EPISODE 107: [BIRTHDAY SPECIAL] 28 Things I have Learned in 28 Years


Happy birthday to ME! Every year, I love doing a birthday themed episode and this year, we are doing 28 things I have learned in 28 years. This episode is long and beefy, but she is SO FULL of good life nuggets I know you need to hear. I hope you love these birthday episodes as much as I do! 


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Maddy 0:08 Welcome to the living in sunshine podcast if you don’t know who I am, my name is Maddy. And I am so excited to have you tuning in to our weekly podcast episodes, where we chat all the things from tips and tricks to funny stories from my life that have helped me to truly live in the sunshine. In this space, we are all about encouraging, inspiring and giving you the tough love that you need to hear sometimes to realize that you are totally made for more than what you currently have in life, and that you hold the power to make the changes that you need to level up and live your best self. So buckle up, grab some water, and let’s get into it. Hello, hello, my friends. And welcome back to the living in sunshine podcast. I am so excited to be recording today’s episode, publishing today’s episode and having this episode go live out into the world. And the reason for that is because today is my birthday. This episode is going out on my birthday April 14. I always do a birthday episode year after year. And I love doing them because they’re kind of like mini Time Capsules captured here on the podcast. And I always personally love going back and listening to them. I know that you guys always enjoy hearing them. And I always get really great feedback based off of these birthday episodes. So I’m super pumped about today’s episode, it’s going to be a little bit longer it is 28 things I have learned in 28 years because today is my 28th birthday. There are some things in life that I thought to be expecting to happen this year in my birthday, which are no longer going to be happening. And I just kind of thought that I would be in a different place in life than I am. But I’m really glad to be where I am. But anyway, before I get too far into it, I want to share with you something really, really exciting today, April 14 2023 is the start the kickoff of our first ever, Bessie girl sale. And what this is it is a super fun sale for the sunshine squad community where anyone who signs up between now April 14 When this episode goes live in April 17, Monday at the very end of the day, for an annual membership to the sunshine squad community, which is my online community for women looking to grow and live a joyful life. Anyone who grabs an annual subscription to the membership is going to be able to bring their best friend with them for free. What this means my friends is that you can get your best friend to come with you. You could split the cost of the membership and save $100 on your membership and pay for the full year upfront and not have that reoccurring cost month after month, which I know is a huge thing for so many of you who are interested in the community. But you haven’t yet said yes. So if you haven’t yet jumped in to the sunshine squad because you don’t want to go it alone, you feel like you won’t know anyone in there, or you’re looking to save a bunch of money when you join. Now is the time but don’t wait because the sale ends on Monday, April 17. And I would hate for you to miss the opportunity to bring your best friend with you into quite literally my favorite place to hang out on the internet. And now that you know all about the best of girls sail let’s go ahead and dive into the 28 things I have learned in 28 years. Now there are far more than 28 things but like these were the 28 things that came to my mind. First when I sat down to like write them all out to record for today’s podcast episode. I don’t normally like write a whole script for my show, I used to do that. And now I no longer do. So these are just the things that like came to my mind first when I sat down to write them all out. And we’re just gonna whip right through them. So this podcast isn’t like 400 hours long. Some of them will go into some of them are pretty self explanatory. And I think they’re all going to be really good for you listening to take home a little golden nugget with you and start to kind of marinate and learn and believe these things to in your own life. So thing number one is it is truly okay to do what makes you happy, even if it doesn’t make other people happy. So often I see online and in movies and books and conversations I have with people, people doing things that make other people happy, right? When really the biggest goal in life in my opinion, and my belief is that we need to do what makes us happy. And I think that this is a really big lesson that a lot of people don’t learn early enough. And it’s something that I wish so many people learned sooner. It’s okay to do what makes you happy. Even if it makes your mom or your sister or your neighbor or your boss or your house, your husband, your spouse, your partner, whoever, even if it makes them unhappy, because at the end of the day when you go to bed or you know 4050 3025 years from now when you’re like old and dusty, crusty, old Who are you going to want to be able to say that you made happy, that other person or yourself, I know for me, and this might come off as like super self centered, I don’t care. When I am an old, dusty, crusty old lady sitting on the rocker like telling someone my life story, I want to be able to say that I did things that made me happy, overdoing things that made other people happy. Of course, I want to make the people in my life happy, and I want them to feel joy and fulfilled and celebrated all those things. But when it comes to who I put first, I will always put myself first. And this is a huge lesson that I feel like a lot of people don’t learn either early enough or at all. And I’m so glad to have learned it so early on in life. Number two is that there is nothing more satisfying than a solid morning, sit