Every year should teach you something valuable; whether you get the lesson is up to you. Every year brings you closer to expressing your whole and healed self. – Oprah
Like most people, age has always been a touchy topic. You grow up with the notion that there’s an expiry date on life as is with the carton of milk in the refrigerator. You become so obsessed with figuring life out that you forget to actually live it.
Here are 25 lessons from the newly turned TWENTY-FIVE year old:
- GET RID OF THE TIMELINE!
You spend the majority of your life thinking I’ll be married by this age, have kids by that age, retire when I’m this many years… You put up time constraints on a life you could have been enjoying up until the next birthday when you realize you haven’t accomplished anything, all because you were focused on only one outcome when the possibilities are endless. It will all happen eventually, so up until that time comes live every moment to its fullest.
- LET IT GO
We spend so much time despising our exes and that once upon a time best friend, you stay upset about things that have long surpassed you and unconsciously harbor negativity that hinders you. LET THE DAMN THING GO ALREADY, YOU IS GROWN. Smile at the people who were once the most important part of your existence, be kind and don’t focus on their healing process, go through your own.
- H₂O IS YOUR FRIEND
Water is actually life, like literally… Stay hydrated, always, your skin will thank you, your mind will be at peace and all those toxins that have seeped in from all the negative vibes will get flushed, seriously!
I work crazy hours and the thing that takes its toll on me is the lack of sleep, after that second-morning shift my body feels like it’s about to crash, I become more irritable and unsociable and no one likes that (especially my boyfriend, LOL). Don’t feel bad for blowing off some events and parties for the sake of catching up on your beauty rest, you need it.
- QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
Growing up, being popular was all we strived for, even entering adulthood we go where we are liked, we look for people who place us on a pedestal but there’ll come a point in your life that 90% of those ‘friends’ wouldn’t even bat an eyelash in your direction if you were in need of help. It’s that 10% who are there even in the silence, they have your back whether you’re around or not, and their not afraid to tell you to CALM THE HELL DOWN when you’re taking things a bit too far… Those are the people who will last you a lifetime, cherish them at all costs.
- TAKE A RISK
Sometimes one little impulse decision becomes the best thing that could have ever happened to you. Be it in life or in love, take a leap of faith and jump right in, if you fail, you’ll learn a lesson or you’ll have experienced something amazing and life-changing. GO FOR IT!!!!!
Even if it’s up the street, go explore something other than the four corners of your bedroom. Traveling opens up your mind and expands your growth as an individual. You’ll learn who you are and what you’re about, nothing will beat getting lost in a foreign city having to put your trust in YOU. Go explore the world, open your mind to cultures and traditions different from your own, let it be your greatest teacher.
- DON’T COMPROMISE YOUR FAMILY
A healthy relationship with your parents makes such a difference in your life. Those 10 minute moments end up being more refreshing than gossiping with your girlfriends about something pointless. You learn from your parents and they learn from you, it’s their job to guide you and it’s yours to make sure their eyes are open in the world they weren’t born into. The moment you find yourself questioning where your loyalties lie, always choose your family.
- LIFE ISN’T ALWAYS A PARTY
The biggest part of this year was dedicating my weekends and off days to movies and chilling, don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a good time but a good time comes with a time limit and a serious pep talk to the reflection in the bathroom mirror. Everything just sort of became boring, guzzling down drinks I’m going to probably throw up later and dancing as if I’m not gonna need my legs tomorrow is fun but also EXHAUSTING. Learn to find a balance.
- CHANGE IS INEVITABLE
You know that sad feeling when you finally reach an age where you fall asleep on the couch and you wake up on the couch because you’re too grown for your dad to pick you up and carry you into your bed, and now you have to carry your heavy body through dark passages to find your own room and get in your own bed… yeah, that’s what adulting is like… one day you’re going to wake up and everything will be different and you’ll need to navigate this on your own and adapt to the situation or you’ll be stuck in one place until you get up and go for it. So don’t wait for someone else to carry you through, you gotta carry your own weight now.
- SUPPORT THROUGH THE STRUGGLES
You’re not going to win all the time, don’t forget to celebrate with those that do. If you have a good circle, they will not brag about their accomplishments but they will use it to inspire and motivate you, so don’t get jealous when your friend gets promoted, celebrate their achievements because one day it will be you and you’d want them by your side when it happens. My favorite thing about my squad is when one of us wins, we tell the other that their next, simple words but extremely encouraging.
