Well, it’s official, I’m no longer a teenager, on Sunday I turned 20! So, in honor of having two decades of my life under my belt, today I am sharing twenty things I have learned in the past twenty years! Holy crap, I cannot believe how old I am, now that I am writing this post, haha!

ONE – Stay positive
Over the last year specifically I have really learned that positivity is one of the most important characteristics that I want to have. When someone thinks of me, I want them to think of a positive person. Just trying to be more positive really helps me to just have a better day and to be an overall happier person in general. While the rest of this post is not in order based on importance, this is my number one thing I have learned before I turned 20!

TWO – Be grateful
I have realized it’s important to take the time to remember to be extremely grateful for everything I have, you never know how long you will have something. It’s important to be grateful especially for the little things in life. My Day Designer planner is always a great reminder to be grateful for something every day, with its little “Daily Gratitude” box. So, I try to take a moment each day to be truly grateful for something, whether I write it down or not.

THREE – Shop for quality over quantity
I can apply this quality over quantity way of thinking to many aspects of my life. This includes shopping, one of my favorite things. I have learned the hard way and at many different times, that although it may cost more and mean you cannot have as much, buying something that is better quality and will last the longest is almost always the best choice. This goes for clothing, I try not to buy many clothes that won’t wash well, because I want to get the most wears possible out of my clothes. This also is really important for jewelry, if you buy cheap jewelry, it will tarnish and you will have to end up spending more money repurchasing it anyways

FOUR – I need alone time
It’s okay to take me time and I need it in order to function. That’s a huge reason I love this blog, is because most of the time when I am writing posts, not taking photos though, it’s a way for me to create something by myself! I love being social and hanging out with my friends and family, but in order for me to recharge I require some alone time, it makes me a better person after I have had some time to myself.

FIVE – Comparison is the thief of joy
It’s impossible to not compare yourself to other people, but I have realized that it really does rob yourself of being content. So, as much as possible I try not to compare my life or myself to other people, because by doing that you can never truly be content with yourself.

SIX – Time with family and friends is precious
This past summer my grandfather passed away and it really made me realize how precious time is that is spent with family and friends. I have learned that it is worth the time and money you may have to spend in order to travel to be with the ones you love.

SEVEN – Work is hard but important
I have always worked whether it be babysitting, nannying, party hosting, or working as an office secretary among other things, I have done a wide range of jobs and they have all been important life experiences. They have taught me how important every single job is, and how important it was for me to go to college so that I can obtain a job that will make me happy.

EIGHT – Happiness is worth more than any amount of money
When I started trying to figure out what career path I wanted to pursue I really wanted to make a lot of money, however, my passion has pretty much always been teaching, which most know is not a profession to go into when you want to make money. I know that I will make an excellent teacher and although I may not make millions, I have learned to accept the fact that being happy with my job will far out way making the most money at my job.

NINE – Reading is important
I feel like this is one of the most recent things that I have learned but, this summer I started really reading more than I have in years and it is so therapeutic and good for the soul. It’s so much better than just mindlessly watching tv, but it’s also an amazing escape from your life.

TEN – Use a planner
Whether this be on your phone/laptop or a paper planner, keeping track all of your commitments is important. I use both a planner and my iCalendar in order to keep track of everything because I have realized it’s important to me to keep my schedule organized. It’s so important to make plans and actually stick to them and not blow people off or plan something at the same time because you didn’t keep track of your schedule. People’s time is precious, so keeping a schedule of what you are doing when is really important.

ELEVEN – What I eat really affects me
My stomach has had some serious issues for years and finally about 2 years ago now, I was tested for a gluten allergy and found out I have a pretty serious one. This allergy to gluten caused severe pain and exhaustion among other things. For a while I just limited the amount of gluten I ate, because that’s what the doctor had initially said to do. But, overall my symptoms did not really improve from doing this. Instead about 3 months ago, I completely stopped eating gluten and have not had any sense and I can honestly say my stomach has never felt better.

TWELVE – I need to say yes more
I say no a lot. But I have learned and am trying to say yes a lot more than I used to. By saying yes to new opportunities or just to do something with someone it opens the door for so many more positive experience sand opportunities that I would never have had if I had said no.

THIRTEEN – Only apologize when you really mean to
I have always been the type of person that apologizes for every little thing and even when I didn’t do anything wrong. But I have learned that I do not need to apologize and have tried to start only using the words “I’m sorry” when I truly need to apologize for something I have done wrong. So, I have really tried to stop apologizing for things that are not my fault and this had made me a more confident person.

FOURTEEN – Things won’t make you happy
There have been many times in my life where I have thought that if I just had this one thing I would be so much happier, but that has absolutely never ever been the case. Material objects can in fact make you temporarily happy, but this never lasts, there’s always another thing that I will think you need to make you happy again, it’s never ending. Instead I realized that I will be happy by creating memories by doing this that you enjoy and spending time with the people you love are the best ways to be genuinely happy.

FIFTEEN – Always look for the good
There is always good, whether it’s in people or in my day, I have learned that I must look for the good in all situation, because there must be a reason that makes each part of life good.

SIXTEEN – Be kind
It’s important for me to be kind because you really never know what anyone else is going through and by being kind you can do so much more and you may not even know it.

SEVENTEEN – Don’t sweat the small stuff, it makes the big stuff even worse
This is something that my Mom has been telling me for years. I have pretty much always had anxiety and when I get stressed over something little, which is pretty often, I have to remind myself of its insignificance.

EIGHTEEN – Pray about everything
Whether I am stressed, worried, sad, or happy I have learned that it is always important to pray.

NINETEEN – Do what you love
I have learned that I will not love all of the same things as everyone else. In school, I never truly loved playing sports, like pretty much all of my friends did and I had to learn that it’s important to find things that I myself actually enjoy. One of the biggest things that I realized in high school was that I love blogging it makes me genuinely happy to create content and share it here on Elegantly Elle. So, like creating for this blog, I have learned that it’s important to do things that you love, even if it’s not something everyone else loves to do too.

TWENTY – Find happiness
Look for happiness, without it life will never feel complete.



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