I think we “grow up” in our twenties. We work on becoming (and figuring out) who we want to be. And as we move through these years, we try to decipher what we value, and what and who we wish to hold close to our hearts.
My twenties have been pretty rocky. They’ve had their fair share of ups and downs, rock bottoms, highs and lows, and of everything in between. But they’ve also been quite special years, filled with many memories, people, and experiences that I will always hold near and dear to my heart.
I haven’t figured everything out – I don’t think any of us have. We are all works in progress. But these are some of the lessons I have gathered along the way that have helped me to find peace and acceptance in many situations. I hope these lessons can bring you some perspective, comfort, and compassion, as you make your way through the ups and downs of your twenties.
1. Try not to take rejection so personally. Sometimes two puzzle pieces are perfectly fine puzzle pieces, they just don’t fit together.
2. Not every trial or struggle needs to be a lesson or have an underlying meaning or value. Sometimes things just happen, and you make it through them and then continue on living.
3. Even if other people have it “worse,” it doesn’t mean that you do not have permission to grieve or to feel pain. There is space here for all of our feelings. None are insignificant or invaluable.
4. The person who broke your heart cannot be the one to put it back together.
5. Goodbyes and endings are not inherently bad. Sometimes people come into your life just as passerbys, and your story becomes better because of them.
6. You don’t need to be defined by your experiences of grief or trauma. But you can allow them to shape you. You can use your healing process to bring out the best of you. You can choose to be defined by how you rise back up.
7. You may always have a long way to go up the mountain. You may be climbing for a while. But please remember to look behind you every now and again at how far you’ve come – you have a lot to be proud of. Enjoy the view.
8. Your body is your home. You’ll be a whole lot happier when you accept this.
9. Usually, when you think you need closure from another person, in actuality, you need closure from yourself. You need to be the one who gives yourself peace and tells yourself it’s time to heal. You are the only one who can give yourself real closure.
10. The right decision doesn’t always feel good or positive in the beginning – sometimes it will even bring great sadness. Know that this doesn’t mean it wasn’t the right decision. The sadness is temporary. Stand by your values.
11. We all come with baggage, this is inevitable. But you get to choose how you carry your baggage. You can carry it with you, into every new experience and every new relationship, or, you can bravely place it in the corner of your closet, knowing that it is a part of who you are today, but that it no longer dictates who you are becoming.
12. If someone makes you feel like you are difficult to love, move along.
13. Wait for what your heart needs, not just what it craves at the moment. If you feel like something is off, listen to your gut. You will know when you have found what is right for you.
14. .You don’t need to solve everything today. Sometimes you just need to choose which direction to take the first step in and then allow life to take over.
15. If you love someone, tell them. Even if they don’t love you back, telling them puts more love into the world. Well-intentioned love is never wrong. And we could all use a little more love.
16. Make your social media feeds a safe place. If you feel even a little bit insecure when you see someone’s feed on social media, mute them. There’s no need to see content that brings you down or makes you question your own worth.
17. Broken hearts do heal. The pain is temporary. Remind yourself of this over and over and over again. You will mend, and love will come around again.
18. Anxiety doesn’t change the outcome, it just turns a gentle rainstorm into a hurricane.
19. Some people are meant to stay in our lives for only a short while, but in our hearts indefinitely.
20. Some things just don’t really turn out okay. And you can fight them and hold on to them and try to change them, but at the end of the day, the best thing you can do is accept them. Acceptance is the secret to healing.
21. Over time, your body will inevitably change and your weight will inevitably fluctuate. These changes do not affect your value.
22. Others may not understand your choices or the path you choose to take. This doesn’t mean you are moving in the wrong direction. Trust yourself and your instincts. Underneath all the noise, you know what is right for you.
23. Know when it’s time to let go, no matter how much it hurts. Sometimes we have to say a really, really, difficult goodbye in order to begin again.
24. Your worth is not reflected in the ability of others to love you.
25. When your pain and sadness turns into gratitude for an experience, you know you are beginning to heal.
26. Avoid comparing yourself to anyone else. You aren’t running in the same race. You aren’t growing in the same forest.
27. No one can love you into loving yourself. But they might be able to show you what love can feel like.
28. Remember that it’s not the end of the world. It’s the end of a world. Don’t let one ending cloud your view. Keep your eye out for windows, doors, and new worlds.
29. When you see a light in others, tell them.
30. And don’t forget to admire the light that shines from within you too.