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One of my friends recently celebrated a birthday.  At her celebration dinner, I asked one of my favorite questions: ‘What Life Lesson Did You Learn This Year?’

This question got us all talking about the different life lessons we’ve all experienced, and ones we’ve shared.  Some made us laugh, and others– well, they were a tougher pill to swallow.

I always love reading articles on life lessons, so I wanted to jot down some of my own.  After all, if we’re not learning from our lives and more importantly, our mistakes… what are we doing?!

My 20s were some incredible years for life lessons.

Here’s what I’ve learned…..

1. YOUR FRIENDSHIPS WILL CHANGE

 

Change is inevitable.  Sometimes when our friendships fade, we worry that maybe we did something wrong? 

But as we grow and discover who we are, we often realize that we’re not the same person we used to be. 

And that’s totally OK! 

Friendships have the potential to grow in different directions…. that’s just the way it is.  Relationships can change.

When this happens, it’s no ones fault.  It doesn’t mean that someone was in the wrong, it’s just that self-discovery is a bumpy road and no one stays the same (who would want to?!)

 

2. YOUR BEST LOOK IS YOUR NATURAL LOOK 

 

I wish I could go back in time and STOP myself from doing all the stupid (and expensive) things I used to do to “look good”.  Like bleaching my hair, getting extensions, caking on makeup or seriously damaging my hair with a flat iron.

I spent all of my time trying to look like someone else!!

But one day it all clicked, and I realized “why would I try and look like someone else when I could look like me?”  

The more I embraced what I was born with, the more I understood that this is the way it’s supposed to be.  We are not supposed to try and cover up every natural feature that we have in order to look like some celebrity on the cover of a magazine.  

We are put together perfectly.  Be uniquely you.  You are seriously beautiful.

 

 

3. OUR EYEBROWS ARE SISTERS, NOT TWINS

Ladies, talk about an aha moment.  

Give yourself a moment to let this sink in… no matter how much you try, your eyebrows will never look exactly the same.

I hope this bit of knowledge is as liberating for you as it was for me.

(although I know we all have our favorites, shout out to the left-brow girls!!!)  

Side note:  Is it possible to file a law-suit against all the nail salons I went to as a pre teen that waxed my brows so thin I had to spend years later in life trying to grow them back out?

 

4. WHATEVER DECISION YOU MAKE, IT WILL BE THE RIGHT ONE

 

Of all the amazing (and sometimes painful) lessons I’ve learned, this one may be my favorite.

I used to be paralyzed with fear when it came to making big decisions.  Always thinking of the “what ifs”?

But the truth is, we have no control over what happens to us in the future.

We can make our best efforts, and map out some plan, but at the end of the day it’s all up to the universe.  

Yes, every decision we make has a “consequence”.  But have peace knowing that  that no matter what comes your way (new job, new relationship, new house etc); the decision you make will be the right decision!  Keep going and don’t look back!   

 

5. DON’T QUIT WHEN THINGS GET HARD

There will be so many times in life when you’ll want to give up when it gets hard.

Don’t!

Keep your promises, follow through with your commitments, be accountable.  

Not quitting builds character. Also, you’d be surprised what you are able to accomplish when you really put your mind to something.

 

6. YOUR CREDIT SCORE IS ACTUALLY PRETTY IMPORTANT

 

So yeah, I learned this the hard way…

By the way…why don’t they teach us anything about credit in school?

Moral of the story: don’t build up debt on your credit card thinking you’ll “get to it later”.  

Pay off your credit card every month.  Don’t forget about your bills.

Do yourself a favor and sign up for Credit Karma, check in on your score every now and then.  It’s free and it doesn’t hurt your credit to check your score online.   

 

7. WHEN IT COMES DOWN TO IT, EVERYONE WANTS TO BE LIKED

 

I’m an introvert.  And I’ll be honest, a lot of personality types out there drive me nuts.

But no matter how many different kinds of people there are in this crazy world, at our core, we all just want to be liked.

Keeping this in mind helps me practice kindness to everyone I meet (even to the wackiest of wack jobs).

 

8. RELATIONSHIPS ARE NOTHING WITHOUT RESPECT

 

When it came to relationships, I used to just wing it and hope that everything would eventually work itself out.

Now…. I know better.

Relationships are at their best when there is a mutual respect between partners.

 

9. GETTING YOUR HEART BROKEN IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF GROWING UP

Everyone experiences a broken heart at some point in their lives.