- DON’T TAKE YOUR HEALTH FOR GRANTED
My family has some medical issues that are hereditary and yes, we can pray those things away but we are also blessed with modern medicine and choices. Choose a healthy lifestyle, don’t drink too much soda, limit the sugar and kids, don’t abuse the alcohol, stay safe out there. What I’m saying is, you won’t be 21 forever, start a healthy lifestyle NOW!
Listen, if you’re religious, don’t push your beliefs behind your social media presence because one day you’ll wake up and blame God for things you didn’t ask for. Pray constantly, pray hard, pray with intent, not just when you need something but when you’re living good, don’t forget to say thank you, God.
- CURIOSITY KILLED THE CAT…
It’s a good thing you’re not one. There’s always a deeper story than what you ‘heard through the grapevine’, ask better questions, pry into the unknown, learn the pasts of people you intend to keep in your future. The more you learn, the more you understand about a person. We only react because of our past experiences, figure out how the people in your circle react through listening to the stories of their pasts.
- EVERYMAN FOR HIMSELF
You can’t fight someone else’s demons. You have your own battles and trying to fight someone else’s leaves you exhausted and battered before you can conquer your own. You can’t fix every problem, and sometimes it’s not your job to fix it, it’s your duty to be there when the fight is over, to offer love and support.
- DON’T BE CLOSE MINDED
Every day I interact with people who didn’t have the same upbringing as I did, their customs and traditions are vastly different than my own, their values aren’t always going to match mine, we accept people whose priorities are different to yours but forget that there are other aspects of a person that aren’t always going to be what you agree with or where you’re at right now. Respect the people you come in contact with, don’t be so quick to judge what you don’t understand or are willing to learn to understand.
- WORK OUT
Not to impress anyone but so that you feel good in your own body. I’ve been preaching about this for so long but skip it entirely up until I’m sitting in my sweatpants feeling uneasy and bloated and practically hating everything about myself… GO TO THE GYM. Take some time each week to get your body feeling refreshed and your mind clear and boost your confidence.
- PRACTICE THE WORD NO!
You can’t please everyone, sometimes you get so busy trying to say yes to everyone that you neglect yourself in the interim, let people figure it out on their own and take a step back from being their go-to person for everything. Somehow it turns into you mothering people than just lending a helping hand. So remember, it’s OKAY to say NO.
- DON’T CHASE MONEY
We put money at the center of every decision we make, will it bring us wealth, how wealthy are we compared to our neighbors but money doesn’t buy happiness, the cliche is true. Learn to be comfortable, don’t make hasty purchases, learn how to save for a future not for the next event.
- BE GRATEFUL
Don’t forget to take a step back from the chaos and take in all that God has given you, say a little thank you, you’re having car problems – at least you have a car; you’re having a tiff with your parents, thank God you still have them in your life. Never let the problems outweigh the blessings you already have.
- LET YOUR WORDS BE ALIGNED WITH YOUR ACTIONS
Be true to your mottos and your beliefs, stay true to who you are and what you believe in, don’t do things that are contradictory. Be transparent.
One of the biggest lessons I learned this year, thanks to my boyfriend, is how to communicate better and effectively. If you aren’t happy with something then you’ve got to say it, if someone is doing a good job, tell them. Nothing builds relationships better than being able to communicate freely and without judgment.
- FRIENDSHIPS EVOLVE
You won’t stay friends with some people forever, some people are there for a season, for lessons to be learned, and that’s just about it. Don’t hold on too tightly to what needs to be around for just a short amount of time, take in the time you have and enjoy so that you have those amazing memories to look back on.
- IT’S OKAY NOT TO HAVE IT ALL FIGURED OUT
When you reach your twenties you’re automatically assumed to have all the answers about your future. Your twenties are the time to make the mistakes, to figure out what direction you want your life to go, it’s the time that the high school drama and relationships start to fall away and you start to put your time into things that have more substance. You look for maturity in friends, and for growth in your career but take chances and dip your feet into things you aren’t used to, be ready to learn.
- DON’T GROW UP TOO QUICKLY
Yes you’re getting older but take your time, don’t rush life. Take each moment as it comes, everything that is meant to be, will come to pass.
Here’s to growing up, and never ending learning… change is inevitable, embrace it and don’t let the temporary obstacles become permanent.