21 Things I’ve Learned In 21 Years

January 4, 2019

Throughout my twenty-one years of existence, I’ve learned a lot. It’s a new year and although I’m so excited to be looking forward to new things, I can’t help but look back at all the things I’ve learned in my life. I believe looking back at your life and realizing everything you’ve been through and all of the lessons you’ve learned is an important step before moving forward.

21 Things I’ve Learned:

1. Perfection doesn’t exist. I spent so much time and cried so many tears when I was younger because no matter what I’d do, I couldn’t seem to reach the perfection I saw in other people. They had better skin, prettier hair, and lived perfect lives. I realized that it’s all an illusion and perfection does not exist. I stopped trying to achieve the impossible and ever since, I am so much happier. Just be you because I promise that is enough.

2. Some friends don’t stay in your life. Unfortunately, this is a lesson that I have learned quite a bit over the past few years. Especially last year. Friends that you’ve made in high school don’t always stick around. That’s okay though. Everybody changes and chooses different paths.

3. You should never have to beg somebody to stay in your life. Whether it’s a friend, family member or a significant other, letting go is hard. If they would rather live life without you in it, walk away. Holding on will only hurt more in the end.

4. There will be times where you fail. The perfectionist in me is cringing at this one but it’s true. Life is all trial and error. If you don’t succeed at first, try again!

5. Dwelling over small mistakes is not worth it. I’m that kind of person that thinks about any small mistake that I made, even years ago, and I try to think about how I could have changed it but the reality is, you can’t. One thing you can do though is to make a plan of how to prevent it from happening again!

6. Love yourself. I’ve gone through my own share of insecurities and have done the whole “I hate this about myself” meltdown millions of times but at the end of the day, you can’t change who you are so you might as well learn to love yourself.

7. Self-care is not selfish. If you’re anything like me, you like to make sure everybody around you is okay before asking yourself if you’re okay. Sometimes you just need a day to dedicate to yourself. Take a bubble bath, buy something you’ve wanted for a long time, or just have a quiet night to yourself. Put yourself first for a day.

8. Working hard towards your dreams will pay off. It’s so easy to start working towards a dream but get overwhelmed or not see instant results so you just stop. Don’t stop. Your hard work will pay off and you’ll eventually see the results you’ve been looking for. 

9. Don’t apologize for what you believe in. If you feel strongly about something and somebody else doesn’t agree, you don’t have to apologize or agree with them instead. You are able to have your own opinions and beliefs. Stick to them.

10. Learn to say no. This is something I’ve had to work hard on lately. I used to be such the ultimate people pleaser and I never want to hurt somebody’s feelings. But I’ve learned that if you really don’t want to do something or go somewhere with somebody, say no.

11. Walk away from toxic people. You don’t need to keep somebody in your life if they are constantly bringing you down or making you feel bad about yourself. You deserve happiness so walk away from anything and anybody that makes you feel less than.

12. Don’t take every breakup and heartbreak personally. Oh boy, is this a tough lesson or what? It has taken so many heartbreaks to realize that maybe it didn’t end because of something I did or said. Maybe it’s ended because of the simple fact that me and that person weren’t meant to be.

13. Hold your loved ones close. I’ve lost friends and I’ve been heartbroken, but I still have many friends and family who are always there for me and lifting me up. I will never take them for granted.

14. You don’t have to like what everybody else does. I feel like every time a certain style is trending, everybody jumps on it but if you don’t like it, don’t feel pressured to be a part of it. It’s okay to stand out and not be like everybody else.

15. Don’t try to hide your flaws. Whether you have a blemish or a scar that you’re always trying to cover up, remember that every single person has their own flaws too. Read number 6 again. 

16. Laugh and smile daily. I don’t know about you but I love that overwhelming happiness I get when I have a good belly laugh. Even smiling at somebody at the store could possibly change their day. A laugh and a smile is all you need. 

17. It’s more important to have a beautiful personality rather than a pretty face. So many of us are so focused on having the perfect skincare and makeup routine including myself sometimes but it’s so much more important to have a great personality. When you have a great personality, nobody is truly paying attention to what eyeshadow palette you’re wearing. 

18. Learn to forgive, even if it’s hard. There have been many people that have done me wrong and I swore up and down that I would never forgive them. I hate that bitter feeling I get when I think about it though so I have learned to forgive. You don’t have to do it for them, do it for you.

19. Life is too short not to eat the cake. I was honestly just wondering if I should go and buy myself a cake or not but you know what? Right now, I want cake and life is too short not to eat the cake! 

20. Don’t hold in your emotions. I will admit I hate showing my emotions in front of other people. If I’m mad or sad about something, I will make sure I have a good poker face on so nobody notices. I quickly realized this just leads to an explosion at the worst times. If you’re feeling a certain way, talk about it or even write it down. Just get it out so it’s not bottling up inside.

21. You don’t need to have your life planned out right now. Today I was thinking about where I want to be in five years and if I’m doing everything I can to get there. The truth is, I’m not exactly sure where I see myself in five years but it’s absolutely okay that I’m still figuring it out. I mean truthfully, I don’t even know what I’m making for dinner tonight!

What’s something significant that you’ve learned in your life?


Amanda Burnett

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  1. Lovely post, Amanda! I agree with each one of these. You got it, girl! I followed you and look forward to reading more of your posts!


  2. Oh my, oh my, oh my yasssssss. I love this. I’m still learning these lessons myself. And I’m 29 and my life still isn’t planned. Like at all. Kinda just winging it.

  3. #7 and #10!!! It took me longer then 21 years to figure them out. Looks like you are wise for your age ❤️

  4. I agree with everything here! I grew up taught to be perfect and it hurt when I didn’t meet the mark. I learned that I should try hard, but not over the top. Overworking myself where necessary and get tasks done fast and well. Yet, procrastination helps so much in saving money, avoiding big mistakes, and learning patience. Keep up the good work being you.

  5. I tried to be perfect but it did not work. Not only was on hard on myself for failing but so were some of the people in my life. I finally learned to accept my self now that I am in my 30s. I am glad I came to that realization! Thank you for sharing your lessons!

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