21 things I've learned in 21 years...

1. Be able to laugh at yourself. And just laugh.

2. Smile, a lot.

3. Avoid empty promises. Commit to what you speak.

4. Nothing good happens after 2 am [wise words from Dad]

5. Being alone doesn't mean you're lonely.

6. Not a lot of things matter. Focus on the things that do. 

7. All you have to do is live and die. [words from my high school english teacher]

8. Make time for people.

9. Call home. Call a lot. Facetime, skype, or speak on the phone. Don't simply text.

10. Eating a full pint of ice cream is perfectly acceptable as long as it doesn't happen on a weekly basis. It's all about moderation.

11. Hard work actually pays off.

12. Really, really good things take time.

13. Be grateful for where you are, what you have, and so much more.

14. It all works out.

15. Do you. Do what you want and not because someone told you to.

16. Education is a powerful, powerful tool, especially for women. Don't take it for granted.

17. TRAVEL. Travel as much as you possibly can. You learn about the world around you, but even more about yourself.

18. The people who really matter will stay.

19. Failure is essential to life. It builds character.

20. No one really knows what they're doing. We're all just trying to figure it out.

21. There's so much more to learn.

Cake picture via Kinfolk.