20 Things I’ve Learned In 20 Years
On Monday, October 23, 2017, I am officially 20 years old! Which means there is no better time to list out 20 things I have learned growing up until this point!
The teen days are a part of the past, and I am now climbing the ladder that is the twenties. The twenties (from what I have read/heard) are a time of mental growth, learning about who you really are and are meant to be, discovering everything from love, lust, traveling, education, experience, and so on. The twenties is time to explore the world and make discoveries or continue to be confused about what you should actually be doing and that is ok too.
It is time to continue the journey with a brand new age and now that I can count it on all of my fingers & toes, I'm going to tell you about 20 things I have learned during my 20 years of life! Here we go!
1.) Don't take it too seriously.
Nothing is THAT serious. No matter what it may be, put it into perspective. Things could always be worse, we are meant to fail, we are meant to run into bumps in the road and that is okay. Life would be a cycle of boring, same-old experiences and moments if everything was just baby-fed to us. Times get hard and stressful, but I have learned to deal with it and to stop taking everything so seriously. I've learned this lesson during my time so far at university because there is a constant pressure that you have to be the smartest person in the room who gets the best grades, and joins all of the clubs and goes to everything and goes to work and has a social life and who gets 8 hours of sleep each night... Not possible! Once I began to take it all less seriously, things began to fall into place and I could breathe. I do what makes me happy, I always try my best, I take care of myself and I try to be the best person I can be every day, and that is enough.
2.) Everything is temporary.
Everything always comes to an end whether it's good or bad. During bad times I always remind myself that it will end, nothing lasts forever. During good times I also remember that it will end, so I should appreciate the present moment.
3.) Material things are not important.
You will lose things along the way, whether it's a big move, or while traveling, or getting ripped off and losing money. At the time these things feel like the worse that can ever happen to you. I have learned that material things are the least amount of my problems. I no longer feel attached to them. I don't need the next best thing, and I don't mind getting rid of things I simply no longer use. Relationships with people are important, special moments are important, and being surrounded by positive energy is important. "Stuff" is not important.
4.) Always find the good in people.
It sounds crazy to be overly nice to rude people but this is something very important I have learned to do. Having worked at Starbucks for nearly three years, I have been able to put this logic into practice many times. This one was taught to me by my dear mother. You never know what is going on with a stranger, or even someone you know. If you don't know what is going on that day for them, or those couple of months or however long they might be being rude, you need to stay grounded and just continue to let your happiness and positive spirits shine through. Positivity is contagious, it'll only help them if anything. Also, you'll always be the bigger person. Never sink to a level no matter how badly you might want to. Your future self will thank you for it, and it will build your understanding of people and human nature. It isn't always sunshine and rainbows but I do believe people are born with positive and kind instincts. We are a species of compassion and we can't let outer influences ruin that.
5.) Don't be too hard on yourself.
Growing up as a competitive dancer made it difficult not to be a perfectionist. I have definitely been way harder on myself than was necessary, which sucked a lot of the time. I've learned that self-discipline is important and to always try your best but when things don't exactly go the way you wanted, it is then out of your hands and out of your control, the only thing to do is acknowledge it, learn from it, accept it and move on.
6.) Family is everything.
Stay as close as you can with your loved ones. My parents are my best friends who have helped me every step of the way in this 20-year long journey. They have taught me how to be the kind of person I want to be and I can't thank them enough for what they have done and continue to do. I also love keeping in touch with family that I don't get to see as often, like my grandparents or cousins. I try to phone them as often as possible or see them at certain events/celebrations which are special and rare opportunities. I cherish those moments. Those moments are truly important and valuable. As long as appreciation, love, and respect are present, family will never be too far away.
7.) A few best friends are way better than a lot of average friends.
I want friends who care about my well-being, how I am feeling, and who can accept me for who I am. I have found those people, and it is the greatest feeling in the world. I have also experienced having quite a few friends, but they didn't necessarily care about any of the things I just listed. They liked me (I think) but they didn't really care. I learned not to waste time trying to become close to those people. The ones you will actually want around you will naturally gravitate towards you. There is no effort needed, no drama, no unsureness. True friends will find you if you stay real to yourself. Just like anything else in life.
8.) Take the risk.
Jump off the cliff, climb the mountain, get on the plane, say "I love you", dance like crazy, sing even though you aren't all that good, do a flip, run a little further, just do whatever you want! I was lucky enough to grow up being taught to just take the risk. Whatever it was, it was usually my dad telling me to just do it. My mom would too actually and I believe that allowed me to grow up a little more fearless, excited and craving adrenaline. I continue to want to do it all, even if I fail sometimes, who cares? I want to experience everything, learn about what I love and hate. The world is endless doors opening.
9.) Don't get stuck in the past.
The worst thing you can do to yourself is dread about the past. It is the past, it is gone... and it's not coming back. Memories fade and times will change. The clock never stops ticking so what is the point of letting your mind wander around somewhere that is completely irrelevant to what is happening in the present? It is harder said than done, trust me I know, but I have learned how to accept what has happened and let it stay in the past. If I have to fix something, then I will, but if I am simply overthinking old times, I will reason with it and let it be so that I am able to move on.
10.) Don't think too hard about the future.
