24 Life-Changing Lessons I Have Learned At 24

1. Life is bearable when you’re in a place where you can feel at home.

I think you can find success everywhere. You don’t have to necessarily push yourself to be in a big, old city if you don’t want to be there. You grow best when you’re in a place that brings light and sparks in you. Inspiration comes easily if you’re in an environment that makes you love yourself and your life. Find a place that suits your personality and lifestyle. And start building a home there.

2. Working with the right people will make you fall in love with your job.

Whatever job designation that you have or job industry that you’re in right now, if you’re working with the people who believe in you and nourish you, it’s quite easy to fall in love with your job. Life might be rough sometimes but when you are surrounded by those who encourage you to reach your fullest potential, you will keep trying to perform your responsibilities the best way that you can. Ultimately, it’s not a salary package or title that makes you stick to your job; it’s the people you work closely with every single day.

3. Growing up is an option, but nevertheless, a great choice to make.

I understand how liberating it is to say, “Screw it, I’m young,” and do whatever it is that makes you feel good. But this childish belief that you’re allowed to be wild and carefree just because you’re young doesn’t have to go on forever. In real life, there’s a time when you have to hold yourself back and ponder about every big decision that you make. There’s a right moment to speak and let your voice be heard. You don’t have to act impulsively all the time. Because everything that you do has a positive or negative effect on your future.

4. If you want a long-lasting relationship, pick someone who’s a grown up.

It’s thrilling to play games in love with someone else but eventually, you will realize that it’s exhausting. If you don’t like wasting your time, pick the person who will immediately tell you how much they like you. Because true love isn’t complicated. True love is obvious and loud and clear. If the other person is trying to trick you and confuse you because they think it’s funny, then they’re probably not worth the chase in the first place.

5. Having complete independence is a milestone that you can be proud of.

Not asking for financial support from your parents, being able to afford your own apartment, and having the confidence to live on your own are signs that you are finally taking control of your life. It’s scary to embrace adulthood, but once you start to become comfortable with commitments and budgeting and working most days of the week, you’ll transition from adolescence to adulthood just fine. You’ll enjoy watching yourself struggle and then come out on the other side wiser and bolder.

6. You can attract the right people simply by being responsible.

No hard work goes unpaid — always remember this. It might not seem like it right now, but one day you will be surprised to find out that the right people are watching and observing you all along. Your exceptional work ethic gives people the idea that they can trust you and that you are responsible. The value that you give to a company or an organization is an accurate reflection of your capabilities. So keep doing what you’re passionate about and keep your expectations at bay. Every good thing that you do will be rewarded in the future.

7. Falling in love with the wrong person is a thing you’re going to do again and again.

Sometimes your romantic relationship won’t work out because you will fall in love with someone at a wrong time. Sometimes it won’t work out because of incompatibilities. Sometimes it’s because both of you will eventually learn that it’s not meant to be. Whatever the case may be, you will end up heartbroken. But the scars that people will leave you will be proof that, even if love is difficult sometimes, you will not hesitate to fall in love again and again.

8. You may not want to peak in your 20s.

It’s frustrating to see younger kids do well in reality TV shows while you’re sitting on your couch still figuring things out. But think about it this way: It’s better to see yourself struggle and improve in your 20s and be the best version of yourself in the latter part of your life than peak in your 20s and watch your life go downhill after that.

9. Doing something to prove yourself to other people is unnecessary.

There’s something so sad about making life choices purely because you want to prove a point. You need to stop doing this ASAP. When you don’t let other people affect you in the way you live your life, everything becomes easier and your world becomes more peaceful. Do what you want because it feels true to you, not because of vengeance.

10. Money isn’t everything but it can help you with a lot of things.

I understand that in the grandest scheme of things, money doesn’t really matter, but when you want to move somewhere and have a fresh start; money does make a lot of difference. Saving a portion of your earnings will definitely lessen your stress when you find yourself in emergency situations in the future. It will save you the hassle of relying on other people for your financial needs.

11. A night with a stranger can change some of your perspective on life.

We live in a society where we are constantly told to be careful with strangers. I guess that principle somehow makes sense. But I think there are still good strangers in this world. I think a voice inside of you will tell you if you can let someone in or if you should stay away from them. Giving someone, whom you’re not necessarily familiar with, a chance to get to know you will help you know that there are endless possibilities of making friends in this lifetime. And hearing someone’s unique story can change the way you see people and the way you see the world.

12. You are going to get better in dealing with your emotions as time goes by.

As you grow older, you will become less emotional. You will become better at dealing with emptiness and disappointments and the odd feeling of not being enough. You will have more control over how you react to certain things. And that is the kind of power that is worth improving.

13. People are going to talk about you from time to time.

Whether you do a good thing or a bad thing, people will always have something to say about you. And there’s no way you can ask them to stop doing it. One of the best things that you can do is either stop hanging out with them or just ignore them. Because in the end, what matters is not what other people think of you – it’s what you think of yourself.

