23 things I learned at 23

 
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1. Love that is not freely given is not worth having. 

2. So much of life hinges on timing- friendships, career, relationships, etc.

3. Don't take life too seriously. Nothing is entirely too embarrassing or scary. 

4. Say yes to more life experiences-like riding the scary camel at the street fair even though you said you would never do it...you culprits know who you are.

5. Show up for your friends! No distance is too far even if you only get a couple minutes with a good friend. It's always worth it. 

6. Remember to laugh at yourself and to stop sweating the small stuff. We all mess up, it's okay. You live and you learn. 

7. Treat yo'self!! Especially on Fridays because you deserve it! All things in moderation, my friends. 

8. Journal. You get away with dreaming as big as you want or having the most repulsive thoughts all without the fear of judgement. 

9. Take lots of photos!! Photos of places, events, people, everything. 

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10. Social media does not deserve more attention than reality. 

11. Life is simply too short to have disputes or stay angry. Practice radical forgiveness. 

12. Curating a solid playlist solves most problems. Even if it means you cry at your cubicle while listening to sad music. 

13. Budget enough to treat your friends to coffee/dinner every once in a while. A little goes a long way in generosity. 

14. Vulnerability and honesty is liberating and valuable. 

15. Being gentle and kind is not synonomous to being weak. 

16. Making friends is a lot easier when you stop playing hard to get. Being cool is trivial and unproductive. 

17. Remind the people you love that you love them. Affirmation is the best!

18. Change is hard, but change leads to growth and growth is always good. 

19. Sometimes a really great week simply means you get to see your friends, your fav podcast released a new episode, or your presentation at work was well received. Life doesn't have to be extravagant to be extravagant. 

20. Rules are dumb. It's such an underestimation of human individuality to impose the same confining structures on all people. Insert the "I do what I want" cat. #ifyouknowyouknow

21. In this life, we will be too much or too little for people. These are not your people. 

22. Time is relative and like all things, success is subjective. 

23. Friendship is one of the sweetest things I've ever experienced.  

Twenty two was the best year of my life. But I'm excited and eager for a new year of growth, of love, of new places, new people, new music, and ultimately discovering joy in all these things. Cheers to 23!  

 
Catherine Li