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    25 Lessons I’ve Learned In 25 Years

    March 23, 2018 Amanda Cross 9 min read
    Note: This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure for more details. Thanks for supporting the brands that make The Happy Arkansan possible!

    My oh my, y'all it's March 23rd which means it's my mother effing birthday! I am super excited about this day (anyone here follow me on Instagram Stories?), and I even started planning this post in freaking January! I wanted to do this last year, but I am so excited that I waited. A post featuring 25 lessons I learned in 25 years just sounds so much better.

    I always get so sentimental around times like my birthday and my blogiversary. I am just so blessed to have a group like you following my blog and what I am up to every day.

    I hope that these life lessons help you where ever you are in your own life.

    25 Lessons I Have Learned In 25 Years | Its a The Happy Arkansan 25th birthday celebration! In honor of my 25th birthday I decided to share some lessons that I have learned over my 25 years of existence. I hope these birthday lessons help you too!

    1. Laughter Is The Best (Life) Medicine

    No, I am not one of those people who believes you shouldn't go to the hospital when you have issues or that you shouldn't go to the therapist when you are feeling depressed. You should do both those things!

    What I am saying is, sometimes you just have to laugh it out. When life throws something crazy your way, let out a hearty chuckle and keep it moving. Sometimes life will send you packages of ugh, and you won't know what to do. Don't let life keep you down for long.

    “She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.”

    — Proverbs 31:25 NIV

    2. To Receive Much, You Must Give Much

    This is a life lesson that I learned from my sorority, and I still live by it today. Giving is difficult, especially when you feel that you don't have much to give. I promise you, what you give to the world, you will get back with time. Giving more of my time, attention, and even money to causes has never come back to hurt me.

    Use this advice for your relationships, especially. Don't drain yourself, create a line, but never stop giving what you can!

    3. Never Stop Learning

    I am a lifelong learner. I may have stopped going to college, but I will never put my brain on autopilot. I try to learn new things daily through reading, watching documentaries, doing brain puzzles, anything!

    I think we have this stark definition of learning as a purely academic thing. It's not! You can learn about people, learn about things, learn in the academic sense, and learn outside of class.

    Whatever you do, always strive to learn something new.

    4. Life's Too Short To Have Tons Of Regrets

    As you can tell so far, I am not an absolutist. Living your life with no regrets whatsoever is hard. On the other hand, you can try your hardest to limit the regrets that you feel.

    If you try to live your life with absolutely no regrets, chances are you will eventually fail and have a couple of regrets. Instead, try to live your best life and minimize regrets. You will sleep so much better at night that way.

    5. Always Be Willing To Try Something New

    Doing the same thing every day for the rest of your life is boring. Don't spend your entire life outside of your comfort zone (we all have a season of blooming). But, if what you have been trying isn't working, try something new!

    6. Learn To Forgive, For Yourself

    People don't care if you forgive them. The people who hurt you, hurt you, and they obviously don't care about how you feel or if you stay up late at night thinking about that hurt. You have to forgive for you because not forgiving is damaging you. Don't give those people any more of your brain power. You have control over yourself to let that go. Don't let them hurt you again, of course, but let it go.

    7. Don't Freak Out If You Can't Adult Like You're “Supposed” To

    There are about a million and one books out there about adulting, but we all “adult” in our own way. Your version of adulthood may be eating Lucky Charms at 2 AM, or it might be creating the cure to a serious ailment. There is no one definition of “adulting” so don't get down on yourself if you do not measure up to a false definition.

    8. Progress Is Progress, No Matter How Small

    You may be moving at a snail's pace, but you are still moving. Never let anyone tell you that your progress is insignificant because it's not a major move. Those small steps add up to big results!

    9. Never Be Afraid To Chase Your Dreams

    See #4. I am all about chasing your dreams and going after what you want. It will be a sad day when you get older and realize you could have chased your dreams, but you didn't. Don't let that happen to you!

    10. Money Can't Make You Happy, But It Can Buy You Lipstick

    Psychologist and other professionals will tell you that there is a certain point where money stops making you happy. I can see that to be true; you don't need all the money in the world. Money can also buy lipstick and the things that can bring joy to your life. Just don't live your entire life chasing money to keep up with the Jones'.

    11. Know Your Worth, Then Add Tax

    People are cheap. They will try to give you what they think you deserve, but you know better than that. Know that you are worth more than you think and always try to strive for that and then some. You would be surprised by what you will get in return.

    12. Always Make Time To Play

    Work hard, play harder. You should never lock yourself away 24/7 working and grinding all day. Eventually, your body will force you to settle down, and it's not always in a positive way. Instead of waiting for your body to shut you down, make time for yourself and those around you.

    13. Don't Value Nostalgia Over Living In The Moment

    It's so easy to wish you were a kid again, wish you were back to your weight at 18, etc., etc. That's okay and all, but when you focus too much on the past, you ignore where you are presently at. Don't think about the past so much that you can't create a present and future that you can be proud of.

    14. Having An Argument Doesn't Have To Turn Into Anything Else

    So often people will argue with each other, and then it will turn into a friendship ending ordeal. You can disagree, have a loud fight, and do the most and still love someone. As long as your arguments don't turn physical, they are just disagreements. Obviously, don't stay in a physically abusive relationship, but know that it's okay to argue.

