22 Lessons in 22 Years

Yesterday, I celebrated my 22nd birthday. I’ve been a part of this world for twenty two years. In my 21st year of life, I got married to the man of my dreams, graduated college and landed my dream job. I’m not even sure how 22 is supposed to compete with that!! For my birthday, Adam woke me up with a brand new Apple Watch (I’ve basically been begging for one for months). AKA #myhero, I went to work (but I wasn’t even mad), I went to lunch with Adam and later we went to Red Lobster for dinner.  It was a full and beautiful birthday. I am beyond blessed. I have collected 22 Lessons in 22 Years in the hopes that they will help you along too.


22 Lessons in 22 Years

LESSON 1: SMILE MORE.

One thing I’ve learned in the last 22 years is that we could all stand to smile a little more. I have a SERIOUS case of RBF, so I tend to give smiles to strangers few and far between. This last year, I’ve been focusing on smiling to people more. I tried to live by the idea that I have no idea what people are going through, and maybe what helps them get through the day is your smile and “have a nice day” at the checkout counter.

22 Lessons in 22 Years
1995 — baby Tay

LESSON 2: LESS IS MORE.

This is true for a lot of things. In particular, I’m talking about the amount of time you spend looking at a screen (I say this as I’m working on the computer with my family around — it’s a work in progress). Life is better when you actually look at it. If that means I miss a few “instagram” worthy pictures, I guess so be it. 

LESSON 3: QUALITY OVER QUANTITY.

This can go for a lot of things, but mainly friends. I don’t have too many close friends but the ones I do? Absolutely amazing and beautiful people. I count myself extremely lucky.

22 Lessons in 22 Years
1996 — toddler Tay

LESSON 4: STOP BEING A TO C.

My husband lovingly calls me “AC” because I tend to skip over “B”. I go from one thing to the next without noticing what is in the middle. I’m learning to take time to smell the roses and notice the things in between. Like the chair I constantly run into while trying to get from one side of the room to the other. 

LESSON 5: WHEN IN DOUBT, EAT THE CAKE POP.

Or, idk. The whole cake. Life is too short to skip on the things you like. 

22 Lessons in 22 Years
2000 — about-to-get-my-tonsils out Tay

LESSON 6: BE MORE KIND THAN NECESSARY.

I see a lot of nasty Facebook posts and comments all the time. It hurts my heart. I thought a lot about this one. I decided that as long as I am around, I will be more kind than I need to be. Offer more grace than I need to. Forgive more than I need to. If everyone did that, the world would be a better place.

LESSON 7: READ A GOOD BOOK EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE.

I just finished reading my first book for fun for over a year. My crazy school schedule really had me run ragged, and I barely had any downtime between school work and blogging. Right after I graduated, I started a new book and it felt incredibly relaxing to just read for pleasure.

22 Lessons in 22 Years
2003ish — killer easter hat Tay

LESSON 8: YOU ONLY GET ONE FAMILY.

They are your only family. Even when they drive you insane. Even when they push every button you have. They’re yours. Forever.

LESSON 9: DON’T COMPLAIN ABOUT WHAT YOU CAN’T CHANGE.

I’ve been working on this. Sometimes I get a little bit whiny about things I don’t like. My husband finally opened my eyes — it doesn’t make sense to complain and complain about things you don’t have control over. Either find a way to fix it or move on. 

22 Lessons in 22 Years
2005ish — typical Tay

LESSON 10: EAT A CARROT EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE.

But really, just take care of your body. If you are going to eat that whole cake, at least go jogging afterward. Don’t treat your body like a trashcan. 

LESSON 11: BE CONSTANTLY CURIOUS.

Ask questions. Always. Don’t accept things as they are if you think they can be changed. Don’t blindly follow the crowd. 

22 Lessons in 22 Years
2007ish — silver-medal-science-fair-winner Tay

LESSON 12: BE CONFIDENT.

If theres one thing I’ve learned in the last 22 years, it’s that you need to ALWAYS be confident. Forget what anyone else says. You do you. Wear blue lipstick. Chop off all your hair. Rock those overalls. Go in and GRAB the dream job. Take that A+ in your class. YOU GOT THIS GIRL. Be the #girlboss you wanted to be when you grew up.

LESSON 13: FAMILY DOESN’T ALWAYS MEAN BLOOD.

Sometimes your family is the person who’s stuck by you for the last 7 years unconditionally. Family is more than blood.

22 Lessons in 22 Years
2008ish — pumpkin carving master Tay

LESSON 14: DON’T CONFORM.