down. And I’m not gonna elaborate on that one if you know, you know. But there’s just nothing more satisfying than that every single morning. It’s always a great time, I’m not gonna lie, I always feel so much better afterwards. And that’s all I’m going to say on that one. Number three, saving money and financial literacy is something that should be taught in schools starting at a very young age. Coming from a woman who grew up in poverty grew up with very little grew up in a very affluent community. Watching my friends drive things like Land Rovers and Jeep Cherokees and brand new off the lot like Mercedes, I did not understand what true financial literacy and smart money habits were. And this is something that I truly believe, especially as a woman should be taught in schools, for any demographic for any type of community for any kind of person, we need to be teaching our kids at a young age, what it looks like to be smart with money and what financial literacy is to set them up for success in the future as adults, we would have so far fewer debt issues, credit card issues as a society. If we taught this at a young age, and it’s 100%, something I wish I would have learned sooner and not be something that I’m learning now in my mid to late 20s. It’s just a huge thing that I feel like would benefit so much and our society as a whole. If we really committed to this and committed to teaching our kids this at a younger age number four is really straightforward. And to the point, it’s cool to be you, it’s cool to be yourself. And this is something that I wish my younger self would have known. And something that if my younger self saw me now she would be really freaking proud, because I go through my day authentically as myself unfiltered uncensored, which sometimes gets me in trouble. But that’s okay. It’s just it’s so cool to watch other people be themselves so authentically, purely, that I wish more people knew this. And it’s a lesson that I’m really glad that I learned by the time I turned 28. Number five is that having the right people in your life makes all the difference. It really does. If you do not have the right people in your corner, you are not going to get to where you want to go. So be sure that you take the time you put any energy, you make the effort to find those people who want to see you win who want to see you grow. Because having the right people in your corner in your life, it makes all the difference. Number seven, it’s okay to change your mind. You can change what you want, you can change a belief you can change your personality or your identity or whatever. Humans change things change plants, houses, neighborhoods, societies, all of it, we all change. That’s a natural part of life. That’s a natural progress of our personal journeys. And I want you to know that it’s okay to change your mind. It’s okay to change your path. It’s okay to change what you want to do in your life. That is okay. And it’s something that sometimes we need to do in order to live our most joyful selves. Number eight, it is possible to be in a healthy relationship. I grew up in a broken home at my family, my parents got divorced, really, really early on, I actually like don’t know what it’s like to have married parents. My parents were divorced by the time I was three. And for the longest time through middle school and high school, like I was trying to forge a relationship that wasn’t healthy. And when I found my now husband, Lucas, that was something that I really struggled with was knowing what a healthy relationship look like, because I never saw that model for me in real life. And that was a huge growing pain almost that I had to go through was realizing like No, no, like, this is what a healthy relationship looks like. My husband and I have a solid relationship. He is truly my best friend. We communicate so well. We are partners, and we do life together really, really well, which is something that you don’t see very often nowadays. And it’s something that I think stems from not having that modeled for so many of us, I feel like my generation is really the generation of divorced parents. So knowing that it is possible to have a healthy relationship is a really powerful lesson to have learned and something that I’m really grateful to have learned. Lesson number nine doing what everyone else is doing. Does it mean you need to do it too, and this includes any part of life, business, family religion, the way You dress the way you cut your hair, what you see on social media, just because you see other people doing it doesn’t mean that you need to do it too. And it doesn’t mean that you need to feel pressure to conform to what others are doing. It’s okay, like we’ve already talked about to be yourself, and to own who you are, and to stay on your own journey, stay in your own lane, and really live that pathway that feels good for you. Even if it’s not what everyone else is doing. Right now, I’m in a season of life where a lot of my friends are having kids. And you know what, I don’t want kids and I’m very outspoken, I’m dead set in that belief. Because I know that that’s not what I want for myself right now. And I keep reminding myself that it’s okay, like it’s okay that I am getting closer to 30. Not that I think that I’m old, not that I’m alluding to. I’m old. I’m not. But this is like the season of life where a lot of my friends are getting married and having kids. And that’s just not part of my journey. It’s not what I want for my journey. It’s not what Lucas and I want for our journey. And that’s okay. So whatever area of life is applicable to you to where you see people doing a lot of the same things, right, buying the same kinds of clothes, having kids leaving their jobs, starting a business, whatever it is, right? You don’t have to do it just because you see everyone else doing it. Have you ever felt like the people in your life just don’t understand the dream that you have on your heart? Or even the desire that you have to be more joyful or intentional or even just plain happy? Like Life is