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23 Things I Learned at 23

In honor of my birthday this week, I thought I'd keep the tradition going and reflect on 23 things that I learned in my 23rd year of life.


1. The true meaning of presence. If this year has taught us anything, its that you can’t plan the future.

2. Most things in life you can’t control. All you can control is your own opinions, values, and beliefs. Letting go of the things you can’t control will reduce anxiety. The sooner you give up trying to control everything, the sooner you’ll feel in control of your own life.


3. Sometimes things don’t go as planned. It’s better (for me) not to have long term goals because opportunities are constantly presenting themselves and if you’re set on your rigid 5 or 10 year plan, you will miss them

4. Your mind controls your life. The way that you speak to yourself and think about yourself and others matters. If you think you can do anything, you can do anything.

5. Listen and be open to ideas that completely contradict your view of the world. Actually, SEEK OUT those views.

6. The people who’s opinions I valued when I was younger are no longer important to me. I’d tell my younger self to stop caring about those opinions ASAP.

7. People like when you share your life on social media. I’m not an over-sharer by nature, but sometimes it’s good to open up to people.

8. Only take criticism, advice, opinions from someone who is doing better than you.

9. TikTok is it! Get on there.

10. No one thinks about you, judges you or cares about what you’re doing as much as you think they are.

12. Everyone is trying to live their life as happily and blissfully as they can. Everyone is just trying to make it. People are all more alike than different.

13. If you’re trying to do social media a a job, make your IG feed one that you’d like to follow.

14. A lot of things in the world don’t make sense. Instead of trying to make sense of everything, focus instead on what you can learn from each situation.

15. I am not a spiritual or religious person, but have learned the role, purpose and value that believing in something larger than yourself can have in people’s lives.


16. I learned what is actually important in life. When you take away the material objects that we normally focus on and are stuck in your house like we were during the pandemic, the important things become so clear. For me, these are health (mental and physical), happiness and family.

17. There is no harm in speaking up and asking for what you want. Ask for help, ask for the Starbucks barista to remake your drink, ask a brand to work with you… the worst thing that's going to happen is that you're told no, and you're right back to where you started.

18. It’s okay to take time to reply to people or even to not reply at all. You don’t have to constantly give yourself to other people on their schedule.

19. The small habits, routines, and things you do everyday are what make up your life. Refine your habits = change your life

20. Focus on the things you’re good at instead of your weaknesses. Dwelling on things you’re bad at is a waste of time.

21. Being healthy is simpler than it seems. Don't let yourself be distracted by the noise; instead, dial in on what is best for you and your body. There’s no one size fits all solution for health.

23. I need to stop spending money on clothes.

24. You have to romanticize your life!!! Enjoy the small things. We spend most of our life doing habits, rituals, routines.

Love, Maddie

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