Things I Learned In My 20s

Tomorrow I turn the big 3-0. I’ve had moments of freaking out over it and moments where I realize that age is just a number. Usually I don’t freak out over getting a year older, but something about turning 30 has really got me thinking.

My 20s were pretty incredible and lots of great things happened. I also learned a lot in the last decade.

Things I Learned In My 20s by Brooke: Not On a Diet

1) Loving who you are is huge. I didn’t love who I was much of my teen year and some of my 20s. Only when I began to be more gentle to myself and give myself the love I deserved, did good things happen to me. I lost the weight, I found the husband, and I lived more fully.

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2) Sharing your story is important. I started sharing my story in November of 2009 when I was 24 and not only has doing so brought me great opportunities, it has helped others in their own lives. I truly believe that everyone has a story to share and needs to do so because there is someone out there who needs to hear it. Stories help others not feel alone in the world.

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3) Face fears. I let my weight hold me back from a lot of things in life. Never did I think I would ride a snowmobile, kayak, or speak at a conference. Sure, they were all scary before they happened, but as soon as I gave it a go, it wasn’t so bad.

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4) Cooking can be therapy. There is just something about being in the kitchen and whipping up something tasty that just brings me so much joy. I now own way too many cookbooks and kitchen tools, but I love it.

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5) It is okay to need someone. I was raised to be an independent woman. (Thanks, Mom & Dad!) I’m the type who much rather do things on my own, without the help of someone. This was a battle when Mr. B and I first met because it was SO hard to let him do things for me. I’ve learned that it is okay to let go of the control and let Mr. B do more for me when I need it.

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6) Don’t give up on the things you really want. There have been many things in life that I’ve started and then gave up on because things weren’t going as planned or were too tough. My 20s I took on a HUGE challenge and didn’t give up. Losing the weight was tough and things didn’t always go according to plan, but I never gave up. I learned to rework things instead of throwing everything out the window.

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7) 90s music will always be my jam. Enough said. πŸ˜‰

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8) Good food makes me feel good. My diet in my early 20s was crap. I lived off the drive-thru lane and ALL the processed things. Once I began to learn how to cook, I learned to enjoy things that weren’t processed. This made me feel better and more energetic.

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9) Movement is medicine. I was the kid who found any excuse not to participate in gym. I loathed anything called exercise. Once I switched my thinking to it being good for my mind, body, and soul, I began to enjoy it. I also only do things that I truly love. Life is too short to move in ways you hate.

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10) Quit the job you hate. I spent way too long at a job that I did not enjoy, but I stuck it out because I didn’t think I could do anything else. The day I gave my resignation was so liberating and absolutely terrifying. The world didn’t stop spinning, I didn’t end up homeless, and I eventually landed one of my dream jobs.

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11) Living life is better than watching from the sidelines. I let my weight hold me back from a lot of things. It wasn’t until I started to gain confidence with the weight loss that I began to get out and live life. Being on the playing field is WAY more fun!

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12) Beer is delicious. Still can’t decide if this is a lesson I really needed to learn. πŸ˜‰

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13) Being married is awesome and a lot of hard work. I’m super lucky to be married to my best friend. Most of the time it is sunshine and roses, but there are rough times. It is during those rough times that make us stronger. <3 486583_960490717459_1748807842_n

14) I love to travel. I really didn’t travel until I met Mr. B. I’ve now camped in the mountains, stepped in the Pacific, and enjoyed rum in Jamaica. I love planning out our next adventure.

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15) Connections on the Internet are important. I’ve met some incredible people via blogging. Some that are really great friends. I also found Mr. B on the interwebs.

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16) Ask for what you want. This is a fairly new thing I’ve learned, but the times I put it into play; it has worked well.

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17) Coffee is also delicious. Again, don’t know if I really needed to learn this.

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18) My calling in life. I went to college and changed my major 3 times in the few short years I was there. None of those things were for me and it wasn’t until I lost weight did I figure this out. I now know that I get such great joy out of helping others get healthy. I’m furthering this into getting my CPT and health coach certifications. I cannot wait to see how this grows in the future.

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19) Less is more. This applies to so many areas of my life. I think about purchases and have realized that I much rather have experiences than physical things. I’m also always purging things, which feels awesome.

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20) Everything happens for a reason. I’m such a big believer in this. Even when things aren’t the best, I try to remind myself that there’s a reason it is happening. I can also choose how to feel about things happening. I can be negative and miserable or I can reframe it and tell myself that there is a lesson to be learned.

Boy did I learn A LOT this past decade. I’m sure there are many other things, but that might take another decade to write out. πŸ˜‰

I cannot wait to see what I learn in my 30s, it will be nothing short of amazing I’m sure!

What lessons have you learned in life?

  • Tara Acton

    Great post, Brooke! So many of these things are lessons I also had to learn in my 20s… and you keep thinking “If only I could go back 10 years and tell myself…” but live and learn. πŸ™‚ Happy birthday!

    • Oh boy, the things I would tell 20 year old Brooke! I don’t know if it would have made a difference back then though.

      Thank you! πŸ™‚

  • I LOVE this. I am also learning many of these things, and your post is a great reminder of a few of them. As I have a year and a half left in my 20’s, I know that I’ll learn a lot, just in the upcoming year. Have an amazing birthday!! XOXO
    http://www.divaandthedivine.com

  • Dacia

    I love this so much! I am so happy to know you. You are a wonderful spirit with a kind soul. My world is such a better place because you are in it. Thank you for being awesome! Happy early birthday B! <3 <3 <3

    • <3 I'm so glad we got to connect in the big world! Don't know what I would do without you!

  • Happy birthday! You’ve learned some incredible things on your journey – thanks for sharing!

  • Madison

    I turn 30 next month, so this resonated with me. I’ve been thinking a lot about leaving my 20s. I think the one thing I’ve learned is to trust my opinion more than anyone else’s. I spent too much time in my 20s wondering what other people would think about my decisions.

    Happy Birthday!

  • Rob Murdock

    Brooke:
    Happy Birthday from Bowflex! (Well, from Rob @ Bowflex, anyway)…
    Having crossed into my 40s already, I can say with some authority that you’re way ahead of the game! If you’ve figured out all of the above in your 20s, your 30s will be awesome…and your 40s will be epic. Congratulations on reaching this milestone and thanks for giving us all the gift of inspiration!
    -RM

  • Welcome to the BEST DECADE (so far), friend!! <3 We need to celebrate. Hookah? Dinner? You name it!

    I really liked this post. The 20s are such a crazy time of personal growth, right? SO many things happen! I feel like the 30s (at least for me, so far) are a little more chill and a whole lot of awesome and peace!

    • Can we do ALL of the above? Seriously, it has been too long since I’ve seen your face. Let’s make a date!

  • It looks like you learned a lot and the best is still yet to come. I agree with the 90s music. πŸ™‚

  • What a great list! 90’s music is definitely the best, by FAR.

    Your story about quitting the job you hated is inspirational; my husband and I are both in jobs that we don’t really love but feel stuck due to having our little people to care for and there’s no way we could live off one of our incomes right now. However, we are both finally taking steps to get into careers that we love–he’s getting ready to go back to school, and I’m going to be a Coach for Girls on the Run (and hopefully a WW receptionist/leader after I reach goal). Anyway. Thank you for sharing!