It sounds cliche,  but it’s really hard for me to believe that I’m a 30-year-old. I’d like to say that I felt like I was 30 during the entire year I was 29, but when that birth date officially rolls around, it hits you. You are suddenly forced to review every stage and season of your 20’s. It has been eye-opening and at times difficult to see how I fell short on my goals. And refreshing to take time to see exactly what lead to some of my biggest failures. It’s really important to me to reflect and learn from my past so that this next decade goes much smoother. I also want to point out that I created a new blog section called Life Musings just for this post because of there more candid and personal posts that I want to share with you guys. So here are the TOUGHEST lessons I learned in my 20’s.

man and woman hugging

#10 The Importance of Forgiveness

Throughout my childhood and teenage years, I had a tumultuous relationship with my mother. We are polar opposites on every subject and I found it very hard to relate to her. On top of that, my mother is not the nurturing type, and I saw how that affected my self-esteem and identity as a woman. In a world full of feminist, I spent 15 years trying to understand what it means to be a woman and deciding the type of woman I wanted to be. (News flash!,  I’m not a feminist). But despite our differences, I knew that I wanted to have a healthy relationship with my mother and when I moved out of the family home for the first time at the age of 19, I began working on forgiving my mother. Forgiving my parents for any and all of their shortcomings was one of the toughest lessons I had to learn in my twenties. I’ve never wanted to play the victim role in my life but I’m also aware of the difficulties that my myself and many children in this world face. I empathize with adults who have never overcome emotional or physical abuse because I know firsthand how difficult it is to overcome. Though difficult, it is not impossible and you must make it your personal mission to go through that journey. Today, my mother and I have a very healthy relationship and we exchange “I love you’s” more frequently. I would even venture to say that she is more like a friend now. They say that forgiveness is more for you than it is the other person and I could not agree more. When you forgive, you take back your power. Playing the victim means you have no power in your life, and that is not true. Because of my healed relationship with my mother, I am able to forgive others much more quickly.

#9 Friendship As An Adult is Much Different Than Friendship in Childhood

At the age of 24, I experienced the hardest breakup I’ve had to date, the breakup between me and my childhood best friend. If you have a friendship spanning 10 years or longer cherish it. One thing that no one tells you about growing older (and that I hope to tell my future children) is how friendships can change over time. Sometimes our closest pals growing up become the furthest people from us. And that’s life. I would never have thought we would have grown apart as much as we did during my early twenties. And I would have never thought that I would have ruined the friendship in such a damaging way. As I’ve gotten older I’ve become very aware that the more time you spend with people, the more you become influenced by them and they by you. As adults, we take on more problems and many times the stress from the weight of our own issues keeps us from wanting to develop deeper bonds with others.  I don’t think that this is a bad thing, but once we hit adulthood and start living adult lives, the purpose of our friendships change. And as you evolve and grow, you tend to want to be around like-minded individuals. Sometimes that means distancing yourself from friends who don’t align with your values or ending friendships altogether. The cool thing about life is that the universe will continue to bring new people into your life who match the energy and vibration of the new you. Your ability to accept that some people come into for your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime will determine the success of your future friendships.

money in a wallet and change on counter

#8 Money Isn’t Everything But it is Important

I come from humble beginnings. From growing up in a trailer park when I was a child, to being raised out in the rural outskirts of Austin, Texas my background is as humble as they come without being on government assistance (though I’m pretty sure we qualified for it). When I was five years old, I knew that I would be wealthy. Obtaining wealth and money has always been a goal of mine. I study the rich from listening to motivational YouTube videos to reading Napoleon Hill’s Think and Grow Rich, to reading financial planning books from everyone from Dave Ramsey to Susie Orman.  But in the last year of my twenties, it suddenly dawned on me that what I’m actually seeking is freedom and power over my own life, not the money itself. Over the course of 3 years, I’ve made concerted efforts to change my relationship with money through becoming more financially literate. Financial literacy is something I feel very passionate about. I believe all high school students should be required to take a class on basic accounting or personal finance because it shapes our futures for the rest of our lives. I’ve had to learn this the hard way. But I plan to share the wisdom that I have learned on this website soon!

