Holy crap, I’m officially in my mid 20’s. I’ve been 25 for nearly two months and it still hasn’t set in. It’s insane how fast our early 20’s fly by, but also just how much is packed into those few years. In the past five years, I’ve managed to have some pretty bad spells with depression, go through the most with friendships and relationships, graduate as a journalist, start my own little business, keep this blog going, and so much more. It’s been rocky to say the least, but I’ve learnt so much. So here’s some lessons I’ve learnt along the way:
No one is me and that is my superpower.
I’ve tried my whole life to be someone else. I’ve tried to be the emo girl, the girly girl, I’ve tried to fake being an extrovert. It is exhausting. It took me a whole lot of rejection and pain to finally realize that the only person I’m good at being is me. Socially awkward, bookworm, geek, the works. It’s me. I can’t be anyone else well enough.
Some relationships and friendships don’t have to last forever to mean something.
I’ve been blessed in so many ways to have had amazing people in my life for certain seasons. And for a long time, it absolutely tore me apart when those people would cease to be in my life. But as I get older, I realize that everything in life has a time and season. Eventually, some of those seasons come to an end and that’s ok. You should still carry the lessons you learnt and use it as a catalyst for the next phase of your life.
Water and coconut oil are the essentials we all need.
When I was about 22, I finally figured it was time to take water intake seriously. So I slowly built my way up to the necessary 2.5 litres, and it changed my life. No, really. My skin got better and my body felt healthier. So if you’re not doing so yet, grab a bottle, and drink some water guys. Now, coconut oil. You know, I know you do. Damaged hair? Slather it on. Dry skin? Rub it in. Ranky teeth? Gargle for a few minutes. Wanna cook healthier food? Throw some in a pan. I’m not kidding. It’s essential.
Every woman should chop off her hair atleast once.
For most of my life, my long, thick hair was almost this shield I could hide behind. I was the girl with her head hanging down and hair covering her face. Weird, but it was almost a security blanket. When I was 23, I decided to hell with it. I’ve always wanted a pixie. I had this thought on a Friday night in March. Just over 12 hours later, I was in a salon, getting rid of 80% of my hair. It was seriously the most freeing experience. Try it, it’s amazing!
Don’t let anyone talk you out of what you want.
People are always gonna have opinions about what you do and who you are. I’ve heard every last silly comment about everything from my short hair to my blog to my tattoos. It really irked me for a long time, until I realized that I really have no good reason to care what anyone thinks. I don’t make impulsive decisions (not all the time, anyway). I think things through, so why should I let anyone tell me differently?
Being kind is always trendy.
A smile, a simple thank you can mean so much to someone. I always try to keep in mind that I don’t know the battles someone else is facing, so being polite and kind can be enough to brighten a strangers day. But like, not too kind, don’t be so polite that you get into a strangers car just because their asked. No, no.
We all should be feminists.
Now, I don’t mean angry and burning bras (they’re expensive) kind of feminism. I mean understanding and choosing to see men and women as equal in every way, and more importantly, seeing all women as equal. That’s so vital to me. I was the catty girl who thought snarky things about other girls in high school. Then I got older and realized that we women face enough crap in the world. We really don’t need to add to that by hating each other too. Before we say feminism and equality isn’t our problem, keep in mind that if certain women in history had decided that it wasn’t their problem, women would still be trained to keep house and make their husbands happy instead of pursuing whatever goals their hearts desired.
Surround yourself with people who build you up.
I had a friend who would constantly make fun of or even publicly embarrass me for silly things, like the fact that I wasn’t working part time during university, or because I’m a blogger or because I like makeup. She would do it in a joking manner and I often laughed it off, more out of embarrassment than anything. Once, I took a stand and was called a b***ch in front of multiple people. I’m not one for public drama, so that was humiliating on its own. I began to hide parts of myself to avoid her little stabs. I cut her slack because she was my friend. Then, one day I realized that this isn’t friendship. Now, my circle is much smaller, but it’s filled with people who are respectful, who have similar mindsets and who I constantly learn from. I’ve learnt that in any circle, be the one who knows the least, so you have to most to learn from.
Celebrate every milestone.
I once had a person tell me that I had too many “days” and important things in my life. He snarked at it. So, silly me decided to just stop making a big deal of it. That was a dumb move. Needless to say, this person is no longer in my life. I look for any excuse to celebrate and eat cake. Blog birthday? Let’s have a party. Actual birthday? Bring out the cosmo’s. Last exam? You get the gist. Life only happens once. Something that doesn’t seem significant now will be the best memory in 10 years. So celebrate everything, and more importantly, take pictures.
Nothing compares to inner strength.
If you had told me 10 years ago that the years ahead would hold everything from horrible heartbreak to suicide attempts, to having a family fall apart repeatedly, I would have been exhausted at the thought of it. But somehow, I’ve been through it all, I’ve had to wake up for days on end just finding reasons to convince myself to stay alive, I’ve lost people to death that I loved so dearly, I’ve fought depression, and now I don’t doubt that I could conquer anything. Our inner strength is unmatchable to any force on earth. Remember that the next time you have a weak moment.
Your fellow Princess Warrior,