Getting your heart broken is pure agony, and it feels like it will never end.  But oftentimes the most painful lessons are also the most important.  

Experiencing heartache reminds us how fragile we really are.  It takes us to our most vulnerable state which allows room for introspection and self-discovery.  

But once you survive on from heartbreak (and you WILL get through it), you will come out on the other side with a stronger sense of self than you ever had before.

 

10. OUR PARENTS ARE HUMANS TOO (AND WE CAN LET THEM OFF THE HOOK SOMETIMES) 

 

Family dynamics can be really tough.  Like the old saying goes, we don’t get to chose ‘em.

Although we all might have some idea of how we wish things would have been growing up, in most cases, our parents were really just doing the best they could.

Understanding that our parents are people first, and parents second gives us the grace to forgive and let go.   

Despite the fact that we’ve only known them to be our parents, they are their own people.  They have their own stories and imperfections.  

Our parents are human and make mistakes too.

 

11. ASK YOUR FRIENDS HOW THEY ARE DOING, AND THEN TRULY LISTEN

 

I’m guilty of rambling on about myself and my problems too much.  

One of the most underrated things we can do to support those we love is just listen!  So, I’ve made a conscious effort to be better about asking my friends what’s going on in their lives, and also being an open ear when they need to vent.  

Allow people to be heard, understood and validated.

 

12. TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS

 

Sometimes, I think we are programmed to second-guess ourselves.  

Our instincts are always talking to us, trying to guide us in the right direction.  It’s up to us if we’re brave enough to listen!

 

13. BELIEVING IN YOURSELF IS KEY

 

The one thing that all successful people have in common is that they believe in themselves.

If other people doubt your ability to do something, that is their insecurity talking and it has nothing to do with you!  

Know that you are capable of amazing things when you believe in yourself, all it takes is you!

 

14. DON’T BE AFRAID TO ROCK THE BOAT

 

Sometimes, you’ve gotta break the rules.  Thinking outside the box is how you will get ahead in life.

I used to shy away from the idea of rocking the boat.  I was scared that I would fail.  But once I started to live my life with balls, I grew in ways I never knew were possible.  

If I continued to always play it safe, I know I would be in the same hopeless, unhappy place I used to be.

 

15. STOP COMPARING YOURSELF TO OTHERS

Social media is the absolute worst for this.  Is it just me or does it seem like everyone else is always on the tropical vacation of your dreams?  

And the rest of us are over here second guessing if we can actually afford the extra guacamole at Chipotle?

But just because someone posts a picture of a seemingly perfect vacation, relationship, clothing, accessories etc. it doesn’t mean sh*t.  

They could be absolutely miserable but know how to take a perfect photo at the right angle with the best filters.

At the end of the day, we don’t know their story.  It has nothing to do with us and our journey. We’ve got to keep the blinders on, and take everything we see with a grain of salt.

 

16. DON’T MAKE DECISIONS WHEN YOU’RE UPSET

 

Reacting and making decisions when we are upset never ends well.

Give yourself time to digest what has happened.  Wait until everything has settled down and your mind is clear in order for you to make the best decision possible that you won’t regret later.

 

17. ALSO, DON’T FORGET TO BE KIND TO YOURSELF

 

A little patience and grace with yourself goes a long way.  

So maybe you’re not exactly where you thought you would be in life– that’s OK.

Give yourself a break.  Focus on all the good things you have in your life rather than what you think you’re missing.

 

18. WHAT OTHERS SAY ABOUT YOU IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS

 

Not everyone will like you.  It’s just not possible. And that’s OK.   All that matters is that you treat people with respect and kindness, and the rest is out of your hands.

Unfortunately, we have no control over what people may say about us.

 

19. HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE

 

Happiness is fleeting.  It’s something to take care of and be vigilant about! 

Our lives will never be perfect, but it’s important to find contentment.  Find out what makes you happy and go after it!

 

20. I’M NOT DONE LEARNING 

The best part about this list, is that it’s never done!   

I hope I continue to learn and grow until the day I take my last breath.  I’m honestly excited to see what life has in store for me and how I can continue to learn and grow. 

 

 

That about sums up the 20 major life lessons I’ve learned so far.  I’d love to hear what ones resonate with you or some of your favorites.  We can all learn from each others trials and tribulations! 

Share, comment or like if you can relate! 

 

20 LIFE LESSONS IN YOUR TWENTIES

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