The older I get the more I realize that I haven’t figured out life yet. As a kid I thought by 18 that everything would make sense. As I woke up to 23 this morning, I know that I have very little figured out, but I did learn a lot this last year.
22 was an interesting year for me. It was the year I joined new organizations, took on more at work, made some big girl decisions, and learned what it means to listen to your body. While I’m excited for 23 – and the mixed reviews I’ve received about this age – I know that the lessons I learned from 22 will keep me in check for the upcoming year.
In honor of this wonderful day – a day filled with free food, a bid run, and family – I compiled a list of the most important lessons I learned this year so we can all gain something.
22 Things I Learned at 22
1. Only you can put positive things in motion.
Good things do happen, but you need to be the driving force for your own happiness.
2. Your ideal workout is out there.
After a lifetime of extreme dislike for physical activity, I discovered barre and can’t stop talking about it.
3. Your happiness is not equal to other’s.
I used to equal my happiness to other’s and “why are they happy if I’m not?” and now I realize that what makes me happy can take a lot more or less than someone else.
4. Boys suck.
Not all boys, but they know who they are.
5. Good things happen when you really need them.
After a monumentally awful March, April greeted me with solutions to my problems when I’d lost faith.
6. We’re all too hard on ourselves.
Long story short, with a friend group full of twentysomethings, we’re all complaining about how we’re not enough. The truth is we’re all doing our best and need to stop striving for unattainable perfection.
7. I’m worthy.
I am worthy of love. I am worthy of kindness. I am worthy of respect. I am worthy of generosity.
8. Good friendships don’t empty the bank.
I wrote a whole post on this, but a good lesson this year was evaluating my friendships and seeing which ones gave me a million bucks and which ones were overdrawing their balance.
9. Strength comes from within.
No one else can give you your strength. Your strength comes from you.
10. You’re going to be tested by people. Be graceful, but don’t back down.
This year I was tested a lot. But instead of getting angry or crawling into a corner, I approach it with understanding and kindness without becoming a pushover. Stand your ground, but there’s no reason to be mean.
11. Always have something to look forward to.
One reason for my extreme stress this year is I forgot to reward myself. With nothing to look forward to, what’s the point in doing anything? I learned to start setting rewards and it’s something I’m looking forward to this upcoming year.
12. Always have savings!
Seriously. $1,400 to the government? Hello, savings!
13. Give second chances, but be weary on the third.
Most of us deserve a second chance, but when it comes to the third…make sure you’re ready to face the consequences if they let you down again.
14. Listen to your body.
As mentioned before, this year I really listened to my body. It meant completely changing my diet, starting low impact exercises, and no longer being the friend who yelled “Shots! Shots! Shots!” In this year I have stopped getting headaches, my knees hurt a ton less, and I think my liver is very thankful. Listen to your body and reap the results.
15. Don’t be afraid to be enthusiastic.
People will make you feel bad for getting excited. Don’t let them! Enjoy the things you enjoy!
16. It’s okay to take a step back.
There is nothing wrong with taking a step back from something. You are human and no one is going to hate you for doing what you need to do.
17. Self-explore to find what your real passions are.
I discovered how much I love making candles this year, something I never thought was possible.
18. With that, follow your passions no matter where they take you.
As an enthusiast there isn’t much I wouldn’t do for my passion, but it’s a reminder to follow what you love because we only have one life.
19. Share your feelings.
Open up. That’s it.
20. You can accomplish your dreams with patience and hard work, but it’s okay if you don’t have the energy right now.
Your dreams will come when you are ready. Don’t push your overworked self. This was a huge lesson for me and pushing the pause button because I wasn’t physically ready was such a relief and has opened my creative tunnel for my dreams.
21. Be kind, courteous, and a warrior.
I’m all about being a good human being, but also don’t forget to stand up for what you believe in. And if it means telling someone off for 20 minutes for an offensive comment, do it!
22. Your early twenties suck, but apparently it gets better ??
Dear Lord, I really hope it does.
These lessons guided me through 22, and I hope they guide you too. We’ll chat soon, but right now I need to go get a free birthday Starbucks.
Stay classy, Internet,