Leaving my 20s: Lessons learned in life
March the 14th 2014, marks the day that I enter the last year of my 20’s. I think it’s amazing that God has allowed me (and hopefully will continue to allow me) to live to be 29 years old. I think what is also amazing are the challenges, trials, and lessons, that I have learned along the way. When I sit and think about where I was at 20 and where I am now, it makes me look forward to getting older. People tend to think that getting older is a bad thing. That it is something you should fear. I think you should only fear aging, if you haven’t learned anything. “With age comes wisdom.” J One thing that I love to do is give, especially on my birthday. So, I am going to give you guys my top 8 things that I have learned in my twenties, and hopefully some of you can relate or learn from my lessons. Learn to have a budget and save!!!- I just knew that because I was young, I could get money whenever I wanted it. I thought about saving, but always figure, “eh, I’ll do it next check”. I took my friends out to eat all the time. I spent money on whomever so they could have a good time. I bought new clothes every weekend for the club. I was like Nino Brown when it came to cash. I eventually lost my job and had nothing in the bank. This was during the housing crisis when everything was falling apart and so was I. My world was crumbling. I had to re-learn how to live, not just within my means, but below my means. I lost a hold of good credit, and learned who my true friends were. Which leads to my next point…
Friendship Appreciation/Depreciation- As I was going through my financial crisis, I learned that the friends who I would have bent over backwards for, wasn’t too concerned about doing that for me. That was tough, because it was people that I knew from “day 1”. Eventually, those relationships came to an end. However, other relationships started to deepen due to the fact that as you grow different things begin to happen in your life. Promotions, weddings, childbirth. You get to see these people mature and blossom which can lead to two things: You guys are in alignment with your goals and ideas, and those bonds will strengthen. Or, you guys will grow apart due to the differences in your life choices. It’s not always a bad thing to lose a friend. Sometimes you have to do it so that you can grow into something better.
Be comfortable in your own skin- I started to gain serious weight between 21 and 26. I was eating badly all the time and wasn’t as active as I had been in high school. I became unhappy with my body and it showed in the way I carried myself. I believe that my self-consciousness about myself attracted dudes who could see how I felt and would only want physical relationships with no intentions of a legit commitment. I had to change my way of thinking. I started to look at my body naked. I started to fall in love with my curves. I started eating better and working out more so that I could feel better but be healthy at the same time. I became happier, more confident, and it showed in my walk. I am not saying that you have to lose weight to feel better. I am saying that when you love your skin others will too.
You cannot change a man- GURRLLLLLLLLL!!! You can’t change him, unless he wants to change. I tried to love a man from the bottom of the soles of my feet hoping he would change his mind about not having children. I thought he would see how awesome we were together and change. Negative! Although I was salty about it, I take the blame as well. He said he didn’t want kids and I was going to do the woman thing and make him change his mind. Ladies, he has to want to change in order to change. If he doesn’t want to, you will be wasting your time.
You can’t please everyone- I had a friend who I spoke to about a big decision that I was making and I was worried about what she thought. She said “They ain’t eating yo p*ssy, don’t worry about it”. (She’s my ‘keep it real girl’, so she says whatever comes to mind.) But she was correct, after all. People aren’t paying your bills, so why should it matter what they think? I am always about being considerate of others, which I do not believe that is a bad thing. However, I do believe that in making life decisions we should worry about how we feel and not what others will say.
Think ahead!- Too often we think about right now, and not tomorrow. Or my favorite phrase that the kids are using today, “YOLO!” In our early 20s we don’t think about how our choices will impact our future. We are just worried about if it looks and feels good. I was very blessed that some of my choices didn’t completely derail my future, but some people may not feel that way. Just think you want to run for president at 38 but you can’t cause you put a video on youtube showing you p*ssy poppin on a handstand. Luckily, we can get past any obstacle if we put our minds to it. However, having less of those obstacles would be even better!
Learn to communicate/listen effectively- When we finally are ready to commit and be with someone we can’t because we don’t know how to communicate when it comes to our feelings. Especially if it’s regarding a big decision that may impact the relationship. Communication doesn’t only matter in relationships, it matters in life, period. Being an effective communicator helps you advance in job positions, schooling issues, interaction with our peers, etc. We get into arguments because we don’t know how to communicate what we want when we are trying to get our points across. The other part is that others don’t know how to listen to what’s being said. People tend to speak when the other person is trying to speak, don’t listen when it’s their turn to shut up and listen, or just plan can’t understand what’s being said. Communication goes a long way and if you can learn it in your 20s it will be even better!
And Finally, number 8:
Have patience- This is the thing that I had/have to struggle with the most. In my high school yearbook, I had said I would be 28 with 1.5 kids, a house with a 2 car garage, and my husband who loves me. Right now, the only man loving me is my dad. (Shout out to my pops!!) It’s tough seeing your friends get married, have babies, and starting these new lives without you. You tend to think you guys have nothing in common anymore because they are worried about “real life” stuff while you’re worried about how this guy can’t get his act together. What’s worse is that you are dating guys who; A. doesn’t want you like you want them, B. You don’t want them like they want you, C. Creepers/Weirdoes/Crazies, or D. incompatible. You wish one of these guys would work out because you want to be married with kids soooo bad. Well, STOP! STOP RIGHT THERE. There is a reason it hasn’t worked yet. It’s because it’s not for you yet. People jump the gun when they have no patience and end up in poor situations that would have shown themselves had you given it more time. But we are an “I WANT IT NOW” generation. We aren’t being patient with the things that what we want/need. I may not be married with kids. But I have a great job, a great place to live, a good education, great friends, etc. etc. etc. I could go on about how wonderful my life is and it’s because I’ve had to learn patience. It hasn’t been easy, but I will tell you; it’s worth it!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!!!!