Real talk. I’m 23 and I’m not a child anymore. I’m an adult and sometimes it totally sucks. The other times, it’s totally worth it. In these short little years I’ve lived on this big, beautiful, blue planet, I’ve learned a few things. Actually, I’ve learned a lot. I just can’t list everything. Here are the biggies:
1. Love yourself.
It may sound cliché, but you must love yourself before you can expect anyone else to love you. That means love everything about yourself: your quirks, your guilty pleasures. Embrace it all.
2. Collect moments, not things.
Spend your money on moments, not physical things. You’ll be so much happier knowing you’ve got to experience the world.
3. Call your mother.
Call her at least once a day. Tell her everything that’s going on. Don’t be afraid to tell her your problems. Listen to her advice and never, ever forget to tell her you love her.
4. Spend time with your grandparents.
Grandparents can we weird when you’re younger and you don’t think about spending time with them. But once they are gone, they are gone. Hug them a little longer and don’t ever forget the way their hands feel. You’ll miss that one day.
5. Sit in your daddy’s lap.
Dads are the best and if you’re the baby, like me, soak it up. There’s nothing better than a bond between a daughter and a father.
6. Learn something new everyday.
Don’t be a know-it-all. We a sponge and soak it all up. Watch the technician fix your sink. Ask the plumber questions. Build a stool. Put the bookcase together yourself. Watch Youtube videos and TEDTalks. Learn something everyday.
7. Enjoy the process.
Stop rushing to get to an invisible finish line. Take your time and enjoy the road bumps. Life’s a roller coaster. Enjoy it.
8. Fashion fades, style remains.
Invest in staple pieces that will last you forever. Don’t waste your money on the current trends. Wear what you want. Wear what you feel good in.
9. Communication is key.
No matter what the relationship is, communication is necessary. Emails, texts, Snapchats – those are great, but don’t forget about the simplicity and realness of a face-to-face conversation. Express how you’re feeling and let people know when you’re confused; it’ll help the relationship. You can’t expect people to know how you feel. You must tell them.
10. Stop worrying.
The majority of life’s issues are sooooooo small that it’s ridiculous. Stop worrying about your clothes. Stop worrying about the weather. Stop worrying about losing your phone. Stop worrying.
11. Never change yourself for someone else.
Do not adapt yourself to fit the stereotype of what you think society wants you to be. Do not pretend to like something because you think they’ll like you more. Don’t starve yourself for someone else. If you want to change, do it on your own terms, for your own betterment. Do not let a romantic partner change you — remember your friends, family, career, goals, hobbies, etc.
12. Family is there for you, no matter what.
Don’t push your family away. Make up with them, forgive them and let them in your life. When everyone else is gone, it’ll be your family members that remain.
13. It’s better to have 3 good friends then 30 bad ones.
Remember your true friends. Don’t push them away for a crush. Don’t push them away because you’re trying to be “cool”. The ones who truly love you will always be there for you.
14. Invest in the better quality item once or you’ll be buying it for the rest of your life.
This goes for buying a car to a hairbrush. If you spend a little more money on a better quality item up front, you won’t have to replace it as often. Quality verses quantity.
15. Going to college is extremely stressful, but it’s worth it.
Do the work. Pay attention in class. Study. Make relationships. Don’t stress over small things. Enjoy it. Sometimes a class is so difficult, you just need to pass it and move on. It’s not worth crying over or beating yourself up over. C’s earn degrees.
16. Stop and smell the roses.
There’s so much beauty around us that we miss out on everyday. We must open our eyes and see what’s really right in front of us.
17. Love and joy are not just feelings, they are decisions.
This is huge. To feel love and joy, you must decide that you want love and joy. They don’t just fall out of the sky and land on a sliver platter. You have to decide, “I want love and I want to be happy.”
18. Ephesians 4:26
“Do not let the sun go down on your anger.”
19. Grudges only take away the happiness from your life. Not there’s.
To echo Ephesians, stop holding grudges. In 10 years, the fight with your [whomever] won’t matter. Heck, they might not even be here in 10 years, so stop being angry at them for that they said, did, didn’t do, etc. Forgive and forget.
20. Life on earth passes by very quickly.
Another cliché thing to say, but man, life flies by so quickly. My boss said to be the other day after I told her how shocked I was that my nephew was going to be 10 this year, “The next ten years will be much faster. He’ll be graduating high school before you know it.” Whoa. Just be blessed with everything and everyone you have in your life at this moment. They could be gone tomorrow, or in my case, a teenager tomorrow. Enjoy the little ones, while they’re little. Enjoy your grandparents while they are healthy. It’ll all be over before you know it.
21. Be kind.
Be kind to everyone you come in contact with. You never know what battle someone is facing. They might be craving a smile or a hug and one rude person could send them over the edge. You’ll get so far in life if you are just genuinely kind to everyone.
22. Take care of your skin.
Protect your flawless face. Wear sunscreen. Wear sunglasses. Stop tanning in the tanning bed. (I’m preaching to myself.) Wear lotion on your hands. Wash your face every night. Indulge in regular pedicures. Stop flat ironing your hair every day; go natural! Take a make-up break for like a week to give your skin chance to breathe. You’ll only look as young as you do today.
23. Stop and give God the glory.
He is, after all, the reason why you have all this. Look around. Aren’t you so stinking blessed? The people you have in your life, the clothes on your back (whether they are J Crew or not), the shoes on your feet (whether they are Tory Burch or not), the money in the bank (whether it’s a lot or not), the roof over your head (whether it’s a castle or not). You are blessed and the Big Man Upstairs deserves all the credit.
When you began to list what you’re thankful for, you’ll find there are a lot of things. A lot of things. I’m learning something about myself and about life every day.
What have you learned throughout your life?