I’m sure we’ve all heard it before. Your 20’s are your selfish years. They’re for exploring, building, making mistakes and somehow getting away with them. They’re also painfully hard. You learn how to adult, learn who really has your back, lose people you’d hoped to share your whole life with and also try to find your balance through all the chaos. You can’t believe you thought people in their 20’s had their life all together when you were younger.
I made plenty of mistakes. I was naive, a bit immature and confused as to what I wanted. Looking back, although I’ve learned a lot from certain life events which have also slowly groomed me to who I’ve become. There are certain life lessons I wish I knew and they are:
1. Closed mouths don’t get fed– Growing up as an introvert i always kept to myself. I composed myself even when I wasn’t supposed to. This led to so many people walking all over me and others misunderstanding what exactly it was I wanted because I wouldn’t voice out my needs. Life felt a bit unfair as I was never getting my way until I realised that it was because of my own doing. If I had spoken up more and stood my ground, so much would have been avoided.
2. You don’t need closure. It’s only going to crack open your healing wounds– This is something that I’m still actually trying to learn. I’m an overthinker who makes their own conclusions if i dont understand something, which i usually find I’m wrong about and so to avoid this I seek closure. Though I’ve learned that instead of closure making everything better it always has this way of leaving a bitter taste in your mouth.
3. Only buy what you need– I used to have a problem with impulse buying, which is a very bad habit if you’re a student. I see something in store, make a purchase and as soon as I get home it just doesn’t have the same effect on me as it did in store. Though instead of returning it, I kept it because you know… it might grow on me. Couple of days later I’m broke and resenting myself for making the purchase in the first place.
4. Ditch your life timeline– In high school I had all these plans. Start my dream job around 22, get married at 25, have kids at 27 and grow old. Looking back I can’t help but laugh at myself because none of that happened that way. It seems like everything has been delayed. So if I knew better then, I’d stop making all these plans and just take everyday as it comes. Life never really happens the way we plan it out
5. Rejection is a blessing in disguise– Nobody hates rejection like I do, I take it very personal and become bitter. Looking back, especially at past relationships I can’t help but thank the Lord
6. Listen to your mom. She only wants whats best for you– I know sometimes mothers can be hell to deal with, especially if you have a typical old school mom like mine. It feels like she doesn’t understand you, like she’s always trying to kill your vibe. When I think back to all the advice and warnings she gave though I’m like “wow she was right about everything, I should’ve listened to her” I understand that she only had my best interest at heart.
7. Love and take care of your body– Everyone has their flaws, some worse than others. I used to get teased about my weight, forehead, small butt. This caused some serious self esteem and low self confidence issues. Then came instagram… I saw some really skinny girls, with big foreheads, no butt and everything else you can think of. They knew how to dress for their body and looked gorgeous, so what was my problem? I began slowly accepting my body type and flaws. Now when someone makes negative comments I’m able to laugh it off or join them on their shade because i learned that nobody can use your flaws against you if you’ve accepted them. And you get to live in your body your whole life, if you don’t love it then you’re going to have a really hard time.
8. You’re not meant to date everyone you’re attracted to– It’s so easy falling in love with someone whose got a great personality and is able to make you laugh. Though once you get into a relationship with them you realise you don’t connect with them as you should on an intimate level. Or there’s just something about them that’s off putting
9. How they treat you is how they feel about you– Forget the words. Nothing speaks volume like actions
10. Invest in yourself– I can’t stress this enough. Your late teens and early 20’s are your foundation years, they’re preparing you for the real world where mommy and daddy cant keep saving you. You’re not getting any younger and you are your biggest project. If I had spent time investing in myself instead of investing my energy in things that didnt add value into my life, I believe my life would be so much different then it is now
11. Pain is an option, suffering is a choice– It’s human nature to react emotionally to certain events that happen in our lives. However it’s up to you to decide if you’re going to let those emotions get the better of you.
12. Let your standards be as high as your heels– There are so many people that I look back at and wish I had just left it at hello and kept it moving. We waste so much energy and time on individuals that are so undeserving. Entertain clowns long enough and you become apart of the circus
13. You are what you attract– I remember having a whole lot of piercings and dressing in a certain way I’d most probably feel so uncomfortable dressing today. Hanging out with the wrong crew and just doing things that were out of my character. And I wondered why I attracted the people I did in my life.
14. Mistakes don’t make you a bad person– The truth is you’re not going to learn anything if you don’t mess up. So don’t be afraid to make mistakes, they help build you and know how to deal with certain life events because you’ve been there before. Though this only works if you recognise where and why you messed up
15. Not everyone is going to like you– No matter how much you try to conform to people’s standards, there’s always going to be that one person who’ll tell you you’re not good enough or not doing something right.
16. Trust your gut feeling– Ever been in a situation where you were about to do something but that little voice in your head kept saying “Don’t do it!” but then you do and then everything goes south. Mmmmh you should’ve listened…
17. Don’t let the fear of what could happen make nothing happen– Stop over thinking and letting your insecurities hold you back (years later and this is still hard to do). Most of the time i found that all the overthinking and insecurities have robbed me of so many beautiful things, so now even though I first test the waters before I dive in. I make sure I take it easy
18. Even your friends and family don’t have your best interest at heart– As much as it’s hard to accept, you will get hurt by those you love and trust. Though it’s not your fault. Not everyone will have the same heart as you do, so send them love anyway and keep it moving
19. Appreciate and stop comparing– If you keep looking at what others have and you don’t, you’ll never be happy. Most times you dont even realise that these people that you’re comparing to don’t even have their lives put well together. You have no clue what they had to do to get what they have. Every ‘blessing’ doesn’t come from the Lord.
20. It gets better– Your path will not always be bliss. You will fail and fail again but in the end you will eventaully pull through better than how you started off. So stop stressing about not having everything figured out. The process is not meant to break you but to build you. So trust it!