24 thoughts for my 24th

35239407_1825931277463508_1136843419088322560_nOn June 9th I turned 24, and honestly, it’s freaking me out a little. The age 24 sounds so old and I couldn’t be an adult yet, right? When I was 18 I dreamed of being an adult who had her life put together. I thought by 24 that I would be married and in a career that I loved. At 24 I was supposed to have been thinking about having children and paying off the mortgage on my home, but life had other plans for me.

I wanted to make a list of things that I wish I could have told myself at 18, so I started thinking of what I would say if I could go back in time. There are a ton of things that come to mind when I think about how much I should have done differently. Granted, I can’t correct my past wrong doings, but perhaps my words of wisdom could help someone who’s just now beginning to blossom. This is the first of many posts in my new updated Tales From a 20 Something series.

  1. Happiness is not something that you’re going to find within other people. Happiness is something you learn to find within yourself. It sounds awfully cliche, but at 18 my goals were to find that perfect man and settle down. Finding another human to live with felt like the solution to all of my sorrows, and because I believed this I rushed into many romantic relationships. This is so detrimental if you’re trying to obtain goals because you lose focus on yourself and are already beginning to focus on another human (who doesn’t even exist for you yet).
  2. Worrying what other people think of you might seem like a good idea, but it’s actually a waste of your time and energy. The happiest people I have met are the people who don’t give a shit about everyone else. It’s easier said than done, but there should be a line we draw when it comes to letting the way other people perceive us dictate our choices.
  3. You’re never going to please your parents. At 18 there is a lot running through your brain, and one of those things are,”What is my mom/dad thinking about me?” If you let this thought run wild for too long you’ll find yourself marrying some fake ass christian fella,who doesn’t give two shits about your feelings. I REPEAT, DON’T MAKE CHOICES BASED OFF OF WHAT YOUR PARENTS WANT! Do what makes YOU happy and stop attempting to please people who have nothing better to do than make you feel bad for your life choices. Love your parents, but do not let them control you in any way.
  4. Face your fears. Move a few states away. Take that road trip. Apply for that job you may not get. The only thing I would suggest is to take time and think about what you’re doing, before you’ve already jumped the gun. Relax, and plan everything out. It’ll force you to think about your choices.
  5. Don’t sacrifice your personal well being or happiness to please a man. Ugh, I really wish I could kick my ass for this one. Just like #1 says, you can’t find happiness in another person, you have to find it within yourself. Think of your love like a cup sitting on top of a saucer. The love you give a man or woman (Whatever you dig), should be what is spilling over onto that saucer. NEVER let the person take love from the cup. That is designated for you, and if your cup isn’t full to start, they will take all the love you have. You will dry up and become self hating. REMEMBER, someone will take until there is nothing left, and you’ll end up hurt and alone.
  6. It’s absolutely okay to see a therapist. Actually, I would recommend that EVERY PERSON see a therapist at least once in their lives. This is something you do for you. It helps to get your brain in order to figure out the chaos. Its also okay to take medications if they are needed. Sometimes our childhoods (Especially traumatic ones like mine), will fuck up the chemistry of your brain. This means there are certain things that we need to take medicines for. I’ll make an entire post on this one later!
  7. Eat. Eat often, and try to eat healthy. It might sound stupid, but food used to be the last thing I thought about, especially when I was depressed. I would tell any young woman to eat and take care of your body. Your body needs a certain amount of nutriants to survive. You could be like me and unknowingly suffer from anorexia for your entire life. Do me a favor and click this link _BMI CALCULATOR_ and find out if your BMI is healthy. If you’re overweight, diet and get fit. Exercise and feel good. If you are underweight, eat. I had a 13 BMI and didn’t even realize it. It’s scary, and it’s serious.
  8. Enjoy your shitty dead end job. If I could go back, I would focus more about enjoying the menial labor that I did for survival. It gets a lot harder when you get a job that you have to do as an adult. Not only are we required to make more money to live, but usually tue job we end up doing is boring. Rather than snoring through your entire adulthood, I suggest using the small minimum wage jobs to be whatever kind of weirdo you want to be. This will at least allow you to feel some sense of freedom. The chains of adulthood get heavy when you have a real job.
  9. Get out of the house and do fun things. Hopefully if you read my relationship guidelines above, you’re now in the mindset of dating someone who builds you up or your single and finding your own happiness. Either way, make sure you get out and do fun things in the area where you live! It’s really easy to obsess over future plans to travel, but lets get real. It takes a long time to save enough money for all of that. You may as well enjoy yourself before you travel too! Live in the present!
  10. Read more books. Yeah, I get it. Reading isn’t always the most fun thing to do, but I guarantee that there are far too many people who drop the habit once they’re out of school. Reading is such a healthy thing to do, and if you become engaged in the right type of literature, you can learn at the same time!
