I just turned 23-years-old last week, sometime between Thursday, February 28th and Friday, March 1st. I wanted to share some of the important things/lessons I learned during the challenging year that was my 22nd. There are some I am still working on perfecting. Acknowledging them as something worth capturing is the first step!
We are constantly growing and learning, so I thought it would be useful to highlight some of the useful insight I gained in the past year. I will say, adversities and all, it was a great one.
I used to be scared of growing older. Well, I am still somewhat scared. After turning 22, I learned that every year brings something beautiful and that every year that passes I grow more in touch with myself.
Without further ado, here is what I learned:
- Family is everything. I came face to face with my mother’s mortality as she battled breast cancer. I am a firm believer that we are never given more than we can handle. Although it was tough, it brought us closer together. My mom is fine and I now value her and my family so much more.
- Everyone handles things different. I cannot expect everyone to do things how I would do it. I often find myself hurt when others do not treat me as I would treat them in a given situation. I have learned that although it hurts, others are not I. They were not raised the same way and well, everyone is their own person.
- It is perfectly okay to be emotional; it is not a weakness! Crying and loving fully are signs of strength.
- I do not always have to apologize. Yes, there are times I should swallow my pride and say I’m sorry. That being said, I should not be sorry for existing. As a woman, I find myself apologizing for things I should not have to.
- F*** Timelines! They suck. There is not an age for anything. I do not have to accomplish something by a certain age. I do not have to be married by a certain age. I do not have to have children by a certain age.
- Believe in myself and in my handwork. Love myself no matter what.
- Trust in myself and in my choices. Insecurities and doubt are demonic.
- Say I love you to the people I love everyday. They need to hear it and I need to say it.
- Go outside everyday. Let nature’s beauty heal and help me. Be appreciative of Miami’s beautiful days, as rain can come at any moment.
- Walk away when I am not happy. Let go and move on – life is too short.
- Pleasure read everyday. A book before bed is better than TV. (*Side note: re-reading Harry Potter is always a good idea).
- Sleepovers are magical! Know when it is best not to sleep alone and when I’m having one of those nights, go to my sister’s.
- Be decisive! This one is hard for me. I have learned that I feel less stressed when I woman-up, make a choice and stick with it.
- STOP telling myself I am bad at math! While I’m at it, stop telling myself I am bad at anything.
- Goals and to-do-lists are not everything. Another hard one for me. I have learned that it is okay if I do not get it all done. Sometimes, there are more important things (like spending time with a loved one who needs me).
- Do not freak out when things do not go as planned – life is unpredictable! I am a bit of a control freak and there are times I have had to learn to go with the flow.
- Treat myself every once in a while! There are times when splurging is okay. With all the hard work I put into everything I do, I deserve to be treated with kindness.
- Whenever I get paid, pay off my credit card!
- Acne still happens when you’re in your 20s and it is okay. It will go away. I cannot let it stop me from living my best life. (*Side note: essential oils are the bomb; peppermint oil and tea tree oil are my favorites thus far!).
- Stop comparing myself to girls on Instagram. It’s toxic and not a healthy use of my time. Stop comparing myself in general! Acceptance and self-love, baby.
- CREATIVE OUTLETS! No matter how busy I am, I need creative projects. I am at my healthiest and happiest when I am being creative. I started my YouTube channel last year, along with writing more; it has been great for my wellbeing. Life is all about balance. At the end of the day, I have to do what makes me happy. Time is not an excuse.
- Let myself have dairy sometimes. The world will not end.
I recently started practicing yoga/meditation again and documenting it in a wellness journal. Honestly, best idea I have had in a bit. I already feel happier with myself and with life in general. Recently something happened in my life that made me realize an unhealthy pattern. I found that I tend to stand in my own way and that I am my own worst enemy.
I vow to longer stand in the way of my hard word and success. I deserve to be happy and to essentially accomplish everything I want to accomplish. I choose to love myself whole-heartedly, no matter what.
I hope these lessons are valuable as you are navigating through this messy world and learning more about yourself.