A Few Things I Know to be True

I thought it’d be fun to share a few things that I “know to be true.” One of my professors in college did something similar for a lecture and it was one of my most memorable classes. I actually think it’s a fun thing to do every now and then… I know there are some things that I knew as a senior that I would laugh at now and there are certainly things that I know now and will laugh at later. It’d be a fun exercise and a good personal check in. If you don’t journal (I try, all the time, but can never stick with it) this could be an interesting way to track your own growth over time if you do it consistently every year or every few years.
1. I don’t know much to be true. I’d love to say that I have a lot under my belt– that I know things!! I do not. Even the things I think I know, some of which are on this list, I may not really know. Knowing that I don’t know a lot allows me to open myself up to learn more. My best and worst experiences are my lessons. My friends and family are my teachers. I know that I know very little so I try to never stop learning.
2. No one knows everything. Going off number one, no one knows everything. I grew up thinking that there was no question my teachers couldn’t answer, nothing my parents did not know. Everyone is learning as life goes on. I used to put a lot of pressure on myself because I never felt smart enough. I compared myself to what everyone else knew, or at least how much I thought they knew, and that’s not fair to me.
3. Most people are doing their best. In my experience, people don’t do things to purposefully annoy you or mess something up or neglect something. Give her the benefit of the doubt the next time a coworker drops the ball during a presentation. Forgive your friend for forgetting your birthday. Take deep breathes when your roommate forgets to buy the toilet paper… again. Everyone’s doing their best, including you!
4. There are good days and there are bad days. Oh, and there are those in between kind of days. Celebrate the good days. Try to pinpoint what it is about the day that’s making you feel so good and attempt to recreate that often. Meditate on those good days and try to bottle those feelings to return to later. Bad days are normal. Remind yourself that “this too shall pass.” A bad day is just 24 hours closer to a potentially better day. Roll with the punches, dust yourself off, stay positive.
5. Taking a break is sometimes the only option. You know those bad days? Maybe it’s only a bad moment. Step away from your desk, your phone, your roommate, whatever/whomever. Click the pause button and take a break. I always think that taking a break will totally disrupt my day, nope! It resets me and allows me to refocus. A fifteen minute walk is my favorite, but even listening to my favorite song (“This Girl Is On Fire”) on full blast with headphones can do the trick in a pinch.
6. Moisturizing is the key. Using moisturizer has transformed my skin. TRANSFORMED. MY. SKIN. My skin is something I’ve fought for years and moisturizing seemed like the opposite of what I should be doing. I felt oily and wouldn’t moisturizing make the problem worse? Apparently not. I should have listened to my mom and dermatologist sooner. 
7. Input = Output + Interest. The more you put in the more you get out. In a relationship. In your work. In your personal life. Input is definitely the hardest part, but it’s well worth it. You get out what you put in plus a little bit of interest. It’s not unlike a bank. If you’re exercising more, you’ll get in better shape… plus more energy. If you do a great job at work, you’ll have an amazing project (or whatever) and a few brownie points towards your next promotion.
8. You can’t be everything for everyone. I wish I knew this long, long before. I used to find myself stretched so thin trying to impress everyone, to make everyone like me, to be everything for everyone. The problem? I was never quite myself. Instead of seeking out the people who “get” me and love me for me (and nothing more), I was morphing myself into all kinds of molds to meet the needs of all kinds of people. It was exhausting and draining.
9. “No” is a complete sentence. Really!
10. Nothing beats feeling comfortable and confident. It seems a little petty to end the list with something about fashion, but it’s more about your self confidence. There are times when I’m so at a loss for what to wear. I’ll spend money on clothes that aren’t comfortable or aren’t me for a specific event. Instead of feeling trendy! or fun! I feel uncomfortable. I’m not being true to myself. Same goes for pinching shoes. They may be cute, but they can ruin a day! I have really worked on figuring out what clothes are the most confidence-boosting for me. There’s nothing better than walking into a room and feeling on top of the world!

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#3 and #8! These are things that need a little stepping back and rethinking, but I find both to be absolutely true! I find it more frustrating than flattering that women are often marketed to as "superhumans who can do everything all at the same time". WE CAN'T BE ALL THINGS and there's nothing wrong with that.

Hannah Brencher wrote a wonderful piece about it:


I loved this post! Sometimes I think its easy for us to get caught up in all that we don't know and all the uncertainties in life. But to take a step back from it all and ask ourselves what we know to be sure is just as important. Some of your points were so applicable right now it is crazy. If I had to say something that I know to be true I would say: that everyone is loved. While sometimes it may feel like you are in your own little world, there is someone out there who loves you wholly, deeply, and unconditionally. And that reassurance can often be just the push you need 🙂

Annie N Belle


Wonderful post Carly! I just love when you write posts like these! I wish I had known of a voice like yours when I was in my twenties. And reading this now is a good reminder.

One thing I know to be true, now in my thirties, the statement "I should have listened to my Mom . . . sooner" keeps coming back! 🙂

Laura | Surf & Hydrangeas


I couldn't agree more with number 9. I've been working really hard on just saying no, instead of coming up with a long list of excuses rather than just saying, no thank you. I was standing in a dressing room yesterday thinking about #10. I was trying things on, but they just weren't me and I knew I wouldn't be comfortable – it's a process finding what works for you, but when you do, it shows!

26 and Not Counting

Jordyn Brown

I need to work on learning number 9 because it is SO true. I always feel like I have to explain why my answer is no, but in reality…I don't have to! That goes hand in hand with you can't be everything to everyone 🙂
Great list!

xoxo, SS

The Southern Stylista

Caitlin Cooper

This is such a wonderful post! I love this idea, as well as everything you wrote. #9 is probably my favorite thing on the list because it's so easy to tell someone no and then feel like you have to have an excuse for saying no, when really, no should always just mean no. I might have to make my own "things I know to be true" list sometime in the future!

Caitlin | Your Typical Prep