28 Things I’ve Learned in 28 Years

1. Despite what I thought at age 11, the world does not revolve around me.

2. The beginning of anything is always the hardest.

3. There’s a fine balance between having a thick skin and a thin skin. It’s difficult to allow negativity and rejection to roll off while still having the self-awareness to know when you need to change. Perhaps having a patchwork skin is best? (And I am SO SORRY for that mental image, dear reader.)

4. Similarly: people don’t change, particularly if you push them to change. If you can’t accept someone for the way they are, move on (and take a closer look at yourself).

5. Good quality cheese tastes so much better than Kraft singles.

6. Soda – just don’t.

7. The most valuable things in life don’t come easy. If something is just handed to you without a struggle, have you really grown as a person?

8. Despite being 28, I still need to remind myself to appreciate what I have right now rather than realize what I’m missing when it’s gone.

9. F = ma is the root of everything in the universe. That Newton was a smart guy.

10. Nothing is worth lying awake for. Except perhaps waiting to open Christmas presents!

11. The world is so specialized now that it’s best to trust trained professionals while still keeping common sense and ethical standards on high alert. That said, I still want to be a Renaissance woman. (And yes, this is a shameless plug to recognize many registered dietitians as nutrition professionals rather than TV, the Internet, or your best buddy who read an article once.)

12. It’s okay to quit, especially if what you’re clinging to is a mistake you’ve made three times already.

13. If I don’t eat enough during the day, I’ll make up for it later by eating too much and making poor food choices.

14. It’s much better to take care of your health now instead of trying to fix it later. It makes me sad that many people still don’t recognize their bodies are a product of what they eat.

15. An oldie-but-goodie: If you try to please everyone, you’ll end up pleasing no one.

16. Every single time I’ve gone into a task with preparation and perfect confidence that I’ll rock, whether it’s performing a violin solo, drilling a hole through sheet metal in this EXACT spot, or giving a presentation to a prestigious research community (and I’m first on the roster, egads!), I’ve nailed it. Going along with that: you know that phrase “fake it ’til you make it”? Totally true.

17. That nursing home resident who yelled at the nurses and called you in to complain about her frozen yogurt being runny? No one had had a pleasant conversation with her all day. Sometimes, all someone wants is to be listened to.

18. I feel so much better when I eat well and exercise.

19. If you don’t see it, you don’t miss it. This applies to junk food, negative people, and that new kitchen appliance you’ve been hankering for.

20. Standing up straight and wearing flattering clothes will do remarkable things to your energy and confidence.

21. How to look natural in pictures: pretend someone you love is taking the picture.

22. Chocolate goes well with almost everything.

23. Cheese does not.

24. It’s okay to hate exercise. If you’re an able-bodied person, it’s not okay to use that as an excuse to sit around all day.

25. The more often I do something as part of a routine, the more likely I am to keep doing it. The Good: I dislike exercise, but I’ve made it part of my daily routine for so long, I feel antsy when I skip it. The Not-So-Good: When I get into a habit of reaching for heavy desserts after dinner, I’ll continue to do so even when I’m full.

26. Another oldie: Mistakes aren’t necessarily bad. The biggest mistake you can make is not trying because you’re too scared to make a mistake.

27. No one’s opinion about yourself is as important as your own.

28. Having someone in your life who loves you, listens to you, makes you feel better about yourself, and with whom you have mutual respect? Now that’s really something.

[Chuck May Photography]

Such a long list makes me wish I turn 8 instead of 28 — but then, #7!

Happy Tuesday, everyone πŸ™‚

Edited to add: By request, a pinnable version:


  1. Happy, happy birthday, Jessie! What a great list πŸ™‚ Wishing you a wonderful new year!!

    1. Thanks, Min!! πŸ™‚

  2. Hi Jessie, great post! I love your “patchwork” skin imagery. πŸ™‚

    1. Haha! Thanks, Alicia! πŸ™‚

  3. Thank you for the list Jessie! Happy Birthday !!!:DDDDD

    1. Thanks, Sandy! I hope you’re doing well!

  4. Happy birthday again Jessie dear!! I agree with every single thing so much it’s funny. I particularly loved this one:

    9. F = ma is the root of everything in the universe. That Newton was a smart guy.

    Because, F = ma is the only truth. Though to be honest, I keep suffering because of this very equation every single day, but still I feel very happy doing it because as Jessie RD says, #7 πŸ˜€

    Aaaand #28… Peter is very lucky to have you Jessie! And it’s taken me a while, but I realised the truth of #28 every single day in roughly the last 4 and a half years πŸ™‚

    1. The equation of truth! I know you’ll be able to conquer it, and do it in style πŸ˜‰ Thanks for the sweet words, Christa! xx

  5. Hey Kat! That’s amazing! Made me laugh and def puts some perspective on things. But here’s one thing to remember for your 29th……Purple elephants with yellow dots fly at 12:47am! Happy Birthday Jess! You have come a longgg way! <3

    1. lol!! I’ll definitely remember that Alley <3 πŸ™‚

  6. Loved reading this post, my dear. Gave me some good laughs and definitely some great points you made here. Keep blogging the way you’ve been blogging and living the way been living. Wishing you the happiest, sweetest, most joyful birthday ever! Here’s to many more 28’s. Cheers to you, Happy Jessie. Live up to your name. πŸ˜‰

  7. Beautiful! I hope you have a fabulous day, Jessie πŸ˜€

    It’s always such a pleasure to read your blog, yay! πŸ˜€

    1. Thanks, Lucy! πŸ™‚

  8. Happy birthday, Jessie!!! Aren’t you introspective for your birthday?! Good for you.
    Giant birthday hugs,
    Marie (and Mike)

    1. Thanks, Marie! Give Mike a hug for me! Hope we’ll see you soon πŸ™‚

  9. Happy Happy Birthday my friend…I can’t believe you are so young! And so pretty. πŸ™‚

    And the soda? I couldn’t have said it better myself.

    1. Aww, thanks Ameena πŸ™‚ You’re a sweetie!

  10. Happy Birthday Jessie!! You’re awesome!! And I especially love #13 (and I’l argue that the one about cheese is false. It does taste good in everything. EVERYTHING) πŸ™‚

  11. LOVE the pinable version! These are WISE-lets! – Little drops of wisdom! Read every one and am in awe! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

  12. Allie Fasoli says:

    Thanks Jessie! I really enjoyed this post!! Thanks for taking the time to come up with such a great list! #15 especially, I need to be constantly reminded. Though I recently taken great strides forward with #20! (yeay to no more writing at home in PJs till lunch time!) AND HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY!!!

    1. Thanks Allie! I hope you and Adam are doing well – we miss you!

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