22 Things I’ve Learned This Past Year


My 22nd birthday was yesterday, and it was such a lovely day spent with my favorite people in one of my favorite places. This past year has been a beautiful, crazy one filled with lots of change, both good and bad, as well as growing as a person and learning lots of new things. Last year for my 21st birthday I did a post on 21 things I’ve learned in 21 years. Since this past year has taught me so much, I decided I would share 22 things I’ve learned this past year!


1 Life is fragile. One day someone is there and then the next they’re not. But you shouldn’t let that scare you. Let it motivate you to live each day to the fullest, to tell people how you really feel about them, and when you wake up the next day to realize how lucky you are to be here.

2 Everything comes in flows. Good and bad, happy and sad. Just accept the emotion you are feeling and ride the waves.

3 Anything is possible in life if you just have faith and confidence in yourself.

4 You hold all the power. This is an amazing thing once you come to this conclusion. It’s up to you to live the life you want. Everything else is just excuses.

5 No one has any idea what they’re doing. The older I get the more I realize how true this is. So don’t be afraid to make mistakes. We are all learning as we go, and things are hard for some and easier for others.

6 You need to make it a priority to be kind to yourself and your brain. The thoughts you think have the power to shape your whole life. As cheesy and oversaid as it might be, thinking positively will change your life for the better. You might not be able to control the situation, but you can control how you react to it.

7 Life really is all about how you view it. I’ve seen so many times over this past year where 2 people are viewing the same life event and are seeing 2 completely different movies. Let yourself watch the good one with a positive ending.

8 Everyone always says that happiness is the key to living the best life, and it is. But you need happiness and to be content. No human is ever happy all the time. But they can always be content. Find peace in where you are in life. Don’t let it hold you back from changing your life, but still be content in every step of the journey.

9 What others think of you shouldn’t and doesn’t matter. It’s a hard mindset to get to, and one I still struggle with. But the opinions of those who don’t know you don’t matter. All that matters is you like the person you are.

10 No matter how kind you are, there will always be angry, rude people in the word. Don’t let their negativity bring you down to their level. But know when you need to fight back.

11 Life is hard. But it’s also completely and utterly magnificent and beautiful. Somehow we are all living on this planet spinning in space with the beauty of nature around us. When life is getting hard, remember how unbelievably amazing it is that we are all here.

12 The people you surround yourself with really do matter. You feed off of other people’s energy, so choose wisely about who you spend your time with.

13 Making it a priority to try new things is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Whether that’s exploring a new place near you, taking on a new hobby, or just trying a new recipe. Your comfort zone is great, but so is stepping out of it.

14 You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing. It takes more courage to carve your own path in life, but if that’s what you want then it will be worth it.

15 Hold on to that childlike spark and wonder. It makes life so much more enjoyable.

16 Never feel guilty about taking a day off from being on social media. When we’re all in our 80’s and 90’s, I somehow doubt we’ll be thinking about all the days we spent on social media.

17 It’s important to remember that people will have different opinions and beliefs than you. Never assume what someone believes. Be open to new ideas and opinions and be open to having what you believe challenged.

18 The hardest part is always starting. Do it anyway.

19 Try to always give your full attention to someone when they are talking. Put down your phone, turn off any distractions, and focus on them. You’ll probably learn something and it makes the conversation more meaningful.

20 You can’t give 100% of yourself to more than one thing at a time. As much as I wish this was possible, it simply isn’t. Try to limit how many times you’re multitasking (it’s harder than you would think), and focus on one thing at a time.

21 Something is never a waste of time if you enjoyed it or learned from it.

22 At the end of the day, it will always be you. So be kind to yourself, love yourself.

And those are 22 things I’ve learned this past year! I cannot wait to see what 22 has in store for me, and I hope you’ll stay along for many more blog posts to come!

What’s one thing you’ve learned this year?


44 responses to “22 Things I’ve Learned This Past Year”

  1. Simone says:

    Happy belated Birthday Kara! You’ve learned so many things within one year and it was interesting to read. I can only agree on all your points, love yourself, accept who you are and make the best out of it is very important.

    xx Simone
    Little Glittery Box

  2. Happy belated birthday! I hope you had a good one 🙂 #4 really resonated with me. It’s something that I have been reminding myself of and trying to put it into practice. I always enjoy you reading your posts and these pictures came out amazing!

