29 Lessons I've Learned in my 20's | @halliekwilson

29 Things I’ve Learned in my 20’s

About a week ago, I celebrated my birthday. And I have to say, the last year of my twenties is lookin’ mighty fine (I’m 29, guys — nothing to hide).

heart shaped balloons

Leading up to/since then, I’ve had a few holy-shit-I’m-nearly-30 moments, but I’ve gotten over them quickly. After all, 29 (and 30) is still really young.

More importantly, I’ve felt really, truly, genuinely elated. Birthdays, holidays and new calendar months (December, especially) are like turning to a fresh page of bright white paper in your favorite notebook. And there’s something really empowering about the feeling of a fresh start.

I’ve learned a lot in the last 20-some years — both good and bad — and can’t wait for what’s ahead.

So far, I’m healthier, wiser, and endlessly more self-aware of my mind and body. I’m independent in a way I wasn’t in my early 20’s. Suffice it to say, I’ve finally found my rhythm in life… I think.

As a result, we’re celebrating this week.

That’s right. Celebrating!

Tomorrow, I’m launching a series of giveaways featuring an array of my absolute favorite brands. There will be lots of chances for you to win some cool stuff. I’m excited! I hope you are too.

heart-shaped birthday balloons heart balloons urban outfitters

In the meantime, I wanted to dedicate today’s post to 29 things I’ve learned in my 20’s. It’s another long-tail post for today, but I think you’ll enjoy it… Got your coffee ready?

sequined jacket

I could write a book on “If I knew then what I now know,” (and perhaps I’ll do that in the future). Right now, I’m the happiest that I’ve ever been in my life — and the little life lessons here are a huge part of that.

These are not meant to be groundbreaking nuggets of wisdom, but more relatable thoughts and lessons I’ve collected throughout my life so far. (Please feel free to share your favorite quotes, mantras and motivations in the comments below, too!)

sequin blazer jacket

So here they are, in no particular order:


1. Things happen to people at different times in their lives. I’ve spent a lot of time worrying that I don’t have what others do at my age (a husband, a house, babies, etc), but I’ve worked out that I’m living the unique life I’ve been given and that’s the way it’s meant to be. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

2. Trust the timing of your life. Spoiler alert: Your life will not develop as you expect it to, but just remember that you are exactly where you’re supposed to be.

3. Take care of yourself. You have two assets that you can never get back once you’ve lost them: your body and your mind.

outfit ideas for NYEred pumps style

4. Don’t live the same year 20-some times in a row and call it a life.

5. There are seven days in a week. “Someday” is not one of them. Start (or continue) living the life you want to be living — immediately.

6. Do what’s worth your time, not your money. Time is truly our greatest luxury.

7. Taking time to live your life will only inspire your work.


8. Go the extra mile… It’s never crowded.

9. Build your legacy, not just your empire. (When done correctly, this takes time, patience and persistence.)

10. Trust that when the answer is no, there’s a better yes coming down the road.

11. Don’t let success go to your head — and don’t let failure go to your heart. Sometimes it’s a stumble that prevents a fall.

12. Don’t feel bad about saying “no” to the activities, obligations and people that don’t add genuine value to your life.

13. You can have literally anything you want in life, so as long as you set your mind to it. Seriously. But success isn’t built on dreams and ideas. It’s built on action. Work your ass off and hustle like hell, girl.


14. Learn how to be a good listener. Then be a good listener.

15. Show up for your friends. You matter and your presence matters more than you might know.

16. Seek out mentors for all aspects of your life — respect them, ask them questions and learn from them.

gold sequin jacket

17. Life is easier when you learn to accept an apology you never received. Don’t hold grudges — the only person you’re hurting when you do this is yourself. Forgiveness is power.

18. Adult friendships require constant energy, effort and time.

19. When someone shows you who they are, believe them.

20. Family is everything. My parents have been right about pretty much everything, and now I understand why: They’ve done this before.


21. Grief is a faster teacher than joy.

22. Don’t let other people’s opinions define you – positive or negative. Think of it this way: You can be the juiciest apple in the tree, but there will still be people that hate apples. (Fuck those people!)

new years eve outfits

23. The only person you’re destined to become is the person you decide to be.

24. Don’t compare your behind-the-scenes to someone else’s highlight reel. This is easy to do in the age of social media, but as they say — comparison is the thief of joy. (Also, re-read this when you’re done with today’s post.)

25. If it doesn’t serve you, let it go (or be dragged). As hard as letting go can be, know that there’s something better coming — you run the risk of never finding it if you don’t let go of what’s holding you back.

26. Leaving is just a precursor to arriving.

sequin jacket pencil skirt

27. How to cure a hangover (this is important): Eat before going to bed, take vitamins C and B12, and drink lots of water. If that doesn’t work, get your ass up and into the shower. Or go to SoulCycle.

28. Life is too short for bad: music, beer, wine, coffee, food, people.

29. Lastly, my favorite quote: “A bird sitting on a branch is never afraid of it breaking, because her faith is not in the branch, but in her own wings.”


Life is beautiful — and the world isn’t as bad of a place as the news may lead you to believe. So, celebrate it. Even if that means grabbing a handful of foil balloons, throwing on a sequin blazer and stopping traffic for a photo shoot along Park Avenue.

Honk all you want, bitches — I’m sending off my 20’s in happiness and health. (And a killer pair of shoes, obvi.)

birthday party outfit ideas

A huge, virtual hug to each of you that stops by to read my blog every day. I hope today’s post made you think, smile, nod and remember all of the things you’d like to remind yourself on your next birthday.

Here’s to sending off our 20’s in love, laughter, happiness, health, success and significantly fewer hangovers — together. Let’s make this our best year yet!


outfits for NYE


Sequin blazer: BB Dakota (similar here, here and here)
White tee: Madewell lilen t-shirt (on sale — these are the best)
Pencil skirt: Vince Camuto (on sale)
Red pumps: Alice + Olivia (love this version and this version)
Handbag:3.1 Phillip Lim medium Pashli satchel
Ring: BaubleBar crystal mason ring
Lipstick: NARS matte lip pencil in ‘Dragon Girl’
Nail polish: Essie ‘Jump in my Jumpsuit’
Foil balloons: Urban Outfitters

*Click to shop: sequin jackets | red pumps | casual linen shirts
this post (below):

birthday party outfits

Lydia Hudgens Photography

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