Today I turn 23 years old and I can't believe we've come this far. I don't feel 23. I feel like I'm still 16. I don't feel like I can be considered an adult because I don't understand things like taxes or know how to control myself in aspects of shopping.

I still live at home and share a room with my sister. I don't feel like I commute into Manhattan everyday for my dream job, or that I have a boss or coworkers that count on me. I don't feel like I'm responsible enough to handle all of those responsibilities.

I still long for my college friends and my college campus. I still wear my sorority letters and reminisce about the fraternity mixers I attended.

I don't feel like I'm 23 years old but here we are.

With that being said, I do think I've grown and matured over the years, especially this past year. 22 was a really difficult year for me, in more ways than one. I struggled with money, adjusting to post grad, some personal woes, my anxiety, finding a job, accepting that I liked my job, and everything in between. It was not easy but I have come out on the other side and I think from here, the only way is up.

1. Communication is key: If something is bothering you, the best thing to do is talk about it. Whether you're mad at a friend, your mom, or someone else, it's important to let it out. I am known for talking things to death, because it makes me feel better, but it's extra important to face your concerns and go directly to the person you have a problem with. This sounds like common sense, but I used to let a lot of things go but now I try to face them head on.

2. No one will help you but yourself: This took a while for me to figure out. I have a lot of issues with anxiety, and it was affecting my life in so many ways. I was kind of waiting for something to happen for me to snap out of it but it didn't happen. My anxiety got worse and worse until I made the decision to fix it. I'm planning another post on this, more in depth, but I got myself on anti anxiety medication and honestly, I feel like a new person. I changed my life in the past few months and it's helped in such a huge way. No one will take care of you if you can't take care of yourself.

3. It's ok to say no: I had an issue with saying no to a lot of things; to plans, to helping someone out -- you name it! I realized this past year that if it isn't going to make me happy or if I am going to dread it, what is the point of doing it? I don't need to make excuses for something I don't want to do. I just need to say no. If it's not going to hurt the other person's feelings, or put them out, then I need to do what I need to do. I am the only one who can make myself happy so I need to do what is right for me.  This was a huge revelation for me and totally added to my happiness.

4. Think before you speak: Another common sense notion but something I really took to heart recently. I am a very emotional, act right now, type of person. If something was bothering me, I acted right then and there, purely on emotions. Afterwards, no matter the outcome, I felt like an idiot and knew I should've waited to say something. This could go against my "communication is key" philosophy but it's totally different. I'm talking about getting through the emotional stage before bursting out with whatever is on your mind. If you're acting out of emotion, you are not thinking clearly and you may feel differently once you calm down. Thinking and processing your emotions before speaking or acting will make a huge difference in all relationships.

5. Treat yourself: This is my big philosophy, clearly because I'm a shopacholic but I don't mean buying yourself something every week. I'm talking about little treats. If you're having a bad day, or you know the day will be stressful do things to make life a little easier and sweeter. Buy yourself that expensive latte, or have a nice big breakfast or lunch. My thing is always if I had a stressful day at work, I'll treat myself to taking the express bus home rather than the subway. It's the little things in life-- I am a firm believer in that.

6. Good friends: Good friends will always be there, no matter what. I savor my friendships where I could not see or talk to someone for weeks and we pick up right where we left off. I think that speaks volumes of how you feel about each other, and I've really cherished that. This may not be something I learned, but in a way it is. I learned that you don't need to talk to someone every day to have a connection. Your friends are your friends, forever.

The last lesson that I live by?

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