Five things my early 20s have taught me … so far

It’s my birthday tomorrow and I got to thinking about how much I have changed over the last four years. I got to thinking about all the life lessons I have learned and I decided to write a quick blog post to share them with you (quick because I only have a 30 minute lunch break at work).

Patience

From an early age it’s natural to have dreams and plans for yourself; I’ll be a Fire Engine or a French Oligarch! There are no limits you can set that are too far away to achieve in a young mind.  You create timelines for when you’ll achieve them and that’s that. Unfortunately sometimes life just happens and the path you have decided upon doesn’t keep time with you’re expectations and I’ve come to realise that’s okay.

I am a very impatient person who likes to always have things moving along at a fast pace and when they don’t I tend to get disappointed. I’m now learning that I don’t need to rush things all the time, and taking my time actually makes my experiences more worthwhile. The best things in life tend to require a test of endurance, and patience makes me strong.

Accountability

A major thing that has absolutely changed my life is ownership and accountability. Sometimes, when things go wrong in my life (especially relationships), it’s easy to just point the finger and talk about what everyone else did wrong. It takes maturity to take a step back and look at what you have done wrong and what part you may have contributed to the issue. Doing this has helped me look at things from the other person’s point of view: How did the other person view me? What could I have done better? Why did things turn out the way they did?

Isolation is a gift that allows time for reflection and acknowledgement of own actions. I have come to cherish it.

Self Love

The Bible says “love your neighbour, as you love yourself”. Does this mean that you cannot possibly begin to love someone else if you don’t love yourself first? I think it does. As a woman consumed by wanderlust I’ll use a travelling analogy: How can you know which travel adapter you should bring with you on holiday, if you don’t know what shape plug sockets you’ll find in your hotel?

While it’s good to be kind and take care of other people, you must be your own first priority. In my journey, the first thing, I realised is that I need to appreciate and be happy with who I am. I had to learn to tell myself “you are beautiful “ and I had to stop criticising my own appearance. I figure I wouldn’t do that to someone else so why do it to myself?

Another thing I’ve learnt is to take care of myself and treat myself from time to time. I only have one life and doing things for other people, and not myself, will only cause resentment.

I’ve realised that you cannot expect people to treat you how you treat them. You need to accept them as they are and if you cannot, you need to walk away from those situations. Walking away from toxic relationships is a way to display your love and respect for yourself and the value you have for your own time. If you’re not losing friends you’re not evolving.

Comparison

Comparing ourselves to others is an existing issue that I feel has been magnified by social media and it’s something that, I’ll confess, I’ve been a victim to. It has had me asking things like: “why don’t I look like that?” and “her life looks perfect”, but what I’m looking at is a single moment in the life of a person who is just as flawed, confused, insecure and real as I am.

That’s what a photo is: one moment out of millions of moments that make up a human being.

I am doing myself a disservice by making myself feel bad when realistically I don’t know what that person is going through or what happened in the moments before or after that moment.

I’ve developed a habit recently of stepping away from social media when I get those thoughts and taking some time to reflect and express gratitude for how awesome my life is and how blessed I am to be alive, healthy, employed and loved… joie de vivre.

Procrastination

I know I mentioned patience earlier but patience doesn’t mean being unproductive. Wishing won’t do it for you and neither will excuses. You can’t sit back, relax and think that things will just drop from the heavens. You also cannot wait until the last minute to do it, whether it’s losing weight, getting that dream job, going on that vacation or meeting The One; you need to sow your seed now to reap a harvest. Procrastination and laziness are the slow killers of dreams and potential, and that’s a major key (in DJ Khalid voice)

Thanks for reading, I’d love you hear from you. Leave your comments below.

Let’s be friends, follow me on IG @chicwanderlust

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8 thoughts on “Five things my early 20s have taught me … so far

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