The Things I Learned at 22
Twenty Two was one heck of a ride. I learned so many things about myself, my world and the people in it. It was action packed with amazing moments like graduating college, starting my very first job and moving into my own apartment that I'll never forget. But it was also the hardest year of my life...in so many ways. I'm thankful for every moment though, good and bad, uplifting and tumultuous. As I leave another year behind, I thought I would share just a few things I learned at the wise old age of 22....
Things can change in an instant.
Relationships, career status, life course, everything. This year I graduated, I started a full time job, my relationship ended. I often didn't appreciate some of the things I had until they were gone and incredibly, sometimes things fell into place just right (I mean how many people can say they worked a Super Bowl in their first year!?). I definitely learned to appreciate the moment I was in, good or bad, because I figured no matter what it was going to be a learning lesson nevertheless.
It's ok to be alone.
For a long time, I rarely took a moment to check in with myself. I was constantly running from one fire to another yet never checking in to see if I was happy, confident with the way things were going or even remembered why i was doing whatever it was. There was no time for reflection which led to me constantly holding things in. It wasn't until I started incorporating time to just "be" into my routine that I realized it's when you're alone that you can really explore yourself and take time to reflect.
Living alone has its perks.
No one can tell you to do the dishes, but at the same time...no one can tell you to do the dishes.
Love is a dangerous drug. Monitor dosage.
I entered this year in love, I entered last year in love...I'm annoying myself because I'm the girl who seems to always be in relationships. I fall too hard and it's a messy fallout. I think that love is a drug that I'll need to quit cold turkey this year....but then again, that's what we all say.
Don't fight for anything unwiling to fight for you.
Heed this piece of truth, especially when it comes to relationships. Why fight for anyone who wouldn't do the same for you? Why fall on the sword when no one is asking you to? I'm a pretty passionate person so when I care, I care - this can be disappointing when it comes to reciprocity. Use a gut check...do you think the situation is worth it? Do you think the person would do the same? Use your best judgement and hope for the best. But at the end of the day at least you know you weren't the one that gave up.
Everything you wished for might not be everything you thought it would be. But it could also be more.
I worked my ass off my entire life to finally, one day get a great job in New York City. So many hours of my life were spent studying and planning and compromising. High school sped by in a blur of extracurriculars and standardized tests. College? Perhaps that was a bit blurry for another reason...lol. I have everything I could ever want right now. My dream has been achieved. But I was shocked to feel...nothing. I mean I'm proud of myself for sure, but there wasn't fireworks when I got my first check. Adulthood came with so many caveats that I didn't even account for and sometimes I just wish more than anything to turn back to simpler times. I learned this year that achieving your goals is amazing, but I can't forget to enjoy the process. The journey is everything that makes the achievement worthwhile so take a second every now and then to savor it. You never know when you'll feel that way again.
Sometimes you just need to take it easy on yourself.
We're our worst enemy and rarely our own personal cheerleader. I have such high expectations for myself that more often than not, I don't even meet the minimum - how fucked up is that. I pushed myself too hard this year and the only benefit was finding out I had a breaking point. Take care of yourself and just let yourself off the hook. This life is hard enough as it is so just chill TF out!
Most people have something they struggle with.
We all know this but it can be pretty easy to forget when you're waist deep in your own shit. Everyone would be wise to step outside themselves to check in on those around them. It's easier than we think to find yourself constantly talking about you and yours when someone you care about could be battling their own demons.
It's ok to be weird.
I'm a weird ass girl. I don't hide it. I think the world could use more willingly weird people talking about the importance of being weird. I say things that don't make sense, sometimes my jokes aren't that funny, my habits are soooo annoying. I'm a weirdo, so what.
There will never be anyone who loves you like family.
I wasn't the kindest or most appreciative of the gift my family is and I want to make up every moment of that with my actions moving forward. When you fall, family is there to let you know that you could never be a failure and that you're strong enough to get up and try again. I love my mother more than life itself. She's an angel sent from all of the Gods/Spiritual Beings. I'm more like my father than I would ever care to admit but he's one hell of a guy. My brother Ty is where I get my style inspiration. I'm hoping that he'll let me show him off one day! Anyways...even when they drive you crazy, even if they make you upset, EVEN when they eat the last piece of Dad's fried chicken even though you're home WAY less....you still love them.
Friends enter your life for a reason. Sometimes gotta go too.
Let me fill you guys in on a little secret...I do not have that many friends. Growing up, I always had trouble keeping friends because I moved around so frequently. It wasn't until I went to NYU and befriended this incredible group of people that I finally found what I thought were my friends for "life" (LOL). We had some of the most wild, inquisitive, memorable, inspiring moments of my entire life. Definitely never forgetting a second. For reasons neither here nor there, we aren't close anymore. It sucks, but it's for the best. Sometimes you need friends in your life -- I needed them in college...to get me through the separation from my family, the insane tension between who you were and who college impresses you to be. I appreciate every thing about those friendships I needed, but I'm excited to explore new types of friendships this year.
Alcohol does not make any situation better.
Having graduated college only a year ago, I know a lot more than I would care to admit about the collegiate drink culture. By senior year, I was confident that I could likely outdrink most of my male friends...which is like, NOT EVEN AN ACCOMPLISHMENT. Alcohol always makes a situation worse...especially when emotions and matters of the heart are involved. I can say that while it takes a lot to embarrass me, none of my finer moments were while I was drinking so that probably says something. It's an depressant so, not the best substance for a regular intake ya feel?
You may be out of school, but you're forever learning.
I never thought I would stop learning once the 9am classes also ceased, but I was shocked by how much MORE I learned out here in the real world. I can see how easy it is to fall victim to a routine without to curiosity and disruption, but the real world has many lessons awaiting us. You realize that you know remotely nothing in the grand scheme of things, but hey...neither does anyone else.
Style is supposed to be fun.
In a time shrouded in social media follows and "fight the algorithm" PSAs, let's just remember that if you're a fashion or lifestyle blogger, it was your passion that led you to your first Christian Louboutin or Anastasia brow pencil. Have fun! Care less about hashtags and retweets and focus on the creation of it all. Maybe then your engagement might naturally fix itself...Here's a little nudge to just enjoy the process, play dress up and be yourself.
Time passes before your eyes.
All I can say is that I have this feeling that it's going to be like we blinked and one day we're wondering where our lives went. Here's a reminder to just, live your life without fear. Some might call be crazy, but I'd rather be fiercely me and crazy than regretting the story of my life one day.
23, here I come!