Turning 25 feels a lot like a crisis. (I mean literally so much of a crisis that I bought a podcast microphone.) My 24th year of life kicked my ass, to put it lightly.

I think I'll reflect more on everything that happened at the end of the year, but on my birthday last year, I had very different plans for the next 365 days. I thought my year would pretty much be the opposite of what it was, which is why I don't allow myself to garner expectations for anything or try to predict the future anymore.

  1. You can't predict the future. Learn to go with the flow.
  2. Life is tough, but you're tougher. I promise.
  3. Advocating for yourself is so hard...
  4. ...but also the best thing you'll learn how to do.
  5. Don't accept offers that aren't worth your time.
  6. Trust your gut. Trust your heart. Trust your mind.
  7. Say "thank you" to your friends more often. They'll be there for you when it feels like your world is falling apart.
  8. The job that let you go after you moved across the country? You dodged a bullet.
  9. Feel all of your emotions. Don't push anything under the surface. Go to the beach and scream and cry and kick the sand and yell at the air. 
  10. Keep an open mind and an open heart in all circumstances.
  11. You'll learn to open up and commit and your heart will feel broken more than once. It will take time to heal, but you will be okay.

  12. It might feel like you're moving backward, but I promise, you're right on time.
  13. Pet the dogs. Go to the beach. Stand atop the mountain. Smell the roses. Say yes to new things.
  14. Have fun! Don't take things too seriously and learn to be present. (AKA put your phone down!!!)
  15. Don't root your values in the value of the things around you. (You'll sleep on an air mattress for over two months and be completely fine. In fact, it'll make you appreciate your own bed even more.)
  16. Eat the dang cheeseburger.
  17. Embrace your strength (emotionally and physically) and work to improve it.
  18. You're going to meet some amazing, wonderful, hilarious people this year.
  19. The people who matter most are the ones who have stuck by you through thick and thin. Look to them, not the ones who walked away.
  20. Answered prayers aren't always picture-perfect (in fact, they rarely are), but every day you're learning and growing.
  21. I know you won't believe this, but you'll actually come around to enjoy going on a run. (Ha!)

  22. The sun will still rise every.single.day.
  23. Everything will work out in the end. Maybe not (ok... definitely not) in the ways that you expected them to, but you will be absolutely fine.
  24. Learn to let the small things go, but when something affects your quality of life, learn to stand up for yourself. (AKA no more "no worries, it's fine!" when it's NOT fine and they SHOULD worry)
  25. This year will be the best and the worst year of your life. You won't know what you're doing 99% of the time, and the other 1% will be spent second-guessing yourself. But you will grow and grow and grow and grow. You will get older and wiser and learn so many things. It'll feel at times like the universe is rooting against you, but it will get better. You will survive.

Pictured here: how I want to spend my 25th year. Happy, tired, full of life and sushi, going out of my comfort zone, and trusting myself. ✌🏻

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