Being 20 wasn’t an easy ride for me, especially when all you see in media is pressure to over perform, overachieve, and become the best in everything.
I went through depression and battled so many fears and anxiety. My drive to become successful fast led me to lose myself instead. It broke every piece inside of me until I was left empty.
Although I had my parents, best friends, and boyfriend to confide in, I didn’t want them to worry about me… and so, I chose to keep this turbulence to myself.
It wasn’t until I found my relationship with God that my broken pieces started to fall into its rightful place. I started to become at peace with myself, the future, and the people around me.
I no longer felt the need to be like everybody else, to do things just because society says so, and to control things I should let go of.
And if I would list 10 things I’ve learned while being 20, I’d say these:
Whether everything’s going great in your life or not, prayer is such a powerful weapon. It’s helped me in so many ways, and without it, I don’t think I would’ve survived this long. Prayer calms me down so much and whenever I talk to God, I can feel such a strong presence holding, protecting, and guiding me.
2) Be kind anyway
I know it can be tough especially when people around just want to see you fall. But trust me, when you choose kindness over anything, your life not only gets better, but you also influence people in such a positive way. And they, in turn, will also influence others in a positive way… and it just becomes a cycle of positivity.
3) Giving up is never the answer
I’ve wanted to give up countless times. But being surrounded by such amazing people, people like you who support me and give me strength, has been one of the reasons why I didn’t give up. And I’m grateful I didn’t. Because now, I’m seeing the fruits of our hard work, dedication, and passion.
4) Be there for people
It’s difficult sometimes, but one of the greatest lessons I’ve learnt in church was, be there for people even if it’s not convenient for you. Be a helping hand, a listening ear, a shoulder… just be there for them. You never know when that person needs it the most.
It’s so powerful, but often overlooked. Love not just the person you’re in a relationship with, but also your parents, friends, workplace, job (even if it’s not what you’ve envisioned yourself doing)… because when you learn to love something or someone, the seeds you’ve planted will eventually grow to become a beautiful & flourishing tree.
6) Be grateful
Gratitude goes such a long way. I used to put the tiny wins in the backburner, but later I realized… it’s these small achievements that become something huge. So don’t discredit anything. Blessings will always be blessings – no matter how minute it is.
7) Take it one day at a time
Don’t rush, don’t fall into society’s pressure, and definitely don’t be too hard on yourself. Always remember, do things with a joyful heart… and that’s going to be really difficult if you pressure yourself unnecessarily. So, take things one day at a time.
8) Have faith that God will never fail you, nor will he leave you
He made so many impossible things for me, my family, and the people around me possible… he can do it for you too.
9) Order pizza
I mean, is this not given yet? Haha kidding. But seriously, learn to eat right and don’t suppress yourself. Healthy is not about being skinny, nor is it about having a thigh gap. Healthy is learning to balance what you eat and spending the right amount of time working out. Whether you’re thin or thick, you can be healthy.
10) Be proud of yourself
Whether you’re in your 20s, 30s, 40s, or whatever… never ever put yourself down. Because at the end of the day, the only person who could tell you no and crush your dreams is you. So keep standing tall, keep doing wonderful things, and be proud of whatever you’ve achieved so far.