23 Things I’ve Learned by Age 23

Oh hi there! Damn, I apologize for being absent yet again. I’ve just been going through a lot of things these past few weeks. Between celebrating my boyfriend’s birthday (happy 24 to him), getting sick and trying to survive, turning another year older myself (hello 23, on May 30th in case you were wondering), celebrating my 6th anniversary (has it really been that long?!) and welcoming my family to NYC as they visited from Taiwan, I’d say I had a lot of things going on.

I can’t wait to share with you what I’ve learned. 

23 Things I've Learned By Age 23

I’ve been meaning to write 23 lessons learned by age 23, since it’s only fitting. Unfortunately, as you may have noticed, life got in the way. Better late than never, huh?

In no particular order:

  • Love yourself. Know your self-worth. Put yourself first and the rest will fall into place.
  • Do what you love and never think twice.
  • Stop focusing on what you lack and focus on what you have.
  • Unplug. Breathe. Don’t apologize. The world stops for no one so why shouldn’t you enjoy freedom?

23 Things I've Learned By Age 23

  • Let go of grudges. It’s not worth the precious time you have.
  • You are your own problem and your own enemy. Don’t let yourself stand in your own way.
  • Things change and people leave. Don’t stress about things that you have no control over.
  • Relationships are a two way street. You get what you give, but you should also realize when you’re the only one holding the weight – that is unacceptable. Cut off the deadweight and the baggage. They’re only holding you back. Once you let go, you’ll feel much better.

23 Things I've Learned at Age 23

  • Appreciate the small things, because they make the biggest difference. Little details matter.
  • Plans are good. Heck, I love a good concrete plan, but don’t fall apart when things fall off course. Keep trekking. Sometimes the best things occur when you don’t plan them to.
  • Travel more. You see more, learn more, and open your mind to everything in a new light. Expand your horizons, mark places off your bucket list, explore, and just grow.
  • Be direct. Eliminate the miscommunications and misunderstandings by being straight forward, but also be kind. Everyone has a story and no one is a mind reader. Stop the run around and get straight to the chase. Relationships build and mend much faster.

23 things ive learned at age 23

  • Pave your own way and find yourself. We live in a society were conformity is encouraged. There’s no reason you should mold yourself to fit a new trend or another person’s expectations. Be you.
  • Dream, but take action. You can wish for something to happen, but it never will if you don’t put the work in. Hard work pays off, trust me.
  • Never be scared of rejection. The worst that can happen is they tell you no. Go for it, full force. At least you tried.
  • Invest in yourself. Always.

23 things i've learned at age 23

  • Confidence is key. When you look good, you feel good. When you believe in yourself, you’ll turn heads.
  • Letting emotions surface is not a bad thing. You are human. We make mistakes, we cry, we scream, we break things. We also get back up, we smile, we create memories, and we live.
  • People watch. You get a better idea of life in motion, see glimpses of other’s stories, witness key moments, and just appreciate the present.
  • Start and end each day with a note of gratitude. It can be anything as big as a life milestone or as small as appreciating the opportunity to breathe another breath.

23 things i've learned at age 23

  • Life has a funny way of working and I believe everything happens for a reason. It may suck at times, but just go with it. Light exists because of the dark. If you hit rock bottom, the only thing left is up. Things will always get better and you’ll always find a way to work it out.
  • Spend less time on your phone and more time living. Appreciate life as time passes quicker than you’d like. Every day, we get a bit older. Take pictures, capture videos, store memories and tell stories. Instead of seeking for the meaning of life, go out there, live, and give life meaning.
  • Family is everything. It’s more than blood. Family is taking the shirt off your back because they’re in need. It’s giving your 500% into anything and everything to protect and care for them. Traveling around the world just to see them. Pushing yourself to learn the language just to communicate with them. Crying your eyes out when it’s time to say goodbye, even though you know it’ll only be temporary. I love my family and would give everything for them. They are my heart. They are my air. I would be nothing without them and I am so, so thankful.