  11. Celebrate everything. Another thing that sounds absolutely cliche is to celebrate the small successes in your life and especially celebrate the needless holidays. Life in general is cause for celebration and no one is going to do it for us. I learned the hard way, that if you do not inform those you love about what you expect i.e. birthdays, Christmas, the 4th of July, the people who you surround yourself with will have no idea of knowing what you want. Just suck it up and talk about yourself. It’ll be the best thing you can do in the long scheme of things.
  12. Make lots of friends! Take time and actually get to know all of the people in your life. If you don’t have a support group, it’s easier to get sucked into a relationship with someone who is controlling. Take charge and have your friends hold you accountable and this will help you avoid the mistake of being codependent on another human being.
  13. Your dreams are not silly or stupid. I dreamed of being a singer/songwriter as long as I can remember and many people laughed at the thought of it. The years of letting what people said get the best of me ruined my perception of myself. I doubted my own abilities and basically shit all over any faith I had in myself. I really wanted to do something with music, but it seemed the world was against me. Here I am at 24 starting to do live shows and follow my dreams. Imagine where I could be if I had kept up with believing in myself…
  14. It’s more than alright to start taking birth control. The most ignorant thing I ever did was have unprotected sex. PLEASE GET ON THE PILL!!! It doesn’t make a difference if your parent’s don’t approve or whatever, you need to protect yourself from making a HUGE mistake. Wait to have children until you’ve sorted your life out. CHILDREN ARE NOT THE ANSWER TO YOUR SADNESS AND LONELINESS. Don’t choose to bring a child into the world to fill a void. Figure out the right ways to become happy on your own and then children will come when you’re ready.
  15. Impulsive decisions often lead to disaster. My motto used to be ” This could be the greatest choice I’ve ever made, or the worst. We’ll find out!” How dumb that sounds now that I’m old enough to know better. You should always think your choices through. Living on the edge does no good for anyone.
  16. Don’t be afraid to go see a doctor or a dentist. If you can’t afford it, the dental place or the hospital will work out a pay plan that works for you! If you’re lucky, your parents could have health and dental insurance that you can use! Never neglect your body or teeth. You have them for the rest of your life.
  17. Learn to say NO! I don’t mean that you have to be a bitch about it, but saying no is alright from time to time. Remember that people will always ask, but you are the only one who knows and respects your own limits. If you’ve had too much, just say no. If they love you, they will understand your needs. If they don’t understand, they probably are just using you and you should avoid that person at all costs.
  18. Your past does not define you. Yes, you learned things about yourself through experiences in the past, but you don’t have to keep repeating the same stupid choices and you certainly don’t have to claim all of the old baggage. It’s alright to admit you made a mistake and laugh about it after, there is no need in defending poor habits or pretending bullshit was the right move. Learn from your mistakes and LET IT GO!
  19. Do your best to be a kind person, even when it’s really hard to do. It sounds corny to say, but there are not enough kind people in the world. If you can brighten one sad person’s day, you’re doing right by yourself and the world. Don’t bring everyone else down into your miserable day, use making other people happy to build yourself up.
  20. Quit fearing rejection. Who cares if that stupid boy breaks up with you, he’s stupid! Stop trying so hard to be on the winning side that you put yourself in the losing corner. What I mean is that sometimes the fear comes from a state of mind that doesn’t make sense. You’re going to be okay! There are tons of guys in this world, and a million who are nicer than the one before.
  21. Feeling comfortable is 100% more important than being “Fabulous.” Wear flat shoes and don’t squeeze your size 8 into a 7.5 because someone handed you some cute hand-me-downs. Your comfort is so much more important than the way you look. Plus, there are so many more comfortable clothes that are super cute too!
  22. No relationship is a waste of time and energy. Learn from your mistakes and avoid the issues in the next relationship. If you learn something from any particular situation, you cannot count it as a loss. Regretting old choices isn’t going to do any good.
  23. NEVER LET A MAN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF YOU! Follow your gut feeling. If you feel off about the way a man is talking to you, or if you don’t quite feel comfortable about the situation(s) that you’re in, please just leave. Get away from that person, they do not have your best intentions at heart. Sometimes its better to be safe than sorry. I made that mistake too many times.
  24. Our mothers are fucked up people. DO NOT IDOLIZE ANYONE. No one is your hero. No one is your guide. You need to realize right now that you are the only one who is in control of your life. LEARN from the past, but if you follow someone else’s guide book, you’ll follow the same path. Look at where your mother is and ask yourself if that is where you want to be, because if you keep listening to her, you’ll be right there with her.

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