Oh man, the big two-five is here! Celebrating a quarter life century, y’all! To celebrate this big milestone in age (I can now legally rent a car in the United States for cheaper!), I thought it’d be interesting to list out the 25 regrets I have before turning 25. Usually people post about what they’ve achieved thus far or what they’re most proud of. To switch things up, I’m listing 25 regrets, and the lessons I learned with them. Interested to see what I regret? Read on!
Spending so much time hung up on boys, drama, and relationships
Oh man, if I could go back to my younger self in high school or even college, I’d tell her to relax a bit on the drama and boys. Also, relationships aren’t important when you’re young, friendships are! The amount of times that I’ve cried over boys, “heartbreak”, or drama is one too many. Lesson learned: no point crying over spilt milk!
Thinking that I could change someone
I’m pretty sure there was a time when everyone thought that if someone cared about them enough, that person would change for you. Or, that was my own thinking. Lesson learned: you can’t change someone unless they want to change themselves.
Putting someone else’s happiness before my own
As a people pleaser, I have a tendency to put someone’s wants or needs before my own to avoid confrontation or causing a scene. What usually happens afterwards is that I leave feeling really unhappy and like I wasted my time. Lesson learned: putting your happiness first doesn’t mean you’re selfish.
Not standing up for myself more
I was a very big pushover all throughout my school career. I’m sure I can still be a big pushover now! Standing up for myself has never been easy because I am so scared of confrontation. Over the years, I’ve slowly started to find my own voice and am a little less unafraid to use it. Lesson learned: speak up, because I don’t deserve to be pushed around or bullied.
Lying when I could have told the truth
My poor parents had to deal with me during my rebel teenage years of lying and sneaking around. I’m not sure if everyone has this phase, but I am sorry to my parents for having to deal with it. I have told small white lies to try and save my butt and bigger lies because I didn’t want to get in trouble. Lesson learned: integrity is more important than most people think.
Not starting sooner
Playing “catch-up” is no fun, and there are lots of moments where I have always thought to myself that I should have started sooner. I should have done something sooner, said something sooner, started on my passions sooner, then I would be where THAT person is. Lesson learned: we all have our own journeys and paths that we take, and comparing ourselves to someone else’s journey usually leaves us feeling defeated.
Staying up late that one day
You know those days where you probably shouldn’t have stayed up late, but you did so anyways because what else is there to do? There have been many days where I’ve stayed up until 6am talking with friends or dancing! Lesson learned: sleep is definitely NOT for the weak, and at this age, getting 8 hours is so important.
Not saying “thank you” enough
My parents have always taught me to say “please”, “thank you”, “you’re welcome”, etc. And although I consider myself a well mannered lady, there’s one thing I could do more of; saying thank you. Lesson learned: gratitude and appreciation are what keeps you humble.
Thinking that I wasn’t “good enough” or “worthy”
Probably my lowest points thus far in my life involve feeling like I wasn’t good enough or worthy enough, feeling like I was undeserving of something. I still struggle with things like this, but it’s gotten a lot better. Lesson learned: I’m a strong, fierce, and independent diva. And I am capable – and so are you.
Letting someone or situations control my happiness
I am the only person who can control my emotions, and although there are lots of things that annoy me (
hah, oops), the way I choose to act afterwards is the most important. Lesson learned: wasted energy is worrying about something that I can’t control and letting it get to me.
NOT doing what I wanted earlier
It may be weird to admit this, but I would never really do what I wanted. There were things that I didn’t mind doing, but rarely would I do something that I really wanted to do when I was younger. I was always listening to other people’s opinions before forming my own. Lesson learned: doing what I want now, and not always following the crowd, makes me A LOT happier.
Spending those extra $10 (when I shouldn’t have)
Alright, maybe not $10, because ya girl got a big girl job… so it’s more like the extra $50! I also used to be an avid shopper, and spent extra on something that I knew I didn’t really need and it was an impulse buy. Lesson learned: Save the extra $10 or $50 on something more important. Or save this money for emergency situations!
I cannot tell you how much I gave a
f*ckabout everything. I cared about what people thought of me, I judged myself, I cared about what people would say about me, and I just wanted to be part of the popular kids! Lesson learned: giving a f*cktakes much too much energy, and I certainly don’t have time for that!
NOT dancing because I was embarrassed/scared
Back to this whole giving a f*ck thing and being too scared to get out there and dance because I was scared. I miss the moments where I was out on the dance floor, in a freestyle circle, or on stage performing. When I didn’t think too much about it, and let loose, I loved the feeling of freedom and dancing like this performance depended on it. Lesson learned: get my butt up and dance, doesn’t matter how good or bad I am!
