Dear 27-year-old me,

What a year huh? It started in Ireland, one of my favorite places in the world. Little did I know where I would be one year from then, living in my dream state of Colorado, with a whole lot of adventure in between. As I reflect on the year that has past, I can’t help but focus on everything I have learned at 27.  I drove into the mountains yesterday and with miles and miles of beautiful landscape in front of me, I parked my car and made a list. Here’s what I came up with:

  • If it’s not working, change it. Perhaps the biggest lesson I have learned this year. I planned to study in Poland for an entire year.  I have never left any sort of travels or living abroad early, so the decision to leave didn’t come naturally. I had to tell myself that there was nothing keeping me here, I can do whatever I want. After a few months of not feeling like myself, it was a no-brainer. Just leave. Go where your subconscious is telling you to go.
    • The same could be said about the decision to go to Poland. There was no reason for me NOT to try. I’m proud of my decision to go and to come home.
  • If it’s not working, change it: the relationship edition.  If we are not on the same page, adios!
  • Fear is something you create in your mind.  Usually when I’m afraid, I just tell myself I’m not afraid. It’s a complete lie and I know that but somehow it works. I was forced out of my comfort zone more times than I can count this year and I’m very thankful for that. The practice of looking fear in the face is one of the greatest ways to achieve growth.
  • I do not need the approval of others to make myself feel good. Getting the approval of others would undoubtedly make me feel, well, not good.  I am strong and damn good on my own and I do not need anyone’s permission to live the way I want to live. PERIOD.
  • When given the choice between being right and being kind, choose kind. This comes from the book Wonder and it is some of the best advice I’ve ever received from a work of fiction. This year I found myself putting it into practice as much as possible. With the world in the state that it’s in (and has been and probably always will be) I find this sentiment more important now than ever. It’s not always easy and sometimes I fail but the point is to do the best you can with good intentions.
  • No one cares. Just do what you want because everyone’s so busy worrying about themselves that they don’t really care about you. Sounds harsh and sure people care about the health of their friends and family but does anyone actually care that I moved to Colorado with no job prospects or a place of my own? NO. (Except my mom. Sorry mom.)

27 was a great year. One of my favorites. I have really enjoyed the development that each year of my 20’s has given me and I’m seriously looking forward to what 28 has to offer. I’m going to miss you, 27, but you helped me get to 28 and for that I am eternally grateful.

All the love in the world,

28-year-old me

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