Ahhh man, I remember turning 24 and being told that I couldn’t say I was in my mid-twenties yet because I wasn’t 25… and now here I am. Granted, I turned 25 in October of 2020, but that’s besides the point. So- here are some thing’s I’m learning now as a person in my mid-twenties.
Listen to your gut feeling. Seriously, my gut feeling has never proved me wrong. Whether it be about something small or large, I tend to listen more to my intuition and what my body is telling me about the situation I’m in.
You don’t need as much support from other people as you think you do. You are enough to support and encourage yourself. Just trust me on this one. Not everyone will be on board with you and all of the journeys you take… but as long as you are, it’s cool.
Be selfish. I think most people can relate to putting your own dreams on the back burner and someone elses dreams ahead of your own. Just know you can still support and work hard on your own endeavors while cheering them on too.
Say no. And “no” doesn’t require any sort of justification. Don’t let someone turn your no into a yes if it’s about something serious that you know in your heart you don’t want to do. Whether it’s saying no to going to a Mexican restaurant and you don’t like Mexican food, or something more consequential.
Don’t let people mispronounce your name. Ever. My full first name is KellyAnn. For whatever reason, when people ask me what my name is and I say “KellyAnn”, they always say, “What?” ultimately leading me to just say “Kelly”. And, if I’m being honest, I prefer KellyAnn. You are disrespecting your boundaries by not correcting people who say your name wrong or just telling people that it’s okay to call you something that you actually don’t want to be called.
Learn to love yourself. I could tell stories of people blatantly making fun of the way I look. My hair. My face shape. My acne. My body. “The way you look with your hair wet”. Still not sure about that one. But the important thing is that I like the person I am on the inside and the outside. And to be real, no one is perfect. No one has flawless, poreless skin. Everyone has stretch marks. Everyone is beautiful.
Set boundaries in relationships. I can’t stress this enough. Know your non-negotiables when it comes to relationships and do not disrespect yourself and the values you’ve set for yourself. Some of my non-negotiables are unwillingness to communicate, any kind of abuse, and anger issues.
Communication is key. Communication in all relationships is key. I’m not the perfect communicator. And sometimes I may have a hard time getting out what I want to say, but I’m going to try. Communication is tricky and can be anxiety inducing but you don’t want to be the one in the end who didn’t fully communicate, trust me.
Everyone is on their own timeline in life. I’m a 25 year old in community college and if that doesn’t tell you I’m clearly on a different path than others, I don’t know what will. Your time will come. Don’t set a timeline for big life events- I can’t even tell you how many friends (all, actually) grew up telling me they wanted to be engaged by this age, married by this age, and have kids by this age and let me let you in on a secret now… they’re all disappointed.
You’re not indestructible- and that’s okay. I feel like as a teenager, a lot of kids tend to think they’re indestructible, untouchable. I was certainly one of those kids. This was a huge lesson for me in the past year. As a former gymnast of over ten years, I was a pretty buff kid. Full of muscle. Full of body confidence because I knew I was strong. And I was strong. But I wasn’t indestructible, and if the past couple of years has taught me anything, it’s that I’m very lucky to have the health that I do and that I need to take care of my body and be proactive about my health.
As I still have five years left in my twenties, I’m expecting some pretty tough, and hopefully good life lessons are to come. I also have so many more lessons that I’ve learned in my twenties in general, so there may be a part two to this coming soon! In the mean time, I’ll be over here attempting to take my own advice on one of these… Here’s to more lessons!