Seeking the wrong type of attention
Not sure if there is a thing as good or bad attention, but I do remember seeking the wrong type of attention when I was younger. I wanted to be seen and “known” for being that cool person, the stylish one, or the person that has got it all. Lesson learned: well for one, I don’t think anyone “has it all”! The attention I’m seeking now is being able to inspire and encourage others. I would rather be known for the value I add to a situation.
That one shot I probably could have done without (
No story (
hah!). Lesson learned: when I think I can handle one more drink or one more shot, probably time to wait and not take it unless I want to feel extremely hungover the next morning!
Thinking that I couldn’t do it
There were (and are) lots of times where I thought I couldn’t do something. Either I didn’t have the time, the means, or the money, were mainly my excuses. Lesson learned: I CAN do it and I can reach that goal I thought was unattainable.
The same way I was seeking the wrong type of attention, there were also moments when I was hiding. There are some people who are afraid of failing, and rightfully so. Then, there are some people who are scared of their own successes. I used to be terrified of actually succeeding because I was scared that “success” wouldn’t look like I wanted it to. Lesson learned: quit hiding behind other people or whatever else. To quote Rihanna “Shine bright like a diamonddd!”
Not being “there”
Since I’m such a control freak (
honesty hour?), I like to know what I’m getting myself in to and also know exactly how things are going to turn out. It’s the anxiety monster in me, who always needs to know how the future will look. Many times, I didn’t enjoy or appreciate the present moment because I was worried about what would happen next or how to get to where I really wanted to go. Lesson learned: enjoy the present a bit more, because once I start worrying about the future, I ruin the experience and the journey.
Starting my corporate career “late”
This is probably my biggest regret or worry, that I’ve started my corporate career late in the game. After graduating from college, I packed up everything and moved to Spain for two years to teach English. My main reason was that I wanted to do something different, I didn’t want to work in corporate America (just yet), and I wanted to travel before settling down. Well, the travel bug bit, and now I’m always itching to go to new places and create a different successful lifestyle for myself! Lesson learned: each of our journeys is unique, and there are many different ways to reach success. Success is defined on your own terms, not anyone else’s.
NOT listening to my gut and intuition sooner
Remember when people used to say to listen to your intuition? Yeah, do that. Lesson learned: if my gut or intuition is telling me something is wrong, listen to it. Or if it’s telling me that this is what’s right, listen to it. I think we are all incredibly intuitive, it’s just a matter of listening to our gut feelings.
Thinking my opinion didn’t matter
Most of the time, I would think that my opinion didn’t matter much when it came to certain topics. I simply thought if I wasn’t an expert in something, why give my opinion about things. I also dated someone who made me feel as though my opinions weren’t as important as theirs. I eventually had to reteach myself that my opinion is just as important as someone else’s. Lesson learned: educating myself on matters before giving my opinion is just as important as expressing my own opinion. Half-baked, half-educated opinions and ideas feed into ignorance and those “alternative facts”.
Y’all, people-pleasing is a nasty disease. It ends up holding you back and making you feel like you can’t do anything you really want in fear of always upsetting someone. I am SO guilty of this, and still have to work through people-pleasing now. Lesson learned: people-pleasing to appease people and avoid confrontation will get me no where. Not everyone will like me, and that’s ok!
Listening to people instead of listening to myself
Now, listening and getting people’s opinions and advice is important. Just like when I ask my parents for their opinions and their advice in regards to what I should do. But, I used to always listen to what everyone else said besides taking things with a grain of salt. Lesson learned: getting opinions, advice, or suggestions is great, but in the end, I am the only person that can make the decision based on my experiences and situation. No one knows that better than I do.
Not giving back more to the community
I grew up very privileged. My parents came here to create a better life for the family, and so my sisters and I grew up on the outskirts of Washington, DC, having everything we could ever want, and not worrying about money. We grew up comfortable. I think I took this for granted when I was younger, not understanding that not everyone grows up with the same privileges that I was fortunate to have. Lesson learned: if I am in a position where I can give back and comfortably do so without worrying about my own expenses, it’s my responsibility to do so. As a good citizen and someone who wants to inspire and encourage others, my privilege gives me the obligation and opportunity to give back and educate others.
Thank you everyone for helping me celebrate turning 25! (: It’s been a great year, filled with a lot of different experiences, lots of changes, and many learning experiences. I can’t wait to see what 25 will bring me, hopefully even more adventures and surprises!
If you haven’t joined in on the March Birthday Giveaway Month, there’s one more giveaway for this week! All you have to do is: subscribe to The Quirky Pineapple Newsletter (below) and comment on this blog post with your favorite advice or tip for life!
A random winner will be chosen on Sunday, March 19th! Thanks for celebrating with me and making 25 a big year!
Enjoyed this post? You might like these, too:
Loving on Yourself: A Guide to Self Love and Care
Imposter Syndrome: I’m Scared I’m a Fraud
Letting Go of Jealousy: We Need Strong Women
Stop Asking When I’m Going to Join the “Adult World”
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