good enough? Why do you need more? Right? Well, my friend if this is you, I have something special just for you. A sunshine squad community is your go to place for that validation that you’re searching for, to know that you aren’t crazy for wanting more and that you aren’t alone in that desire either. This online community has grown to be filled with amazing joy seekers purpose pursuers, happy hustlers, and dream chasers just like you. In the sunshine squad community, you get continued guidance from me that you need to make your dreams a reality, a community of women who get it and the steps that you need to make your life something that you’re totally obsessed with. If you aren’t ready to say yes to those things, you need to jump into the sunshine squad ASAP. And you can do so right now via the link in the show notes. If you do have questions on what the sunshine squad community is, or if it’s right for you, feel free to send me a DM over on Instagram. I would love to chat with you more about it over there. And my friend, I can’t wait to see you inside of the sunshine squad. Lesson number 10 that I have learned in 28 years is that outsourcing your life is the most underutilized thing in adulthood. Let me explain. My husband and I recently moved in by recently I mean, like within the last three months, moved in to a rental property here in Charleston, South Carolina. And since moving here, we have outsourced so many adult tasks that we just don’t have time to do and don’t want to do that we would rather trade money for time for someone else to do perfect example, our laundry, we do not do laundry mainly because we don’t own a washer and dryer. Since we’re in a rental property, they didn’t come with a washer and dryer didn’t come with the units. And so we’ve had to figure out how we can wash our clothes. Well in 2023. The beauty of technology is there are apps and platforms out there that will literally have people come pick up your laundry and do it, they wash it, dry it, fold it and bring it back to you. And it is incredible, it’s been the best thing that we’ve ever done. It costs us like 40 bucks every two weeks to do both of our laundry. We send our sheets to this person as well. And it’s all through an app. The other thing that we’ve outsourced is doing our lawn like our lawn care, we pay someone to come mow our lawn because our lawn is huge. We also don’t own a lawn mower. And I would just much rather pay someone to come and do these things for me instead of wasting the time and spending the money to do that myself. And I totally recognize and see and want to note the privilege that comes with this. We you know this is this is a financial privilege that we can do. This is a location privilege based thing that we can do, because of where we live and because of having the money to do so. But if you can and when you can outsource those things and your adulthood that you just don’t have time to do it might be hiring a cleaner it might be having a nanny come by once a week to to play with your kids and to take care of your kids because you just need time to yourself. It might be lawn care or laundry or walking your dogs but if you can and where you can, oh my gosh outsourcing those things in adulthood that you just don’t have the mental capacity to do is such a game changer. And just in case you want to check it out. I will link our laundry service down below. I’m 99% sure it is like a national wide thing. But we really like it. It’s kind of like Uber but for laundry But you do kind of have to get past the the fact that like strangers washing your underwear. So if that freaks you out, it’s probably not the best thing for you. But you can also just not send them your underwear and wash your own underwear. So I’ll link it in the show notes in case you are curious about what platform we use. We love it. We’ve used it ever since we moved into this house. And it has seriously been amazing. Lesson number 11. Dogs are the greatest pets you can have, even when they’re annoying and expensive. I love my dogs, I will always have dogs, dogs are the greatest animals out there. And this is just a lesson that I have learned. I’ve had cats, I’ve had guinea pigs. I’ve had lots of types of different pets, dogs, always take the cake. And you can fight me on that lesson number 12. Sometimes you really do need to struggle and get uncomfortable to grow. And this came to my mind because I was really reflecting on our two years in Texas when we were homeowners, we spent so much time and money and energy and emotions on that house. And 2021 was by far the hardest, probably worst year of my entire life. But through that year, I grew so much I gained so much clarity, I gained so much knowledge I gained so much personal awareness through that struggle and through that hardship that I would not have now if I hadn’t experienced that struggle. Now, don’t hear this and think that I’m saying you have to struggle in order to succeed. success can be really easy. But sometimes there are seasons of life where we have to struggle and get uncomfortable in order to learn and grow in new ways that we wouldn’t if we hadn’t struggled and gone through that uncomfortable pneus. Before Does that make sense? Like you can be successful and have success come easy to you. But sometimes there are just lessons that you can only learn when you struggle when you fall down. When things are really hard that you wouldn’t learn otherwise, thing number 13. being bold is better than being meek. I would much rather be outspoken and loud and in your face than quiet and timid and passive. Okay, as a woman that is something that I will say hill I will die on. I would much rather you know what I’m thinking than have you not know what I’m thinking and think that I’m just submissive and have no idea and have no beliefs or anything worth fighting for. So being bold is better than being meek. Number 14 boundaries are important. If you want to gain and protect your mental peace. I do not care what bully you have in your life who’s telling you that you are