It’s official. Today, I am a quarter of a century. For some reason I have been dreading turning 25. I don’t really know why it has had me so anxious and stressed out. Maybe because I have been over thinking what turning another year older really means.

I didn’t really want much of a celebration this year. I usually love going out to dinner with my girlfriends or celebrating with some kind of eventful party. I do have a wonderful girls dinner with a few close friends tonight. But really this year, all I wanted to do was to go see The Nutcracker Ballet… which I did! It was beautiful and one of the best experiences I have had in my life.

the nutcracker

My in-laws and extended family also threw a little fondue party for our “family birthday celebration” which was so sweet of them!fondue party

I also have to have angel food cake. My youngest sister and I share a birthday and we have had angel food cake every single year since I can remember. If there ever came a birthday where I didn’t have it, I would say that I’ve reached a low point in my life;)

Looking back on the last 25 years of my life, there are so many things that I have overcome, experienced and (thankfully) so many lessons I have learned.

Lessons Learned in My 25 Years

25 lessons

  1. Never take anything for granted. There are so many things in life that can come and go in an instant.
  2. Seize every opportunity. I never really do anything unless I know it’s a “for sure” thing. But that isn’t the way to live life, you miss out on so much by doing that.
  3. Age really is just a number. I have just turned 25 and while so many people still call me a “baby”, I have achieved so many of the things that I have wanted to in my life.
  4. Don’t let anything stop you from being happy. If you’re not happy with what you’re doing or where you’re at, move on! Change it! You don’t need to hold back because things are trying to prevent your happiness.
  5. Fear CANNOT be a determinism factor. I have turned away from so many things because I was afraid of them or afraid of the uncertainty. But fear should not be how you make decisions.
  6. You can never be completely ready for anything. Coming from a Type A, organized, obsessive planner this is a tough one for me. I have always tried to know exactly what is going to happen and how things will play out. Truth is, you just never really know.
  7. If you see a new beginning coming, run to it not away from it. New starts are sometimes necessary for growth even if we don’t know what this newness is going to look like.
  8. Motherhood is the hardest and best thing to experience. I never realized how hard being a mom was going to be. It is SO HARD. But, it is also the most rewarding experience I could ever ask for.
  9. Trust is everything. There have been many times that I just went into something blind, mainly when it comes to relationships, without having full confidence and trust in the person I was with. I have learned that trust is something I don’t give away easily and something that is hard to get back once its broken. But, when it’s there, great things can happen!
  10. Independence will only get you so far. I have always been one to take on the roll of “independent woman”, even in my marriage. I have a very self-sufficient attitude and like getting things done on my own. However, we were made to live life with others.
  11. Life won’t always turn out the way you want. You have this picture in your head of the way you want things to be, or something that you want, but life  never really follows along with that. Sometimes it does, and you get what you have always wanted.  Other times, it sends you down a completely different path.
  12. Some things are going to hurt… a lot. I have made some tough choices in my life and many of them have ended in my pain, or someone else’s. Were they the right decision? I think so. It still doesn’t change the amount of hurt that they can cause when they are made.
  13. Even small choices will dramatically affect your life. You make a tiny choice, even a bad one, and it comes back to bite you in the butt. Everything that we do has an impact on our lives. That’s why thinking before you act and speak are probably some of the best words to live by.
  14. There is a healing power in forgiveness. Even if it’s years down the road, forgiving that person who you have held a grudge against for so many years can heal wounds that you may not even know you’ve had.
  15. Finding true friends is an amazing gift. When you find someone who you can connect with, trust and that just get’s you (that isn’t a significant other) don’t take the importance of that friendship with any less than the greatest care. I have had plenty of friends come and go out of my life, but I also have friends who have been there for me for so many years and who I would do anything for.
  16.  Family is everything. There is no relationship on this planet like you have with your family. My siblings have stuck by me through thick and thin… and I have been a pretty crappy person at points in my life! Now, my best friends ARE my siblings:)
  17. Parent;s may seem like your worst enemies at time, but they are also your biggest blessing. After losing my dad at such a young age, my mom tried hard to keep all of us kids from rebelling and going off the deep end. I, of course, went there and totally went against everything she had ever taught me because I thought she was “so mean” and “didn’t get me”. Ha! Now that am older and have kids of my own, I know exactly why she did what she did and I thank God every day that he gave parents the power of forgiveness and patience.
  18. Never under estimate the power of prayer. I have been in some pretty dark points in my life… so dark that I didn’t think I would come out of it at times. My relationship with Lord has pulled me up and saved me so many more times than I can even count and praying has helped lead me through some of the toughest decisions of my life.
  19. Love is a gift. When you are lucky enough to find true love in any form, hold on to it and be thankful for it every day.
  20. Don’t let the phrase “the grass is greener on the other side” fool you. No one’s grass is perfect unless it’s fake. There will always be weeds, there will always be imperfections and brown areas, and they are probably looking at your yard thinking the exact same thing! Be happy where you are and with what you have.
  21. My favorite time of the year will forever be this season. Something about it has always made me so happy and so appreciative of my family and loved ones around me. Christmas really is the most wonderful time of the year!
  22. My greatest accomplishment in life has been becoming a mom, but that isn’t going to be my ONLY accomplishment. It makes me sad when women think that they can’t be anything else because they are a mom. If it is your choice to be a mom as your only career, that’s amazing for you! But you can do other things as a parent without feeling like you are neglecting your duties as a parent. Pet-peeve: People judging SAHM & WAHM.
  23. I may forever have a minor shopping addiction. I love it, buying new clothes makes you feel like a new person in my opinion. I also love shopping for others.
  24. Life will go on. No matter what happens, what one crappy day brings or what one amazing day brings, tomorrow will be different. Life continues to move along no matter what we do or what happens.
  25. Life is truly what you make it. No explanation needed there!

What is one thing you want to achieve or learn before your next birthday?

*Cheers to turning 25*

joanna at motherhood and merlot