It's my birthday, so I can reflect on the last year of my life if I want to.
Resolutions are hard to keep, so instead, I like to look back on the year I've had every birthday.
Here are all the lessons I've learned, both good and bad.
1. Don't let your demons become monsters by letting them motivate your decisions and feelings.
2. People are going to lie to you because they don't want to hurt your feelings. Understand they don't respect you enough to tell you the truth.
3. Let yourself be consumed by your passions. They will be there for you when you're so overcome with emotion you can barely breathe.
4. Trust your instincts and what they are telling you — they are almost always right.
5. Cut the toxic people out. They spread like cancer and have no cure. It will hurt at first saying goodbye to friendships that have so many memories attached, but in the long run, you will be happier.
6. Your rejections and mistakes don't define you.
7. Every experience you have is irreplaceable, and so are the people you share them with. Don't try to replicate them — remember them.
8. Stop trying to be somebody you're not just because you're uncomfortable. Who cares if they don't like you because you didn't laugh at the right part of the joke? Laugh anyway.
9. Know when you need to walk away and when you should fight for what you want.
Some things are better left unsaid, while others should be screamed at the top of your lungs.
10. You are all the good things that people say you are. Believe in those good things.
11. Half-hearted apologies are worse than no apology. Mean what you say and always apologize when you are in the wrong. It will hurt your pride, but it will heal your wounds.
12. You grieve differently than others. There is no wrong way to be sad. Just because you don't talk about it doesn't mean you don't think about it.
13. He is going to love you even on your worst days. Don't forget to tell him how much you appreciate him.
14. Nurture your family because you never know when God will take them. Say “I love you” every chance you get and never leave without a hug.
15. Love yourself above everything else. Stop comparing yourself to everyone around you. You are the only you that there will ever be. Embrace your stretch marks — they are years lived, not flaws.
16. Always handwrite your love into every card.
17. Call your grandparents and talk to them about your life.
18. Live in the moment. Don't let anything or anyone ruin your day, especially a day that is important to you.
19. Always read through your work before you click send. Spellcheck is not a reliable editor.
20. Don't second-guess yourself. Public Relations was the right choice. You're on the right path. Keep working toward your dreams.
21. The hard times will make you realize just how much love you have in your life. Your friends and your boyfriend will be there for you even when you're on the ground sobbing hysterically. Appreciate them, love them and hug them.
22.Your grandma loved you very much and is still looking out for you from above. You will miss her every single day, and you will cry every time something reminds you of her. You will get through the hard days where all you want to do is call her. Self-care is important, too, and nobody will ever understand your grief or sadness.
23. It's important to reflect. Reflecting helps heal your soul both physically and mentally.
Twenty-two was a roller coaster of a year for me, but I wouldn't have changed a single thing about it. I experienced my highest highs and lowest lows; some days seemed never-ending, while others seemed to go by almost too fast.
If you're ever feeling a little bit lost on your path, I recommend sitting down and writing a list of everything you've learned and everything you've conquered in the last year. It will help you become the best version of yourself.
This was originally published on Unwritten.