Jordan Year is more than halfway over for this girl. It’s crazy to think I’ll be twenty-four in four months. Twenty-three is a weird age. It’s the early twenties where you graduate college and think you have to have your life all the way together. Guess what? You won’t, not even close to having everything together. The expectations and ideals that I grew up with are different, things don’t work out as well as they do in our imagination. It’s been a year of up’s and down’s. Majority of it has been up’s and happiness but there’s always challenges, no one is perfect and I will be the first to admit that. So why not learn from everything that has happened and talk them out, ya know? I don’t have any issue talking about what might help someone in the future, we all need someone that can understand out there. This was a year of finding myself and realizing it’s okay to be selfish and live out my life in the way that I want.
I think each year we all learn something about ourselves. That we’re stronger than we thought or more determined. I learned that putting up with a job you dislike is not okay so I did something about it and now I’m working a career I love. It’s crazy how at twenty-three I thought my life would be so together but it’s not and that’s okay. There’s 365 days to conquer and make the best of. I think I’m just going to take each day with a grain of salt and be happy that I’m given the opportunity to live it.
Here are my 23 lessons that I learned in 2016 and hopefully will keep the experience locked in my brain.
It’s okay to cry.
This is one thing that I’ve had to learn about. I’m not good with my feelings and lock everything up on the inside so when I cry, I really cry. It got to a point where it was relieving to let those tears out. Understand that crying isn’t a weakness is a good thing. Let out the sadness to let in the joy.
It’s okay to do your own thing.
A part of growing up has taught me that it is okay to do things on your own. I used to do everything with friends and it was weird to have them all move away and have to do my own thing. It’s weird. It’s different. Trips to the mall aren’t as enjoyable with someone to tell me I look bomb but I’m getting used to it. I’m accepting that Target trips and walking around the store a dozen time as I fight with myself on what to buy. It’s okay. It’s going to be okay.
Going places by yourself is a breath or fresh air.
There were tons of times when I would do things in a group with my friends and getting a word in could be hard. Running around bars and stores with friends was hard to keep up and now I just focus on me. I like being able to have silence to think. I miss the laughter but when I go to certain places I reminisce on the good times.
Your degree can only get you so far.
As children we’re told all the time to get good grades and go to college. That’s the goal when growing up. A degree can only get you so far though. There has to be skills and personable traits about you that get you somewhere as well. Networking is key.
Pride can be your worst enemy.
Your pride can hold you back from so much. Take it from me. I believe I have too much pride to say this and that and it makes no sense. Pride holds me back from so much and I think it’s a shame. It’s something I’m working on. Just being real and upfront with everything. If stuff changes, it changes but at least my pride didn’t hold me back and got the truth.
Your heart, your decisions.
Everyone has an opinion and that’s okay. Just remember that you don’t have to take everyone’s opinion into consideration. Your friends are going to have their own ideals and they’re going to preach about them – great, take those and think for yourself. You have to choose what’s best for you! Your heart is one of the most important tools you have. You either break it or make it. There’s bound to be decisions that break your heart and there’s going to be matters when it thuds out your chest. Your heart is one of the most important tools in making decisions.
It’s normal to want to be a child all over again.
I can’t tell you how many times a week I wish I was eleven. I miss being a child and jumping on my trampoline. There’s nothing more that I want than to be a child again. If I could put a pause on growing up, I would. I miss the simple things and there are so many moments when I wish that it could all go back to those times.
Your life is not supposed to be all together.
You are young and everything is not going to be a piece of cake. We have ideas of how we want things to go but we have to execute those plans and pray the results happen how we dream it. If you don’t know what you want to do in life, that’s okay. We’re young and we have a million years to settle. Just don’t panic and flip out if life isn’t how you expected it to be, it shouldn’t be a dream life when we have so much to live for.
Ignoring your issues is not a good idea.
When you ignore your issues, you ignore the problems at hand. It’s not good to walk away from something without giving your input. If someone has an issue with you, handle it and see where you can go from there. That’s the adult thing to do. Ignoring the issue means it is still there and that’s not good. I can say that I have done this and it really did mess with me.
Ignoring certain feelings only keeps them harbored.
