25 years. A quarter of a century. No matter how you say it, it's crazy to think I've been doing my thing for that amount of time. When I think back on all of the things I have accomplished, learned, gotten over, and everything in between, I could think of a million lessons I have experiences and gained wisdom from. But let's be honest, nobody has the time or desire to read through those so I narrowed them down to the best 5 I wish I could scream from the rooftops. If I could have shared these with 15 year old Kylie a decade ago, life sure could have gone a little smoother.
Lesson 1: Kindness is priceless.
To many, kindness is defined by simple manners. While yes, that is important, it is crazy to me how often simply taking interest in someone is considered so rare. Let me provide you with a few examples to really make the picture clear.
I asked a server one time in college about his massive BigTen Championship ring he was wearing (obviously he was an athlete and I genuinely interested in what sport he played). He was so shocked that I asked. We ended up making a few connections on people we knew through his sport and at the end of the dinner, he brought me and my friends some cake. Like how sweet!
One time I was going to the tanning bed and my special 3 month membership was about to end. I was talking to the girl about my options because I didn't want to pay a ton a month to go to the bed a few times (balling on a budget always) and she told me because I was always so kind to her when I come in, she was giving me her friends and family discount.
Kindness and taking genuine interest in people is something that I have found to be such an important life skill. People will never forget how you make them feel, so make them feel valued, loved, and seen when you get to speak to them.
Lesson 2: Take the opportunity.
Especially this past year, I have been tested with having to make some big decisions on some opportunities I have been provided. When it feels right (notice how I didn't say scary), it's worth the risk. Even if that specific opportunity doesn't play out to exactly what you were wanting or expecting, it always seems to set you up for the next thing. Jump in when it feels right with a few butterflies in the mix - that is when you know you are on the right path.
Lesson 3: Trust your instinct.
This one kind of co-exists with the above lesson. I truly believe in trusting your gut and instinct. Anytime I have followed it, it has led me in the right direction. When I have chosen to ignore it, I always wish I had just followed my instinct. You will get those internal pushes to go after something or a pull to get you out of a situation - listen to it.
Lesson 4: Forgive but never forget.
Loyalty is my biggest priority in any relationship or friendship. I will always be loyal so I expect it in return, however I have been tested in this department one too many times in my life. I have had friendships crumble because of shady shit happening behind my back and from those times I have learned that it is okay to forgive the person if it feels right, but never ever forget what happened. I have rekindled friendships with some of those people and I am thankful to have them back in my life in some capacity but I will never trust them the way I did before. This lesson goes for personal life, friendships, and work friendships. I have never regretted holding onto something because it has guarded my feelings from being hurt again.
Lesson 5: Quality over quantity.
I basically narrow this one down to this: I would rather have 4 quarters than 20 nickels. Life is so much more enjoyable when you have a handful of amazing, well rounded, kind, thoughtful, intelligent, and loyal human beings in your corner. To some, having a lot of friends appear like the end goal but I always think if they wouldn't drop everything to help in an emergency (or in any life situation for that matter), then they don't belong in your quarter count.