26 Lessons from 26

Each year of life seems to teach me more and more. More about love, business, relationships, and self love — more about myself, the people I love, and the world in general. As much as I thought the fist 25 years of my life taught me, year 26 turned out to be the most trans-formative year of my life.

Here are the 26 of the lessons that completely snatched my edges and changed everything for me.

  1. You shouldn’t settle for the close enoughs and not quites just because they’re the only options in front of you at the moment.

  2. Commitment is not simultaneous with the loss of freedom — because love, when done right is true freedom.

  3. Your dreams will require you to go all in — no half assing, no bare minimum, no applying part time pressure. All in or nothing.

  4. When the chase is no longer fun and the thrill of flirting with trouble fades, most people turn out to just be distractions.

  5. You don’t have to care about everything. You don’t have to have an opinion on everything.

  6. Healing requires peeling back all the layers and facing yourself head on.

  7. You always know when something / someone has run it’s course in your life — when you cling to what no longer serves you out of fear, you block new blessings from entering your life.

  8. Sometimes the greatest act of love is letting go.

  9. But make sure you actually do the letting go, when you decide it’s time to let go.

  10. You receive what you have the courage to ask for — being timid when it comes to things you want, will never get you those things. Whatever they may be.

  11. You can be gentle with yourself and still hold yourself accountable.

  12. Sometimes you just out-grow people and relationships and no one is to blame, no one is the villain.. it’s just life.

  13. Don’t be afraid to start over — and don’t be afraid to keep on starting over until life feels right.

  14. Just do the work. All the talking, all the planning, all the dreaming, learning, and all the praying in the world is meaningless if you don’t roll up your sleeves and just do the damn work.

    14.5 And looking like you’re doing the work, doesn’t count as actually doing the work.

  15. Your village matters. It’s important to have people that believe in you and even your wildest dreams. It’s important to be surrounded by a tribe that loves you to the other side of your self doubts and darkness, too.

  16. Authenticity wins every time.

  17. Other people triggering your insecurities has nothing to do with them.

  18. When people tell you to let them go before they break your heart, listen. At the same time, if you know you need to let go of someone before you break their heart, release them.

  19. Feelings change and people are allowed to change their minds. And that’s okay.

  20. Just because you don’t see anyone else occupying the lane you want to be in, doesn’t mean you can’t. Some lanes are waiting specifically for you to create them.

  21. When you actively show up for yourself, you always win.

  22. The point isn’t to be fearless, it’s to recognize your fears and do it anyway. Whatever it may be.

  23. You have to be willing to stretch beyond your comfort zone to get what you want — and when you think you’ve done all the stretching you can, you must stretch even more.

  24. You must love yourself out loud.
    Fiercely. Fully. Without shame.
    Even when it’s hard.
    Especially when it’s hard.

  25. On the other side of healing, is gratitude. Gratitude for what is, what was, and whatever you have to learn the hard way for what will be.

  26. People are allowed not to choose us back. People are allowed to out grow us. People are allowed to change their minds. So are we.

Looking back, 26 was a year of failure, leaps of faith, and letting go. It was a year that asked hard questions and gave real answers, even when I didn’t exactly want those answers.

And for as much as I learned and unlearned last year, I’m excited to see how 26 sets me up for 27.

dragsJayde Ware