Anger. Sadness. All those feelings being locked away only makes things worse for you in the end. How crazy is it that I learned this from Inside Out?! Locking away your emotions only leads to more feelings of uncertainty and your head will explode at some point. It’s okay to cry but crying all the time because you don’t speak on how you feel is not okay. It’s going to stress you out and blotch your face.
Explore what the city has to offer.
I used to say I couldn’t wait to get out of Columbus, Ohio. I was ready to run off to San Francisco or Chicago and do PR out there. There was no real plan behind that really. Columbus actually has so much to offer and I think I was in denial because I wanted to leave. Now, I’m a little explorer of this huge city and I enjoy finding places to eat the most.
Try new things.
It’s okay to try something new. Everything was new at some point. Don’t think because you aren’t artistic, you can’t paint. Wrong. You can try and see how your skills are then decide if you still want to do that. Trying new things is fun and brings out the student in you.
Talk to anyone, engage them in random conversation.
There is nothing worse than being that person that has no one to talk to. I can say that sitting there like the third wheel while people talk is possibly the most annoying thing ever. I’m really laid back and chill so I’m learning to just randomly talk to people. Comment on something, compliment their shirt, there’s so much out there to talk about.
Netflix binges are totally normal.
I don’t care what anyone says, Netflix binges are normal. Watching hella Grey’s Anatomy and Friends is allowed. Do you know how great this shows are?! Exactly. I am a full supporter of using your weekend or time to yourself to load up on Netflix and escape from your reality for a bit.
Learn something new about yourself.
There’s so much to learn about yourself. You can see how you handle certain things, for one. There’s always going to be something out there that challenges you in a way that you’ve never experienced and it’s okay to explore that. As you get older, parts of you change and it’s up to you to figure that out and accept it.
Investing in yourself is important.
I can’t stress this enough. Invest in everything that has to deal with you. Want that new book that might give you insight on your future career path? Invest. I used to stock up on MCAT and Medical books when I was Pre-Medicine/Biology because I believed in myself. Now, I stock up on books like Leave Your Mark and Stiletto World because I believe in what I want to do. I’m also in a Communications field so I make sure to invest in a professional closet and make-up that’s worth the extra money. There are certain things that just need to be invested in.
Car accidents are not the end of the world.
I thought I was going to jail when I got in my first car accident. I wanted to cry and I didn’t know what to do. Luckily, I learned this was not the end of the world. I was not going to have to do anything but get a new car and pay a ticket. It was the end of the world for my old car. A significant moment to the car I was given in college and moving on to my grad life car.
Don’t let anyone dictate your future.
You are in charge of your future. You are on a path and you have to make the decisions best for you. There’s a destination picked out for you and you just have to make sure that you follow it. No one else can tell you what you can and should do. MY parents won’t even tell me what to do and it wreaks havoc on my brain but it allows me to grow into a assertive adult.
Take good care of your body.
It’s a precious thing, ya know? I didn’t really get into the gym and eating well until 2014. I lost so much wait but looked so tone and it was weird because all I did was change my diet. Now, I’m investing in going to the gym a lot and building muscle. Unfortunately, I still indulge in junk food. I take my vitamins though and I know when to give my body a rest. You have to give it a break every now and then, eat well, and treat it with care.
It’s okay to call your parents still.
Your parents guided you for eighteen years so what’s wrong with calling them still? I call my parents all the time with questions and just to talk. It’s nice especially since I live alone 0 gives me someone to talk to from time to time. I think it’s perfectly fine to call about everything because you’re still growing. I’m still growing and learning, I call about the littlest things like ‘Can I still use this meat?’ or ‘How do I fix ___?’, It’s okay to accept help.
You’re still young, enjoy what life has to offer.
I think this is the most important thing. I’ve heard so many people say they think they’re too old to do this or that. Uhm, we’re still in our twenties and I know so many adults that would love to do what we still have the opportunity to do. If you want to go to the race track, do it or if you want to play mini golf, do it. It’s really about enjoying everything in life and soaking up what you can while you still have time.
Twenty-three has been a fun year. A year of trials and tribulations and accepting myself. I wouldn’t change anything honestly. I enjoyed the ride this year and can’t wait for next year’s. Hopefully, I’ll be celebrating the New Year somewhere tropical next year. What did you learn this year?!