24 things I’ve learned in 24 years

Today I turn twenty-four, and I decided to do some reflecting on the things I’ve learned-most of which took me the full 24 years to figure out…

  1. There is a difference between having happiness and having joy.
  2. Both giving and receiving forgiveness sets you free.
  3. People change and grow, but what we write about them lasts forever.
  4. Life doesn’t wait for you to get back up on your feet.
  5. Listening is often more important than speaking.
  6. Community is imperfect because people are imperfect, but we still need it.
  7. You will never fully receive another’s love until you learn to love yourself.
  8. Our struggles may make us feel isolated, but it is through our stories that we are united.
  9. Money won’t make you happy. Things won’t make you happy. And even a relationship won’t make you happy.
  10. Jon Foreman says it best. All of it.
  11. There is always something to live for. Always.
  12. There will always be room for someone else to come in and break your heart—what you have to decide is if you will let them.
  13. Hope is always there; sometimes you just have to look a little harder.
  14. There is a difference between obsession and commitment.
  15. If we are not honest with ourselves, we will never move forward.
  16. The things we do to ourselves today will affect us tomorrow.      
  17. You never know how many people are there to listen to and support you until you start talking.
  18. We are never alone.
  19. The right thing may also be the hardest thing, but it is still right.
  20. Courage doesn’t mean the absence of fear.
  21. You cannot thrive by living a life based around rules and restriction.
  22. Acting out of love will always get you further than acting out of hate.
  23. Sometimes we need to step outside the whirlwind of our minds and simply be.
  24. Life may seem long, but it happens quickly and, yes, you only do live once.