22 Things I’ve Learned (And Am Still Learning) As A 22-Year-Old Adult In Training

Benjamin Combs
Benjamin Combs

1. It actually is better to get up in the morning. Waking up at noon will never make you feel as good about your day as waking up at 9 will.

2. Clean as you go instead of waiting till the very end. A pile of dirty dishes and pots sitting in the sink won’t wash themselves, and you sure won’t want to deal with them hours later. Take it from the Mayor of ProcrastiNation.

3. Smile. It truly goes a long way. Seriously. For yourself and for others. Joy is infectious, y’all.

4. Kindness is infectious too. Gestures of compassion evoke more compassion. If there’s anything that we can continue to do more of in this life, it’s showing empathy and treating others well.

5. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Nothing in nature blooms all year round. You’re a work in progress and that’s exactly how it should be. As long as you’re moving forward, you’re doing better than you think. Keep on keepin’ on.

6. Boys really can be awful sometimes. Allow yourself to cry, allow yourself to sulk, allow yourself to be angry… and then pick yourself back up, lean on your friends and family, and don’t ever let him make you feel like anything less than the boss ass bitch that you are.

7. Eat that last slice of cake. Skip the damn salad on Sunday and go for the burger. And then get your butt outside or to the gym or to a dance class and treat your body right. It’s all about that balance. Don’t deprive yourself of the good stuff in life either. “Everything in moderation” could not be truer.

8. Being able to be intimately and terrifyingly vulnerable is a beautiful thing. It is not your fault if someone else takes advantage of your trust; protecting your well-being is important, but don’t let one devastating experience permanently close you off to all the rest of the good in the world that is still out there.

9. Call your parents. Tell your mom that you appreciate her. Tell your dad that you love him. Whomever you call family, whether that be through blood or bond or acceptance into your circle of trust, don’t take advantage of their love for you. That unwavering loyalty and support is the one true constant in your life that you’ll always be able to depend on.

10. The truth always surfaces. Always. Be open and be honest. Everyone involved in the situation is going to appreciate it (sooner or later).

11. Everyone is human, and humans screw up. Including you. Put your ego aside for the time being and make the effort to repair what was broken. Apologizing doesn’t excuse the mistake, it just means that you acknowledge the damage that was done and you’re willing to learn from your actions so that it doesn’t have to happen again.

12. And on the other end of the spectrum…forgiveness does not equal weakness. Being able to accept an apology and let go of a grudge can be an incredibly empowering process for yourself.

13. Suffering in silence doesn’t do anyone any good. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. We’ve all been there at some point in time. Humans aren’t meant to go through life alone; you have people around you who care and want to offer their solidarity. Even if it’s just a little helping hand.

14. If you’re questioning something, you should trust your gut. If you’re on the fence whether or not in 24 hours you’re going to regret what you’re about to do, then you probably shouldn’t go through with it. Don’t ignore that little voice in the back of your head. It’s there for a reason. If you’re trying to impress someone and you’re putting your integrity on the line, it ain’t worth it. Keep it moving.

15. Agreeing to disagree is totally okay. Be bold and stand your ground and certainly say what you want to say with conviction, but there’s no need to turn everything into a heated debate. People are going to have differing opinions and not every conversation has to be an all-out brawl. Just remember: respect is key.

16. Fitting only always seems ideal. But you’ll come to realize that following everyone else isn’t always better. Living to your truest self is way more fun.

17. Listen to whatever kind of music you damn well please. Why is this even an issue? If you enjoy it and it speaks to you in some way or another, then go for it. (And solo dance and/or karaoke parties are always 100% encouraged.)

18. Social media can be so misleading. If you feel like you’re somehow missing out or not living it up enough because you’re basing your perception of someone else’s life on their Instagram feed, then just look away. Don’t be silly. You don’t need a filter to make your own life seem more appealing.

19. Beer before liquor, never been sicker. Liquor before beer, you’re in the clear. (Thanks to Momma Bear for that nugget of wisdom! *insert thumbs up emoji*)

20. “This too shall pass.” Ya gotta make it through the shitty stuff to realize just how awesome everything else is. You will make it out alive, whatever it is. And if anything, you’ll come out on the other side stronger and wiser. I believe in you. And you absolutely should believe in you too.

21. Sunrises and sunsets are magical. Stop and take a photo if that’s how you roll. Who cares if someone else thinks that’s silly. Enjoy the hell out of ‘em. They’re a wondrous gift to us from our radically awesome universe and they deserve to be appreciated.

22. The learning curve never stops. You just adjust and adapt and acclimate because that’s what this ride’s all about. Challenge yourself, don’t be complacent. There’s always going to be something that you can learn and there’s always going to be something that someone else can learn from you. We’re all in this together, friends, so let’s stick together. Life can be pretty damn fantastic when you just let it happen. TC mark

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