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25 Things I Haven’t Figured Out at 25

I’ve seen a lot of posts talking about things the author has learned by a certain age. Life lessons and things like that. But what about all the things that you haven’t figured out yet? There is no timeline on life, no age you should have figured out something or had a certain experience. Everyone experiences life a little differently. Some things you figure things out pretty early on and others you spend your whole life chasing down the answers to.

Here are 25 things I have not learned at 25 (and that’s okay):

1. How to stay on top of laundry 

There’s a reason this is number one. It was the first thing that came to mind when I sat down to make this list. Laundry eludes me. I have so many questions. How does it add up so fast when I’m only doing laundry for one? Why does it always feel like there are more clothes in my laundry bin than I actually own? Do people out there really have a laundry schedule? Did I make this list just to avoid such a hateful chore?

2. What I want to do when I grow up

I want to be so many things. I want to do so many things. I both know exactly what I want to do when I grow up and also have no idea. The thing is, I’m going to do a lot of different things. I’m not going to just have one job (as nice as that would be). I’m not that person. I’m going to have a lot of different jobs and do a lot of other things just for fun and that’s honestly really exciting.

3. What my favourite book is

As both a writer and an avid reader, I am embarrassed to say I don’t have a favourite book. The Holy Grail of books that I hold above all others. It feels taboo to even say that but alas, here I am. My closest answer to this question is White Oleander by Janet Fitch because it definitely had an impact on me. It’s been almost 10 years since I read that book. Would I still love it if I read it again? I have no idea. Do I panic every time I’m asked about my favourite book? Absolutely.

4. How to bake… anything

Baking is kind of a mystery to me. I’m sure I could bake something if I tried but this isn’t a list of 25 things I could figure out, it’s a list of things I haven’t. Baking will have to be something I figure out in the years to come.

5. Where home will end up being

This used to scare me. What do you mean this might not be my home forever? As I’ve gotten older though, I’ve attached myself to the idea of having many homes. My island will always be home but I also want to feel at home with the people and the places I spend a lot of time around. I want home to be something deep within me which can extend to a lot of spaces. Who says we can’t have a lot of homes? How do we take the things we miss from one home and carry them with us everywhere?

6. What my purpose is

I flip back and forth between believing we have a higher purpose in life or not. I think on some level there are things each of us is well suited for and perhaps meant to do. I don’t need to have it figured out at 25. It’ll find me when it’s meant to. I’ll know it when I find it.

7. How people enjoy coffee

How? Why? The same question applies to beer.

8. If I want to have kids

Somedays I do. Somedays I don’t. Somedays I think I could form a deep connection to something else in my life and be perfectly content to not experience motherhood. Sometimes I float somewhere in the middle. And that’s okay.

9. How to deal with the bad days

25 years in and I still haven’t found the perfect cure to a bad day. It’s probably not laying in bed with a box of cookies all day. Or maybe it is. Maybe the best cure is just taking a break from life for a bit and what better way to do that than with Oreos? I haven’t figured out how to avoid bad days yet but I’m not sure I want to. The bad days help you appreciate and make possible all the best days.

10. What my food sensitivities are

I know they’re there. I know I have a couple. Should I find out what they are so I know how to properly make my body feel good with the food I’m putting in it? Probably. Will I continue to live in ignorance of my inevitable sensitivities (I’m looking at you dairy products) until it becomes a larger issue? Also probably.

11. My perfect Starbucks order

I’m getting close with my grande caramel frappuccino. And if I’m being honest, I didn’t really go near Starbucks until this past year. It was an intimidating place for someone who doesn’t drink coffee but yet, here I am. I still think there’s room for improvement though, some small alteration that would set my order over the edge. The hunt continues.

12. How to conquer social anxiety

This is a day to day battle. It’s gotten a lot better over the years but interacting with people on any level is still sometimes a struggle. Not letting that anxiety, that fear prevent me from doing the things I want to do though is what I’m trying to focus on.

13. How to stop procrastinating

Clearly evident in how it took me about three months to finish this post. One thing I will say in defense of procrastination is that it often helps me fully form an idea, organize my thoughts and solve any anticipated problems before starting a task. Procrastinating is not always a bad thing.

14. How to not let doubt creep in

It’s always there. Am I good enough? Does this meet the standard? Will people like me? I’m working on not letting doubt have the loudest voice or the final say. It will always be there but there are other voices (like hope, like courage, like confidence) that all deserve room at the table too.

15. Where to find the perfect pair of leggings

I have a deep love for leggings and I’ve tried a lot of pairs over the years. I’m sure the perfect pair exists, I just haven’t found them yet. Although Lululemon does have something pretty close. It took me a long time to give in to the hype but I can confirm that they are pretty great.

16. How to make new friends

This is a skill I really wish I had learned on the playground. I grew up in a really small town where my friends were the same friends I had in daycare. There was never really a need to make new ones (or a desire to as an introvert) until I hit university and realized it was a skill I was definitely lacking. I have a lot of anxiety when it comes to social interactions (see #12). Challenging myself to get out of my comfort zone and simply talk to new people has helped push back on that a bit. Finding a larger social circle is definitely in my goals for this year.

17. How to turn ideas into realities

I have a lot of ideas. I’ve started a lot of projects and have had ideas for a million more. What I haven’t quite figured out is how to turn all of these beautiful ideas into reality to share them with others. A lot of this comes down to overcoming my need to make everything perfect and I’ve come a long way with that. Not every idea is going to end up becoming something but I want to get better at sharing them in some way.

18. How to travel cheaply within Canada

It’s near impossible, I’ve realized. If you’re reading this and live in a country where it’s relatively inexpensive to travel within your country or to neighboring countries, please do more of that. For me, for you.

19. How to write a good essay

Do you ever have Imposter’s Syndrome for your entire degree? I went to school for English Literature. I wrote a lot of essays but did I ever really learn how to write an essay or was I just simply making it all up as I went along and got lucky?

20. How to speak French

I’m working on it. I’ve gotten pretty good at reading and understanding French in written forms but speaking, writing or listening? That still needs some work.

21. Where I stand with religion

I think this will be one I’ll be exploring and thinking about throughout my life. Do I believe in a higher power? Would I call myself spiritual? Do I align my beliefs and practices with a community or group? I’ll report back when I’ve figured it all out.

22. If I like running

Let’s be clear, I’m not a runner. But sometimes I get the idea to try it again. Lots of people run, maybe it’s something I can do too! The jury is still out on whether I actually like running or if I like the idea of running.

23. What I’ll name my future pets

I’ve given this a lot of thought. Do I go clever or cute? Do I go with an old faithful that’s been overused but still great? Do I use some obscure reference to a movie or a book I like? We shall find out.

24. How to be selfish

I’ve gotten a lot better at keeping my best interests in mind but I still struggle with setting healthy boundaries for myself when it comes to helping loved ones. Putting my own needs first and making sure that I’m in a good place is something I could do more of.

25. Who I am

But then again, I don’t want to have myself figured out. I am full of contradictions and I will always contain multitudes. I will be endlessly exploring and discovering new parts about myself.


  • Reply
    dwight smith
    February 7, 2019 at 4:36 am

    I’m sixty and still, all I have are questions. The only thing I could maybe help you with is the running; that, I figured out. Otherwise, you’re so far ahead of me when I was twenty-five! I love your writings. I hope you never stray from the path you’re on.

  • Reply
    Scot MacDonald
    February 9, 2019 at 4:06 pm

    A beautiful post Kelsey. 25 more reasons why I love you just the way you are.

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