24 Life Lessons in 24 Years

This past Monday – May 23rd – I turned 24 years old.

I know. I’m getting old.

Just kidding!

But get prepared. There’s a lot of old embarrassing pictures coming. So just brace yourself for those gems coming up. Like, baby pictures, old. Like, braces and emo tween selfies. I’m opening up the MIDDLE SCHOOL vault. I hope you appreciate that. And tthe bad dark hair that I dyed myself and middle parted and tried to straighten, and so much angst. It’s going to be hilarious.

But here is the original Curves, Curls, & Coffee picture:

I started the coffee habit way early on.
So my birthday. Preston seriously wins boyfriend of the year. He did everything to make my birthday special. He’s two gems. Started with Preston and I going to this local place called Shady Maple (an old Pennsylvania Dutch standard), taking a nap, taking a nice walk in the few hours of perfect weather, getting slushies, and relaxing! Then Preston & my best friend, Abby, came over to my parents house and we had an awesome dinner. My dad makes this amazing vanilla bourbon dipping sauce for sweet potato fries. So we had those with some cocktails. And then we had italian sausage, roasted peppers, and red potatoes. It’s SO FREAKING GOOD. Followed by, a Hoy family standard, a big ass ice cream cake. Yum! We also have a long standing tradition of writing hilarious messages on our birthday cakes. So here’s a picture of my birthday cake this year:

It was a ton of fun! On Monday nights at the venue we performed Tommy in – they have karaoke and it’s right downtown. Loved it. So many friends from Harrisburg came out. And my best friend Abby (from my hometown) drove up to come out with us. My friend Stacey dedicated a song to me….and I was running late and wasn’t there. But she got up and sang Chandelier later and….daaaaaayum. And Lindsey & Greg just casually did some perfect harmony to Say Something. Like the kind of harmony that people work on for months and they’re just throwing it around like it’s nothing.  Preston sang Beyond the Sea to me. It was seriously amazing. Thank you to Sarah, for head butting while dancing, Chad for letting me rub his beard, Hunter & Dalton for looking fly as hell, HeidiFreelandTrail for being the baddest bitch. And Schreiber, Kevin, some dude Sarah was banging, a guy named Rick, and a few other friends. Thank you to all who came out (and those that couldn’t that sent warm wishes). It was seriously an amazing way to bring in 24. And here’s some pictures:

But I’ve seen other bloggers or vloggers do this and I really like them. And I feel that I am a fairly put together and in-tune human person. So I decided I wanted to share a few life lessons I have learned along the way.


1.) Sometimes you have to let your dad make you a grilled cheese sandwich. 

My dad is notoriously over protective & incredibly kind when it comes to me. He is constantly checking in to see if I need anything. Food, money, a ride, advice, to lift that heavy box to my car, etc. I’ve always been a daddy’s girl. And as I get older – I think it gets harder and harder for parents to deal with you not really needing them as much. So if my dad isn’t making dinner he’ll list everything in the kitchen and say he can make it for me. He even offers to make me some cereal. But I’m in my twenties. I am, for the most part, totally capable of providing dinner for myself. But everyone once in awhile – I let my dad make me a grilled cheese sandwich because I know it makes us both happy.


2.) Sometimes it REALLY isn’t about you.

This has been a hard life lesson to learn. I live in a world of a lot of rejection and criticism. (theatre). I’ve been on the job hunt for so long now. Sometimes it ISN’T about you. The reason they pick someone else isn’t because they didn’t like you or weren’t impressed with you. They just liked someone else better. I auditioned for a show a few years ago and NAILED the audition. And they picked a girl who I did not think was a strong actor at all. I asked the director ( a friend of mine) what I could have done better. And he told me nothing. He said I was great and he was really impressed. He just was looking for someone with a different body type.  It had nothing to do with me at all. I once thought this guy and I were going to kiss. But he rejected my kiss…because he was getting over strep throat. Sometimes the reason a person breaks up with you, doesn’t hire you, won’t kiss you, won’t cast you. It’s usually not about you and all to do with the other reason. It’s important to remember that there is NOTHING wrong with you.

