Whenever my birthday is right around the corner, I begin to get super nostalgic. Luckily, I’m not really a “mid life crisis” kind of person, so I don’t usually freak out. However, I do usually take some time to reflect not only on where I am in my life, but also where I thought I would be, and where I want to be in the future. For some, this could turn into a major spiral. And, I’m not going to lie to you, sometimes it has. But, for the most part, it’s a very humbling process. The one thing I always make sure to do is take some time to thank God for all of the blessings in my life. And since you can’t have a rainbow without rain, I take some time to thank him for the lessons he’s sent me as well.
As they say, “Everything in your life is either a blessing or a lesson”. I couldn’t agree more with this statement. Whether it’s a boyfriend, girlfriend, neighbor, or boss, every person in your life teaches you something good or something bad. Sometimes they teach you who you want to be and how to be an amazing person. Other times they teach you who you don’t want to be and how not to treat others. Either way, you can learn something from everyone.
This year, I’m quickly approaching my mid-thirties and I’ve been reflecting on the years of my youth. Mostly the “young, wild, and free” years of my twenties. Now don’t get me wrong. I was never a wild child. But there are a few things I wish I would have learned a bit sooner in life. So, to share a few moments of wisdom with you, here are 20 lessons I wish I would have learned in my 20’s.
- If someone tells you they want to get married someday – just not to you – believe them.
- Be present. Don’t get so busy making a living you forget to make a life.
- If you fall madly in love with someone, tell them. It will hurt a lot less than keeping quiet.
- Do something every once in a while that scares you. Not like stick your hand in the garbage disposal scary. But more like apply for that job or ask your mentor to coffee or say hi to the cutie across the bar kind of scary.
- You do have a lot of time – but you don’t have unlimited time. Work hard and play hard, but stay focused on what you really want.
- You might not be friends with someone forever and that’s ok.
- Cut your losses – if someone or something doesn’t make your life better, let them go.
- Acknowledge people. Maybe it’s by holding a door, asking about someone’s day, waving to a neighbor, or bringing cookies to work or treats to say thank you to someone who has helped you out lately.
- Date someone’s present – not their potential.
- Always wear sunscreen. Just do it. And SPF 4 doesn’t count.
- No is a complete sentence.
- Invest in yourself. Physically, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and financially.
- Consume only positive things. And I don’t just mean food, I mean the things you see, hear, and think too.
- You become like the people you hang out with most. So choose carefully.
- To some, perception is reality. And nothing you can do will change the way they see you.
- Write actual thank you notes. It means a lot more to people than you think it does.
- Don’t be so hard on yourself. Whether it’s your weight, your grades, your appearance, or your mistakes, no one is noticing but you.
- It’s never too late to make a change. Whether it’s in a relationship, a career, or wherever else, tomorrow is a new day. Use it!
- You really can have everything you’ve ever wanted. You’ll just have to work really freaking hard to get it.
- Love yourself. This is the most important lesson of all.