21 things I've learned in my 21 years

21 things I’ve learned in my 21 years

Let me start by saying this is not my typical post. 

Like anyone, getting older comes with a whole lot of self-reflection, regret, pride, fear, and a great big amount of “I wish I knew then, what I know now.”

 1.    Your parents were probably right. 

 Yep. I remember all of those eye rolls I’d give my mom when she said something that I thought was just absolutely insane. Turns out, they were right. About everything. 

So, listen to your parents. They know more than you think.   

2.    There will always be haters. 

The world is filled with people who, no matter what you do or how hard you try, will simply not like you. You are not everyone’s cup of tea and that is okay. 

3.    Surround yourself with people who inspire you. 

“Make a conscious effort to surround yourself, with positive, nourishing and uplifting people — people who believe in you, encourage you to go after your dreams, and applaud your victories.”Jack Canfield

 4.    Experiences over possessions. 

 The older I get, the more this becomes true. Material things have a shelf-life while memories stay with you and only get better and better over time.  

5.    The answer will always be no if you don’t ask. 

Go after the things you want. If you don't go after what you want, you'll never have it. If you don't ask, the answer is always no. If you don't step forward, you're always in the same place.

6.    Be kind.

Always. Treat others the way you want to be treated.  

7.    Never judge a book by its cover. 

You never know what someone else is going through/dealing with. Don’t assume you know anything about anyone. Before you judge them make sure you’ve walked a mile in their shoes. 

8.    Get excited about small things.

The small things are sometimes the big things. So, get excited about any victory. 

9.    Always say I love you.

Even when you’re angry, say I love you. You never know when it could be the last time you get to say it.

10.  Don’t sweat the small stuff. 

Life is too short to worry about the things that aren’t important. 

11.  Always trust God’s plan.

I remember when I thought not winning Miss North Carolina was the end of the world for me. What was I going to do? I had prepared and worked hard to be Miss NC and wasn’t. I was devastated. Little did I know Gods plans for me were so much bigger. Have faith and trust in Him.

12.  Manners are everything.

Good manners never go out of style. Yes ma’am and yes sir will always be in fashion. 

Thank you, mama and daddy, for instilling the importance of good manners in me. 

13.  Bad things happen to good people.

It sucks and it’s not fair. It has taken me a long time to learn that it’s not about WHAT happens to you but HOW you deal with those bumps in the road. 

14.  Always have a forgiving heart. 

The most important lesson I’ve learned over the past year is, don’t let anyone make you cruel. Holding a grudge makes you bitter. No matter how badly you want to give the world a taste of its own medicine, don’t. it’s never worth losing yourself. 

15.  Always have an attitude of gratitude. 

Make it a habit to express thankfulness and appreciation in all aspects of your life. If you concentrate on what you have, you'll always have more.

16.  KARMA is real. 

I watch karma work every day. You get what you give in life people. So be good to others. Period. 

17.  Sometimes it’s just best to keep your mouth SHUT.  

My daddy has always told me “it’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all doubt.” 

I live by this.

 18.  Empowered women empower women. 

Supporting another’s success won’t ever dampen yours. 

This is my favorite lesson to date because STRONG women build each other up, not tear them down. I think when you learn that you truly transform from a “girl” to a woman.

19.  When you know, you know. 

This. One. Is. Everything.  

I have always heard people say, “when you know, you know.” I didn’t understand that until I met Cullen. I knew from the moment I watched him pick the ends off of his fries in Myrtle Beach that he was the one. 

It was in that moment I realized what they meant by when you know, you know. 

20.  Better to be overdressed than underdressed. 

This speaks for itself.  

21.  Spend as much time with your grandparents as you can.

This one is so important to me. My grandparents are my world. I love spending as much time with them as I can. My grandma (my mom’s mom) has Alzheimer’s and its one of the hardest things I’ve dealt with. I’ve known her for 21 years and she no longer knows who I am. So, don’t take one day with your grandparents for granted because you never know what could happen. 

Hopefully in my next 21 years I’ll have better advice but for now, that’s it. 



Sami Anne 


Sami McDaniel