3.) Growing apart from people is always going to suck.

It doesn’t get easier as you get older. I’ve mentioned before – I have recently begun the transition to my life in Harrisburg. I lived in my hometown my whole life. I’ve certainly traveled and had life experiences…but Reading was home. I even went to Kutztown (only about 20 minutes from home.) When I graduated college – many of my college friends relocated to Reading. I also had friends in the Reading theatre scene. Since February, I have begun creating a life here in Harrisburg. And a few weeks ago I hung out with my Reading friends. I feel disjointed from them. I was disappointed that I didn’t get to see my Reading friends for my birthday. I know that it was far for those home friends to go. But there used to be a time that we would do anything for each other. And I feel those times passing as the ebb and flow of our lives take us in different directions. It’s weird. Abby Hauk is moving to Chicago and Joe has gone on to NY and my brother moved to West Virginia. And now I’m becoming the one going to Harrisburg. I recently saw, in a public place, a boy that I used to think that was the love of my life. We didn’t even break up. We just grew apart. And he didn’t even acknowledge me. It never doesn’t hurt to drift apart from some of your closest people. I’m not mad or angry with them. It just…sucks. But on that same note – appreciate the friends you do have and make sure to nurture those relationships.

4.) Sometimes in life you have do things that make you feel bad. 

Whether it is auditioning for the same role as a friend, applying for the same job as a friend, eating the last French Fry, cutting someone off in traffic because you have to get off the ramp because the next exit is 20 miles away, or you feel like you’re really sick or broke or something and miss someone’s event. Sometimes you read Facebook messages, even though you know it will tell the person that it was read, with no intention of responding. Sometimes you don’t have time to recycle. Sometimes you don’t have time to clean the bathroom before company comes over. It’s okay. Sometimes you have to do stuff in life that makes you feel bad. It does not make you a bad person. The fact that you think it’s a bad thing is proof that you acknowledge it.


5.)  Don’t turn life experiences down.

Never turn anything down. Ever. Smoke weed, do a shot, draw a tattoo on your leg and don’t wash it off, try a new drink, kiss a boy that you wouldn’t normally kiss, make an online dating profile, take a class you don’t need but want, play a role you hate in a show you don’t like, go to a party even when you’re tired, drive your friend’s car, go to an amateur stand-up comedy night, go to the football game, go to the party, watch a movie you’ve never heard of, just….let life happen. As long as you’re being safe and respectful to yourself and others – you should always agree to things….even if you don’t want to.

6.) You should always having a bathing suit. 

You should keep a bathing suit in your car, dorm, college apartment, purse, overnight bag – every single time. I literally keep one in my car at all times. Let me tell you why. It’s an article of clothing that is very difficult to fake and difficult to buy off season. So, if I went to a friend’s house overnight and we went to a dinner and I wasn’t dressed fancy enough – it’s easy enough to go to Target or the mall and grab a nicer top and some accessories for fairly inexpensive. If that same friend is having a hot tub party in January…you’re in trouble. You won’t be able to buy one at the store so you’ll have to go in the water in your bra and underwear and then put dry clothes on top of that. In line with #5, you should always be prepared for life to take you on an adventure.


7.) Your car should be equipped with five standard things: 

a.) A towel. For the bathing suit adventures. For unexpected rain storms. For accidentally leaving your windows cracked and water gets in. For drying off the car. For wiping away snow. For having to unexpectedly take a shower at a friend’s house. For finding a stray kitten. Wiping grease off your hands. Making a tourniquet. Make shift picnic blanket. Millions of reasons.

b.) Bottled water. In case. Just in case. In case your car breaks down. In case it’s scorching hot. In case something gets on your windshield. In case you’re thirsty. In case of an emergency. Just….in case.

c.) Duct tape. You can pretty much fix anything on your car in a pinch with duct tape. Yeah, you’ll look pretty ghetto with your bumper duct taped on…but it will at least get you home. Again, dozens of things to do with duct tape.

d.) An index cards with phone numbers. In this day and age – no one memorizes numbers. And if your car breaks down and your phone is dead, you have no service and have to use a phone from a stranger, you lost your phone, your purse gets stolen, etc. – you’ll need to call someone. And I have recently been in this position – you will have no way to call them. You should have one to AAA, your mom, your boyfriend, your boyfriend’s mom, your dad, a few good friends who live in a few places, a local towing company, local police non-emergency, etc.

e.) A few bucks in cash. Again, if you run out of gas, have to get towed, end up on a toll road, have to pay mileage on your car, encounter a cash only gas station, etc. It’s always helpful to have an emergency few dollars tucked in one of the console compartments.


