28 Lessons Learned by my 28th Year

So today is my birthday! Yay! Happy Birthday to me.

I feel very grateful to have turned another year older and maybe even a little wiser. I am also thankful for all the wonderful and kind people I have in my life that took the time to send me love and light on the day of my birth, your all amazing!

When I woke up this morning as is typical on my birthday it was a bitter cold -12, windchill -22. Yup, welcome to Canada!

As my car strained to start and I waited for the ice on the inside and outside of my windows to melt away I couldn’t help but think what a blessing it is to be born in January. Bare with me…

Capricorns are of course the hearty mountain goat and if you have ever watched the discovery channel those little climbing goats are pretty badass. I feel kind of badass today. I feel like I was born to be hardworking and to survive. Like a warrior, silently working behind the scenes slowly moving forward. That’s me.

As I sat freezing in my car thinking of bad ass mountain goats and surviving the next few brutal months of winter I found my mind wander to a gentle place of reflection. Reflection of the years behind me, lessons learned, memories accumulated.

So I thought as a way to celebrate my life thus far I would throw togeather a post of some lessons I have learned during my 28 years on this earthly adventure.


  1. Those teenage years… yeah, don’t worry about it. It is just a phase.
  2. Your body will require more than burgers and chocolate to survive. You will learn that eating healthy, fresh and organic is not a hipster thing but an essential way of life that will make you feel amazing on the inside and out. BUT don’t go to hell with it, indulge every now and then.
  3. You are introverted and that’s cool. You will learn that you do not need to try to be someone your not, you will learn to say no and find more joy in doing the things that make you truly happy. Even if that involves being alone sometimes.
  4. The past is for lessons, the future for plans but happiness can only be truly found in the present moment.
  5. You will get better at everything you think you will never get better at. 
  6. Travel will be the biggest influence in your life so far. It will enrich your soul and change everything about you.
  7. You love to write. And you will be brave enough to do it as much as you can.
  8. Your life is not a series of stepping stones. Your life is actually in constant flow and all you can do is go with it. Through smooth seas and rough, there is no avoiding it. Where you go will be better than what you had planned anyway.
  9. You will learn to take responsibility. You have a part to play in every situation in your life positive and negative and you will learn how to take responsibility without beating yourself up over it. (Although that is still a work in progress)
  10. People will walk out of your life and it is for the best. People will resent you, be angry with you, leave you. This is just the natural course of those relationships, you will learn to let go and love your life even more without those people.
  11. Spending more on quality then less on quantity is pretty legit. It’s better to have one nice durable pair of shoes than 20 cheap ones. I guess this can apply to relationships also.
  12. Sometimes things need to fall apart to come togeather properly. I know it will be hard to believe but the moments you spend on the bottom will help provide you with the best foundation for your future.
  13. You will try more new things than you ever thought you would. Blowing your own expectations for your life and interests out of the water.
  14. You will let go of your high standards for the people in your life and maybe even yourself. There are flaws in everyone and you will learn to be compassionate towards those flaws.
  15. Meditation will change your life. Enough said…
  16. Spend your money on experiences, not things. You will find so much more happiness than you thought even though you will have so much less money than you had expected by this age.
  17. It is not your job to show others the lessons they need to learn. You will learn to be an example and lend counsel when others ask for it and that will be good enough.
  18. There are people out there that will love and accept you unconditionally. Don’t worry about it, they will find their way to you.
  19. Save, save, save. If formulating a proper personal budget is the most adult thing you accomplish in your 20’s then you are doing alright.
  20. All relationships are hard work but only a few are worth it.
  21. You have a love for learning and you will never stop. Read, write, watch and learn as much as you can. You will actually have fun while you do it.
  22. There will be a lot of darkness, but don’t worry, you will always manage to find the light.
  23. Jobs are just something we as people do, they do not define us as people. Don’t let the fact that others confuse that confuse you.
  24. Give back to charity as often as you can. There are causes out there that are worth giving to and it is so important to do your part.
  25. Don’t be in such a rush. Slow down and enjoy the journey you will get there eventually.
  26. Family life will sometimes be your greatest struggle but it will always be your greatest source of love.
  27. In your late 20’s you will become a Buddhist. Who would have thought?
  28. Everything is going exactly the way the Universe intends. Trust in each moment.

So there you have it, 28 lessons in a nutshell. Honestly, I wish I took more time to reflect on these points as I know I am missing some key things. Maybe a lesson in the coming years will be “let go of perfection.”

Thanks for reading!


Happy Birthday to me!






  1. nihaojulia | 11th Jan 17

    Happy Birthday! Thanks for sharing your wise words!

