20. The constant reminder of my age brings a bitter-sweet, muddled feeling. A confusing midpoint in life; no longer considered a child, not quite an adult. You’ve made it this far, past the awkward adolescent years yet you’re only halfway through the journey.
Three years ago, I found myself graduating high school. A terrified 17 year old with no clue what I wanted. Everyone around me seemed to have it all figured out. Pre-med. Pre-law. Engineering. Nursing. Business. Yet there I was, with no single idea of what direction I wanted to head in.
Flash-forward three years, and the feeling still lingers.
What do I want in life? If I had known the answer to that question at the time, I probably wouldn’t be writing this blog post right now. Or maybe I would, just in a different context.
Which brings me to the purpose of this post. 20 things I’ve learned at 20.
- Seize every opportunity: Don’t let your fear ever stop you from going after what you want at the moment. Some chances only come once in your life, and if you spend time trying to live in your comfort zone you’ll never be happy.
- Sometimes it’s better to let go: Friends should help you grow and bring a positive influence in your life. If you notice your friendship has become toxic and is bringing you more harm than good, it’s time to end it. Weed out the bad, and only let the good grow.
- Believe in something: Find something and let it consume you. Whether it’s a goal or yourself, find something to fight for and give it your all.
- It’s okay to not have it figured out: Everyone is at a different stage and believe it or not, one day you’ll find every answer you’ve been looking for. But for now relax, life isn’t a checklist.
- Read: Read a lot. Books have the power to shape you, opening your mind to new worlds and perspectives you would’ve never dreamed about. Read every second you have a chance.
- Learn to see the familiar in the strange: Or vice-versa; learn to see the strange in the familiar. Challenge your mind and learn to see the world in a new perspective.
- Say no: It’s okay to say no. Don’t feel obligated to do things you don’t want to just because of what others may think or want.
- Learn to be alone: We’re social creatures, but every once in a while it’s good to have some alone time. Learn to appreciate your own presence and company. You’ll discover things about yourself you never knew.
- Moderation: Life is about balance. As Cheryl Cole‘s song once said, “Too much of anything can make you sick, even the good can be a curse.”
- Spend time with your family: Sometimes we forget that they’re getting older too and they won’t be around forever. Enjoy the time you have with them. All the moments, no matter how small they may seem, will make the most beautiful memories.
- Don’t settle: Nothing good came to someone who never strived for more. Never be satisfied with where you are; appreciate what you have, but always remember there’s room for improvement.
- Seek fairness: If something seems unfair, speak up. Don’t ever let yourself or others be silenced. You have a voice, use it.
- Write: Just pick up a pen and write. Scribble the first words that come to mind. Let them flow out from you. You’ll never understand how therapeutic it is until you try it.
- Don’t change for someone else: Don’t try to turn into something you’re not to impress someone. Always stay true to who you are.
- Be childish: It’s okay to curl up in your living room and sing along to all the High School Musical movies. It’s okay to wear an animal onesie around your house. It’s fine to still sleep with your childhood stuffed toy. Embrace the innocence in your soul.
- Stop complaining: If something is bothering you, do something.
- Red lipstick can be your best friend: It will do wonders to your self-esteem, trust me.
- Take care of your body: It’s the only one you have.
- Change is good: You might find comfort and feel safe in your usual routine, but it’s good to spice things up every once in a while. Try a new hair color. Order something new. You might find yourself to like new things.
- You never stop learning: Every day you’ll learn something new in life. Don’t ever think you know it all.