33 things I would tell my 23 year old self by Jen Ryan


As I sit on a plane to Queenstown to go adventuring and off the grid with a couple of my gal pals from school I am feeling super duper reflective on life to date. The big 3-3 is fast approaching and has got me thinking of 33 things I would tell 23 year old me. Shit there have been a gazillion and one experiences, lessons and adventures in the past 10 years. So maybe this list is just the tip of the iceberg but here goes...

1. You are worthy and enough exactly as you are - there is no need to try and fit in.

2. Find your tribe - your vibe really does attract your tribe. Trust that.

3. Be a giver - there are a lot of people who are out there wishing they had all the things/experiences you do. Be grateful.

4. Meditate.

5. Move your body - find that thing you love and do that.

6. Stay in your own lane. Comparison really is the thief of joy. 7. You will be too much for some people. They are not your people.

8. Alcohol does not solve problems. It does, however create some when not used with care.

9. Love unconditionally. Tell those you love that you love them. Do this often.

10. The Universe only ever throws enough at you to test you, but not completely break you.

11. Life is not promised. It is short and precious. Make the most of the little moments for they really are the big things.

12. BE KIND!

13. The numbers on the scales and the numbers in your bank account don't mean shit if you haven't sorted the shit out inside your head. You probably won't be logging in to your internet banking when you're on your death bed. Just saying.

14. Be grateful. If you ain't grateful for what you've already been blessed with, how do you know you'll be any more grateful weighing 5kg less, earning another $5k/year, that dream man, owning a whare, in a new job...

15. Spend time with the young and the elderly...so much to be learned from these treasures. Enjoy the simple things.

16. Learn. Continue to learn and grow your knowledge.

17. Travel. Travel the world. It really is the one thing that makes you richer.

18. Dream big.

19. Be adaptable and flexible.

20. Push your body and mind. Determination and mental strength will take you far. Always.

21. Spend time with those that light up your soul. And do all the things that light up that soul of yours.

22. You don't have to be friends with everyone. True friends are there for the good and the bad times. You know who those rad humans are.

23. Go on ALL the adventures.

24. Know that the Universe really does have your back and is always listening.

25. Spend time in nature.

26. Diets don't work. There is no quick fix. Just be kind to yourself and consistent. What you do most of the time is what counts.

27. Coffee really is life.

28. Embrace and love the skin you're in.

29. Laugh. Belly laugh. The kind of laughing till you cry or nearly wetting your pants.

30. Walk barefoot.

31. Declutter. Material shit won't make you happy.

32. Your mahi will fill your heart. Giving tamariki the gift of communication really is the greatest gift. How lucky you are to work with precious kids with disabilities.

33. Life isn't about ticking boxes. Just because your mate/neighbour/colleague is buying a house, getting engaged, married, having babies and building the white picket fence, doesn't mean you have to. These things are not the definition of success. Maybe you will. Maybe you won't.

Stay in your own lane and remember YOU DO YOU BOO. How precious this life is and how lucky you are to be 1 in 7.5 billion.