I just turned twenty last month and am now embarking upon the journey of the magical, unpredictable and terrifying decade that awaits me in my twenties. I realize that there are going to be a lot of things that I need to accept if I am going to survive the next ten years…
I am always inclined to expect perfection for myself and my life, but I’ve learned in my years as a teenager that having that expectation only hurts me. Many of you have probably done the same. Therefore I made myself this list. There are many facts of life that we all need to accept in order to find the happiness and satisfaction that we need as adults. Perfection is in the imperfect nature of growing up.
1. You’re going to be broke for a very long time. Stock up on Ramen and make the best of it.
2. The first time you fall in love probably won’t be the last. There are different kinds of love and people that will come into your life for different reasons.
3. You will undeniably grow apart from your friends in some ways. You’re going to move and get into relationships and careers that take up a lot of your time and rather than resent each other for that, cherish the time that you do have to spend together.
4. Nothing in your life is permanent. That’s horrifying and invigorating all at the same time. You have to embrace change and accept that it is 100% necessary.
5. You’re never going to look perfect, but you’re beautiful the way you are. Cultivate your perception of what you see in the mirror, and stop trying so hard to change it. You’re young and vibrant. Own it. Be you.
6. You’re going to feel alone sometimes. It’s going to seem like everyone has their own lives and you are floating in the ocean all by your lonesome. That’s okay. In the end, you can only really count on yourself, and you will become stronger from the moments you felt abandoned.
7. There’s never going to be a time that you will not need your parents and family in many ways. Keep them close to your heart.
8. You’re going to feel unappreciated, defeated, and disappointed at times. Those are the building blocks of who you will later become.
9. You’re going to change your mind about things. You can’t feel guilty about leaving a relationship, area or career if it’s what’s best for you. Changing your mind is what you’re supposed to do.
10. The job market isn’t what it used to be. Your college degree or work history isn’t an easy ticket to success anymore. You are going to have to constantly prove yourself. Hard work is good.
11. The past is over. You have to let go of every “what could have been” and go forward.
12. It’s not always going to be easy to be a good person. You’re going to have to fight for what you believe is right, and sometimes it will feel like no one is on your side. That’s ok, they don’t have to be, as long as you are.
13. Not everyone is going to like you, and if you think that it’s possible you will kill yourself trying.
14. You’re going to misjudge people. Don’t beat yourself up over trying to see the good in someone. Just be cautious and learn.
15. When you do find your person, they aren’t going to be perfect. Your relationship or marriage will be hard sometimes. It isn’t about thinking someone is perfect, it’s about knowing that they are perfect for you. You need to marry your best friend, not your “dream” man or woman.
16. Your body is going to change. Whether its due to having children or not having enough money for a gym membership, you’re not always going to look 20. I repeat from #4; you’re beautiful. Your body is supposed to change just like everything else in life does.
17. You’re going to fall on your face multiple times. This could from a relationship or job or really anything, but it will happen. You have to brush yourself off, and learn from your mistakes.
18. Not everything will be like you imagine it now. You may not want to dish out the money you’d need to have your Pinterest Wedding, or have the job you imagined for yourself, and that’s okay. Life isn’t a series of check-boxes you create as a teenager, it’s much more complex and unpredictable, and that’s what makes it beautiful.
19. Your core values will not always align with those of the people around you. But you need to stand by them.
20. You’re going to feel like a different person after these years, and probably know a heck of a lot more than you do now. It’s most important that you remember who you are in your heart. Love freely. Move towards your dreams. Accept imperfection, and realize that life will get messy, but it’s a beautiful mess and it’s all yours.
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