    15. Live A Life Of Gratefulness & Thankfulness

    God has blessed you with SO much. He has adorned you with gifts and opportunities and will continue to do so. Take those gifts and be grateful and thankful for them, even during your too busy to function seasons.

    16. There Is Nothing Wrong With Vulnerability

    You don't have to create a shell around yourself. Open yourself up to give and receive love. Open yourself up to share your feelings with others. You will feel so much better if you don't have to hold things in.

    17. Don't Text Things That Should Be Spoken

    I lost a friendship during my senior year of college because I sent a text to someone when I should have spoken with them over the phone or in person. Take responsibility and have any rough conversations face-to-face. Text messages are convenient, but they cannot give the context of a situation. You miss out on so much nuance, and no amount of emojis can fix that. Be willing and ready to have important conversations personally, not in a text message.

    18. Stop Multitasking

    I talked about multitasking before and how it is killing your productivity. Don't let it do this! Multitasking isn't possible and it's not productive! Focus on one task at a time and crush it!

    19. Confidence & Self-Love Can Be Learned Over Time

    Right now it may seem like you don't love yourself or that you aren't very confident, but trust me that is something that can be learned. Over time you will grow more confident in your abilities and you will love yourself more. Both confidence and self-love are learned skills. They can be learned, unlearned, and learned again. If you are in a season of time where you don't feel confident or love yourself, don't worry, your season for loving yourself is on the way.

    20. Never Shop Hungry…Or Tipsy

    In grad school, I would often go out to eat with my parents when they would come to visit me. Right after I would usually go get a few groceries with them while they were in town (and sometimes they would even help me pay for them lol.)

    I would usually get a drink with dinner. Sometimes I didn't pace myself as much throughout the meal so I would drink the bulk of it after eating (to avoid wasting money of course.) One day I did this, went shopping, and picked up like 3 packages of the cookies you bake in the oven. Yes, three. I had cookies for days, but you probably shouldn't pick up three packages of cookies in one shopping trip (even if they are just $2 a pack.)

    Moral of this story: don't shop tipsy because you may make questionable cookie purchasing decisions.

    Also, don't shop hungry! Eat a little bit before.

    21. Crying Is A Human Emotion For Everyone

    It doesn't matter if you are a boy, girl, or whatever you identify as–crying is an emotion for everyone. Stop trying to stifle yourself when all you need is a good cry session to feel better. If someone tells you that you shouldn't be crying, ignore them! Tears are something our body produces to manage the feelings that we are having. You can cry at something happy, sad, and anger-inducing! Crying does not define who you are and what your worth is. If someone is that concerned with your emotions in a rude/negative way, tell them to get lost!

    22. People Don't Remember Those Things You Are Most Embarrassed About

    I think we all have those stories that we play over and over in our head after it happens. Stop that. You are the only one who is tortured by these stories. Everyone else forgot you did it right after it happened.

    Tripped on the sidewalk? Don't keep replaying that story over and over in your mind. You tripped, everyone got over it in like a minute, and you should too!

    When you find your mind going to those events, remind your brain to keep focused on the present moment.

    23. There's Always Going To Be A Few People Who Don't Like You

    You can't live your entire life trying to be liked by everyone! Let's go back to that phrase, “you can be the ripest, juiciest peach and there is still gonna be someone who doesn't like peaches.” Don't try to be liked by everyone, work on being fearless in your expression so you are found by the people who will love you automatically. Don't do horrible stuff, but don't get caught up on the haters who are going to hate regardless of what you do.

    24. Leggings Are Pants

    If anyone tells you that leggings aren't pants, get rid of that person! You don't need that kind of negativity in your mind, tbh. You are a special, amazing person. You like wearing leggings instead of pants. Pants are restrictive. Get your full range of motion, girl!

    25. Don't Ignore Negative Feelings

    I am here to tell you that stifling anger or hurt or depression doesn't make you happier. You need to acknowledge your negative feelings because suppressing them doesn't do you any favors whatsoever. I did multiple things (including some stuff on this blog) to block out negative emotions like they didn't exist and that wasn't good for me. I can be The Happy Arkansan and still acknowledge my feelings, and you can be The Happy (Whatever You Are) and recognize them too!


    Well, that's all from me. I gotta go make some brownies and have a beautiful day celebrating my birthday. I am going to Memphis, Tennessee this weekend to have a lot of fun, walk down Beale Street and drink drinks, eat Memphis Barbecue, and go to the National Civil Rights Museum with my family. I hope that you enjoyed today's post all about the lessons that I have learned in my 25 years of existence.

    What was your favorite lesson from today?

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    1 Comment

  • Charlie March 23, 2018 at 4:35 pm

    My favorite lesson you listed was, "Leggings are pants"! They so are, comfort over all! Happy birthday girl!!

  • Leave a Reply

    About Amanda

    Hey Y’all!
    My name is Amanda Cross, and I am the blogger behind The Happy Arkansan. I am a blogger, freelance writer, and podcaster. When I am not creating content for any of my content online, I can usually be found baking, watching YouTube, or napping. I love helping millennials and young adults navigate the mess that is adult life. Keep reading for my thoughts and experiences.

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