14. There will be at least one person in your life who will not love you back.

It’s easy to throw a hate party for someone who can’t love you back without realizing that if there’s a person who should be blamed in this narrative, it is you. Sometimes the reason why people can’t fall in love with you is simply because they just can’t. They don’t look at you that way. And taking it way too personal is a waste of tears and energy.

15. Pain teaches you good lessons.

Your heartaches change you in some ways. You don’t forget the moments when you looked at the sky and felt like your entire world collapsed. They remind you of how strong you are, of how you survived your darkest days. All the pain that you harbored in the past shapes you to become a better warrior. They teach you to be more resilient in facing difficulties in life right now. They teach you to be flexible in every situation that you fall into.

16. You don’t have to be ashamed of being different.

You don’t have to mimic what everyone in your generation is doing if that is not your thing. Seeking for validation or some weird acceptance is a never-ending cycle that will not fulfill you in the end. Your life will be less stressful when you become true to who you are and not give a damn about whether or not you fit in. Being different is cool. Because it means that you have depth and that there’s something more in you that these other kids in your age don’t have.

17. A bad day doesn’t automatically mean a bad tomorrow.

Sometimes stars just don’t align in our favor. Somebody makes us upset. Something disappoints us. Sometimes we find no reason to smile for the whole day. These bad things that happen to us are part of the package. We have to go through horrible days so we can appreciate the good days when they arrive. Our stories have few dull chapters once in a while. Our lives aren’t going to be consistently exciting. But it’s how we appreciate the little things during our ordinary days that counts.

18. The love that stays is the love that you have for yourself.

People can wake up one morning and decide to stop loving you. Everything can drastically change in short period of time. But if there’s one permanent thing that you can absolutely be sure of, it’s the love that you have for yourself. It will always be there through thick and thin. It will not leave you alone. It will not go anywhere. And the best way to strengthen this love is to practice self-care.

19. It’s possible to find connections anywhere.

The world is huge. You don’t have to limit your social circle to the place where you were born. Despite our differences in language and culture, it’s still possible to find people you can be friends with on the other side of the world. It’s possible that you can have common goals and dreams in life with them. Distance doesn’t affect the way people understand each other through their cores. Our feelings and thoughts are universal. We find connections through our personal stories.

20. You are allowed to choose who you give your trust.

When it comes to deciding whether you trust people or not, the only thing that you should be listening into is your gut. Once it makes you feel doubtful about a group of people, it’s best not to be too open to them. In life, you will learn that every word you say and every action that you do can be used against you. Being extra cautious around people you don’t fully trust will drive you away from trouble.

21. It’s not that scary to tell someone you like them.

What can you lose in letting someone know how you feel toward them? Pride? Reputation? Dignity? I don’t think so. I believe that being vocal and honest about telling someone you like them shouldn’t be a big of a deal. It’s simply giving them an idea or reminding them that they’re attractive people. And if they don’t look at you the same way, you can just easily move on. You don’t have to take everything too personally. Not everyone is going to like you too.

22. When you give your 100 % best, you can walk away satisfied.

This is my mantra every time I find myself in a challenging situation. I understand that there are infinite things that you can’t control in this world. You don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow. You don’t know if everything is going to stay the same. But if you give your all in everything that you do, you can close your eyes at night satisfied and confident to know that there is nothing you wish you could have done better in the day.

23. Kindness goes a long way.

Just because you have been terribly hurt before doesn’t give you the privilege to be generally rude. Kindness trumps hatred. People may not remember your name but they will certainly remember all the good things that you have done for them. They will carry the mark that you left in their hearts everywhere they go. And that’s the kind of legacy that you should be aiming to imprint in this world. “A kind person,” is one sentence you should hope people would describe you when your name has been brought up in a conversation.

24. It doesn’t matter what your religion is.

I think God will not love you less just because you don’t belong to a certain religion. Your personal relationship with him and your commitment to his covenants are more important than finding a place to worship him. God loves us no matter who we are and where we come from. All he wants is for us to seek him, rely on him, and be faithful and loyal to all his plans. God is forgiving and he is always there waiting for you to come back and reach out to him. TC mark

Angelo Caerlang

Angelo Caerlang is the author of Sparks in Broken Lights.

Seeds Planted In Concrete

This poetry collection by Bianca Sparacino is an assembly of words that celebrates the resilience of the human heart through stages of hurting, feeling, healing and loving.

“Be alone. Eat alone, take yourself on dates, sleep alone. In the midst of this you will learn about yourself. You will grow, you will figure out what inspires you, you will curate your own dreams, your own beliefs, your own stunning clarity, and when you do meet the person who makes your cells dance, you will be sure of it, because you are sure of yourself.”

★★★★★ “One of the best, if not the best, modern poetry collections you can read. Absolutely incredible. Her words are so wise, intricate and delicate that you feel them caressing your soul. I love this book, I love it so very much.” —Hayder

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