I celebrated my birthday yesterday!! (Pictures will be coming!) I turned 24 and even though I don’t feel like, I know I’ve learned many lessons (in my ripe old age lol) that I want to share! So, let’s get into it..
1. Don’t Forget Where You Come From
Humility is attractive. Your past, your family, your upbringing is what makes your character unique. It’s foolish to get so high and mighty and forget where you started from, and who sacrificed for you to get where you are now. I had to remember this when I studied abroad. I was the first of my immediate family to leave the country. I had so much support, people backing my up, and little cousins looking up to me. And I made myself remember that fact. It kept me grateful and humble.
Find what makes you happy. What are likes and dislikes? Discover what gets under skin. Find out what motivates you. It is a process. I think I’m still finding out more about myself every day but the more self-aware I am the less selfish I am.
3. Travel Often
There’s a whole big, wide world out there. Go see it. If you have an opportunity to travel abroad, take it. And don’t hesitate to see all 50 states.
4. It’s Okay to be Unsure
Listen, you DO NOT have to have it all together. Do yourself a favor and never live up to anyone’s expectations but your own. A lot of people expected me to be so many different things that I didn’t know what I wanted to be for a very long time. However, I do know that if I would have made a decision for someone else I would never be happy with myself. Honestly, sometimes I’m not even certain if I’m coming or going. But it is okay.
5. Set Goals
Invest in yourself and become a goal digger. Call it new year’s resolutions, call it a lifestyle change, call it whatever as long as you set it and stick to it.
6. Meet New People
Get around some people who have different mindsets than your own. Life is less about you than you think it is. The more people you know the more you are able to adapt to changes more easily.
7. Love Hard
Don’t be selfish, let your love out! Love your family and friends more than you love yourself. Love from a selfless place. Care more about others. Develop a heart for the elderly, homeless and youth
8. Find Your Passion
Find the one thing you can’t live without doing. The thing that gives you a righteous anger. Mine is seeing youth in my community (people of color who are negatively affected by socio-economic factors) not discovering their true potential and what tremendous opportunities await them (which is why I teach high school). But please note that you can have more than one (why I started this blog, out of a passion for writing).
9. Not Everyone Will Stay
I use the word “friend” loosely. You have to recognize people’s roles in your life. Some are seasonal but very few will stay with you through everything. And it’s not to say that those people who leave are bad. Everyone comes into your life to serve a purpose.
10. Don’t Burn Your Bridges
I know it’s an old saying that folks say but its true. Don’t mess up relationships. You never know who you may need in the future. At one point or another, everyone needs a little help. There are many professors from college that I call on from time to time because I need their connections and insight. And the same goes for family and friends. If I would have ruined relationships with them, I would have a MUCH harder time getting to where I am now.
11. Your Interests Will Change
As you grow and evolve so will your interests, desires, longings and dreams. Your mind about the world will change and that is okay. I thought I wanted to study chemistry in college and work in the cosmetic industry but, babay, my math is horrible (why I studied English). It’s okay to change your mind, actually, you’re entitled to it.
12. Get an Education
Or develop a skill. A 4-year university may not be for everyone (Lord knows it’s expensive). But develop a skill instead that will garner an adequate income – and make sure you’re the best at it. Your passion should promote income and give you purpose.
13. Stay Optimistic
Remember to smile, it’s the best accessory you’ll ever wear. Optimism doesn’t mean you’re oblivious to reality it just means you choose to see the good in it.
14. Work Hard
Build a good work ethic. Refuse to take ‘no’ as an answer. Find a goal or dream and work toward it like it’s your last breath.
15. Celebrate Wins
Big and small. You’ll fail often but keep going! It’s not that you fall but how you get back up.
16. Eat Clean
Take care of yourself (your body) it’s really the only (and most precious) thing we own (see I Love Me: Who I Am Part II).
Exercise, exercise, EXERCISE. Your body will thank you later. Find anything to do to stay active, join a gym, or a bike riding club or dance team, whatever it is have fun while doing it.
18. Love the Skin You’re In
You only get one body/skin embrace it. Love yourself first before loving someone else. There really is no other way.
19. Your Mental Health Matters
Don’t neglect to better your emotional, mental and spiritual health. It’s okay to talk to someone. Let someone counsel you, personally and professionally.
Whatever gives your heart pause, dig deep, and take steps to become healed from it.
21. Change The World
Life is too short, what are you doing to make your mark on it? Leave a legacy behind not just stories of who you were. What will people say of you when you leave this earth, what will they say you did for them?
22. Find The Balance
Whatever trajectory your life is on, however many responsibilities, you have to balance it. Find the sweet in between. There’s a certain rhythm to your day-to-day and it needs to be balanced for you to stay healthy. Don’t be so busy that you forget to be happy.
23. Embrace His Grace
There’s a certain amount of grace God gives us and we must embrace and accept it. We’re not perfect and that’s okay, that’s where God comes in. He doesn’t care if we’re perfect or do the right thing all the time. He wants us to embrace him: his love and, more importantly, his grace. Then, we’ll start living and doing out of that grace given to us.
24. Own Your Stride
Your life has a pulse that may differ from mine. You may be pursuing a career in entrepreneurship while someone else may be pursuing parenting full time (or both). You may be going to school for nursing while waitressing to pay for it. Remember, your stride is all your own. Embrace it. Don’t be mad at your friend’s glo’ up. Your only competition is you.
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