Last month, I celebrated my 20th birthday with some of the most important people in my life. I would have never imagined spending my birthday in the middle of a pandemic — nor would I have imagined typing this article in the comforts of my mother’s home. Regardless of the circumstances, I have still maintained some significant self-growth and wanted to document how much I’ve learned a lot throughout my time here, so here are 20 lessons that I’ve learned over 20 years.
Although I’m just now entering my twenties, I cannot wait to learn more about myself and the world around me.
20 Lessons I’ve Learned By My 20th Birthday
Lesson 1: You Are Not Alone
Sometimes it’s so easy to be inside of your head and forget what’s right in front of you, but it’s essential to appreciate and reach out to those around you because that is enough. Once you look around and see who’s there for you, it will be more than you expected. Even if you’re lonely, remember that you are not alone. You are your best friend, so learning to love yourself and being comfortable with you will set you free.
Lesson 2: Choose Happiness
Yes, it may sound cliché, but happiness is the core foundation of our lives at the end of the day. Do what makes you happy— not what you think will make those around you at ease. This is your life, so do things that will positively impact you. You have power in your own life; choose happiness as the base.
Lesson 3: Girl, it’s okay to say “No”.
It often feels like you have to say “yes” to make others happy or in order to not miss out on specific opportunities, but if it’s meant for you… it’s meant for you. People will understand, and it’s better to have your best foot forward than be in situations that don’t serve you.
Lesson 4: Remember To Turn Your Failures Into Favor
Whether it’s you not getting the dream job or maybe missing a goal you set for yourself- you can’t allow your failures to define your destiny. Your losses can be a stepping stone in the right direction, because what’s for you will not pass you.
Lesson 5: Learn To Accept All Of You — The Good, Bad, And The Ugly
These are all elements of yourself that make you who you are. I’ve personally questioned, critiqued, and attempted to change many parts of myself throughout my twenty years, but once I chose to accept those “flaws”? I saw their real beauty and asset.
Lesson 6: It’s Okay To Ask For Help
There seems to be this narrative that we are supposed to figure out everything for ourselves. And while yes, it’s important to be independent in some areas, there is nothing wrong with seeking support from others. Honor your strength by asking for help in areas that you need extra support.
Lesson 7: The Comparison Game Does You More Harm Than Good
The more time you invest comparing yourself to others, the less time you have to pour into yourself. Put your energy into things that serve you. You can appreciate the beauty and success of others without diminishing your light.
Lesson 8: You Have To Speak What You Want Into Existence
It’s essential to promote positive self-talk and manifest the things you want to be a reality. Stray away from projecting adverse outcomes into your life.
Lesson 9: Maintain Your Spirituality
Spirituality, which for me is my relationship with God, is life-saving. Spirituality can keep you grounded and gives you a base/ guide to how you navigate the world.
Lesson 10: Be Patient When It Comes To Love And Relationships
It may just be me, but I’m very anxious to find that fairytale romance. However, what I realized is that love and marriage will happen when it’s time for them to happen for me. There is no need to rush — or to rush anyone else — because I may run into something to regret it and want to run in the opposite direction.
Lesson 11: Love Yourself
An essential part of love is be patience and kindness. These same rules apply when learning to love yourself. Love who you are and who you are in the process of becoming. It’s the only way you will recognize true love when it comes your way.
Lesson 12: Learn To Accept And Embrace Your Mistakes
Mistakes are a part of life, and life’s missteps are the stumbling blocks of growth, so they should not be overlooked but welcomed and fully embraced. Every mistake made comes with a valuable lesson in place to make you a better person – and influence someone else.
Lesson 13: Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone
As we live life, we establish goals and work hard to meet them. Once we achieve them, it is easy to become comfortable and complacent. While there’s nothing wrong with living comfortably, it’s okay to step out of your comfort zone and experience as much as you can. You only have one life to live, and you should live it to the fullest.
Lesson 14: Listen To Yourself
Seeking advice from others is something we all do, but I’ve learned that some of the best advice I overlooked was from my own instincts. Girl, you are blessed to have a strong intuition, no need to second-guess it.
Lesson 15: Just Go With The Flow
Yes, it’s great to have a plan, but it’s also too important to be flexible and open to new possibilities that may enter into your life.
Lesson 16: Don’t Entertain People Who Threaten Your Happiness
Ignore them. Block them out whenever you can. Be as happy as you can be and disregard negative comments.
Lesson 17: God Answers In Different Ways
Sometimes He says “yes” and gives you what you pray for… and sometimes He says “no” and gives you something better. And sometimes He says “wait” and saves the best for you. There is always a bigger picture.
Lesson 18: Even Your Worst Days Are Only 24 Hours
This too shall pass, and remember there is always darkness before the dawn.
Lesson 19: Remove Damaging/Toxic People From Your Life
While harsh, it’s essential. Surround yourself with people that are driving you forward and up rather than down. Life is too short to waste a breath on something not benefiting you, your mental health, and your life. Friendship is a two-way street!
Lesson 20: Know Your Worth
While it’s important to be humble, you also need to know you’re own importance. Seek the best — but within reasonability. Don’t settle for less than you deserve.