with love jenn hanft

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  • Jessie
    June 15, 2017

    First of all, girl you are so young! Thanks for sharing such a great post!! There are so much I can learn from your post!!! I should totally love myself more, instead of pushing myself so hard, I should give myself time to unplug and enjoy myself, which I really need to work on it. I struggle to fit everything I need to do in my daily life, and I get stressed out sometimes because I can’t tick off the items from my to do list. I think I should just go MIA and take a break to recharge myself =P

    xx, Jessie

  • Mariann Yip
    June 15, 2017

    Happy belated birthday!!! I did a similar post and we definitely shared some of the same lessons. The most important one is definirelt to love yourself and I’m so happy you are coming in terms to who you are 🙂

  • Jo
    June 15, 2017

    Happy belated birthday, Jenn! I hope you had a wonderful bday celebration! All of those are definitely important life lessons to learn. Also you look absolutely gorgeous in these photos 🙂

    xo, Jo

  • Bernice
    June 15, 2017

    I love reading these kinds of posts to learn what you’ve learned in your life. Self evaluation is important to proactively change in the right direction and it’s good to learn the lessons from others as well 🙂


    June 15, 2017

    First of all, happy 23rd birthday! You are honestly very wise. I don’t think I was that mature at your age to be honest. Haha. Thank you for always sharing such wisdom and I’m so excited to see what’s to come for you.


  • Gracie
    June 16, 2017

    Happy Happy Birthday. You seem so much older and wiser than your age. Great advise but I think I need to read over and over to grasp some of the key words. Thank you.



  • Deddeh Howard
    June 16, 2017

    You are so young and wise, thanks for sharing what you learned. You’re so on the right path.

  • Sharon Wu
    June 16, 2017

    happy birthday darling! you’re so young but oh so wise! i need to learn from you haha. thanks for sharing these life reminders that you’ve learned in your 23 years 🙂 xo, sharon


  • Christine Kong
    June 16, 2017

    Happiest birthday to you! I’ll have to say that you are wise beyond your short 23 years. All those things that you have learned in your short time here are things that even some 30 year olds haven’t learned or mastered. They are all wonderful tips that we can use and practice everyday to live a happier life. I hope you had the best time celebrating your amazing self. xoxo, Christine

  • Stephanie
    June 16, 2017

    I couldn’t love this post any more than I do right now. You are a constant inspiration to me, friend, and I’m so grateful that blogging brought us together! I really hope I get to meet you in person one day (it’ll happen). Happy belated birthday to you (though I don’t think I missed it on Twitter or IG or something haha). Love you bunches!

  • Samantha Mariko
    June 17, 2017

    Happy belated birthday! Every single bullet point rang a bell within me, because they are all things I realized in the past couple of months. I think for me it all got better after I let go of a certain someone and made much more time for myself and for my career. And you are still so young! (I might have mentioned this on Instagram haha) and already you had achieved so much and are mature enough to share these thoughts. Brava! I applaud you for it 🙂

  • Candace
    June 18, 2017

    You’re always missed when you disappear from the blog! I hope you and the boyfriend both had an amazing birthday. I personally need to learn to spend more time away from technology. It’s a weakness that has taken over so much of my life and I have to find a balance!


  • auna
    June 19, 2017

    Happy belated birthday! You are so intuitive for such a young soul. Thanks so much for sharing!

    xx Auna | http://simplyauna.com

  • Jenelle
    June 21, 2017

    Some of these lessons are probably things that I really needed to hear. I mean, we forget sometimes when we get caught up in whatever is going on that, like you say, everything happens for a reason. Some very important lessons and thoughts in there.
    xx Jenelle

  • Jordan Chapman
    June 25, 2017

    I’ve got a few years before 23, but I’ve got time to work on these! I need to so badly, especially investing in myself and being more direct! I loved all of this and I hope you had a great birthday!!
    Jordan xx

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