28 Lessons from an Exiting 28-Year-Old

As I enter the last year of my 20s, here’s what 2020 taught me.

Abby Cheval

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Photo by Kate Hliznitsova on Unsplash

Tomorrow is my birthday and as I enter the final year of my twenties, I wanted to write a piece that would be cathartic for both of us.

Birthdays are hard enough when you’re looking back on your past self compared to where you currently are, and they’ve been especially tougher these days since we’re all stuck indoors.

But as I reflect on the past year, I realize that in all the bad that the past twelve months have brought me, a lot of good was also hidden within. Like tiny flecks of gold stuck in a lump of coal — I won’t find more even if I keep picking away, but I can still appreciate the little nuggets it will forever hold.

This past year was also extra special to me because it fell on the 28th day of my 28th year, so it was also known as my champagne birthday (also called the 'lucky' or 'golden' birthday since it only happens once).

Apparently, when you reach the age that your birth date is, you’re supposed to experience a lot of changes — and I definitely did.

So as I leave my champagne year behind me, here are twenty-eight lessons from your (soon-to-be not) 28-year-old friend.

Wealth and Health Will Screw You If You’re Careless

  1. Getting rid of as much useless crap you own will not only help you mentally but change your habits. Since throwing/giving away most of my items (clothes, dishware, etc.), I’ve found joy and pride in knowing exactly what I have and what I regularly use — plus, having a clean, emptier apartment makes space feel bigger and more cherished.
  2. Don’t spend money when you’re sad. Avoid Amazon as much as you can. Last summer, I racked up over $4,000 in useless online purchases and it triggered me so much that I had to take a closer look at my emotions until I realized I had depression.
  3. Pay off your credit card debt as much or as fast you can, even in a pandemic. Credit interest is high and it will punish you each month (in Canada, it sits at 19.99%). So be responsible and give yourself peace of mind. Save as much money as you can. And I don’t just mean for emergencies, but…

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Abby Cheval

Millennial, noncommittal romantic, walking the tightrope between hope and depression. Sounds like you too? I’ll write something for both of us.