Happy Birthday: 25 Things I learned in my early 20’s
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Another year older and another trip around the sun. I turned 25, on March 13 this month and celebrated with my family and Bobby for the weekend! We had a quite little dinner at one of my favorite restaurants in downtown Mobile, NOJA. It was the perfect evening with the people I love.
Upon reflecting on these past few years I made a list of 25 things I learned in my early 20’s to celebrate my birthday with. From the good, the bad and the wonderful – my early 20’s have been a time of learning and growing. I hope you enjoy it and gain some advice or knowledge from my personal life to use in yours.
“May you approach this season with gratitude and a deeply rooted hope that everyday will teach you something that is an integral part of your growth.” – Morgan Harper Nichols
Learn to say “NO” – This one has been such a hard one for me. Whether its in the work place or within your personal life you need to become comfortable saying “No” to things that you don’t want to do. Will it make you happy? If no, then say no thank you or I’m not interested and move on.
Celebrate your wins – Sometimes we forget that even the smallest accomplishes need rewarding. Big or small – don’t ever let anyone or anything stop you from cheering yourself on.
Work on your self care – The 2020 pandemic really pushed me in this one. Maintaining a healthy and consistent self care routine will not only make you feel better but you’ll be happier. I started working on my fitness and truly unplugging on the weekends away from work.
Travel – If there was one thing I made myself do it was definitely find the time to travel as much as I could in my early 20’s. I knew that once I graduated college and started working, my full-time would probably consume me. I made sure to carve out vacations and go any where I could to see pieces of the world. Places I traveled: Puerto Rico, Ireland, Iceland, Disney World (I think it counts haha), New York City and California.
Realizing no one else has life figured out – I used to freak out regularly wondering all the things; “Am I making the right decisions?”, “Should I be doing this or that?” etc. I quickly realized that NO ONE has their life completely planned and figured out by the age of 21 hahaha!
Long distance relationships – If you’ve been here a while you know Bobby and I have been together for 5 years now and its been long distance for the last 3 years since he’s been in medical school. I add this one to the list because it has been such a huge part of my learning/growing in my early 20’s. Although it may not resonate with you unless you too are in a LDR it has taught me how to be patient, be more selfless and think of others. At the end of the day not only do you go through life together, but you grow through life together as well.
Stop worrying what others think – Not going to lie, I am constantly still working on this one. No matter what you do good or bad people will always have something to say so just do it and don’t worry about the others. Their thoughts and opinions should never affect what you want to do in your life.
Invest in your future and SAVE – Probably one of the most important things I learned in my early 20’s is how to manage my finances. Talk to someone you trust (i.e. a parent, sibling, banker etc.) and start saving your money.
Value your time – This one goes hand in hand with saying “No”. It’s hard to remember that your time is just as important as the next persons. Be mindful the next time someone wants to take up your time – is it worth it? Will you be happy?
Expand your knowledge – Never stop trying to learn new things!!! I have tried so many things these past few years from building websites in my job to learning how to roller skate on my free time. Keep learning!!!
Stick to a schedule – I don’t know if this comes with getting older but I have found that when I get off my schedule or routine I feel like my whole day is off. Sticking to a schedule will help be a better planner in life and prioritize things through out your day.
Just start – Whatever it is that you are wanting to start just do it! Stop holding back and START. For example when I started this blog a few years ago I was so afraid I would fail because I had no idea what I was doing. I just knew I wanted to create something of my own to have and build off of.
Stay connected – Just because life may feel crazy for you at the moment this is a reminder to call your people. Talk to them on the phone or give them a text every now and then. Your family, friends, neighbors, colleagues etc. they are all part of your support system and you need to know you can lean on them.
Make mistakes – Not every decision you make will be the right one. What’s important is that you learn something from your mistakes and don’t make them again in the future.
Ask for help – It’s okay to ask for help when you need it. Stop thinking that you know it all because you definitely don’t!
Appreciate your parents – This time of my life I have realized how much my parents do for me and how much they mean to me. You will always love your parents but appreciating them and recognizing all the little things they do for you is truly a gift. They love you and want the best for YOU!
Pick your battles – Man is this a hard one for me, still haha! Its definitely hard to pick your battles with your friends, partner and/or family. But having a clear mind and sleeping on something before you act out is always the better option. See how you feel in the morning. If something is still bothering you then you know you need to address it.
Learn to cook – Cooking has been a struggle for me but I have found ways to make it fun and not seem so daunting. I started to pick up meal kits from the grocery store and learn as I go!
Always be aware of your surrounds – It’s easy to be naive and think you’re safe 99% of the time. Just a reminder that no matter where you are its a good practice to always be alert and pay attention to your surroundings.
Try new things – Get out of your comfort zone and try everything at least once! Whether its new foods, a new place, a sport – whatever it is try it. Do things you are scared to do, you might surprise yourself.
You can’t please everyone – You’re going to have haters and thats okay!!! Not everyone is going to like you and you need to be okay with that and move on. Easier said than done, I know but it’s a good reminder to have.
Friends will come and go – Don’t worry too much about having a lot of friends. Always remember that the ones who stick by your side no matter what are your true friends in the end.
Work on your health – Taking care of yourself is extremely important to start focusing on in your early 20’s. Just like self care your body needs to be cared for too. Start exercising and incorporating healthy foods into your diet.
Stop saying sorry for everything – I do this way too often, when I say sorry for things don’t even warrant an apology. If you’re like this then work to crush this habit!
Don’t compare yourself to others – Social media has made this last one even harder to get over. It’s so hard when we live in a world of constant picture sharing media. It can be so easy to look at others and think “life is greener” but don’t. Your life is yours and you make it what you want it to be. Focus on that and be grateful for what you have now.
Just remember we are all on different paths in life but focusing on what’s really important will help you along the way. I hope my life lessons in my early 20’s helps you navigate through yours. Cheers to your 20’s!!!!