23 Things I Realized at 23

Now in my first month of being 24 ~happy belated birthday to me~,  I can’t help but think about all that I realized in my 23rd year. I realized that most clichés are true (and clichés for a reason), and that life will surprise you.

23.11. Family is never too far away
From my parents letting me vent and cry every day during my worst, to my cousin hosting me on weekend getaways, to my sister keeping it real and honest – I could not be more thankful. Whoever family is to you, keep them close.

2. True friends always go the extra mile
Shout out to my best friend Alex for moving to Boston to fulfill our city dreams. At a time when I felt so alone, I was quickly reminded how much I am loved and appreciated by my true friends. Also – huge shout out to my forever sisterhood, #AOII.

3. Loving someone doesn’t make them love you back
Tough lesson, right? Love takes work on both ends. I learned that there is nothing more heartbreaking and frustrating than loving someone + giving them your all, only to not receive it in return. It’s a good lesson though.

4. Life certainly doesn’t always go according to plan
Another tough (and obvious) lesson. Ever have your whole world and set of plans change over night? It can happen. And while you can’t do much to prepare for it, you can + will persevere. *YAY*

5. You don’t realize how strong you are until it is your only choice 23.2
Our minds can quickly enter  fight or flight mode, and it’s really empowering to find that strength when you need it most.

6. You end up where you’re supposed to be
I also understand how hard it is to see this when lost. Just try and remember this fun, loving cliché.

7. Passion for your work is key to success
Find work that you are passionate about, and find your place to make positive change. Really proud of myself for putting my energy in my work.

8. Embrace your quirks
I’m loud and take a lot of food pics. I’m sensitive and easily anxious. And I’m not changing for anybody.

9. Vulnerability is not a flaw
As advised by Brené Brown, vulnerability is directly connected to joy. I’m a very honest and open individual. I express myself wholeheartedly, and that’s really changed my life for the better.

10. Find thought leaders, and listen to them
Nothing like a solid TED talk to get your mind turning! Recommendations: Mel Robbins and Brené Brown.

12052389_10153003627836364_8721294438874750149_o11. Fitness is good for the ~soul~
I’ve never left a workout and regretted it. There is always time for fitness – just find outlets that you love! My top choices from this year are spinning, barre, and ~body combat~ .

12. You should consistently treat yo’ self
We deserve ice cream, and quality boots, and Chipotle when we want them. Always say yes to guacamole.

13. “Make new friends, but keep the old”
AMEN to this cliché. I love that when I go home for the holidays, I reconnect with the same friends who were friends with me at my most awkward of times. That will never change.

14. Always say yes to random travel 

One of my best decisions at 23 was saying yes to a spontaneous New Orleans trip with sisters. Don’t let anything stop you from seeing the world when the timing is right.


15. Stay up late while you can
I’ve become such a weekend warrior. It sure is great to be young, wild, and free!

16. You have to realize who is building you up, and who is bringing you down
Sometimes we think someone brings out the best in us, when they don’t. Keep people in your life who feel blessed to know you, and who find the biggest success in your smallest of wins.

17. We should all experience seasons
I survived my first winter! Seasons are beautiful, and I’m glad I get to see more than just summer now. Seasons are refreshing, and representative of life going on.

18. You can start over and rebuild
I really hit a low this year. And now I’m at an ultimate high! It’s absolutely OKAY and normal to feel lost, confused, and hurt. But the rebuild after that is extremely rewarding. Accept tough times, and power through.

19. Positive thoughts lead to positive results
Saying a situation sucks doesn’t make it better. Easy as that. ~ too blessed to be stressed ~ .
20. The things we stress about won’t matter in 5 years (or usually in ~5 hours)
On that note, I crack up thinking about the things I let stress me out in college. A wise sorority sister once said, “It’s not that serious.”

21. Work/life balance can and should be achieved 
I’m the happiest I’ve ever been because I’ve created a fulfilled life. From joining Improv, to exploring the city on the weekends, I’ve realized how simple and rewarding this balance is.

22. Anger only hurts YOU
This Buddha quote says it all: “Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.”

23. Every year (every DAY) is a blessing
Overall, this year had multiple ups and downs (as do they all). I’m so thankful and know that 24 is going to be a big year for me. Because that is who I am focusing on . . . me.

One thought on “23 Things I Realized at 23

  1. Pingback: Keeping Up | danielle iris kushner

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