I feel like 24 is a scary age because your no longer young, yet you are not quite an adult. Your youthful days of going out are coming to an end and you come to terms with the fact that in 6 years you will be 30. Honestly growing up I always thought at 24 I would have my degree and I would be married, or atealst be with the person I plan to marry. This year is a special birthday since it is my golden birthday. Part of me wishes I was going on a beautiful cruise around the carribean sipping green juice and laying in the sun. I wish I could say I had big plans for my golden. But instead, I am sitting infront of this computer writing this blog post. I wanted to create something special for my golden so i’m going back and recalling the 24 most important life lessons I have learned. I hope that by sharing what I have learned it may help you remember the important lessons that life is trying to teach you.
Below are the most valuable lessons I have learned in my 24 years. These are definately not the only ones. I feel like we are always learning each day, but these lessons have shaped who I am as a person. Disclaimer: this is going to be a long one!
1. It is ok to be alone
Being alone does not mean you are unlovable and no-one wants to be with you. It means you are focusing on yourself and not going to settle. Learn to be content with the stillness within yourself and realize that just because you are alone right now, does not mean you will be alone forever. Time alone is necessary to understand who you really are.
2. Listen to your mother
I always hated when my mom told me what to do, and sometimes I felt bad for her by how rude I must have been when she gave me advice I did not want to hear. I realize now that my mom knows me better than anyone and only wants what is best for me. Most of the time, she knows what she is talking about. ( Ok mom if your reading this, all the time 😉 )
3. Speak up – Even if it hurts
I always think of the person in the group chats who sits back and reads all the messages, but never replies. Don’t be that person. Be the annoying person who has a lot of opinions and stories. At least you are making a statement to the world that you are alive. You are a participant of life. You have a voice.
4. Don’t “prove it” to anyone, just live for yourself
I think subconsciously many of us walk around with expectations we are trying to fulfill. We want to show our parents, our ex, or that person who never believed in us how awesome we are. In reality, they really don’t care. Don’t live your life trying to get back at someone with a “I’ll show them” mentality. Instead do it for the you that lies in bed at night with no-one watching.
5. You are not your thoughts, you have thoughts
Meditation teaches us to separate ourselves from the constant voice in our head. Realize that you are so much more than who you have thought yourself to be all this time. You simply have thoughts, but you are not defined by them. The real you is more than any image of yourself you can construct within your mind.
6. You don’t have to be the best
I am seriously the biggest perfectionist when it comes to everything in life. It is a blessing but a curse. I always want to be the best because I feel like if I am not the best at something, then I am not good enough or I have failed. I don’t know where this belief stems from but I have learned that it is okay to be just “ok” sometimes. It is okay to be you, right now, in this moment. I would rather have peace than a trophy.
7. You don’t have to live like everyone else
I’ll admit, sometimes I can’t help but look at people on social and think “wow, their life looks amazing. I wish I joined a sorority, or went to spain, or got that amazing job.” I have realized that the grass is not greener on the other side. Wishing you lived a different life is a waste of the one you were given. Learn to love the life you have.
8. Don’t let people walk all over you
There is a difference between being a nice person and being a push over. Do not let the same person hurt you again and again. After a while, you slowly start to believe that you deserve to be hurt. The more you let others walk all over you the more you devalue yourself. Don’t do that to yourself. Teach others how to treat you.
9. You will have a lot of haters, but don’t be one of them
When people hate on you, it literally has NOTHING to do with you. You will have people who hate on what you do, but don’t be one of them . You can choose to be a cheerleader for yourself, even when no-one else is cheering for you. Don’t let their negativity live in your head.
10. Feelings Pass
Anxiety, sadness, joy, stress, loneliness, fear, frustration, happiness, they all pass. They come, then they go. Like a wave in the ocean. Learn to recognize a feeling when it comes and allow it to run its course. It will pass. Even the good ones.
11. Real friends don’t make you feel like shit
Just because you have been friends with someone for 10 years does not give them permission to treat you badly. It also doesn’t mean they get to automatically be your friend forever. Choose to surround yourself with only supportive people. I have learned the hard way that it is better to have 5 amazing friends than a ton who don’t care about you at all.
12. See the good in people
This can be hard, especially if you’ve been wronged by so many people. When you meet someone it is easy to label them as a good person or bad person. I don’t believe a person is “all good” or “all bad” Everybody is flawed and being human means that we will mess up sometimes.When you believe people always have a hidden agenda or are constantly judging you, it makes it hard to connect with those around you. Learn to see the good in your friends, in strangers, in your family.
