Guess who’s 20 today?! I’m finally an official adult. How crazy is that?
You know what else is crazy though? The responsibilities that come with being an adult.
Let me tell you, this whole “adulting” thing seemed so much more fun when I was little. Little me didn’t take into account the bills that needed to be paid I guess, but as stressful as it may be at times I am so ready to officially kiss my teen years goodbye and start this new chapter of my life.
With that being said, here are 20 lessons I learned in 20 years.
1) You are what you DO
It’s easy to talk the talk, but talk doesn’t always matter. Actions speak louder than any words you could possibly speak. If you have something you want to do, then DO IT. Don’t waste time planning it or waiting for the “perfect moment”; that perfect moment is now.
2) Losing weight isn’t everything
Stop putting all your focus on losing a certain amount of weight. Rather than putting all your focus on weight loss, focus on being healthy. Eat healthy and exercise regularly because it’s good for you and your body, not because you’re trying to punish your body.
3) Stop comparing yourself to others
It’s easy to fall into the comparison game-especially with social media-but it’s also dangerous to your mental health. As great of an outlet social media is, it’s played a big part in damaging self esteem in many people. Scrolling through countless posts of all the exciting things people post make it easy to feel the envy and start comparing your life to theirs. However, it’s important to realize that what you see on social media isn’t always real. We all post the best parts of our lives on social media and conveniently leave out our struggles. Stop comparing yourself and your daily life to someone else’s highlight reel.
4) Don’t ever let anyone make you feel bad about yourself
This past year especially I was faced with a few situations where I let people and their rude comments get me really down. It made me question everything I did, but now as I look back I’m finally able to realize that there was no point in that! The people that hurt you aren’t the ones suffering as you continue to punish yourself for whatever mean things they said about you. As much as it hurts, let it go and move on.
5) Own Your Self-Worth
You have to learn to love yourself, and realize that you are worth so much more than you may realize. Once you learn that you are good enough, and that you matter, no one else can steal that from you.
6) Life is all about progress, not perfection
We all have things we want to change in our lives, in a perfect world we can make those changes happen overnight but life doesn’t work like that. Chances are whatever you’re trying to change didn’t occur overnight, neither will the solution to it. Make small goals and continue to grow and make progress.
7) Don’t take yourself too seriously
For years now, I have struggled with the need to be perfect, and to get people to like me. I thought about it so much that I would take every little thing I said or did so seriously that it stopped me from enjoying my life. Stop overanalyzing everything you do and taking your life too seriously. No one else does, so why should you?
8) Agree to Disagree
We all like to be right, but sometimes it’s just not worth the argument. You have your opinions and others have theirs. It’s okay to disagree sometimes.
9) Life is too short to waste time hating anyone
This past year especially has been hard with this one. There were a few people in particular that made my life horrible and made me question everything, and I hated them for it. In the end though, all it did was hurt me more. I wasted almost a year on hating these people. Don’t make that mistake, if someone hurts you forget about them and find people that value you.
10) When life pushes you over, you push back harder
Life gets you down sometimes, but you have to be strong and fight through it. If you really want something, fight for it no matter who or what stands in your way.
11) If it feels wrong, don’t do it.
Growing up, you’re always trying to fit in with others, in desperate times you may even forget your own instincts and go along with whatever someone wants you to do for the sake of being friends with them. Trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. It’s better to lose a friend than put yourself in a dangerous situation.
12) Investing in your skills is always beneficial to your future success
Lets be real, nothing in this life is free, thats for sure. If we have to pay for things though, shouldn’t we invest in something that can help us in the future? No matter what skills or talents you have, we all need a little training. Invest in your skills and do whatever it takes to perfect those skills to help guarantee your success.
13) If they do it often, it isn’t a mistake it’s their behavior
We all make mistakes, that’s life. However, if someone continuously lies, or makes the same mistakes and hurts you, it’s not a mistake no matter how sorry they claim to be. It’s who they are as a person, and they will more than likely do it again.
14) When in doubt, just take small steps
If you’re feeling unsure of whether or not you can achieve the goals you’ve set for yourself, don’t just give up and put your dream aside, make small goals, and continue to work towards achieving your goals one small step at a time.
15) Losing someone is tough, but you’re tougher
The loss of my great grandma is something I carry with me every single day. Sometimes I even forget she’s gone and find myself wondering when she’ll come visit next before I get that sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach as I remember she’s no longer with us. It still hurts me, every single day. The pain of losing a loved one doesn’t fade away, you just get stronger.
16) Follow your heart, but use your brain
Dating can be complicated to say the least. It’s easy to get caught in the excitement of meeting someone new, and falling in love with the idea of love. When someone new comes along that you think can make you happy by all means go for it like you’ve never gone for anything before, but don’t forget to take your head along with you. It’s important not to compromise yourself and your morals to make a guy happy. If he really cares about you, he’ll respect you and your decisions, even if they differ from his own.
17) Your thoughts are powerful, make them positive
It’s so easy to let your thoughts get the best of you. The more negative you think, the more negative you are going to feel. Keep your thoughts positive and always look on the bright side of things.
18) Its okay to adjust plans
Most things don’t turn out exactly the way we planned. Even if we end up getting the results we wanted in the end, chances are something along the way didn’t go exactly as you thought it would. Having to change plans up isn’t as bad as you may think it is in the heat of the moment. At the end of the day life has a funny way of working itself out and giving us what we ask for, it just may not be in the exact form we originally ask for.
19) Make peace with your past, before it gets in the way of your future
You can’t move forward if you keep living in the past. Whatever good or bad might have happened before needs to stay in the past, so you can start building your future.
20) Dreams require sacrifice
Nothing in life is going to be handed to. Creative people are some of the best people in my opinion, but creative careers are not always typical or “safe”. If you have big dreams, you’re going to have to make big sacrifices to make those dreams your reality. You’re going to have to work day and night, you’re going to have to work when working is the last thing you want to do, and you will consistently have to make short-term sacrifices to get where you want to be. The people who go the extra mile are the ones on track to fulfill their dreams and be successful.
There you have it, my 20 lessons I’ve learned in 20 years. The two decades I’ve been alive have taught me a whole lot of good, and a whole lot of bad, but even through the bad it’s what’s made me who I am today.
Even through everything I have experienced, and everything I have learned, I still have so much room to grow and so many places I want to be.
I can’t wait to see what this next year has in store for me!