Just because someone tells you what they think you should do, doesn’t mean you have to do it. Many teachers told me I should switch my major, find a job that would be less strenuous and prepare to be a mom. While I am excited about being a mom one day, I am thoroughly enjoying this time in my life. I plan on doing what is right FOR ME and my husband before what’s right for anyone else.

LESSON 15: TRAVEL.

This is something I plan on doing more. I didn’t leave the country for the first time until I went to Mexico on my honeymoon. I would love to see more of the world while we are still young and newly married.

22 Lessons in 22 Years
2009 — first high school dance Tay

LESSON 16: STOP TRYING TO PLEASE EVERYONE.

It can’t be done. Do what you feel comfortable doing and roll with it. Let everyone else feel as they may. Does it make YOU happy? As long as it isn’t hurting anyone, don’t worry about it.

LESSON 17: CALL YOUR MOTHER.

Right now. Pick up the phone. Tell her you love her and apologize for years of teenage angst. She does actually know best. 

22 Lessons in 22 Years
2010 — epitome of my style in HS Tay

LESSON 18: STOP FORCING RELATIONSHIPS.

When I finally stopped. Stopped trying to make something fit that CLEARLY isn’t. When I met my husband, there were no games. No trying to be something we weren’t. It was a perfect match.

LESSON 19: MARRY YOUR BEST FRIEND.

And while we are on relationships…do this. If you do nothing else. Marry the person you love the most in the entire world. Marry your best friend. A and I talk and laugh and everything we do is magic. I had no idea love like this existed before him. I won’t get too sappy here — but everyone has potential for love like this. DON’T SETTLE.

22 Lessons in 22 Years
2012 — senior picture Tay

LESSON 20: LEARN ABOUT THE WORLD.

Don’t keep your face buried in your own culture. Learn about everyone else. The world is a colorful, loud and beautiful place. Learn all about it. It will teach you tolerance and love and acceptance.

LESSON 21: DON’T CHASE PEOPLE.

If there isn’t mutual effort to keep a relationship alive, ditch it. That is a two way street.

22 Lessons in 22 Years
2016 — almost current space bun Tay

LESSON 22: IT’S OK TO BE A LITTLE BIT SELFISH.

This is the last one because I think it is really important. It’s good to put other first sometimes, but mental health is important and that means taking care of you first. You can’t take care of everyone else if you are falling apart. Go get that once a month manicure girl, you deserve it.


There you have it, kids. 22 Lessons in 22 Years. The moral of the story is, do your own thing, be nice to everyone and take time for you. Life is too short to be unhappy.

22 Lessons in 22 Years

Have a perfect Friday, friends. Happy Weekending!

About The Author

Taylor Mobley

44 COMMENTS

  1. Jenn Schmidt | 20th Jan 17

    Happy Birthday! You have learned some amazing lessons along the way!
    -Jenn
    joyfuliowan.com

  2. Anna Mobley | 20th Jan 17

    Well said! I love the growing Tay pictures!!

  3. Lily | 20th Jan 17

    Perfectly said, Taylor! Love that you shared baby pics!
    xo, Lily
    Beauty With Lily

  4. Jasmine | 20th Jan 17

    Love seeing baby photos. You’re so cute. So many great lessons we all learn as we get older. I’ve learned many for sure.

  5. Amber | 20th Jan 17

    Happy belated birthday! These are great lessons. You were such a cute kid! Loove.

    Xoxo Amber

  6. Erica @ Coming Up Roses | 20th Jan 17

    HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABE. I could not love these lessons more. Also I’m with ya on being AC. And relationships being two ways…SUCH a hard lesson when learned the hard way, but an ever important one to really live a rich, fulfilling, happy life. I’m with ya, girlfriend!

    Coming Up Roses

    • Taylor Mobley | 20th Jan 17

      Thanks Erica! You are such an amazing example to me!

  7. Courtney Bentley | 20th Jan 17

    AH Taylor HAPPY BIRTHDAY! What a beautiful post, seriously my eyes teared up a bit! You have grown so much and I love seeing all these photos of you growing up! Lessons you have learned I personally did not learn until a bit later into my life so you go girl! Always explore 🙂

    Courtney Bentley || http://www.courtneyvioletbentley.com

    • Taylor Mobley | 20th Jan 17

      Yes!! Thank you SO much Court!! It’s friends like you that make me feel so happy that I’m surrounded by incredible #girlbosses!

  8. Erin | A Welder's Wife | 20th Jan 17

    Happy Birthday! These lessons are very important, and to learn them at such a young age is invaluable! Some of these I wish I would have learned at 22, such as less is more.

