Since childhood, I’ve always been the quietest person in the room, that’s just my personality. It is not necessarily a bad trait, I have always used my quietness as a chance to observe everyone and everything and generally learned a lot- from my aunts, my mother, my grandparents, my schoolmates, etc.
That being said, there are a lot of things that I wish I had known sooner and hadn’t have had to find out the hard way, but that’s not usually the way that life works. Sometimes the only way to learn to stand taller is to fall down and get back up.
10 Things I Wish I’d Known in My 20’s
Other people’s opinions of you do not matter
Other people’s opinions of you: what you are, who you are, what you do, and what you want to do, don’t mean anything, so don’t pay any attention to them. Your opinion of yourself, your self-esteem, and self-confidence are what matters.
Don’t stay in a bad relationship
If you’re with someone toxic, don’t waste your time staying.
Being “comfortable,” too broke to be by yourself, or fearing the unknown are not valid reasons to stay with someone. Don’t spend too many of your precious years with someone who isn’t good for you, doesn’t appreciate you, and holds you back from growth. Life is way too short for that. When it’s time to go, go.
As a result of six years in a bad relationship and being depressed, I turned to eating all of my feelings and trying to smoke them away. Both just caused additional problems, like unhealthy weight gain, paranoia, OCD tendencies, binge eating, bulimia, and more.
Leaving the unsavory situation, taking medication, and trying to foster positive habits have all brightened the gloom that hung over me for too long.
Put yourself first
I did not put myself, my needs, and what was important to me ahead of everything else. As a result, my health, my mental health, my grades in college (and my wallet after repeating two semesters), and so much more suffered.
Self-care is important
Exercising, eating a healthy diet, and taking care of your mind, body, and soul is unbelievably important. Take care of yourself because no one else knows what you need.
Don’t listen to criticism
Don’t listen to others who try to hold you down on their level, try to tear you down with their actions or words, and those who try to hurt you. Words are the easiest way to hurt someone without leaving a physical mark. Forge ahead and only use their comments as fuel to rise higher.
Don’t change yourself for someone else
So often in relationships, we try to mold or fit ourselves to someone else. You are great the way you are, even if you are a work in progress. Don’t change yourself to fit someone else’s expectations of what or who you should be. You are enough. You are amazing. Don’t dim your shine for someone who doesn’t appreciate it.
Find out what makes you happy
I’m not talking about a person here. I am a firm believer in finding what makes you happy. Find what you are interested in. Find what you love. Don’t expect anyone else to make you happy. I think that only when we know what it takes for ourselves to be happy alone, can we be happy in a relationship with someone else.
Take advantage of being young
Don’t take for granted that you will do the things you dream about “someday.” Take advantage of being young and go out and experience as many things as possible before you are tied down with too many responsibilities. It is possible to have fabulous experiences when you are older, have a career, a family, student loans, a mortgage, etc., but it is a whole lot harder. Think of experiences as threads that make up a tapestry of our life. Do you want your tapestry to be boring and dull, or bright and exciting and beautiful?
Live your best life
Get out there and make it grand!
What are the lessons you wish you’d learned earlier? What have you had to learn the hard way? I’d love to hear from you.