20 Things I Learned in My 20 Years of Life.

  1. This might be a bit obvious, but disrupt your comfort zone. Try new things, accept that fear, and roll with it because that is how you will grow.
  2. Be aware of when you need to start making changes for yourself. Whether that’s getting used to a new daily routine, doing more things that make you happy and confident, hanging out with different people, or going to new places, find ways to be in control of as much as you can.
  3. Solitude is crucial to personal growth.  Finding comfort in being alone is essential to learning new things about yourself and what you need to be happy.  At the end of the day, all you’ve got is yourself, so it is important to be okay with that.
  4. Never be ashamed of things you love.  There are many things I do that I’ve gotten a little anxious about when I consider what others may think, such as posting a new YouTube video, sitting around just reading a book, or even writing this blog.  There will always be someone who doesn’t understand, or just isn’t into what you’re into, and that is nothing to be embarrassed about.  So keep up with your hobbies, listen to whatever kind of music you love, wear whichever clothes make you feel confident, and make your time pass however you want to.
  5. Love yourself so no one has to; this one is a process, let me tell you, and I am still working on it every single day.  I don’t believe you have to love yourself in order to love someone else because I know from experience that is possible, but I do believe self-love in general is very important.  You cannot depend on and thrive off others’ love, hoping it’ll make you happy with yourself.
  6. “You need to stop watering dead flowers.” People in your past are in your past for a reason, and though they may not be in your life anymore, it’s guaranteed that your time with them has taught you a lesson one way or another.  Once I got out of high school, it became so much easier for me to cut people off and realize who I want to keep in touch with.  There is only so much effort you can make in trying to keep a relationship or friendship before it hits you that it’s simply not worth it anymore and that it’s healthier for you to let those people go.
  7. Money comes & goes. Everyone gets so stressed out over those green pieces of paper, and I know everyone has their own opinions about it, but nobody can deny that it comes, and it goes.  It’s inevitable, so use it wisely, but it’s important to treat yourself when you need to as well.
  8. It is okay to rest.  Allow yourself to just lay there and watch Netflix all day.  Take yourself to that new coffee shop you’ve been wanting to check out.  Take a bubble bath. Finish that book you’ve been trying to read for months.  Take a super long nap. Do whatever you need to do to relax every now & then because these things are necessary to stay sane in this world. 
  9. Write everything down. We all have a million things to do every day, and it is possible to get everything done, as long as you stay organized.  Manage your time wisely, keep up with everything in a planner, and feel accomplished every time you’re able to check something off.
  10. Let success make the noise.  If I set my mind into doing something, such as working out at a certain time on a certain day, I’ve learned that I tend to be more likely to follow through with it if I keep my plans to myself, rather than announcing it to others.  I have yet to figure out why that’s the case.
  11. The “look-good-feel-good” method is very real.  Take that little bit of extra time & effort for yourself to feel confident in your appearance, and it will make all the difference in a significantly more productive day.
  12. Always be grateful. Of course it’s best to show the ones you are grateful for that you appreciate them, but even if you don’t show it, it’s important to always keep in mind how lucky you are, one way or another.  I know that many times it seems like the world is crashing down on you, but if you just stop & think about the blessings life has given you, it makes it a hell of a lot easier to get through those bad days.
  13. This might be super cheesy, but I learned what love is.  Thanks to the love of my life, I now understand a lot of what I’ve often heard growing up. It really is all about the little things: the cute surprises when one of you is having a terrible day, reminders to drive safely, making sure the other remembers to eat on a stressful day, pushing each other to accomplish everything that needs to be done, etc.  More importantly, it can most definitely not be a one-way thing.  This thing only works with the concept of give & take.  Though trust is vital, it is not the primary foundation of a relationship; with everything else, must come honesty & confidence that your feelings for each other are strong enough to withstand anything that comes your way.  I can keep going about this, but let me just say, you’ll know it when you feel this little thing called love, and it’ll hit you like a hurricane.  I hope & pray that each of you reading this will find someone who makes you realize & feel everything I have for this guy; I am going to marry him someday, and I can’t wait to keep learning.
  14. NEVER let each other go to sleep without fixing things.  Speaking from experience, this one is golden. I have been in relationships where we would argue and then give each other a week of “space,” which meant not saying a single word to each other.  THAT IS NOT THE WAY TO GO.  Take a few minutes, maybe a couple hours max, then talk it through with each other until you fix it before the end of the night.  Master this, and your relationship will improve in such a healthy way; trust me.
  15. Things could always be worse. You didn’t get into that school/get that job? There are some people without any educational background to get into a school/get a job, period.  Someone pulled a hit & run on you? You could’ve been in an accident where you got severely injured. You spilled your coffee on your new white shirt? At least you have clothes on your back in the first place.  You have survived everything up to this point; you can do it again.
  16. Take criticism well, but with a grain of salt. You don’t see yourself from an outsider’s eye, so when said outsider swoops in and politely tells you what you need to work on, always take it into consideration, but never forget about your own values & beliefs.  In the end, do whatever you feel is right for you, but make sure you didn’t ignore what you were told.
  17. Do what you have to do now, so you can do what you want to do later. I’ll admit that I’ve had my share of starting a big essay on the night before it’s due and getting an A on it, but in the long run, procrastination is the enemy.  Your future self will thank your past self for finishing things early & not having to stress.
  18. Moderation, not restriction.  You can skip that workout and eat those snacks, but do so in moderation.  If you try to keep up with something crazy, like no sugar altogether, you will drive yourself insane.  Mental health is just as important as physical health. 
  19. Be aware of toxic relationships/friendships. It may seem like you won’t find anyone else like that person, or you may just be keeping that person around because you have so much history, but you need to realize when you are being mistreated & that you deserve better. People throw that phrase around all the time, but you need to weed out whether it’s accurate or not, and if it is, you need to get yourself out of that situation.  Just because you’ve known someone for a long time does not make it worth it.  Don’t be afraid to start from scratch.  Once you find the right people, you will know, and you won’t mind creating a brand new history.  You need to hold onto those people for as long as you can because those are the rare ones.
  20. Listen to songs for the mood you want to be in, not for the mood that you are in.  We have all put on the “Depressing Songs” playlist to help us wallow deeper into our sadness because that’s the easy thing to do.  But I challenge you to put on some Hip Hop or even Disney songs when you feel like curling up & crying yourself to sleep.  I won’t guarantee a complete 180 turn-around right after the first song, but it may help just a tad!  Regardless, music will always be there for you, and everything will be okay.

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