4 Important Life Lessons I’m Learning As I Begin My 24th Year

A close-up of a woman's hands with colored nails holding a pair of sunglasses.
Sabina Ciesielska / Unsplash

I am only four months into 2018 and already this year has been a rollercoaster of incredible highs and devastating lows. I have far more in common with the “very surprised-looking whale” from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy than I would like too. I turned 24 this week and it was my first birthday as a fully independent adult. Lately, I’ve been experiencing a lot of what my dad once described as “Living on your own is great. You can be alone when you want to be and when you don’t want to be alone you can still be alone.” And consequently, I’ve been doing a lot of introspection and philosophizing about life. So I have compiled a list of four things I’ve learned at 23 growing into 24.

If you want something, do something to make it happen.

You can’t spend your life just hoping that magically you’ll find the job you want or get your dream car or an apartment or go on incredible adventures. These things don’t just happen. Maybe for some it works out that way, but I am not among them. You have to put in hard work, time, and sometimes a lot of tears to get there. People don’t text you at the moment you need it most to save you from yourself and he doesn’t show up at your door to save you from another night alone. If you don’t want to be alone, invite your friends to hang out. If you want to see him, ask him to come over. Life isn’t a movie. If you want it, go after it. Nothing good comes easy and the effort you put in makes achieving your dream all the better. And if it doesn’t work out at least you know you tried.

All of this is just stuff without someone to share it with.

I have a lovely apartment that I have made my own with a sort of geek chic décor. I have an impressive library and incredible collections of films, television series, and music. I have a stylish wardrobe that makes me feel beautiful. However, recently I’ve realized that all of it is just stuff without someone to share it with. Really I’ve always known this, but it’s become concrete recently especially when I realized that what I really wanted for my birthday couldn’t be found in any beautifully wrapped package. I enjoy everything that I have, but it means so much more when I can share the passion I have for it with someone else. I would trade it all for his time, for someone to share my life with.

It’s the little things…

Life sucks sometimes, whether it’s a bad work day, disappointment, heartbreak, or finding yourself stuck in your head. On those days, I try to hold on to and remember the little things. I try to focus on that smile, that shared laugh, that hug, that deep conversation when everything seems to be slipping through my fingers. Lately, I’ve been struggling to come up with a coherent picture of things because every time I think I have it figured out something changes. My mum says that’s just life and frankly I hate it. So when I find myself falling into a well of confusion and hopelessness I hold onto those little moments that warmed my heart and I remind myself that I have amazing friends and an incredible family who are all there for me if I ask.

My parents are incredible.

While I was never one of those kids who hated their parents or fought with them constantly, I definitely did not fully appreciate them until I moved out. They’ve been there for me when I didn’t know who else to turn to. They listened when I needed them to and gave advice when I needed it. They may not always think I take their advice or value it, but I do even when initially it seems like it has fallen on deaf ears. I am endlessly grateful to have been blessed with parents who are there for me no matter what. TC mark

Christine is a recent college graduate trying to find her place in the world.

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