The 5 Most Important Things I Learned by 25

In case any of you didn’t know, I turned 25 just this morning (8:30 a.m. to be exact) and wow, what a whirlwind it has been so far.

I have been dreading this birthday for a while now to be quite honest. I had this notion that it was going to symbolize the end of something; my youth, my innocence, my hopes and dreams. Or that it was going to trigger an existential crisis (LOL).

But it has turned out to feel like quite the opposite

I’ve been doing some reflecting on the most important things I have learned and felt like maybe this was a good time to share them. So here we go, the 5 most important things I learned by 25.

1. It’s ok to fail

And you will, numerous times. But trust me, they will all be lessons.

I spent so long looking back on my mistakes and failures and feeling like they were going to define who I was. I thought that they made me a failure, made me less lovable, less successful. When in reality, all they did was teach me things. They taught me what it feels like to fail and how to pick myself back up when that happens. They made me stronger. And they will make you stronger.

So get out there and fail, my darling, because one day you will look back and be grateful that you did.

2. Never stop dreaming

I thought big dreams were only for little kids or highschoolers going off to seek out their place in the world. But you know what? Everyone can have dreams. And its never too late to have new ones.

Maybe that dream you had when you were 18 didn’t work out so well *points to self*. And that’s totally ok. Dream up a new dream and find a way to chase it.

Life is more fun when you have something to look forward to.

3. Take care of your body and mind

We only get one body in this life, so take good care of it. Feed it well, exercise it, take it to the doctor when it gets sick.

And most importantly, TAKE CARE OF YOUR MENTAL HEALTH.

Thankfully, this has become so much less stigmatized and it’s ok to talk about our mental health. Just remember that your brain is part of that body of yours and it needs to be nourished all the same.

And always remember that if you are struggling with any kind of mental health illness, please reach out and ask for help, it is always waiting for you. If we are close friends or family, don’t hesitate to talk to me personally. I am always here to talk if you need it.

4. Say what you feel when you feel it

*Deep breath*

This has probably been one of the toughest lessons for me to learn, and I am still not perfect at it. I work on it everyday and I will keep working on it for the rest of my life.

It is so important to say what we feel. And not only to say it, but to say it when we feel it. Life is way too short in some instances and I will be the first to admit that I don’t want to live with any regrets. Its going to be hard sometimes, or maybe uncomfortable, or awkward. But find the words as best you can. And just say them.

We are not always going to be lucky enough to get a second chance to say what we feel. And remember, as we are getting older so are our parents and our siblings and our cousins. Tell them you love them as often as you can. ❤

5. “Stay close to people that feel like sunshine”

I found this quote a while back and it makes me think of certain people in my life.

If you have people in your life that feel like sunshine, then you know exactly what I am talking about.

To me, these people are mostly my family and a few other special individuals that just make me feel whole. And they make me feel like the best version of myself when I am with them. Most importantly, they feel like the sun; warm and loving and bright.

Keep these people close to you. They will keep away the evil in the world, or they will fight it alongside you.


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I have no doubt that I have so much more to learn from the world,

So here’s to the 25 wonderful years I’ve had so far, and to many many more.

Thank you to anyone and everyone that has played even a small role in my life up until this point. You are amazing and I love you all.

Xoxo, Haley

 

Thanks for reading.

 

 

 

Holiday Travel Tips

As I’ve gotten older I have had to accept that I’m not just gonna wake up Christmas morning and be surrounded by my family. I have to actually travel home for the holidays now because I don’t live in my parents’ house or even in my hometown anymore.

Going home for the holidays can be stressful, but here are my top travel tips for making it home for Thanksgiving dinner and any other holidays you celebrate with your family this time of year.

  • If you need to take public transportation, book your tickets WAY IN ADVANCE

I have extreme anxiety when it comes to taking public transportation so I go a little crazy and book my tickets probably toofar in advance. But hey, I’m just being super prepared. Don’t @ me.

I would recommend buying tickets at least 2 or 3 weeks out if you know the dates you want to travel home. Airlines tend to book up the fastest, just because they are usually the most comfortable/quickest types of transportation during the holiday season. My personal favorite is trains, like Amtrak, if that’s available to you. They are still pretty quick and more reasonable in price.

My favorite site to check tickets is wanderu.com They are great for comparing types of travel and prices! Check them out with the link.

https://www.wanderu.com

https://www.wanderu.com

 

No matter what you choose though, don’t wait too long to book, especially if you are traveling with another person or a group. Multiple tickets are going to be harder to find the closer it gets to the date.

*A side note: Have a backup plan in case everything ends up being booked up no matter how far in advance you looked. Maybe try to take a different form of transportation or take it to a different stop and just have a relative pick you up and drive the rest of the way. Have a plan B (And maybe C, if you’re super prepared like me)

  • Be mindful of the weather this time of year

If you are foregoing public transportation and have chosen to drive some distance back home for the holidays, please be cautious of the weather conditions. If you live in Florida or some shit, then I guess disregard this tip (unless of course hurricanes or tornadoes are relevant to you).

I have to travel north up the state of New York and we have some pretty harsh winters here. So snow is always a problem for me as I’m sure it is for anyone else in the Northeast United States.

Check your weather as far in advance as you can and plan accordingly. Give yourself a few extra hours in case travel speeds are slow or you need to stop for a night in the case of a storm or something. And even if you aren’t driving, still be wary of the weather because it could delay your flights or trains or buses.

  • Choose your travel days wisely

When it comes to traveling home for the holidays, everyone else is gonna want to travel the same days as you to get the most out of their trip. So maybe try to plan it on an off peak day, or just an off peak time. Earlier isn’t always better, especially when it comes to trips that are longer. People love to just sleep on the trip so they don’t mind getting up super early. Try planning a trip for midday or evening so that tickets may be cheaper and the train/plane/bus won’t be as crowded.

As for days of the week, I’ve found that Sunday mornings are a great time to travel. On a more obvious note, if you can travel on a weekday that’s one of your best options. Unfortunately that’s not always possible for people that work weekdays but it may be worth it if you can spare a sick day/vacation day for it. It will just make your travel experience a little easier in the end.

  • Request your days off work well in advance as well

It depends on your workplace but most places I’ve ever worked, days off are given on a combination of seniority and a first-come, first-served basis. If this is the case for your workplace, make sure you know well in advance the days you’ll need off to travel and request them sooner rather than later.

Similar to choosing the days you want to travel, try to choose days that most of your coworkers wont request off to ensure you’ll get the days you want off. Especially if you are new to a company, you may be the bottom of the list for getting days approved.

Also, it can’t hurt to talk to your fellow coworkers and get a feel for what days they plan to take off so you can work around them accordingly.

  • Make the trip fun

You are going home for a holiday celebration and you get to see your family and friends. Be happy! Have fun! Make the trip something enjoyable and don’t look at it as an inconvenience to see people that you love.

Bring fun things to do, jam to some holiday tunes if that’s your thing, or maybe chat to the people you’re going home to see and create some plans for the time you have together.

Happy Holidays!

 

If you guys have any good travel tips, share them in the comments. I’d love to hear them!

Thanks for reading!