With my twenty-second year finally in full swing, I wanted to compile a list of twenty-two things I have learned since…well, being born I guess. The beauty of life is that we never truly stop learning, no matter how old we are.
There is no particular order of importance, but these twenty-two things mean a lot to me: 1. It’s okay not to be okay.
There will be moments in our lives where feel like the world is crashing down on us. Even though this is the case, your feelings are completely valid. Do not let others tell you, “It’s okay,” when it is far from it.
2. Don’t let bitterness get the best of you.
3. Be passionate about life.
What we fail to realize is that, holding pent up bitterness towards people who do you wrong does not affect them—because they probably do not know or care—it only affects you. That is wasted energy.
This is the only life we have. Why not make the most of it? 4. Laugh often.
It is good for the soul.
5. Read, read, read.
Books got me through the worst, and most difficult, parts of my life. I am such an advocate for reading because books hold the secrets of the world.
6. People will traverse in, and out, of your life. Let them.
I learned the hard way that not all friends you make will be in your life forever. The thought is difficult to comprehend, but that is life. However, on the flip side, there is a certain unexpectedness sometimes too. Sometimes, the greatest people you meet are the people you never imagined you would. 7. Have empathy.
The greatest feeling in the world is: to understand and be understood.
8. Take your relationship with God seriously.
Because He takes you seriously. 9. Love your family.
God places you where you are for a reason. In the darkest hours, family is all you have sometimes. Even though family can be a headache, do not take them for granted. You never know when they will no longer be there. 10. Life is so incredibly short.
The older I become, the more I am struck by this. Due to this, I feel like life should be lived as full as possible. We never know when our last day will be. 11. Travel as much as you can.
It terrifies me that some people never want to leave their hometowns. I mean, look at the world—it is so vast and wide. There are so many countries and so many things to do. The world is beautiful, how could you not want to experience it?
12. Happiness is fleeting; joy lasts forever.
I used to always wish for happiness. However, this was foolish of me because happiness is so subjective—like, what does that even mean? Also, the times that I have felt happiness felt so short. So, now, I wish for joy because it can be felt even in the midst of sadness.
13. You will never have all of the right answers.
I hate the unknown, and I also hate being wrong. It bothers me because I like to have control of the situation, but you will never know everything. You also will never be right one hundred percent of the time. That is perfectly fine. 14. Don’t settle for anything. Or anyone.
Because you deserve the best. Period.
15. Seize every opportunity.
If you get the chance to go somewhere or do something new, do it. Life is all about experiences—the good and bad ones. 16. Buy those shoes.
I am not condoning the excessive purchase of shoes; but, when you think about it, life is kind of like shoes. There was this one time I decided not to purchase a gorgeous pair of heels. After I left the store, I thought about those shoes for days. When I finally made the decision to go back for them, they were already gone. What I am trying to say is, live life with no regrets. 17. Create intentional relationships.
This is something I am still learning to do every day. 18. Everything happens for a reason.
And if it is meant to be, it will be. I believe this with my entire being. 19. Don’t care so much about what other people think.
Everyone has an opinion, and sometimes opinions are super negative. This can be extremely detrimental to our mental health. So, do not fret so much about the opinions of others. Be confident in yourself.
20. Be genuine.
Need I say more? 21. Change can be a good thing.
I feel like there is such a negative connotation that comes with “change.” Although this is the case, change does not have to be such. Change can be positive because it happens for the better—just like how a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. They change to become something more beautiful. 22. Love yourself.
It all begins with you; if you cannot love yourself, how can you love others?
Gabrielle Yang—or as her friends like to call her, Gabby—is a recent graduate of Wingate University, with a major in English. For as long as she can remember, she’s had a passion for writing.
Along with a love for writing, she also has a serious case of wanderlust. Her favorite place that she has visited is Strasbourg, France! She is currently in a period of transition from student-life to adult-life, and is waiting on God’s timing to see what He has planned for her future. When she is not writing, you can find her nose-deep in literature or day-dreaming about the next adventure. You can see more adventures, as well as everyday life, on her Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gabbyxng/
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