26 Things I’ve Learned in 26 Years


As of today, I turned 26. No longer am I a product of the mid-twenties: I can officially say that I’m in my late twenties and therefore closer to the age of 30. Kind of nerve-wracking to believe that I’m getting older; soon enough, I’ll be wondering where the time had gone when I’m 40!

All the same, I wanted to reflect on my 26 years on this Earth; I did a similar post last year when I turned 25, offering some nuggets of knowledge that I acquired over the past year. I hope to do the same this year, in this post, as I enjoy myself in the comforts of my Airbnb in Paris, where I’m stationed for the weekend to celebrate my day of birth. Without further ado, let’s get started! 🙂

26 Things I’ve Learned in 26 Years

1. Contact lenses are nice, but wearing glasses are where the real deal’s at. I rarely wear the former anymore, and I rather make my eyes comfortable with the latter.

2. School doesn’t teach you about life. Life teaches you about life.

3. Running does wonders for your body; I can say that after not running for over three months, my body’s starting to take a toll!

4. Learning about conservatism as a self-identified liberal is really eye-opening. It’s important to know your facts before blindly believing in one side of the argument.

5. It’s pointless to spend so much energy on hating certain people. We’re all just people trying to go about our lives, so there’s no reason to stress about particular ones who otherwise don’t care about you.

6. While you should consider pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone, also know your limits.

7. A smile goes a long way; it can make someone’s day, and in turn, make your day.

8. (As a teacher) Never take one’s failure personally; you did the best for them, and it’s up to them to step up and do their best to succeed.

9. Eating nothing but cheese, instant noodles, and wine is sure to cause sleep deprivation and horrible break-outs. Definitely strive for healthier habits!

10. Where clothes you feel the most-comfortable in will increase your confidence.

11. Even if you’re being professional at work, learn to be human at times (e.g. show compassion, understanding)

12. Staying in for weekends on end is no way to be social. Be bold and venture out a night or two for some human interaction.

13. Frowning too much in your early twenties wasn’t too bad on the face. Now, you’re starting to see the damage. Avoid it!

14. When you show confidence, others will respect you.

15. Don’t wait for love to come– go to it (and take it before it escapes your grasp!).

16. Always be honest. Always, always, always.

17. Family is a lot more important than you think. Your parents aren’t getting younger, so cherish the time you have with them!

18. Despite moving and living abroad for years, never forget your roots (Los Angeleno at heart!).

19. Definitely make time to meet up with childhood friends whenever you’re back home. Their presence is much-needed nostalgia!

20. (As a teacher) It’s 30% teaching, 70% inspiring the future generation.

21. Feminism and liberalism aren’t what they are supposed to mean these days.

22. You can make anything taste good with hot sauce (or spices).

23. Travel is no longer about dirt-poor budgeting. With a job that actually pays somewhat decently, reward yourself with the occasional hotel and dinner out in town.

24. Going to bed before 21:30 is sure to give you better sleep than after 22:00.

25. Buying your own clothes after having your mom buy them for you as a kid is a liberating experience. You know your body best, and you know what you like/what looks good on you.

26. Be kind to yourself (you can’t be your own worst critic!).

…and that’s it! Again, it’s been a long year of learning and growing. It’s always incredible to check-in with oneself each year and see the changes that have happened. I didn’t expect myself to be the 26-year-old I am today compared with when I was 20, but I’m glad that I’ve become this person now. Definitely hope to grow more this year, and we’ll see how I will change even more when I turn 27!

Thanks for reading, and have a good day. 🙂

— The Finicky Cynic

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5 thoughts on “26 Things I’ve Learned in 26 Years

  1. Pingback: 27 Things I Learned in 27 Years – The Finicky Cynic

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