8.) It’s okay to cry about it. 

Mourn your losses. Wallow in your sadness. Embrace it. Eat junk food for 3 days and don’t put on pants. Stupid things. Important things. Grieve for yourself because often no one else will. And acknowledging the pain is sometimes the best way to move on. That’s why God invented Ben&Jerry’s, The Notebook, and the Forever Lazy.


9.) Stop tolerating people. 

I recently learned that there are some (older) adults in my life that I do not respect. At all. I have no respect for them as a person. I think they are absolute trash. But I tolerated them. I let them speak to me and my loved ones inappropriately…for years. Because they were an adult and I was a child. But I’m also an adult now. I don’t OWE you respect that you have done nothing to earn or maintain. You can be civil or polite. But I don’t need to keep you around just because I feel like I should respect you. I have to respect myself first. Toxicity is NEVER acceptable.



10.) Cursing is not the end of the world.

You SHOULD have better vocabulary. You should have other words to put there. Yes, I know. I did incredibly well in English, Verbal, Writing, etc. for my whole life. But when you bang your toe on the night stand – a ‘Gee Wilikers that smarts!’ is absolutely NOT a fun substitute for “Motherfucker.”

11.) Know your own limits. 

If  you’re the kind of person that gets raging, violently, aggressive angry when you get jealous – know the warning signs so you can excuse yourself from the situation. Know how many shots you can take before you puke or pass out. Know your limits of your sexual comfort zone so you can consent or not consent to taking things further with a new or existing partner. Know if you’re capable of owning a dog or if you’re a cactus person. Try to increase your self awareness as you grow as a person.


12.) Your parents are right….most of the time. 

They’ve just been there. They know what happens if you don’t change your oil, what that rash on your leg is, what to worry about and what to not, how to pay a speeding ticket, how to fill out your taxes, how to save money, what a good deal is on property or a car – just because they’ve been there before. However, times do change. I always like to take my parents’ advice under advisement and eventually come to my own decision with their knowledge as part of my deciding factors. Respect their life experiences.


13.) Stay weird. 

You’re never too old for a goofy Halloween costume, to wear Heelies, watch Spongebob, cupcake pajama pants. You can still have slumber parties and rock a dinosaur dress. Make silly faces, dance in the grocery store, speak in accents when you’re passing through a small town, rent a car for a day just to see what it’s like to drive something different, spending a commute to work making ‘car noises’ with your mouth, or take a bubble bath. Wear a cape one day. You do you, boo boo.

14.) Choose your battles. 

Otherwise your whole life will be a string of uphill battles. Fight for what matters and what counts.


15.) Appreciate the things you take for granted. 

And I don’t mean the ‘smell a rose’ kind of taking things for granted. I mean indoor plumbing and toilet paper, modern medicine and vaccinations, the internet, free education for ALL young people (no matter what gender, race, socioeconomic standing, academic prowess) to teach them how to read, write, learn math and computers and basic science, modern sanitation, deodorant and soap, the relative variety and inexpensive of modern clothing, etc.

16.) Always ask to pet someone else’s dog.

Some dogs bite. Some dogs have fleas. Some dogs are service dogs. Some dogs are service dogs in training. Some dogs are rescue pets with some level of PTSD. Ask first. Most people will say yes…but still.

17.) Keep Learning 

Learn life lessons. If you are reading this – you have access to the internet. You can learn sign language, how to cook, what the top ten signs of toxic relationships are, geometry, how to sew, what pizza topping you are, how to use Excel, what the African political climate is, etc. No excuses. You have access to the internet. If not, read the free newspapers in coffee shops, borrow books from the library, ask your elders. You should always strive to keep learning, whether it is in your field, something you need, or something you want.


