In exactly one month, I’ll be turning twenty-six years old. When I turned twenty-five last year, I thought I was “old.” HA! Now I’m only four years away from being thirty. *shudder* Okay, all of you over the age of thirty are probably rolling your eyes right now, so I’ll shut up. Just like last year, I wanted to do a blog post on the things I’ve learned by the ripe old age of twenty-six. But since I get way too verbose in these posts, I figured I’d split my list of “twenty-six things” into two parts. Letsa go with the first thirteen! [These are in no particular order of importance, by the way.]
Obligatory Disclaimer: I’m not telling anyone else how to live their lives, and most of these concepts are still ones that I have to drill into my head on a regular basis. #imjustbeinghonest [< That hashtag should be read to the tune of Outkast’s song “Hey Ya.” Just sayin’.]
01. The fact that a certain individual of your preferred gender doesn’t like you “like that” doesn’t make you any less of a person. I used to be ridiculously insecure when my crushes were unrequited [this sounds so silly right now, but I can’t be the only person who has gone through this]. I’d always automatically assume that it was because something was “wrong” with me. Then I finally had the epiphany of a lifetime: Unless you smell bad/are a total asshole/something else generally repulsive, the fact that some people don’t see you as a romantic prospect usually has nothing to do with you. There are so many reasons as to why someone may not be romantically interested in you; often times it could boil down simply to compatibility issues. It’s best to just move on.
02. In the same vein as number one, stop taking things so personally. Occasionally, I surprise myself by how easily offended I can get. If someone cuts you off while driving? It’s not about you [unless you were being an assclown toward them, then it might be]. If a coworker is short with you? Maybe they haven’t had their morning coffee yet. Who knows. Don’t take things so personally, because 99% of the time, it’s not about you.
03. Your “quarter life crisis” may very well last several years. My “quarter life crisis” began around the age of twenty-two, and as far as I can tell, it does not seem to be showing signs of letting up any time soon. Often, I feel lost, confused, frustrated, disconnected, etc. But that’s what our twenties are for: stumbling around, making mistakes, feeling lost, falling down, and just generally effing shit up. The good news about all that craziness is that you can always dust yourself off, get back up, learn from and/or correct your mistakes, and find yourself.
04. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, always let your loved ones know that you love and care about them. My paternal grandmother passed away several months ago. While I know there’s nothing I can do now, and I’m also certain that she knew she was loved by all of us… Sometimes I still wish I had told her how much I loved and appreciated her before she died.
05. Learn to give places and things a chance. St. Louis often gets a bad name as a city [especially due to recent events], but I have found that the city has a lot more to offer than people often realize. St. Louis may be a smaller city in comparison to New York City, Chicago, or San Francisco. But it’s still a neat city, chock full of history and cool spots and things to explore. I’m doing my best to embrace it, and give it a chance; I’ve come across a lot of amazing places, things, and people by attempting to be somewhat open to what it has to offer.
06. Most of the time, you’re gonna have to work your ass off to get what you want. And it gets tiring and frustrating at times. But that’s life; nothing worth having comes easily, so to accomplish your dreams… keep trudging onward.
07. Take care of your teeth. If you’re one of those magical people who never gets cavities and does a mediocre job at taking care of your teeth, I hate you right now. I have terrible teeth, and I’m prone to cavities. Therefore, it’s extra important that I am proactive with my dental health so that I have a nice smile for years to come.
08. Trust the process. There’ll be times in which nothing makes sense. And things can be chaotic. But I always like to remind myself, ‘”TRUST. THE. PROCESS.” It may not always make sense in the moment, but it will in time. Just roll with it.
09. There’ll be a day in which you realize that your life is pretty ordinary. You’re most likely ordinary and average and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Actually, I kinda like being ordinary. It means that other people don’t generally give a shit about what I’m doing, and that’s kind of liberating because it means I can keep on doing whatever the hell I want. 🙂
10. Making time for your hobbies and passions will sometimes be the only way to stay sane. Life can be pretty monotonous, and sometimes day jobs become overwhelming, uninspiring, and just plain stressful. This is, unfortunately, a normal fact of life for most of us. Pursue your hobbies and other passions on the side; it will help keep you happier and more sane.
11. In your younger, more “entry level” years of your career, you’re going to have to do quite a bit of “grunt work.” With any job or career, there will always be tasks that you’d rather not do. Especially when you’re young. There is a lot of crap that probably gets assigned to me at work because well, it’s at my pay scale level. Even though I’d prefer to avoid some of the more menial tasks, I also always try to realize their value. And I am also grateful for all the career opportunities I’ve been given. I think it’s important to find a balance between striving to do better in my career, while also accepting that it’s going be a long process before I get to “where I want to be” in regard to my career.
12. Each day is a new day; embrace it as such. I have a really bad habit [likely directly related to my depression, which I’m working on] of having the mindset that every day is monotonous. While monotony certainly does exist in everyday adult life, life as a whole doesn’t have to seem like one big monotonous joke. Each day, I am working to try to find joy in some small part of it. Each day is a new day, and while routines can be boring, each day is also a huge blessing, and a clean slate.
13. Get enough sleep. I’m still working on this all the time. But we all know that getting the proper amount of rest is so important. Some people say, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” For me personally, however, if I don’t get a decent amount of sleep, I am unable to function. How you sleep-when-dead people do it is beyond me… 😛
Part II is coming either on my actual birthday – Saturday, March 7th, or (the day before) Friday, March 6th, 2015! So stay tuned. 😀
PS: Let me know if you have any sage advice for me. I enjoy reflecting back on what I’ve learned over the years on each of my birthdays. <3