#7 Patience is Key

My twenties were filled with this endless pursuit of happiness to which I learned is completely fruitless. Bummer! As my spirituality has grown over the years, I’ve developed a deeper definition of what ‘happiness’ truly means for me. Chasing things whether they be ideas, material possessions, or people have always ended in deep disappointment. The works of Abraham Hicks have helped me understand the laws of the universe and how to work within these laws to get the things that I desire. But by far the best teacher in my life has been personal experience. I’ve learned that while I won’t be able to stop my mind from desiring things (that’s how human beings are designed so that we can keep evolving), I can control how I react to the thought of a desire. Patience is essential in life because, during those times of waiting, you can get more clear on what you truly want and complete important steps that could make your next experience more enjoyable. A good example of this would be marriage. If you desire to get married, it’s probably best not to rush into marriage because you may miss the opportunity to have those important conversations and situations that can lead you to find out if you and your potential spouse will be compatible in the long term.

woman laying on bed in the sunlight

#6 The Importance of Self Love

“Love Yourself” is one of the most confusing mantras that has become popular in the last year. What is self-love really? I’ve learned that there is no single answer. And that self-love looks different for each individual person. But, I do know that it is essential to being happy in life. Without self-love, you will never be able to enjoy a relationship with another person or be of true assistance to anyone else. There are some basic must-haves to self-love which include taking care of your personal health whether it be mental, physical, or emotional. But what else does self-love encompass? For me it looks like taking warm baths with bath salts, dancing around naked in my apartment, and eating the yummiest and healthiest food I can find. It also includes time outdoors enjoying mother nature and playing with dogs and kids. I’ve come to learn that self-love is taking time to focus on the things that you enjoy with or without the enjoyment of company. Once we learn to be happy and live life to the fullest alone, we can truly enjoy life with others.

#5 Family

I’ve always been family oriented but I haven’t always been the best cousin, sister, or daughter. My own issues got in the way of truly cherishing and appreciating each moment I have with my family members. I admire big families who are able to stay together despite their differences. I’ve learned to accept the members of my family for who they are, rather than who I’d like them to be.

sign that says happily ever after

#4  What I Want Out Of A Relationship

This one sort of ties into #6. The more I love myself, the less I feel the need to find a partner. Need being the keyword. Do I want a partner? Of course, I do. But the desire to go searching for one has completely died. Self-love has led me to discover Why I want a partner and that’s to BE together and to build a family. In the past, I would actively date because of what I thought a relationship would bring to my life. Now that I’ve learned to fulfill my own needs, I no longer need another person to fulfill me. I no longer obsess about finding someone to love me. So what do I want in a relationship? I could write a long list of things I’d love to share with someone in a relationship but I think the most important thing is that we share similar values and visions for building a family.

You cannot make your dreams a reality until you face everything that you’ve created in your mind that is holding you back from it.

 

graffiti painting

#2 How Not To Act Out Of Fear

Fear is the number one thing that keeps people from reaching their full potential. It’s a belief or limit which we have established for ourselves based on something we have experienced personally or witnessed. I’m here to say that fear is not real. And unfortunately, the only way to learn that is to face what you fear. Let me just share with you some of the consequences I’ve experienced BECAUSE I acted out of fear. In 2017, I had my passport, money, and ID stolen in Ecuador, this year I got turned down for promotions at work, and so many times I’ve ended relationships that had good potential because of fear. Some people such as myself like to learn things the hard way. I’ve always been this way. I don’t know why.  I feel that having that bad experience somehow solidifies the lesson that I needed to learn. There are some things that I don’t need to experience to know that it’s best not to go down that path, for instance, drugs or promiscuity. But other lessons such as the ones listed above I’ve had to learn the hard way. Fear is not real, but our ideas and beliefs can make it seem that way.

ALSO: What I Learned From Confronting My Fears

#1 Believe In My Dreams

This one is so important and is the perfect follow up to #2. You cannot make your dreams a reality until you face everything that you’ve created in your mind that is holding you back from it.