    -PerlaGiselle |

    Say hello and let’s follow each other <3

    • Kara Callahan says:

      Thank you so much, Perla! I had a really good one. That’s great that you are putting that into practice. I’ll be sure to say hello on Instagram soon! xx

  3. Patricia says:

    You are very smart and very wise for your age! Some of these things I’m still struggling to learn. #9 and #12 are two big lessons I learned in the last few years and they have made a huge difference in my life.

    • Kara Callahan says:

      Aw thank you, Patricia! That’s good that they’ve made a big difference in your life. I hope you have a wonderful rest of the year x

  4. Mica says:

    What a cute dress! Perfect for autumn and great with ankle boots. Happy belated birthday! This style of post is a great way to celebrate and look back! 🙂

    Hope that you are having a good week 🙂

    Away From The Blue Blog

  5. Allie Mackin says:

    Very insightful post. You are mindful and this is nice in this day and age. And yes taking a day off social media is good thing to do on a regular basis. And loe these photos!

    Allie of

  6. Janet says:

    I totally agree with these 100% Kara! Absolutely a great post, so well written. I wish I was this insightful when I was 22, I am still not this wise now! Hold these values dear to you and you will be happy and content with life. These photos are so lovely, I love forests, so happy for you that had a lovely birthday xx

    • Kara Callahan says:

      Aw thank you so much, Janet! Your sweet words really mean a lot. I hope you have a wonderful weekend! x

  7. Love this inspirational post! Being kind to yourself is so important. I adore this dress!

  8. Quinn says:

    Happy belated birthday, Kara! I love birthdays 🙂 You sure are wise at 22. All of these points are so important! They will truly take you through the rest of your life. PS: It’s so true no one knows what they’re doing 😉 We all keep trying everyday anyway!


  9. Amber says:

    Great read girl!! Thank you for sharing, so inspirational!!


  10. Vanessa says:

    Great post and HAPPY 22nd BIRTHDAY!
    Have a wonderful weekend, love!
    xoxo, Vanessa

  11. its true, no one has any idea what they are doing and we all just try to make it. its so important to not get overwhelmed with everything sometimes.

  12. Kathrin says:

    Happy birthday! I hope you have an amazing year.

    Your post was beautiful. These are all such wonderful and inspiring lessons and there are so many takeaways from the post. I love being reminded of all these since most of them, I’m still in the process of learning. Thank you for sharing.

    Kathrin | Polar Bear Style

    • Kara Callahan says:

      Thank you so much, Kathrin! I’m glad these could be inspiring. We’re all in the process of learning, which is the beautiful thing about life.

  13. Jessica says:

    This is super lovely read dear, and I couldn’t agree more, especially on numbers 3 and 4. Indeed, you are the master of your own fate.

    Jessica |

  14. Radi says:

    You’re very mature by the things you have learned only at 22 years old.
    One thing I learned is to be present and let everything flow.

    • Kara Callahan says:

      Aw thank you, Radi! That’s a really great lesson to have learned. Being present is very important x

  15. About #1 I was talking a couple of days ago with my boyfriend and It`s so true.. Unfortunetly people come and go… Lovely photos ♥

  16. Happy belated birthday Kara, loving your red dress!


  17. Jenifer says:

    This is such a interesting and impressive post. You are so wise and the fact that you approach life like this means that your possibilities are limitless.

    xx Jenifer

  18. Susie says:

    I really really love this post!! I totally agree realising life comes in flows of good and bad is a huge thing! And also life is really how you view it YES – I completely agree 🙂

    Happy Birthday lovely, hope it was great xx

  19. Lily says:

    Love this, so inspirational! The photos are incredible!

    Lily Loves |

  20. E says:

    I wished Happy Birthday to you but I wish it again. You are an awesome person, Kara, with a big heart! I hope to read your 23, 24, 25… 30 things you will learn thought your blog because you are doing a great job.

    • Kara Callahan says:

      Aw, E you are seriously the sweetest! Thank you so much for your love and support over the years! x

  21. Nora Gouma says:

    Love your amazing post, love your beautiful pictures as well. You look stunning, thank you for sharing.


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