May 3, 2022

It’s my birthday this week, which means it’s time to get reflective up in this b*tch.

A couple years ago, I started doing “26 things I learned before 26” on my birthday. By 27, I realized that I had spent the year re-learning a good chunk of the same lessons I learned the year before, so I cheekily renamed the series. And here at 28, the pattern reigns true: some lessons you’re just meant to learn over and over again.

So without further ado, here are the life lessons that made up my 28th year around the sun.

1.) Self-care is usually way less fun than IG will have you believe.

It’s not all spa days and nail salon visits—it’s saving money, going to the gym, and getting out of bed to do your nighttime skincare routine even though you’re comfy and cozy and ready for sleep.

2.) Being a good person and being a good business person are not mutually exclusive.

With the right approach, you can be both.

3.) Always have a contract.

No matter how close you are with someone, you need a contract. Especially if you’re close with someone.

4.) You’ll always regret that 4th glass of wine.

Unless you have something starchy beforehand and a glass of water in-between. Then you might be fine. But even still, it’s probably best to just stop.

5.) Bodies are fckn wild.

Bodies do whatever they want and they’re still somehow responding to trauma you’ve subconsciously held onto since you were a kid. It’s absolutely hateful, and you start to understand why older people in your life were always complaining.

6.) Always trust your gut.

With people, with opportunities, with places and with things. Bodies may be fkcn wild, but your gut knows all.

7.) Being multi-passionate is a feature, not a bug.

And anyone who says to “niche down” has absolutely no idea how all the dots of your universes connect.

8.) Most people are too busy worrying about themselves to care about what you’re doing. (In a good way.)

You might as well put yourself out there. Bravely.

9.) Boomerangs are out.

Gen Z said it, not me. (But if it brings you joy, who am I to tell you to stop using them? I’m just letting you know.)

10.) Anyone who says social media is a waste of time is not following the right people.

It goes without saying, but I’ve built an entire business based on things I’ve learned online, much of which I’ve learned on social. Enough of this social slander! 😉

11.) The best ~times~ are the ones you don’t plan.

Birthdays, holidays, etc. Just don’t plan them. It’s a recipe for letdown. Let yourself be pleasantly surprised instead.

12.) Spicy garlic peanut butter exists, and it sounds disgusting but it’s the best thing on planet earth.

Get it at

13.) They say success is largely about who you know. But, thanks to the internet, you can simply… know more people.

Learn more about how.

14.) Whatever you’re charging now, you should probably be charging more.

There’s a good chance you’ve underpriced your services. Especially if you’re a woman. Raise those rates, bb.

15.) Most things in life really live in a grey area.

And unfortunately, social media is designed for the black and white of it all. While I do love the online space for so many things, social media is often where context goes to die.

16.) Some people won’t like you, and that’s actually okay.

I’m positive I’ll be re-learning this one every year for the rest of my life. Every day for the rest of my life, in fact.

17.) Bread & pasta is not your nemesis, actually.

After years of disordered eating and low carb dieting, I started worked with a trainer last year to help me regain balance & control. As a result, I learned that bread is not the culprit I thought it was. Endlessly grateful for this discovery!

18.) You can have it all. But maybe not all at once.

Having multiple creative passions does not mean you have to be doing them all, all the time. And enduring the off-seasons doesn’t make you any less of an artist, either.

19.) 80% of marketing is just doing good work.

The other 20% is building trust through consistency and good storytelling.

20.) You’re supposed to wear sunscreen every day, even during the winter.

Did you know this!? Hyram taught me.

21.) When you’re responsible for creative work, it’s vital to take weekends.

Your clients are paying for your most well-rested, creative brain. They deserve it.

22.) Theatrical skills are extremely transferrable.

I wish more actors would realize this. Storytelling is at the heart of so many industries, and once you learn the “norms” of any given field, you can use your skills to make serious $$.

23.) Dr. Brown’s Diet Cream Soda can cure any bad day.

It’s zero calories and absolute liquid gold. Tastes like dessert. 10/10.

24.) Sundays are for resetting.

This was the first year that I held myself to a Sunday routine; clean, gym, groceries, errands, etc. It’s elite. Try it!

25.) Contrary to popular belief, you don’t actually have to grow into an agency.

You can, in fact, remain a freelancer—and make good money, too!

26.) Getting a diagnosis can mean a world of relief.

It’s so relieving to know that what you have isn’t weird. In fact, it’s so not weird that it even has a name!

27.) It’s never too late to start something new.

Businesses, newsletters, workout routines, skincare regimens, TikTok accounts, budgets, etc.

28.) Time heals all wounds.

Distance is everything.

I love to think of birthdays as a celebration of life, and I’ve got so many things to celebrate; especially because people like you take time out of their day to read my stuff & engage with my content. Whether this is the first blog post of mine you’ve ever read, or you’re a frequent flier here over on the Kleist Creative blog, I am endlessly grateful for your support.

DM me and say hi sometime! xo.

Hi, I'm Sarah Kleist.

Brand & web designer, personal brand strategist, and marketing educator obsessed with the power of connecting with audiences.



An actually-fun-to-read weekly newsletter about marketing, design, business, the arts, creativity, mindset and more. 

love this post? 

share it!

read the next one:


You’ve successfully signed up! Check your email for details.

oh hey, have we

met already?

If not— hi! I'm Sarah Kleist: ShowIt Brand & Web Designer, Actor, Vocalist, Marketing Strategist, TikToker, and all-around Creative Multi-Hyphenate Girly. 

I'm on a mission to help everyone I meet (whether it's online or IRL) make more money doing the creative shit they love every day. And if that's a cause you're interested in, then I'm so glad you found me. Pull up a chair, crack open your favorite seltzy, and dive in.



DIY-ing your service-based website and unsure about what sections you need and what pages they should go on? This is for you! These are the exact guidelines I use to plan my client's sites for maximum conversion.

You’ve successfully signed up! Check your email for details.



© Kleist Creative LLC, 2024.  |  Legal  |  Photography  |  Videography  |  Everything Else by Yours Truly