Life & Relationships

Things I realized at age 23

I’ve been only in this world for more than a decade yet I feel like I’ve been through many ups and downs of life.

I’d just want to share things that I realized at this age, and I believe there are more lessons to come as I grow older.

It’s okay to burn bridges

When I mean burn bridges, it’s not about temporary relationships. It’s more on losing friends, even your closest ones. It’s okay, if you really need to. Sometimes, it’s better that way and you don’t have to blame yourself for doing so.

Choose your battles

As someone who’s always up for arguments, challenges, and proving myself, I realized there are battles that are just not worth our mental health.

It’s fine to say no

Things I learned at age 23

I’ve learned this at the early stage of my life, and I always say this to people who seem to accommodate too much things in their life more than they can manage. Learn to say no. We don’t have to always please everyone surrounding us.

Do not compare your friends’ achievements with yours

It’s hard to feel like you’re not doing enough as much as your friends in terms of career. I realized we have different timelines and it’s not always about being “the better one”—should be “the better self.”

Related: What to do with a quarter-life crisis

People won’t say sorry even if they’re at fault

Sadly, there were people in my life who didn’t feel any remorse when they had done me wrong. And I guess that’s how life is; you move on and forget even without getting an apology.

Quality over quantity

Best friend day

I usually don’t have big circles of friends, and I realized it’s better than having a lot of people in my inbox. I personally find it exhausting to talk to many people simultaneously.

Sometimes, it’s really just overthinking

I’m an overthinker and I tend to overanalyze things more than the I should. I’m a constant worrier who thinks of all the potential hurdles that I may come across. Sometimes, it’s really just in the mind. Give your mind some rest and cross the bridge when you get there.

Voice out what you believe is right

I’ve known people who stay quiet even when they have some valuable points to say. The thing is, it’s not bad to share your thoughts. Who knows? You can be of big help!

Crying isn’t a weakness

Things I learned at age 23

I always thought that a person who cries at the slightest things are weak, but I was wrong. Even a person who has a strong personality would end up in the situation where they can no longer hold their tears. It’s human to cry. It’s normal. It’s a way of relieving yourself from pain, and it helps a lot.

Have some “me time”

Having a time for yourself is important. It gives you time to meditate or even free your mind from work, conflicts, news, or whatever is happening around you. Watching movies, series, reading books, baking, drinking—you’re free to treat yourself some quality “me time.”

What have you realized at your age now? I’d love to hear your thoughts!


(24) Comments

  1. Such lovely points! I think learning to say no is one of the biggest ones I’ve learnt recently – it’s okay to take up space in the world! Great post 🙂

    Ella-Rose – x

    1. Thank you! Hoping to learn more as I get older 😀

  2. Rhi // The Violet Journal says:

    I really love all these life lessons – super inspiring 😊

    1. Thanks a lot! x

  3. I see myself doing all these you just mention, thank you so much for these, most times we do think what we are doing is wrong. I appreciate this postsv

  4. Em and Jess says:

    I’m 23 as well and I totally relate to some of these! Thanks for sharing x

  5. I enjoyed reading through your points and I definitely resonate with a lot of them. I’m turning 21 next week and I can totally agree about burning bridges! I’ve gone from a big friendship group, to my friends now being online – but I love it. Thanks for sharing!

    1. I’m happy that you enjoyed it. 🙂 Advanced happy birthday, Emily!

      1. Thank you so much!

  6. These are so lovely! It’s always nice to have a bit of a reflection; and completely agree with the friends thing – I’m much more content with a few quality ones over many acquaintances!

    Paige // Paige Eades

  7. Some great lessons! I have definitely realised it is ok to cry! Also that some people won’t say sorry or accept that they are in the wrong and that you may drift apart from some friends and that is ok 😊 x

    1. Yessss, it’s not about being a snub. It’s for yourself. 🙂

  8. I think your best lesson included is “crossing the bridge when you get to it”. My couple decades more than you have taught me to plan my route ahead, but not worry about the crossing until I get there. Then once there tackle that bridge or find an alternative route. Worry ahead is just worry.

    The lesson I haven’t learned yet is to prioritize myself equally to my family. I drain myself down to nothing for lack of self care.

    1. Thanks for sharing! I’m also struggling to always do self-care. I tend to care for other people more than myself, which I thought isn’t really okay.

      1. It’s not really ok, but at the same time, society pushes us into that role more than a self-care role.

        Good luck!

  9. These are great, great insights. “Choose your battles” was a piece of advice given to me when I was in my first year as an event planner and it proved to be really good advice, and something that I learned to apply when it came to my career and relationships. Thank you so much for sharing!

    1. Thank you for sharing. As we get busier in life, we really cannot just accommodate all the inconveniences in life so it pays to just focus on things that matter.

  10. These are great points and so relatable. I think that this post will help lots of people to realise that these things are ok and we should’ feel guilty or dwell on things you’ve pointed out. These are great lessons for us to learn. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Thanks, too!

  11. I’m not where I need to be yet concerning these points raised but I’m surely working on them. Life is too short… Thank you.

    1. It’s okay 🙂 We have different paths and lives, anyway. Thanks for reading!

  12. Loved this ! It’s everything I believe in and stand for. Picking your battles, learning that it’s okay to cut ties and having me-time ! Great post 😊

  13. I wish I had learned these things when I was 23. Good for you! These are all good points.

  14. Great post! I’m writing a similar one to celebrate my 21st- some of the things I’ve learned! I completely agree with these things, such as choosing your battles and also choosing those friends you want in your life and not thinking you need lots and lots of people in your life when you already have a few great people 🙂

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