13. You become your habits
You can create what ever type of life you want just by looking at the things you do daily. Over the past 5 years I have literally changed my entire life just by changing the things I do daily. I used to eat so much fast food (including tons of meat), smoke weed everyday, smoke cigarettes, drink 4x/week, spend money on useless crap, and go out with a new guy every month. I am not proud of this but it is part of my story. When I tell that to people who meet me now they legit do not believe me, and think I am making it up. But, if you knew me back then you know what I am talking about. We are simply a combination of what we do daily, so choose wisely.
14. Take your time
I am still reminding myself of this. It’s better to get less done in a day and do the tasks well, than do 100 things so careless where you make tons of mistakes. There will always be something on your to-do list, even when you die. Just do what you can and take your time with it. Come back to your breath. I noticed that it is actually more time efficient to live this way because I don’t have to go back to redo a million errors caused by not being mindful.
15. You do not need to fix yourself
Don’t spend your time trying to fix all the parts of you that you think are broken. Celebrate all your beautiful flaws! They make you unique. I need to constantly remind myself of this. You do not have to wait until you lose 10lbs or clear up your acne to be loved. You are lovable just the way you are.
16. Another woman beauty is not the absence of your own
I really hate how much women compete with eachother. Is it in our DNA? Why do we do this? I will admit that I catch myself looking at other beautiful woman in envy sometimes. I immediately remind myself that just because another girl is pretty, doesn’t mean that I am ugly, or I will disappear in her presence. Let’s celebrate each others beauty as women. Being envious of other beautiful women only makes you ugly.
17. Don’t forget to do what makes your soul happy
For me, that is dance. If I go longer than a few months without dancing I feel like I am consumed by something, and I need to get it out. It’s the weirdest feeling. I learned that even when I don’t want to dance, I NEED to dance. Even if its in my room, by myself. Everyone has something that makes them come alive. Remember what it is and never let it go.
18. Choose your battles
I think we’ve all been in that situation where we know our way would be better, but someone else is convinced their way would be. Or, were in an argument and we know were right but the other person isn’t listening. I’ve learned that even though it’s hard to swallow your pride, being peaceful is better than being right. Unless it is something you REALLY strongly believe in, it’s not worth it.
19. Learn to say NO
This used to be so hard for me. I am a people pleaser at heart. I just want others to be happy. I was scared of disappointing people so I would always say yes. Once I started saying NO to things that I didn’t want to do, I had more time to focus on things I was passionate about. If people know you always say yes, they wont feel bad about asking you to do everything for them. If they know you have enough respect for yourself to say NO, they will do things themselves. It is okay to say no sometimes. Your time is valuable.
20. Money is just paper
My relationship with money has changed drastically. I used to either save every cent because I thought I never had enough, then I would go on shopping sprees because I had deprived myself of spending anything! I think it’s important to realize that money is just currency. In a sense, it’s energy being exchanged. Change your mindset to “I have enough money” and the universe will make this statement true for you. Be smart with what your spending but realize that it is just paper.
21. Just be glad
I like the word glad more than grateful because I feel like being grateful requires effort sometimes. Wake up in the morning and just be glad. It’s that simple. Be glad your alive. Be glad the sun is shining. Be glad that we live on this amazing planet with so much beauty around. Be glad you have the luxuries you do. JUST BE FREAKIN GLAD. I remind myself of this every morning.
22. Change is necessary
It’s scary to dive into unknown territory. But, when you resist change you are in a sense halting your growth and your life. There are only a few things that remain constant in life, everything else comes and goes. Welcome the new with an open mind but also let the past go with an open mind. Create space within yourself for new experiences by letting go of old attachments, especially toxic ones. I’ve also found that by decluttering my possessions I was able to confront some things from the past that I was holding onto. With letting the material possessions go, I was able to let the feelings go with it.
23. Stand for something
When you stand for something you give your life meaning and purpose. If you don’t stand for anything it is easy to look for purpose in other people, or in things that don’t matter. Create your own meaning in your life and stand for something greater than yourself.
Life is a gift
We all really have no idea what were doing. No one actually knows for certain what is happening and why we are all on this giant planet spinning around each day. Yet, here we are. How cool is that? Life is truly a gift that was given to you by the universe, god, or whatever you believe in. You get to choose what you do with this gift. You can be ungrateful for the small things you don’t have, or you can realize that even though through all your sorrows and problems, the sun always rises each morning, and that alone is something to be grateful for.