I am 20 now, and other than the fact that I am no longer a teenager and am now embarking into a new phase of life, I feel no different. In fact, my age sits a little more comfortably, and because the age 20 is vastly more mature than the age 19, regardless of the one-year separation, I feel like I can really begin my life. I can create a community around my blog, I can share my life journey, I can write thick books on psychological concepts without the fear that I am too young to be acknowledged.
But, even so, I am the same person as I was last week.
Even though I've only been mentally aware for 15 years, I have learned a lot in my life. I have traveled up steep hills, I've fallen flat on my face, and I've felt true love. I may still be young, and 20's aren't typically the years of flourishing wisdom, but I feel that, over these years, I have gathered enough wisdom to know that life is both ravishingly beautiful and painfully challenging.
In this post, I have gathered 20 things I've learned throughout my 20 years of life, of growth, of book-writing, of being human. Some of these things are ones I am still learning, still encountering, yet the sole awareness of them will stay prominent in my head as I move through this bizarre yet lovely life.
1. Temper tantrums will give you attention, but not the right kind of attention.
When we were young, we threw temper tantrums. Heck, maybe we still do!
But, it is certain that throwing temper tantrums, being angry, feeling frustrated, ranting, will all for sure give you attention, but probably not the attention you really want. In fact, it may just dig us into deeper holes.
2. When one door closes, another door opens.
It's okay to lose friends, to watch possibilities slip through our fingertips, to change and grow and adapt. When one door closes, another door opens. It's okay to let go, it's okay to look for new opportunities.
Things come into our lives for reasons, and they leave our lives for equally important reasons. We can't try to pry open those closed doors, or else we may miss our life. We must move on and find those open doors.
3. Your fears and worries are only thoughts.
There have been many times in my life where I've been caught up in worries and stress. But they are only illusions, only thoughts, and we don't have to let them manifest.
4. Accomplishments are not the key to happiness.
While accomplishments are exciting and offer boosts of self-esteem and fulfillment, they are not the key to happiness. Publish your book, post that blog post, but don't mistake these things for happiness.
5. Neither are people.
When I was younger, I chased relationships. Even now, I chase new friends. But, I've learned that, like accomplishments, people bring along temporary happiness and will fulfill certain needs, but they are not the key to happiness. It's important not to search for the good life in someone else.
6. Stop imagining your dream life, and start living it.
I am a believer in manifestation and visualization, and in my morning pages, I will write down my dreams and goals and bring them to existence.
But I've realized, while I do imagine my dream life, I don't often go out and live it. If you want to be a blogger, be a blogger. If you want to find a best friend, go out and meet people. If you want to move to the countryside, maybe it's time to take that leap.
It's our lives to live, so let's start living it.
7. Be aware of your negative thinking and figure out how to stop it, or else you will believe the lies.
All my life, I've had a problem with spiraling into negative thinking. But, we are not our feelings, and we are not our negative self-talk. Those are only manifestations of past triggers or our bodies trying to protect us.
To be happy, to feel confident and fulfilled... that's on you. And it starts with your self-talk and your stories.
Focus on the thoughts, stop and separate them from yourself, then reframe it, and let it go.
8. You teach people how to treat you.
If you feel like you are not being treated the way you want, let people know, don't coward away and let them continue putting you down. Be assertive, stand your ground, and let it be known that you deserve to be treated with respect. Don't let people step all over you, but also treat people as you would like to be treated.
9. Trust your gut and your emotions.
When you are ever unsure or lost, tune into how your feeling, and trust in your gut. You know better than you think you do.
10. Everything happens for a reason.
This one is a bit cheesy, but it is incredibly true. We may fall down, but we can rise and reframe the situation by knowing that we can learn and grow from it. Listen closely--the lesson is always there.
11. You are never too young to go after your dreams.
If you didn't already know, I published two books at a young age. And I can assure you that you are never too young to go after your dreams and do what you desire.
You may be young, but you are still a dreamer with a goal. You don't have to wait until you're "more mature" to be someone. Release that fear of judgment and make it happen, right here, right now.
12. It's okay to get lost on your path through life, but it's important that you keep moving, anyway.
Life may get tricky and confusing and you may not know what you're doing at times. Even last night, I was questioning my blogging journey. It's normal. It's alright to stop and ask ourselves where we're going. In fact, this is proof that we care about ourselves and our motives.
However, it's important that we keep moving, anyway, and trust our gut. But don't force it, either. Only you know what you truly want.
13. Your worst moments and feelings are only temporary.
Time heals all wounds, and whether that's a cliche or not, it's so true. If you are undergoing a difficult time right now, just know that it will get better.
14. The past is there to help and guide you, not haunt you.
It's easy to live in the past and think about all that we could've, should've, would've done. But, as I said earlier, everything happens for a reason. As hard as it can be to believe it, I remind myself that I endured heartache, uphill battles, and general obstacles for reasons.
Appreciate the past and release it, or else you may be consumed with regret later on. Let past experiences guide you into the future, not haunt you. In they're haunting you, perhaps it's time to reframe them.
15. Reading fiction is one of the best ways to heal, expand your mind, and spend your time.
I have always loved reading, the mere aesthetic of it, but I've come to learn that reading fiction is one of the absolute best ways to expand your mind. If you're ever in a creative slump or feeling alone, open a book and dive in.
The best stories can heal all wounds.
16. Life moves faster than we think, so make sure to slow down when possible.
I may still be young, but I can honestly say that just yesterday, I was 16. Life moves incredibly fast, so to enjoy it all, it's good to take a step back and take in every moment we can. Pay close attention to the space around you and take it in every now and again.
Every moment is special. Every breath of air is magical. Every sensation is a part of life.
17. People's words and actions only hurt if you give them power.
I was bullied growing up. Even now, as an adult, I still experience friend issues and have been called hurtful things. But, these things can only hurt us if we give them power. Trust that you are an incredible, wonderful person, and don't let what other people do or say bring you down.
Also, I can assure you, as someone who has been through many friend issues, you are stronger than you think.
18. Be patient, never give up, and you will get to where you want to be.
If you have a goal and are not yet there, don't give up. Anything is possible, and you will succeed.
19. Feeding your body nourishing food and daily exercise are the best forms of self-care.
It's easy to think of eating donuts and resting as forms of self-care, and they certainly can be, but I've come to learn that exercise and nourishing foods are the best ways to care for our minds and bodies.
20. Be yourself.
We shouldn't ever have to change who we are for anyone else, and we should never be afraid to be who we are and believe in what we desire. In the end, simply trust in who you are, and don't take crap from anybody. You are a glorious, marvelous human, and while life may get confusing, you are the only person who really knows yourself.
Love yourself. Care for yourself. Nourish yourself. Stand tall and be proud to be you. Learn to love everything you are.
I'm sort of rambling here, but I can't seem to say it enough: please remember that you are exactly who you are supposed to be, and you are brilliant, exactly as you are.
What are some life lessons you have learned over the years? Comment them below, if you'd like!
I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day.