So guilty of this one! Whenever I have a mental break and not understand where it came from, it is 99% of the time from me overthinking about the future. As exciting as it is, the future scares the hell out of me! I am still practicing how to trust that I am on a good path, picking the open doors that I believe benefit me at the moment and hopefully this will lead me to the kind of future I want. That's basically all that you can do. Know what you want or at least have options for yourself, get organized and then just go! Start doing what you love, start asking questions, travel around, learn about yourself. My parents always told me that with a good work ethic, you can't really go wrong. No matter where I end up, I'll be able to handle it, I will be successful, and everything will be okay.
11.) Work hard at everything you do.
This trails off from what I was talking about in #10. Work ethic is SO important. I am so thankful that I have grown up with a very strong drive to work and to work hard. I want to be known as the girl that gave 100% every time to become successful and to get what she wants. I am not naturally talented in anything (haha seriously) I had to work my a$$ off to become a decent dancer so it is a big deal to be where I am now. Every job I've ever had, no matter what it was I worked to my fullest potential because I know that will affect me in the future. Now I have plenty of good references for future jobs, I know many people now that would hopefully speak kindly of me because I gave them my all. I take things like that into consideration, but it isn't key. I work hard for myself, to feel a sense of accomplishment. Like I work hard at this blog when only a few people read it so far! That is fine because if your hard work isn't for yourself, what is the point?
12.) Always be kind to everyone.
You never know who you will run into in the future. We live in a small word so just be kind to everyone, every day, all of the time. I have learned that it is much easier to be a respectful, nice person then one full of hate. I was not the ideal preteen. Maybe some parents worst nightmares BUT man was that ever a good learning experience. I was mean to my parents, my friends, and especially myself! I hated everything, and I was miserable for absolutely no reason (hormones probably). That was exhausting and the world seemed grey and most people think "being a preteen is different from being an adult" but think about it... we all know adults who still act like children and we will have to learn how to deal with those people! They will cross your path, and the only thing we can do is to be kind and carry on. As my favorite talk show host always says, "be kind to one another". -Ellen.
13.) Love yourself as if you are your own child.
This one might sound odd but think about it. If you have a child, you treat it as though it is the most precious, valuable thing in the entire planet. You keep it healthy by feeding it properly, making sure it gets exercise, making sure it is happy, laughing and smiling. You make sure it is surrounded by everything that is incredible in the world. Start treating yourself like that and your life will change.
14.) Nothing is worth stressing over.
Stress can take over quickly and that is something I have learned how to deal with as well. I hate being kept up, tossing and turning in bed all night because of stress. The feeling of being overwhelmed is... overwhelming and with a lot of time and patience I have learned that nothing is worth losing sleep over, or worth worrying about for excessive amounts of time. School stress is something I can relate with, and with the use of organization, writing everything down, waking up on time and just breathing through the process, it has gotten easier to deal with. Learning to manage my time has helped me stress a lot less, as well as learning to get a head start on everything. I always try to help my future self, and future me never regrets it.
15.) Have high standards, don't settle for less than you deserve.
I have learned to believe that I am worthy of great things and that I should have high standards. I don't settle for anything less than what I know I can/deserve to get. To a certain extent, this is the kind of approach I try to take on certain things such as looking for a part-time job. I used to want to take the first one that I can get, but I realized with time and patience I can get a good job that I will actually enjoy in the long run. This turns out to be really important for creating a journey you will enjoy even if it is something as minor as a part-time job.
16.) You get one body to live in so don't destroy it.
I am guilty of being extremely harsh on my body in the past. Since learning about nutrition and health in depth, I have learned to take care of the one and only body I have to live in for the rest of my life. I want to thrive as much as possible and feel amazing in my own skin. Diet is 80% of making this happen and once I began to treat myself properly, the world changed.
17.) Mom knows everything.
This doesn't need an explanation.
18.) Ask questions.
I've always been afraid to ask questions. Once I was on my own I had to get over that fear. I've learned so much more in such a short amount of time just from asking questions! It's worth it. Every time you catch yourself wondering what is going on, or what something means, try asking. The more you practice to ask and show interest in something the more exciting life will get.
19.) Always do what you love, even if it's not what you think you should do.
Follow your heart! Youll find true happiness in what you love, not what you think is the right choice. I continue to go down a path of doing things that bring me joy and it is the best thing I have ever experienced so far. Sometimes I have to sacrifice doing things I love for doing things I have to do, such as work perhaps. I need to make money and be stable to be able to do the rest. Prioritize your time so that you are capable to do it all.
20.) Don't forget to enjoy yourself.
Above all else, this is your life. Try to learn something new every day, find something to question, find your people and continue on a path that you feel is best for you. I am no wise old owl with the best advice you'll ever find. I'm just a 20-year-old girl with a blog who likes to write stuff sometimes. Bringing all of these things to the surface make me realize how extremely happy I am and how lucky I feel. I only hope that in another couple of years I'll discover a ton of different things that I don't know now. That is the most exciting part, isn't it? The best days of our lives haven't happened yet. There is so much to look forward to and most of it, we don't know exist yet. It's exhilarating! So for now just enjoy the present moments.
So there you have it! 20 things I have learned throughout 20 years of life on this earth!
Thanks for reading! Please let me know if you enjoyed this post and/or any other posts. It means a lot to me!