This Monday is my 27th birthday! I can hardly believe that I’m 27 – officially in my late 20s. I mean, I’m the age my mom was when she gave birth to me! In my mind, I’m still 16. Is that normal? To feel like a teenager forever?

I think being in “your late 20s” has a lot of weight attached to it. A lot of people fear turning 25 and, even moreso, the dreaded 30 because it reminds them of lost time, goals that have been ignored, and adult things that they haven’t achieved yet. I don’t have the same stress about my age. I don’t think 27 (or approaching 30) is a bad thing. In fact, I feel more secure and confident at this age than I ever did previously. I thought, in celebration of my birthday, I would reflect on some things that I’ve learned in my years on this earth.

Blissfully floating in the ocean. Photo by Catherine Hsu @catmaikeup
  1. Start a savings account in your early 20s by putting just a little bit of your pay aside each time. You will be so glad you did this once you are 27!
  2. Always introduce yourself with a firm handshake – never flimsy, floppy, or loose. It tells people that you are secure and trustworthy!
  3. Live according to your own time line, and not a time line that is imposed on you. Babies and a house by age 30 is old news!
  4. Travel as much as you can to places that fill your spirit. It does so much for confidence and inspiration!
  5. Never stop learning – not in your job, not in your life, not in your hobbies. Take courses or online seminars!
  6. If a job leaves you feeling uninspired, leave it first if you have the opportunity. Stagnancy is the worst thing for creative spirit.
  7. Everybody needs a creative outlet. Whether that is writing, drawing, dancing, cooking or baking, we all need something that turns stress and frustration into physical beauty.
  8. Don’t compromise your health for the sake of others. People will take if you let them.
  9. What is peer pressure even? If you don’t want to do something, just don’t!
  10. Value your mental health as much as you value your physical health. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or support if you are struggling.
  11. Stay in touch with your inner child! The stuff that excited you at age 10? Remember it and participate in it! You bet I downloaded Pokemon Go last summer!
  12. That feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when something doesn’t feel right? Listen to it! You are intuitive and powerful, and developing that skill is important.
  13. You don’t have to lift weights or prove you are strong on Instagram for your activity to matter. Stay active however you can, whenever you can, and that is enough!
  14. Put significant effort into friendships that matter. Make sure your friend knows they are valued and important, no matter how busy you are!

    Overlooking the reefs. Photo by me.
  15. Staying with people who are toxic to be kind is a danger to you and your mental health. It’s okay to say goodbye to a friendship that doesn’t serve you anymore.
  16. A social life is important, but so is alone time. Always leave a few days to recharge.
  17. You deserve the very best, no matter what anybody tells you.
  18. Stand up for yourself even when it’s awkward. Letting people walk all over you is old news!
  19. Don’t sleep on your physical health! The older you get, the more important it is to pay attention to your body. Find a trustworthy General Practitioner and use them.
  20. Always try a new cuisine or food twice, and then decide if you hate it.
  21. Learn how to cook something healthy. We all need to move out at some point…not knowing how to cook is not cute!
  22. Don’t tell somebody that they look tired – it’s rude and unkind.
  23. Compliment people face to face. If you meet a friend for dinner, tell them they look beautiful. Kindness spreads fast!
  24. Protect your skin! Nobody cares how tanned you are after a vacation. Use that SPF, honey.
  25. Don’t fake success. Starting a blog? Talk about how tough it is. New job? I’m sure you’ve had some bad days. You’re not winning if you’re lying to people.
  26. Rise and grind is a MYTH! Work whenever you want to, and not just because you can hashtag it on Instagram and gain 200 followers from it.
  27. Age is nothing – it’s your intelligence, awareness, and kindness that define you.

You can’t get through life without a little perspective. I’m pretty proud of where I am now, at age 27. It’s different than I expected, but I think that’s why it’s great! I hope you all enjoyed my little reflection!

Deanna xo

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