I’ve been seeing a lot of articles lately along the lines of “things every 20something year old should know” or “things I wish I would have known when I was in my twenties”. These articles have hit home for me. Not that I rely on these articles for advice but it’s nice to know I’m not the only one who feels like I’m a loser and couldn’t get a job I wanted after I graduated college and those 4 years were more social than educational. But as I’ve been reading them I have thought about where I am in my life right now and want to take a minute to remind myself of all the good things I’ve got going on. It’s easy to feel incompetent or lost in this world. So here is a list of things I want myself to know when I am 24 years old.
1. You don’t know anything. That was true when you were a bratty teenager and thought your parents didn’t know anything and it is true now. That’s what life is about. So close your mouth and open your mind and learn.
2. “Know who you are” is such a tough thing to do. You will continuously be changing and growing so it’s ok if you don’t always feel like you know who you are. But be true to your standards of who you want to be. Be true to your husband, he knows you better than you know yourself. If he likes you, then you should like you too.
3. Stop comparing. Yes, you have very smart and educated friends who are strong and talented. You are lucky to have them as friends but stop feeling lesser when you are around them. They may look like they have it all together but they have other struggles in their lives that may be different from yours. You are smart, fun, happy, beautiful and a good person.
4. Be the friend you want to have. Remember in point 3 that you are a good person. Continue to be a good person and don’t worry if it’s not hipster or indie enough. It’s enough. Make people feel comfortable around you, lift them and always give compliments.
5. Give yourself a break. Stop beating yourself up. Sure you don’t have a dream job at a major corporation and you don’t have a large home with a beautiful yard. But you have a job, that pays you! And you have a small 2 bedroom/2 bath condo with a little tiny porch but it is yours and how many 24 year olds can say they pay mortgage instead of rent! Good job!
6. Your support system is rock solid. You are so blessed to have amazing parents who taught you all the important lessons in life. They have done everything for you and will continue to do so, without ever expecting so much as a “thank you.” So thank them often! You have 3 sweet little sisters who love you and admire you, even if it doesn’t feel like they look up to you because they seem to have it all together, they probably do. Be there for them because some day they may need you. You’re extended family is a source of strength that you are so lucky to have. How many people have grandparents who are so caring? Your in-laws are wonderful! They raised the most amazing son who is the best husband you could have ever dreamed of and he will make a great father one day. You gained 3 older brothers and 3 older sisters when you married into the family. It’s nice to have older siblings to vent to now. They all are so unique and offer great advice, stay close to them.
7. Enjoy now. Stop looking toward the “one days.” Those days will come soon enough and you will probably look back and think “I didn’t take advantage of how good I had it.”
8. Travel often. You and Mark found a niche, a hobby, a love that you share together. That is rare. Go see the world together. The places you have seen have been amazing and memories you will not soon forget. Take every opportunity to go see new places, near or far.
9. Learn to love your body. Sure there are flaws but those flaws are ones you will look back on in 20 years wishing to have again. See similarities throughout your family. Your nose, eyes, moles (or beauty marks 😉 ) are family heirlooms.
10. Manage your temper. You have a hot one. Over the past few years you have really gotten a handle on it (thanks to your patient husband who has taught you a thing or two about patience.). Continue to do so. Don’t let it get out of control. That little thing that is about to make you blow your lid is just that, a little thing. It doesn’t matter.
11. Don’t let a day go by that Mark doesn’t feel loved by you. He is the best thing that has ever happened to you. Tell him that every day, even if it feels repetitive. But if he gets annoyed, stop. 🙂
12. Make time for people in your life. Make time for your family and friends. Don’t ever be “too busy” for someone who loves you. You have a 99year old great grandpa who is amazing, make time for him! Give him a call.
13. Sit up straight. Work on your posture now because it’s going to be a lot more painful when you are 70. And you will regret that big hump on your back.
14. Keep striving for the life you want. You may not know all the details but you have a good idea of what you want your future to look like. Make sure that future has plenty of foliage and shrubbery for Mark, he loves trees and a lush yard 🙂
15. Speaking of the future, your parents are going to make the worlds’ best grandparents! Your dad is going to be the cutest with those babies. And your kids will adore your parents. That is going to be such a great time in your life, cherish it. But let that be in the future, not too soon.
16. Getting old is hard to do. You are going to struggle watching your parents get old. But remember the soul isn’t old, just the body it’s in. And good thing that won’t happen for a long time, since your parents had you when they were 15. 😉
17. Read more books. You enjoy reading but always feel like there is something else that needs your attention, like the vacuuming or the dishes. But grab a book, cuddle in a blanket and read for a little bit. The other things can wait.
18. Keep working out. Make it a lifestyle. Because as you have realized since you got married, staying healthy and in shape doesn’t just happen anymore. You can’t eat Ben & Jerry’s half baked like you did in college. (Shout out to Melissa and Glenna!)
19. Stay true to your faith. It may waiver at times and it may look easier to give it up but you know it’s true and it will bring you more happiness than anything in the world can.
20. You’re wonderful. You have a lot of really great qualities. You forget this sometimes so I wanted to remind you.