A note to my 20 year old self
20 things I learned in my 20’s
So many life lessons learned during my 20’s and so many moments looking back and I think “Man, you dumb.” But I wish I had someone to tell my 20-year-old self that, “Hey! Everything will be ok.” Here are a few things going into the BIG 3-0 I have learned.
1. Dreams Change and that’s ok
I have gone through a lot of dreams. While in college I decided to change career path at least 4 times before I found my niche. Explore different career paths, live in different cities and change your style. Dreams can change but that doesn’t mean you failed.
2. Timelines are dumb-Don’t compare yourself
I cant tell you how many times in my early 20’s that I stressed about my timeline. When my childhood friends were all getting married and starting their families in their early to mid-twenties, I was not even close to that. I worried. I actually worried a lot. There is no need to worry though, everyone’s timelines are different. What worked for my friends, is not the same as what worked for me and vise versa. Your life will progress in the way it should for you. So stop all ya worry, kid.
3. You will fall in and out of love. You will have your heart broken and you will break some hearts too.
For most people, their first love is not their forever love. For me, the relationships I had before I met my husband, each taught me something not only about myself but what I’m looking for in forever. I had my heart broken by boys and I broken some boys’ hearts as well. Each date, each relationship helped me grow, helped me learn to love myself and most importantly not to settle. Girl, don’t settle. Be single. Learning to love yourself before you let someone else in. P.S Young Amanda, you think you have a “type” date outside that type. Trust me. 😉
4. You learn a lot about life and yourself when you move away from home
If you have the opportunity to move away from family, friends, and everything that is comfortable for you, DO IT! I cannot say it enough. From learning how to manage money, managing time and again you learn so much about yourself. I remember when I lived an hour away from home, having my own apartment was so so much fun. I made some of my very best friends when I moved not to mention feeling immensely proud of myself for doing so.
Be humble and always believe in yourself.
5. Always remember to stay humble
Never forget how far you have come but always remember that your future is going to be amazing. Never brag or boast. The moment you start to be cocky, thinking you know or have everything, you start missing out. Believe in yourself. One of my favorite sayings is, “If you think you can or you think you cant, you’re right” You CAN always.
6. Be Kind.
Being rude is easy. It does not take any effort and is a sign of weakness and insecurity. Kindness shows great self-discipline and strong self-esteem. Being kind is not always easy when dealing with rude people. Kindness is a sign of a person who has done a lot of personal work and has come to a great self-understanding and wisdom. Kindness is a sign of strength.
7. Learn how to forgive.
This is a hard one. You and a friend get into a fight. Someone says something mean in the heat of the moment. Days go by and you aren’t talking to said friend. Forgive, even if there is not an apology or acknowledgment of an apology. Everyone does things and says things when emotional. Learn to forgive.
8. Eat healthy and Exercise
Trust me, make a habit of eating healthy and working out early. In my early 20s, I would have mac and cheese and mashed potatoes for dinner on a regular basis. Then I felt miserable. I did not put two and two together that eating like crap makes you feel like crap. Eat a salad every now and then, young Amanda. Geez. Also attempting to dance at the bar on Friday and Saturday nights do not count as exercise. Get out, go for a brisk walk, go for a hike somewhere or just stop by the gym for an hour and please selfies are not necessary’.
9. Social Media is the devil and it can be a lifesaver
I honestly have a love/hate relationship with social media. I love it for the fact that I can keep in contact with my family that doesn’t live close, I LOVE the fact that I have met some of my closest mom friends through social media and I LOVE the fact that I can connect and share my story with everyone that wants to listen. I HATE it for one reason and one reason only. Comparison to others. Let’s face it everyone doesn’t post the bad, sad, ugly messes in their lives. People post the great, cute and oh so happy moments about their life. Comparison has ruined marriages, relationships, friendships and self-relationships for so many people out there. I honestly struggle with comparing myself to other bloggers. Something I have to continuously have to step back and remind myself that I am the only me out there, I am not the other bloggers that have millions of followers , I have not been doing this for 10 years but only 9 months and let me tell you, in those 9 months I have had some pretty great opportunities come my way. Just remember on social media sites ONLY follow those who empower you, and stop comparing yourself.
Friendships will go through ups and downs, you will not always be best friends, people come and go out of your life for a reason. Those who lift you up on your bad days, hold your hair back after you had too much to drink, told you were beautiful during month 9 of pregnancy and those who love your baby as if he was their own. Those are the friends that will be around for a lifetime.
Even on your bad days, your life is/was pretty great. So try to do good in the world, pick up trash on the sidewalk, pay for the person behind you in the drive-thru, buy Christmas presents for the less fortunate, make goodie bags for children in the hospital.
12. Your twenties are your selfish years.
Go out with your friends, dance the night away, have one too many drinks and Uber home! Travel, explore, love a lot , love a little, don’t feel bad about any of it!
13. Don’t be quick to judge people
I am still trying to master this, I honestly think I will for the rest of my life. We are all just so quick to judge. Judge that disheveled mom at Target, who was up all night because her husband is deployed. The mom that has the picture perfect life, according to her social media. The panhandler on the street, who just got off their first job and waiting to go to their second job just to buy diapers for their baby. Try to always have an open mind, you never know what people are going through.
14. Love your family
Every family has them. The people you have trouble loving at times but you kinda have too because well they are family. But love the unlovable it may be tough at times but most of the time they will come around and it will be easier to at least tolerate.
15. You WILL meet the love of your life when you least expect it
Been there, done that. Just when you think the Big Guy upstairs has given up all hope for you, BAM he changes everything. All for the better, be patient and trust the process.
16. You do not need a BIG wedding
Big wedding = big cost, planning, drama necessary. Our entire wedding was less than $5000. That’s attire, venue, food, and music, etc. Spend money on something that matters not what essentially a party.
17. Tanning Beds are bad, Sunscreen is good
Ugh, I was soo dumb, seriously if you feel the need to look tan, spray tan and always wear sunscreen. Your 30 year old skin will thank you!
18. Gratitude makes the difference in whether you are happy in your life or not.
19. There is life after having a baby.
It might seem to stop for a few months, but then it gets better than ever. It always helps when you live in the same building as grandma and grandpa and you have an Aunts that love their nephew like none other.
20. If you cant say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.
I remember seeing this in Bambi as a child and have never forgotten it.
Lastly, stay true to yourself, Don’t worry about what people think of you or about the way they try to make you feel. If people want to see you as a good person, they will. If they want to see you as a bad person, absolutely nothing you do will stop them. Keep your head high and always be confident in what you do. Keep your eyes ahead of wasting your time on those who want to drag you back