Now that I’m close to turning 22, I’ve been thinking about this past year and how unstable the whole year pretty much was. I went through a move to a new state, a somewhat difficult breakup, living in an uncomfortable environment, and left behind all of my friends.
I spent the past 10 months in the suburbs of Chicago quickly realizing that I either should’ve stayed in St. Louis or moved to the actual city of Chicago instead of the suburbs.
Either way, I’m extremely grateful for where I am now. Below are the five important life-changing lessons I learned at 21.
1. I learned that life isn’t all about how much you weigh or look.
I spent the past few years caring so much about my appearance. I never cared about anything else. I’m not sure if it was 100% my fault, or if society had anything to do with it.
Growing up in this world can be quite cruel in terms of following the media, but I’ve thankfully turned away from that lifestyle and am such a happier person. I NEVER check the weight scale. I have hips that are extremely curvacious and seem to go the other direction for days.
2. I learned that ‘things’ don’t matter.
These things can mean clothes, electronics, fancy cars, items like that. I used to be quite obsessed with trying to have the nicest things. I cared way too much about superficial things.
Now that I’m a little older, everything is different. I’m not really sure what changed this past year to change my outlook. I no longer care about having the newest updated phone, or any of that. These things are simply things in my mind now.
What matters more to me now is experiencing life and the world around me, not spending my time on these ‘things’.
3. Getting drunk every weekend isn’t necessary nor good for you.
When I turned 21, I had the mindset of going crazy every weekend. In my own mind, I believed it was normal to black out and drink shot after shot. I wasn’t comfortable just staying home on a Friday or Saturday night. It’s funny because now, I’m a huge homebody.
I love staying in and watching Netflix on Friday or Saturday nights and spending time with family. I might like staying home a little too much, but I make up for it when I go on spontaneous last minute trips.
4. I don’t need to be in a relationship, nor do I want to be one.
Ever since I was 13 years old, I’ve been in a relationship. I had three somewhat serious relationships that lasted 2-3 years each. I learned so much from each one, but for some reason, I had it in my mind that I HAD to be with someone or else my life wasn’t complete.
I had boyfriends just because, not for any real reason at all. Not only was I not ready for these relationships, I was over-complicating my life and not focusing on things that truly matter. I have had people that wanted to go on dates with me in the past few months, and I simply said no.
I wasn’t ready, nor am I now, nor will I be anytime soon. I’ve spent too much time dedicating myself to someone else. I want to spend the next few years dedicating time to myself and only myself.
5. People will come and go, but family is forever.
I’ve become incredibly close to my family over the past year, and I’m so very grateful for that. I have a healthy and strong relationship with my mom, which we didn’t have for awhile due to distance and other reasons. I have an awesome sister and brother-in-law and if I didn’t have them, I wouldn’t have gotten this far in life.
I’ve grown closer to my cousins, and other family members as well. I have remained good friends with a few select people, and what matters more to me now is the quality of my friends, not the quantity.
Now that I am finally focusing on me and my life, I’ve never been more successful. I’m chasing my dreams, traveling the world, and learning about the things that truly matter in life.
What were some things you learned when you were 21 years old?
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