I turned twenty-two a few weeks ago and its hard for me to believe I'm a year older. These past twenty-two years (more like five) have been nothing short of amazing, and I'm so thankful for every success and failure that have brought me to where I am today. There's even more ahead for me, but lately, I can't help but look back at the years and the lessons learned along the way. Here's a reflection on those lessons.
1. BE SMART ABOUT YOUR FINANCES
Learning to be financially smart should be a priority for anyone, especially us, young professionals. I decided a long time ago that I needed to be balanced not to mention student loans are about to hit hard. I started to set a budget, know my limits and I've been smart about my expenses.
2. SPEND YOUR TIME WORKING AT JOB YOU LOVE (OR TOWARDS ONE)
For those that are already there, kudos to you! Life is too short to be unhappy and your career counts too. We aren't all able to be in our dream jobs right away, but we can work towards them. If you don't know I am currently in retail (it has its ups and downs), but overall I love it and the company I work for. I don't mind coming in because I know that at this moment I'm where I need to be before I go on to bigger and better.
3. TREAT YO' SELF
Just because life gets hectic doesn't mean you shouldn't splurge a little. Treating yourself could be anything you really enjoy doing, but make sure its for YOU ( and be smart about it).
4. TAKE CARE OF YOUR BODY
In college, I definitely hit the "Freshmen 30-40ish" mark and didn't pick up weight until about my junior/senior year. Now that I'm a post-grad all that weight is starting to affect me and I'm working towards getting back to where I used to be.
5. TRAVEL WHEN YOU CAN
Self -explanatory, but you should enjoy any and all trips when the opportunity arises.
6. FRIENDSHIP IS VOLUNTARY
I mentioned this in one of my earlier post, but in every friendship/relationship we develop it is still so very relevant. Everyone isn't meant to be in your life forever and thats okay. If your circle has to shrink, then so be it life is too short to worry about people who don't make you happy.
7. LOVE HARD. THERE ARE TOO MANY THINGS IN LIFE THAT ARE MEDIOCRE; LOVE SHOULDN'T BE ONE OF THEM.
I love love; I love to love. I've written about him many times before; am fortunate to have someone in my life who loves me whole heartedly and I him.
8. ITS OKAY TO SAY NO
So many obligations, so little time. The older I get the more it seems I'm needed everywhere at once. It can be a hassle at times, but its okay to say no. You identify the priorities in your life and decide where you want them to take you.
9. TIME IS VALUABLE
Spend every moment investing in you. Don't waste your time with things that don't matter. For me, my main priorities are my health and obtaining a job.
10. LET FEAR MOTIVATE YOU
This was one of the scariest times of my life: between preparing for graduation, starting a new job and making life altering decisions (literally). Although it can be fearful, this has been my favorite year thus far. I've been fueling all the energy with motivation to do things that I'm actually passionate about.
11. BE PATIENT
At 22, life is really feeling like a waiting game. I'm a very impatient person (one of my many flaws) and it seems like nothing is happening right now. I know that in due time everything will work itself out and I have to trust that God is preparing me for something greater.
12. LESS IS MORE
You really don't need as much as you think you do. I love material items just as much as the next person, but honestly its not necessary. The older I get, the less I want. Don't get me wrong its nice to splurge and treat yo' self every now and again, but you don't need it all the time.
13. DONT SETTLE
This applies to every aspect of your life whether it be a job, friends, or even a relationship. You are worth more and should accept nothing less.
14. STEP OUTSIDE YOUR COMFORT ZONE
I believe I really found myself at 22. I always knew what type of person I was, but it wasn't until recently that I began to realize who I wanted to be both personally and professionally. It took me getting uncomfortable to realize where I truly wanted to be.
15. SMILE MORE
It's good for you.
16. FIND YOUR PASSION. LIVE WITH INTENTION
They say your 20s are your defining years of self- preservation, growth and many other things. I whole heartedly agree, we will never be this young again and should live life with the intent of being happy.
7. SET BOUNDARIES
Know what you will and won't do, simple as that.
18. EVERYONE IS IN A BOAT SIMILAR TO YOURS
I've mentioned this before in a college video I made, but you are not alone. Things may seem lonely now, but trust you aren't.
19. ENCOURAGEMENT IS A GOOD THING, BUT NOT NECESSARY.
One of my favorite quotes is, "I am the master of my fate, captain of my soul". Often it seems that a lot of people want validation in the things they do or choices they make, but in reality we don't need it. Its a great thing to hear of how well you're doing or have people encourage you to do better, but ultimately you are in charge of what you want out of life.
20. LET IT GO
Life is too short to hold on to grudges, resentment and pain. If someone hurt you, move on.
21. YOU ARE STRONGER THAN YOU THINK
I've been through so many things in life and none of them have broken me. You are in charge of you and can accomplish anything you want. You just need to stay focused on your goal and know that there will be challenges.
22. BE AMBITIOUS
Everyday I strive to be better and you should too. So many things are happening around you not to strive for the best.