In my 25 years, I’ve slept in 5 different beds and called 5 different places home. Despite this point, some late nights when my mind wonders I picture myself back in my first bed. I can even smell the scent of my old room, a scent of familiarity. In my moments of uncertainty, I find my mind wondering there, desperately grasping for the feeling of comfort. I think we all have a place like this, whether it’s an actual location or a person. The warmth this special place has given us strength in our moments of weakness. Helps reminds us that everything will be okay and that we’ll make it through.
Tonight I’m thankful for my bed.
1) You need to love yourself first. Fall utterly and undyingly in love with your imperfections and your little twerks. Finally realize that all the things you used to hate about yourself are the things that make you you and are the things that your future partner will (should**) love most about you.
2) Sleep. You need it. I don’t care how much your late teens and early 20s tricked you into thinking you can survive off minimal sleep because you really can’t. Your body and sanity will thank you for those nightly 8 hours.
LIFE HACK: naps will become your best friend.
3) Get it right, get it tight. Seriously, though. Get in shape. Take care of your body. Give it the fuel and exercise it needs because believe me, it only gets harder as you get older, so get in shape while you can and make it a habit and a priority.
4) Spend money where you need to, and save where you can. I’ve learnt this one the hard way. Invest in a good mattress, in good shoes and other staple items. Think twice about spending the extra money on luxury items.
5) Spend as much time with your grandparents as you can. Sure they’re goofy and might smell a little funny but believe me, you’ll be thankful later on. I regret every day the time I could have spent with my grandparents that I didn’t.
6) SUNSCREEN. Sure a tan is fabulous, but wrinkles aren’t. Also on that same note, PLEASE skip the tanning beds.
7) Take care of your skin. Moisturize. You’re skin will be with you forever.
8) Understand now that the friends you have, you might not have forever. It’s a sad but true reality of growing up. Some people grow together, some grow away from each other. That’s life loves.
9) Find an outlet. Something that you do just for yourself. It can be indulging in reality TV, drawing, running, anything really. Just find some way to relief your stress and tension.
10) STOP texting and driving. I’m 100% positive that the person you’re texting or the Instagram posts your creeping can wait and if they can’t, please pull over.
11) Never try to change yourself for anyone. No one is worth the stress of not feeling good enough.
12) Put down that darn phone. Live and enjoy life events without ruining the moment by taking a picture.
13) Learn how to say ‘NO’. This is important.
14) Remember that the opinions of other people say more about them, than they do about you.
15) Taking mental health days are totally okay, don’t be embarrassed to do this.
16) Forgive yourself. Something that is a lot easier said than done. But everyone makes mistakes. We’re all only human.
17) STOP talking poorly about other people. Stop commenting negatively about people’s appearance, stop judging people on their lives, just stop. It doesn’t benefit you at all, it just makes you look shady.
18) Don’t spend your time on someone that wouldn’t spend their time on you. This counts towards relationships, friends, coworkers etc. You’ll just end up with regret.
19) Travel! 🙂 You all knew this one was coming. And by travel, I mean out of your comfort zone, not just to resort in Mexico. Go backpacking, meet new people, realize what it’s like to not have 24/7 Wifi and clean water. You’ll come home appreciating everything you have even more.
20) Say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. Manners never go out of style.
21) Spend time with your parents. Tell them thank you for everything they do. Make sure they know how much you appreciate them.
22) If you have something to say, say it. Let those feelings flow. Tell the people you love that you love them. Tell that stranger they look nice because I guarantee it’ll make their day. If you like someone, tell them. If something’s bothering you, say it. BUT remember #17.
23) Age is only a number. I have to tell myself this a lot. You’re never ‘too old’ to do something, to love someone, to start new. I mean 25 is the new 19 right?
24) If you ever find yourself doing something you don’t love, STOP. Change. Don’t waste yourself doing something you dread doing every day. No one deserves that.
hahaha Just kidding. My last lesson I’ve learnt is to be thankful. I don’t care how bad your day is, you can always find one thing to be thankful for.
I have always been memorized by waves. The ease in which they move. Freely, without thought or direction. I think people need to adopt this movement. People are constantly trying to control every aspect of their lives. Trying to plan out everything to the last detail, but what happens when things don’t go their way? They are left feeling unaccomplished and not good enough. Their souls and dreams are crushed by the illusion that things need to be done a certain way and by a certain time.
I’m going to tell you a very important thing, that it took me some time to learn myself. Life does not need to be lived a certain way. You don’t need to feel bad if your journey looks differently than the journeys of people around you. You don’t need to graduate from high school and go straight to uni. You don’t need to get married and have children before the age of 30, you don’t even need to get married at all if you don’t want to. You also don’t need to know what you want to do as soon as you graduate. It took me 7 years after I graduated to figure out what I truly wanted to do with my life and even though I wish I would have known earlier, I’m glad I didn’t choose something because I thought I had to.
I’m proud of my path. I don’t care if it looks differently than other 25 year olds. Comparing is and always has been my worst enemy, and I chose every day not to compare where I am in life to those around me.
*Focus on what you can control and let the rest flow around you.
As I sit here at the university with 4 papers, 10 forum posts, and a 20 page take home final to write I find my mind wondering. Is this really the life we’re all intended to have. School, work, die. Even writing that, it just sounds so depressing. I am entering my final year of school (for this degree, **eye roll) and I cannot wait to.. hold a piece of paper and say “I did it”. I wrote countless numbers of papers, had way too many sleepless, anxiety-filled nights, took one too many classes learning things that I will never use again.. hmm okay. I know I sound extremely stuck up and over-privileged, but I just can’t grasp the concept that this is all there is to life. I am beyond thankful to have gotten an education and lucky enough to have my parents help pay for it. I just wish I could see what my future looks like at this moment. I want to know that all this hard work and stress will be worth it in the end. I want to know my broken heart will one day be loved and appreciated by someone. I want to know that money will not be something I focus my life on. I would be happy to work at a minimal paying job as long as it’s something I wake up every day wanting and loving to do.
The unknowns of the 20s, both a blessing and a curse.