26 Lessons from a 26 Year Old

This week, I’m another year older and another year wiser (and all that other nonsense…). I’m now deep into my mid-twenties and still have no idea what I’m doing – although I’m starting to learn, that’s the narrative of life isn’t it?!

I ‘survived’ my quarter life crisis (just kidding – I had about 3 of them in 6 months, but here I am to tell the tale so I suppose that’s a win?). So in honour of my 26th year (and the fact that I love a really good list) – here’s 26 lessons from 26 year old me…

  1. Compassion is one of the greatest gifts you can give (to others and yourself). 
  2. Persistence pays off 
  3. Who you are right now is more valuable than who you ‘hope’ to be.
  4. Set the bar high and don’t lower it 
  5. You are allowed to be fearlessly authentic
  6. Don’t drink coffee after 2pm
  7. Food is not a currency. You do not have to ‘earn’ it. 
  8. Similarly, exercise is not a punishment for what you ate.
  9. Your twenties are tricky. The traditional version of ‘success’ is obsolete, and nobody knows what they’re doing. 
  10. Your future is too bright to be derailed by other people’s opinions
  11. By pretending to be someone else, you’re missing out on who God created you to be.
  12. It is an honour to be a role model 
  13. Old wounds can be healed – but it takes a little bit of hard work. 
  14. You are allowed to be happy where you are, even if it’s not your final destination.
  15. Hearts are prettier when they’re thankful for what they’ve been given. 
  16. Speak life, speak truth and speak love. 
  17. Your favourite moments will be the extraordinarily ordinary ones. 
  18. You need a solid home team – the ones who are there no matter what. Don’t compromise on who you want in your corner. 
  19. Even if you’ve got the long distance friendship nailed with your best friends – you’re still allowed to miss them a whole lot. 
  20. Serving others is mutually beneficial. You will gain more than you give. 
  21. Laugh. Laugh hard and laugh often
  22. You are allowed to be homesick for places that are no longer home.
  23. Teenagers can teach you a thing or two
  24. Long drives are good for your soul
  25. Consume the content, listen to the podcast and audiobook, but also find moments of stillness. 
  26. You are an evolving being – and that’s the best bloody bit about growing up.  

As I navigate 26, I’m sure there’ll be a few more learnings. It’s not going to all be smooth sailing, but I feel lucky to be equipped with the knowledge and support from a community that loves me, that’ll help me navigate any storm and celebrate with me, all the goodness that 26 brings.

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