  9. Tiffany Brown | 20th Jan 17

    So beautiful! Happy Birthday! These are all great lessons to live by! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  10. claudia | 20th Jan 17

    Happy Birthday!!!! I love this post, so creative.

    xo
    Claudia
    http://www.claudiaglamone.com

  11. Belle | 20th Jan 17

    These are great lessons! I agree that you only have one family so you have to treasure it.

    Belle | One Awesome Momma

  12. Jae x SCATTERBRAIN | 20th Jan 17

    Belated happy birthday! Has it ever occurred to you that you’ve always been beautiful since birth? Your baby photos are so cute and I see that you’ve grown up to be an even beautiful person. 🙂

  13. Mariah | 20th Jan 17

    Such a great post! Love that you looked back at what we should all learn through life.

    http://moosmusing.com

  14. Neely Moldovan | 20th Jan 17

    So great that you are already focusing on taking care of your body. I was not doing that at 22 haha

  15. Kiara | 20th Jan 17

    Less is more is such a great thing to learn is every capacity! Also love that taking care of your health overall is important too!

  16. Sarah | 20th Jan 17

    Happy Birthday! I just celebrated my 29th on the 15th (and my hubby turned the BIG 3-0 on the same day!). This is a great list and I really wish I was that wise when I was 22! And definitely travel while you’re young and kid-free! My hubby and I found out we were expecting our 1st baby on our 1st anniversary. And then we kinda just kept having babies, lol. So now, 2 wild heathen boys and a girly baby bump (27 weeks tomorrow!) and we still have that yearning to travel. We don’t regret the way things turned out, but we do wish we had had more time to experience life (especially with it being just the 2 of us) before our munchkins came along.

  17. Jenny | 20th Jan 17

    This post was super cute! So many awesome life lessons. I did my 24 in 24 last year and it was such a fun post to write.

  18. Alexis @FITnancials | 20th Jan 17

    Quality over quantity is such an important lesson. I’ve learned that over the years when buying clothes!

  19. Amy | 20th Jan 17

    Awe, I love this post! You have such great tips, and I LOVED seeing the pictures of you growing up! Hope your bday was amazing!

    xoxo,
    Amy

    http://www.styleandsequins.com

  20. Mayra | 20th Jan 17

    Thoroughly enjoyed reading your post! I loved all the childhood photos too!

  21. Rebecca Hicks | 20th Jan 17

    Loved this post Tay! Your blog is so much fun to read and I love that we’re close in age. I turn 24 in April (wow that feels old). Seeing how much you’ve done and learnt in 22 years is inspiring! Can’t wait to keep up with you in this new year of life. <3

    • Taylor Mobley | 21st Jan 17

      I love this Rebecca! I am so glad you loved it! 🙂

  22. Adrienne Carter | 20th Jan 17

    Love this! Always be kinder than necessary! Also, your pics are so cute!

  23. Isaly Holland | 20th Jan 17

    Happy birthday! I love the lessons that you presented because as we get wiser we need to always remember that everything is temporary and you have to be happy with your life.

  24. Greta | 20th Jan 17

    Happy belated birthday pretty girl. Sounds like ayou had a great day.

    Greta | http://www.gretahollar.com

  25. Beth | 21st Jan 17

    Happy Belated Birthday! You’ve learned a lot of great sage lessons in life in your twenty-two years. I really enjoyed this post!

    Beth || http://www.TheStyleBouquet.com

  26. Kelsey | 21st Jan 17

    Happy Birthday!! Great post! You’ve learned some really important things early on!! You also made me feel old haha I’ll be 28 at the end of the month!

  27. Rachel Ritlop | 21st Jan 17

    Happy birthday! and great lessons! I love the point about not forcing relationships. 22 was the year that I really started to embrace that! I started to let go of friends and even family members that weren’t giving me anything in return or were harming me. You are wise beyond your years!

  28. Emily | 21st Jan 17

    Beautiful lessons! My favorite was “eat the cake pop.” Life is too short not to! Happy Birthday!

  29. Nicole Leffew | 21st Jan 17

    Aw happy birthday Taylor! I love these. I married my best friend and it is ok to be selfish! I want to travel more. Love!

  30. Debbie Savage | 21st Jan 17

    Happy Birthday to you beautiful! Congratulations on all of your milestones and accomplishments!
    xo Debbie | http://www.tothineownstylebetrue.com

  31. Erica Nicole | 21st Jan 17

    Happy belated birthday! This is the cutest little post!

  32. Lexi | 24th Jan 17

    These lessons are perfect! 17 is my favorite! I had horrible teenage angst and was not the nicest to my mother. Now I talk to her 5 times a day and don’t know where I’d be without her. Hope you had a wonderful birthday!

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