overdramatic, or bossy or whatever, because you’re setting a boundary with them set the boundary anyway, honor the boundary anyway, commit and stick to it anyway, if you want to gain mental clarity, if you want to have and maintain mental peace, boundaries are going to be the bread and butter to making that happen for you. So do what you can to set those boundaries and also honor those boundaries every single time you need to do so number 15. Asking for help is cool. In 2022. I went to therapy for about three months. And it was really a an enlightening experience. I’m someone who has been to therapy in the past when I was much younger. And it was a really traumatic experience for me, I’m not gonna lie, nothing bad happened. It was just not a good experience because of the situation as to why I was going to therapy. But this time around, it was exactly what I needed. I was really dealing with anxiety, I had insomnia, I wasn’t sleeping, I was having nightmares. It was this whole thing. And I finally got to the point where I was like, I can either continue to live in this space and struggle and be grouchy and stuck or I can swallow my goddamn pride and get over myself and ask for help. And it was that real mental shift that I needed to make to know that it’s okay to ask for help. And going to therapy is cool. Like it’s a very mainstream thing nowadays I feel like to do and I’m so glad that going to therapy and asking for help and talking to someone is becoming mainstream. Like what else can we make mainstream that’s actually going to help us be better people? Number 16 is a doozy and one that I think a lot of people are going to resonate with. And it is finding friends is really freaking difficult as a grown up. I have been wanting to make friends in real life friends for years now. I have friends they just do not live locally to me. And I really feel that constant desire and pull and longing for in person friendship. I am in a really different season of life than other people my age right I’m turning 28 Today’s my 28th birthday as you’re listening to this, and I don’t have kids, I don’t want kids I work for myself. I’m married and that’s just I’m finding a really unique life season to be in right a lot of people my age like I said are having kids or they work in like a corporate setting or a you know a standard work setting. Like it’s really challenging to find friends as a grown up. If you don’t I have like that constant push to be with other people, right? Like, I go to the gym, and then I come home, but I go to the gym at five o’clock in the morning when really no one else is there. And so it’s not really a place to find friends. But it’s just one of those things that finding friends as a grown up is really tough. It’s really hard. And I think the reason for this is because friendship is one of those things that takes work, right when you are married to someone or if you’re in a relationship with someone that’s a different kind of work, right. And there’s that mutual beneficial you know, outcome and result from being in a you know, romantic relationship with someone else. Versus with a friendship, right, there’s a different type of mutual, you know, beneficiary when it comes to friendship, and I just think that, you know, it’s a really difficult thing to find. And it’s a really difficult thing to cultivate. And it’s, it’s a goal of mine in year 28. To find real friends, find those friends who will come over, sit on my dirty couch, because my dog’s made it all dirty. And like, watch the same TV show with me over and over and over, watch a movie or go to dinner or whatever. So I’m putting this out there 20 year 28 Is my year to find friends. But I also recognize that it’s really freaking challenging to have adult friendships. And in the same vein of relationships, number 17 is being close to family makes me really happy. This was something that I didn’t really think that I needed to have. But since moving closer to my mom and my grandpa and my family in general, my aunt doesn’t live too far from us, either. I feel really happy, I feel really good. It feels really nice to be able to see my mom every single week and know that she’s like right down the road in case I need something, it’s really nice to know that I can go and hang out with my cousin if I wanted to. But being close to family makes me happier than I think I thought that it would number 18. Being a business owner is so rewarding, but so freaking hard at the same time. Number 19. Being healthy, looks different on every body. Everybody holds health and shows health in a different way. I think that we really need to honor this. This is another one of those lessons that like my 14 year old self wouldn’t believe or, or wish she would she would have have already learned as someone who has really struggled with eating disorders and body dysmorphia, and just overall loving herself and what her body looks like. This is a huge lesson that I’m really glad to be really stepping into owning and knowing and believing as I go, you know, move older, you know, get older and all those things. But health looks different on every body. And I think that it’s really important that we start to honor that number 20. And this is just a little warning if you have tiny ears, I’m about to say an explicit word. But number 20 Is that standing up for yourself and your beliefs and making your opinion heard doesn’t make you a bitch like you’re not a bitch for showing and telling someone what you think and what you feel. You are someone who owns what she believes and owns how she feels and isn’t afraid to share that with other people. As long as you’re doing it in a way that’s like not attacking another person. You are not a biatch for sharing how you feel and sharing your opinions and making those things known. You are a person standing in their power and letting themselves take up space. And there’s nothing wrong with that number 21 It’s okay to leave something toxic. This could be a job a relationship, a mindset and environment, whatever it is, it’s okay to leave something