18.) Having basic kitchen skills is a MUST. 

You should be able to make eggs at least three ways, know how to make pasta, and throw together a salad that’s not out of a bag. You should know how to make cookies from scratch, a dish or two that’s good for potlucks, a basic chip dip, and how to properly cook chicken. It’ll save you a ton of money, time, and calories if you can make even a few standard dishes. (I’m looking at you here, Preston.)


19.) Embrace your stages. 

I went through a stage of being a jocky swimmer, a Jesus freak, a hippie, and finally a theatre kid. I then settled on a sassy, strong leader, quirky dressing theatre nerd. If you went through an emo phase or a stoner phase. Embrace them. We alllll have them.


20.) Don’t snort a Pixie Stick. 

My eighth grade self learned that lesson the hard way so you don’t have to. You’re welcome.


21.) You should NOT feel shame about your cell phone dependency. 

Your phone gives your information in an instant. You can get a GPS, a camera, a rolodex, an MP3 player, the world’s encyclopedia, a calculator, an alarm, a telephone, a messaging service, e-mail service, order food, the list goes on. Why should you not utilize that technology? Because it’s a millenial thing? Nope! It’s an amazing utility of living in 2016 and you should be apt about all the things that it can do. Yeah, you SHOULD be able to do those things without your phone…but for the most part, you don’t have to. Learn to work WITH technology. It can end up saving you a lot of time by being able to utilize that one resource.


22.) Have a few wardrobe staples. 

Have a fitted blazer, a standard black skirt, a great white or off-white blouse, a few pairs of neutral flats, a good pair of jeans or leggings, a good going out dress, etc. Get ten pieces that you can mix and match to make thirty outfits for interviews, work days, casual days, dinners out. It’ll be easier to throw on your good jeans and bring a blazer if you’re not sure how fancy to dress. But always get more novelty print.

23.) When you’re moving – pack your books in your rolling suitcases. 

They’re heavy AF. Being able to just roll them to the car/truck and then only having to lift them into the car and then being able to roll them into the new house…you’re going to save your friends ‘and family’s backs from strain. You needed to move your suitcase anyway. Two birds with one stone.

24.) You’ll never regret being nice. 

You’ll never regret not starting a fight, complimenting a stranger, not baiting a jerkwad, letting something small slide even though your day has sucked so far, or holding the door for someone. You won’t regret buying the person behind you a cup of coffee or offering to return a cart for a mom who is struggling to get two toddlers in the car at the grocery store. You’ll probably regret being a jerkwad or snapping at a loved one.

Headshot - Abby Hoy


Bonus Round: 

-Travel. Often. As often as financially possible.
-Binge watching The Office is always okay.
-Jury duty is kind of confusing.
-Keep the arts alive.
-Take lots of pictures. They’re fun.
-Ice cream cake is the best kind of cake

Bonus Picture: 

This is an awesome 90’s-tastic picture of my brother, Adam, in his Easter wear.



So here’s the “end of blog” spiel!

Follow me on Instagram: @Abby_Hoy

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Subscribe for updates! Check out my adorable post about Preston and I rocking some adorable famous couple inspired outfits! Check out my earlier post about your summer reading list,my top 10 plus size stores, or my thoughts about loving your body!Comment for topics you would like to see me cover! Like to help my self esteem! What do you think so far? More fashion? More lifestyle? Do you like the mix?

Question of the Day:What is a life lesson you have learned along your life’s journey?!

My next few blog ideas:  I think want to do one about memorial day. And transitioning your outfits from winter to summer. Maybe one about those ten pieces that make up a wardrobe. But I’m not sure. I want to know what you are interested in hearing about? My Top 10 Embarrassing Stories? 20 Facts from Your Blogger? The 10 People You Meet in Theatre? Dress-pocalypse? A team up with another blogger?  Let me know!

Love all you wonderful ladies (and gents!) out there!

How Very,

Abby <span class=”wp-smiley wp-emoji wp-emoji-heart” title=”❤


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