20 Lessons in 20 Years

April 24, 2017

Reflecting on 20 lessons I've learned the past 20 years | Blush and Fairy Dust

Yesterday, April 23rd, marked the day that I have been alive for 20 years. Two decades of growing, learning, and experiencing life. It's been slightly difficult coming to terms with the fact that I am well on my way to adulthood, but I am making do. In the meantime, I am reflecting on what I've learned these past 20 years. I'd like to share them with you.

1. It's okay to not fit in with the crowd. Acting like everybody else may seem like the most important way to be at certain points in your life, but it will get you nowhere. I've found that I was extra successful and enjoyed my life much more when I realized that the best way to live is through individuality.

2. Don't apologize so much. Every time someone bumps into me or I show up early to an event, I apologize. But it's not my fault. Apologize for the things that really matter, like hurting someone's feelings or lashing out.

3. Fight for what's right. Don't sit back and let others do the talking. If you believe strongly in an issue, stand up for it. Odds are, the issue needs to be talked about.

4. It's okay to spend time alone. It's actually gratifying. It gives you time to yourself, whether you need to clear your head or just get away from socializing. Plus, it gives you a sense of independence and maturity that you won't find in a group setting.

5. Call your family. It's usually nice to hear the voice of a loved one — whether it's mom, dad, sister, brother, cousin, aunt — whatever. Ask them how their day was. Let them know that you're here for them, and they will do the same.

6. Don't let others push you around. I was once told that I was a pushover, and, after going home and googling it, it has since completely changed my approach. While it's nice to say yes to things, you can't allow people to walk all over you. Stand up for yourself.

7. Hard work usually pays off. I am not always the most motivated person, but I've noticed a pretty strong positive correlation between the times I work my butt off and my success rate. If you want something, it's up to you to go get it. Believe in yourself.

8. It's okay to have an off day. Sometimes procrastinating for a couple hours with a TV show, movie, or silly internet video can stop you from having a mental breakdown. This may seem to directly contradict #7, but it's really about a happy medium between working hard and hardly working.

9. Feeling healthy is important, but it's equally as important to eat some chocolate every once in a while (or every week). I try to play the 70-30 (ahem, 60-40) game with eating: go healthy most of the time, indulge myself with the leftover time. If I don't allow myself to have a slice of cake (or two) or a handful of Doritos (or the whole bag), I will be ridiculously unhappy. And that's just not fair.

10. You usually find something you're looking for when you're not actually looking. I walked into college freshman year thinking it would be overwhelming to date, but I ended up finding the greatest relationship. It happens in small doses, too, like looking for a prom dress or a good restaurant to eat at. Just remove the pressure, and things will work naturally.

11. Materialism is only negative when it's excessive and you lose sight of what's really important. Obviously, I run a beauty blog. Even more obviously, makeup costs quite a bit of money. But I love it. So I buy it. I'm very aware that materialistic items will never replace my real love for my family and friends. So, buy what you want, but remember that it will never comfort you when you're hurting.

12. Sometimes removing yourself from a situation is necessary. Even if it hurts. Saying goodbye to a toxic relationship (romantic or platonic), moving away to pursue your dream, or letting go of an unrealistic, lost dream can be liberating. It may be painful, and it probably will be, but it will make you stronger in the long run.

13. Spend money on experiences. Go to a concert, book a plane ticket, or visit a museum. Paying for an unforgettable experience will sit with you much longer than spending your paycheck on a new pair of shoes or a purse. Okay, buy those things sometimes, but not all the time.  Take lots of pictures.

14. Appreciate the little things. As cliche as it might be, it's one of the most important things I've learned. You will most likely remember the first kiss, the big move, or the 21st birthday, but will you remember that one cute text? Or an adorable puppy trotting down the sidewalk? Think about those small things that bring you an unexpected ounce of joy.

15. Read — whatever it is, whether it's Ulysses or the back of a cereal box. This was always one of my Grandpa's sentiments, and I carry it with me. You learn through reading, regardless of what it is. And, because it's my birthday, get ready for that self-promo. If you want some reading suggestions, check out my favorites.

16. Having patience is an important virtue, but it's also necessary to know when you've been waiting too long. I pride myself on being able to wait. But sometimes I'm too good at it, and then I lose an opportunity to someone that's more of a go-getter. Make sure to seize opportunities — don't let them pass you by because you were waiting patiently — but don't get impatient over minuscule details.

17. Be honest with your loved ones. Don't get caught up over little things that have no importance. Tell someone you love them and don't shy away from letting people know how you feel. You never know when you won't have the opportunity anymore.

18. Be someone that you want to be. I truly believe that we can create ourselves. Create a person that you admire.

19. The past is the past. Things change, people change, the world changes. Most of the time, you can't go back. And it's not worth it to search for something you've long lost. Feel nostalgic, but understand that you have moved on.

20. Give love. It's free. Enough said.

Finally, enjoy a picture of me just a few days before turning five. A fashion icon from the start.

What is one of the best lessons you've received? 


  1. 20 lovely, important lessons and sentiments!

  2. I can't tell you how much all of these are spot on (as a 22 year old)




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