if it is truly toxic to you. And it’s making you unwell number 22. The best thing that you can do for others is take care of yourself first. Can we all just get on the same page and it’s okay to be selfish, please and thank you number 23 It is okay to not be on your phone 24/7 You guys this is a huge thing for me, I have kicked my phone out of our bedroom, I put my phone away while I am working. I don’t even look at my phone really past 6pm And it is the most liberating feeling. I feel so good having that distance from my phone. Because my phone is such a huge part of my job right? And so having that distance is really important. And this is a lesson that if you are on your phone 24/7 I challenge you to break away from that relationship and watch how good you feel. Number 24 You really can get paid to do what you love. Truly, I do what I love every freaking day and I am in awe of how I have managed to monetize what I love and make a real earning make a real living doing something that I love number 25 the crocs are actually really great footwear. I don’t know if you know but I’m currently dealing with plantar fasciitis and my left foot it is a huge issue right now I think it’s because I’m getting closer to 30 Whatever. Crocs save me I love crocs I will I will you know crocs if you’re hearing this let’s do a collaboration. I love them I Stan I’m all about the croc life number 26 as a big one going against the American Dream is actually really freaking liberating. I’m not gonna lie. We sold our house and how have no intentions of buying a new house because we don’t want to houses are expensive. We hated owning our own house, because it was such a huge mess. We are not having kids, we don’t want them. And that’s okay. That’s a big part of the American dream. And I am not working that standard nine to five, like, you know, get retirement living and work in that same thing for like the, you know, 50 years of your life. And I feel so good. Like, we are, we are told to want this certain type of life growing up. And it’s this American dream. But like, let’s celebrate how liberating it is to not live in that American dream to do what feels good to, to live in a rental or a van to not have kids or have kids to work for yourself, like do whatever makes you happy, right? I am on team, let’s make that the American dream. Instead of trying to turn out the same type of people over and over and over again, number 27. We’re almost at the end here, people are used to listening. Lesson number 27. Money doesn’t equal happiness, but it does equal opportunity. Again, growing up, we grew up very, scarcely we had enough we were taken care of we had food, we had all these things. But there were no extras. And truly growing up, I believe that money equals happiness, because money gave you the opportunity to go and do whatever you wanted. And that’s not necessarily true, you can have a ton of money and not be happy, right? There’s plenty of examples of that out there. But money does equal opportunity, it does mean that you can do the things that you want to do go on a trip or update your house or get, I don’t know new shoes, whatever it might be, right? Money doesn’t equal happiness. But in most cases, it does equal opportunity. And then finally, lesson number 28, you can be excited about what other people are doing, and not want it for yourself. Right? You can be excited that your best friend is having a baby and not want to baby yourself. You can be excited that someone is writing a book and not want to have to write a book yourself. Right. And I think this goes back to one of our previous lessons of you can see other people doing things that are really big and really exciting and not have to do them yourself. Just because we see things bringing joy to others doesn’t mean that we have to want to do that for ourselves, for whatever reason, right? It might not be the right time, it might not be the right season, it might not just be what we want. That’s okay. Right like you should do. What makes you happy, what fills your cup and just live in that and own that and design this life that you are obsessed with? So there you have it. Boy, boy, this is a super long podcast episode. If you’re still here, send me a DM on Instagram. And let me send you something as a thanks because my episodes are never really this long. But there are 28 things that I have learned in 28 years of being on this earth. And I hope that you took something away. Right, I hope that you took away a little nugget of information. And if you did, be sure to share the podcast on your stories, share your biggest takeaways and tag me so I can see. And before we sign off of this bonus episode, let’s go ahead and read our review of the week. This one is from the user new found 618 And they titled it what we all need to hear. This is the perfect way to kick my motivation into gear and it seems like the topics are always relevant to what’s going on in my life. I love it. Thank you so much for your review. If you have not yet left a review for the podcast, please go do that right now. You can just go into Apple podcast scroll down and click write a review. What a beautiful free birthday present you could give to me today, right? Until next week, my friends, I am sending you all the sunshine good vibes. And I hope you make it a great week. That is all I have for you today my dudes and I hope you love today’s episode. If you did, I would seriously appreciate it if you went and left the show a review and rating on whatever platform you’re currently listening on. For every review and rating that you leave it truly helps the show grow and reach more women just like yourself. If you had any major takeaways or aha moments, be sure to take a screenshot of this episode. post it to your social media stories with your biggest takeaways and tag me at living in sunshine so I can share it with my people as well. Again, thank you so much for hanging out with me this week. And until next time, I am sending you all the sunshine good vibes and I hope you make it a great day.