  2. sheetalbravon | 11th Jan 17

    Have an awesome year ahead … happy birthday ! And great list 😊

  3. ladybug165 | 11th Jan 17

    Happy Birthday ! Thanks for sharing !😊🍰

  4. Max Joles | 11th Jan 17

    Agree whole heartedly with the point about experiences over things. Also, as an introvert, I appreciate the point about embracing being an introvert. Good read, thanks!

    • StephJ | 11th Jan 17

      thank you! I am glad you enjoyed 🙂

  5. nectar1269 | 11th Jan 17

    Happy birthday!

  6. dharris21blog | 11th Jan 17

    Happy Birthday. Another good piece. Never get tired of receiving words of wisdom.

  7. Tabi Bee | 11th Jan 17

    Happy Birthday!! This was a lovely post <3 😉


  8. Elizabeth | 11th Jan 17

    Happy Birthday, Steph! You’ve learned a lot in your 28 years and there are so many more amazing things awaiting you!

  9. inkowlme | 11th Jan 17

    Happy Birthday! What awesome lessons you have listed. I’ve experienced many of them too. You and your blog are wonderful, keep it up!

    • StephJ | 12th Jan 17

      Thank you very much for your kind words! That is very motivating to me 🙂

  10. Jon | 12th Jan 17

    Happy Birthday Steph!

  11. starringpamela | 12th Jan 17

    Happy birthday! So much of this resonated with me as well! Amazing what you can learn throughout the years! 🙂

  12. Kristin | 12th Jan 17

    Happy birthday Steph! 🍰👑i just realized i have the emojis here after having emoji envy. You’re my first hahaha. My bday is Monday and I’ll be 32. I love your post . I think you had a lovely 28th year and i know 29 will be your best yet. Keep shining girl!

    • StephJ | 12th Jan 17

      Thank you very much 🙂

  13. live_a_life_less_ordinary | 12th Jan 17

    Happy birthday!

  14. Cathleen | 12th Jan 17

    Happy Birthday!!! I love the list – number 17 really resonated with me. It’s so tempting to spell lessons out for others when we think they need them, instead of letting them learn on their own. Especially when you are married, and the other person is your husband. Just kidding. Kind of.

    • StephJ | 12th Jan 17

      haha it is so true! This is kind of a new concept in my life, I can be a little pushy with my knowledge or opinions and even though the intention may be coming from the right place it is not always the best approach. Still a huge work in progress though 🙂

  15. Katrina | 12th Jan 17

    Happy happy belated birthday!

  16. lakeafton | 12th Jan 17

    I loved reading your learnings, some people take a lifetime to discover. They are all true from my perspective of 84 years, except that I’m a confirmed Christian. I believe that having faith is crucial to all.

    • StephJ | 12th Jan 17

      I hope when I am 84 I am still learning and discovering like you are! Thank you for your kind words 🙂

  17. usathroughoureyes | 12th Jan 17

    Happy Birthday. Your birth has allowed us to benefit from your journey so we are praying you have the next 28 to be even greater. We can’t wait to start exploring Canada in greater depth. We just met some folks while we were traveling through Florida who live in Toronto. You never know where you will meet new friends.

    • StephJ | 12th Jan 17

      Thank you very much! Be sure to visit St. John’s the oldest city in North America if you ever do end up visiting Canada. You will love it, so quiet and full of culture 🙂 Thank you for reading!

  18. JF | 12th Jan 17

    I am a bit older but I like your lessons. Happy Birthday!

  19. Poetic Drops of Honey | 12th Jan 17

    Happy Birthday!! Many blessings and prosperity to you!

  20. Paul | 12th Jan 17

    Happy belated birthday from a fellow Canadian!

  21. Lisa Gordon | 12th Jan 17

    A very Happy Birthday to you!

  22. randyjw | 13th Jan 17

    Hi. Happy Birthday!

  23. amateurxblogger | 13th Jan 17

    It blogs are❤

  24. Nícia | 13th Jan 17

    happy belated birthday, steph! those are great lessons, there are many important points that you can develop further in future posts. 😉 thank you for sharing. <3

    • StephJ | 13th Jan 17

      That is very true, I didn’t think about that. Thanks, have a great day!

  25. S.T.M. Civil | 13th Jan 17

    Have a wonderful day. And remember, the first hundred years are the toughest. But I bet you knew that already. And a wise post.


  26. The Rock Vandal | 14th Jan 17

    Happy Birthday and great lessons. Ill probably have to learn many of them myself this year, and then again next year!

    • StephJ | 16th Jan 17

      Yes it is a continual learning experience for sure!

  27. Better side of life | 17th Jan 17

    Great post!

  28. kmeverett81 | 22nd Jan 17

    Happy Birthday !!

  29. Everything EmmZeeBee Blog | 19th Feb 17

    I enjoyed reading, thank you. Everything is so true!

  30. Traci York | 19th Feb 17

    Belated happy birthday!

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