Happy birthday to me!
Today I am 22 years old and I already feel seasoned and distinguished. I admit that as recent as three days ago I wasn’t too hyped about getting older, but I’ve had a change of heart. As I write this I’m reminiscing over the past and how much I’ve grown and matured. I’m thankful for the lessons I’ve learned, both the easy way and the hard ones, because I can honestly say I’m falling in love with the person I see in the mirror. With that being said, here are 22 lessons I’ve learned thus far:
1. “Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose Wisely.” -Karen Kaiser Clark
I used to be so comfortable with things remaining the same, but now I crave change like it’s a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. Some people may fear it, but it’s all about your approach. You can decide to adapt or complain. Welcome change with open arms and see it as a testament to how much you can persevere.
2. Never, ever ignore the obvious. Don’t let your heart override the facts.
3. “Forgiveness is giving up your right to retaliate.” – My dad
4. When you find a good eyebrow waxer, never let them go. Seriously. I’ve had my left eyebrow taken off one too many times.
5. You’ll never know how powerful you are, until you learn how to say no. Saying yes to every favor or task would leave me drained. If you can’t help your classmate with a paper, say no. If you don’t want to lend your friend 50 bucks, say no. I realized that it’s OK to be a little selfish and look out for yourself.
6. There are two types of people: those who God put in our lives for a lifetime, and those only meant to be around for a season. Never hold on to people who have served their purpose. Let them move on.
7. God’s not going to give you anything that will derail His purpose for you. When I think of this it makes me realize how strong I can be.
8. There’s a thin line between loyalty and stupidity.
9. Dreamers, be patient. Habakkuk 2:3
10. Be thankful for closed doors. It just means God is redirecting you to a greater opportunity.
11. Never lose who you are in a relationship. A man/woman is supposed to complement you, not complete you. If their wants trump your needs, it’s not love.
12. “Don’t you know that true love asks for nothing? Her acceptance is the way we pay.” – Stevie Wonder
13. “If you’re going to spend frivolously, do so on experiences, not things.” -Demetria Lucas
14. My parents are right 99% of the time. I could have avoided a whole lot of nonsense if I had realized this sooner. Sigh.
15. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness. I’m human; I can’t do it all.
16. Some decisions in life can be made on an impulse, like what to eat for dinner or what shoes to wear. However, many need time. I can credit this lesson on dying my hair red on my own.
17. You’re in charge of your own happiness- not your mom, not your dad, not your siblings, not your significant other. You are.
18. Words hold more power than you think. In hard times, speak triumph. Your positive words can break down the highest mountains.
19. Be careful who you take advice from. Have they experienced a similar situation? Are they practicing what they preach? If not, then keep it moving.
20. “Speak the truth, even if your legs are shaking.”
I saw this quote on a bottle cap once and it stuck with me. Many times I’ve been afraid to be honest because I was afraid of how it would be understood. If you speak the truth out of love then you have nothing to worry about.
21. Be comfortable in your own skin. This can be difficult when you’re bombarded by society’s beauty standards, but “to be beautiful means to be yourself (Thich Nhat Hanh).” Realize that no mistakes were made when God crafted you. There’s beauty in what you may deem as your flaws.
22. Don’t get so caught up in the future that you can’t truly experience the greatness of the present. We’re only guaranteed today. Enjoy it.