any less real or valid.

4. The right relationship isn’t always easy, but the choice to make it work will be easy.

No relationship is easy. They take work. They can be painful at times. But if you are with the right person, making it work and staying despite the hard stuff will never be something you will even have to think about.

5. Sometimes the hard thing and the right thing are the same.

Life can be messy and painful, but just because it hurts and just because it’s hard doesn’t mean you should avoid it. You can and should do hard things.

6. The only thing constant is change.

Life is changing constantly. Don’t get hung up on what you can’t control, things will happen the way they are meant to.

7. It’s not your responsibility to fix someone else.

You can care, want to help, and be there as they heal, but the only person who can fix someone is themselves.

8. It’s okay to leave a conversation if it is harmful to you.

You don’t always have to engage. You can walk away or hang up the phone. You’re allowed to leave.

9. Boundaries are a form of self-love.

Learn how to set boundaries as soon as you can and set them often, even if it makes you uncomfortable. This will be one of the best and most amazing things you will ever do for yourself.

10. Keep learning.

Never ever believe that you have nothing else to learn. Your life is composed of continuous knowledge. When you stop learning, you stop truly living.

11. There is no such thing as a perfect life.

There are only perfect moments. Anyone who tries to tell you their life is perfect isn’t brave enough to be honest with themselves. Be okay with the imperfection.

12. Face your flaws.

This will be one of the scariest and most difficult things you ever do, but it will help shape you into who you are meant to be.

13. Know your worth.

Only you decide your worth. Know it. Embrace it. Own it.

14. Someone else will not be able to fix you.

If you are searching for someone to fix you, you will always be disappointed. Instead, look for the people who will stand by your side and support you as you fix yourself.

15. It’s okay to be scared.

There will always be things to be afraid of, even the things you want. You cannot let fear stop you from living the life you want. Be scared, but do it anyway.

16. Forgive yourself.

You are not the same person you were. We all make mistakes, both big and small. Forgiving yourself is the first step to healing and will set you free.

17. “Fake it till you make it” is a load of bullshit.

Being authentic is always better. Don’t fake your knowledge, and don’t fake your feelings. Face it, don’t fake it.

18. Missing someone is okay.

You can miss someone, somewhere, something without wanting it back in your life. Missing something or someone means you’ve lived and loved.

19. Not everything needs to be a lesson.

Sometimes things just happen and sometimes they suck. You don’t need to search for an underlying meaning in everything.

20. Your trauma is valid, no matter how small you think it is.

Even if other people “have it worse”. Even If other people try to minimize your suffering. You still have permission to grieve and to feel pain. The world is large enough for everyone’s feelings. Your experiences are not insignificant.

21. Your body is your home.

You don’t have to love every part of you, but you have to learn to accept it. I promise you will be so much happier.

22. Your worth is not reflected in other people’s ability to love you.

It doesn’t matter if they are family, friends, coworkers, or strangers on the street. You will not be everyone’s cup of tea and that is okay. It does not diminish your worth.

23. You don’t have to wait to love yourself before you love someone else.

No one can love you into loving yourself, but they might be able to show you what love can feel like and hold your hand while you start to love yourself.

24. Therapy is life changing.

Therapy, if you can afford it, is very enlightening. It is incredibly empowering to learn about how your past, beliefs, and fear are impacting your life now.

25. Saying no is not selfish.

Saying no to something is self-respect. Sometimes you have to say no to others in order to say yes to yourself.

26. You can cut people out of your life.

Even if you love them, sometimes some things are just too big to overcome. Some relationships aren’t worth the pain. Even if you love someone, you sometimes have to say goodbye in order to feel free.

27. You are replaceable at your job, but not at home.

Yes, you need to make an income, and it’s even okay if your job is a big part of your life, but don’t work so hard you forget to live.

28. You have to keep going.

Even when everything feels like it’s wrong. Even when the world is falling apart. Even if you feel like giving up. You have to keep going. You can’t let yourself give up hope. You matter—more than you may realize.