So, today, I said goodbye to my 20’s, a decade in which I experienced so much … love, adventure, achievement, failure, shame, insecurity, fun, loss, etc. All of these experiences have left me with realizations I am so thankful for as I walk in to my 30’s, and I thought it’d be fun to share 20 things I learned in my 20’s with you.
ONE – You will realize that your parents are actually human beings. Like, they actually are a lot like you, have feelings and, like, know a lot of smart things. Making an effort to spend as much time with them as possible is an investment you will never regret making.
TWO – Wine really does fix everything – I mean, amiright?
THREE – Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes. Just because I chose to do things and make certain moves … doesn’t mean I wasn’t honest about my other feelings. It was still hard but, ultimately, through this experience, I learned that maintaining respectful, open and honest communication will lead to deeper understanding and compassion between individuals.
FOUR – When people show you who they are, believe them. This one was / is really hard for me. I am the kind of person that naturally believes that the heart of everyone is good. And, if we’ve developed a friendship, I believe you are who you say you are. Admittedly, I’m also very naive. I had someone in life during my mid to late 20’s that repeatedly showed me who they really were, and I didn’t want to believe it. It was a prettier picture to believe they were who they painted themselves out to be in the first place. Unfortunately, this relationship became very toxic. This person was manipulative. They broke me down and made me second guess my reasoning and sanity, while also saying I love you. This person had me in his gravity pull and, ultimately, left me as a shell of a human being second guessing my value and worth. It’s a hard realization to come to … that not everyone IS who they say they are. It really is. It’s also a hard decision to make, to cut them out of your life, as well. But, it’s important for you to know two things: you can do it AND you’ll be okay.
FIVE – The older you get, the harder friendships are to maintain. After college, they’re a lot more work because we’re not all in the same area. Life goes a million miles an hour in your twenties and it yields a ton of life changes. You start out in college where life is fun, and you’re constantly around people and social events. You make tons of friends through classes, group projects, events, extracurricular activities, sports, work, etc. Then, you and your friends get your first jobs after graduation. It’s an exciting time, but it’s also when the whirlwind begins. You move. They move. Many find their significant others. They get married, and start having babies and buying homes. Some decide to focus on their careers. Others are traveling every spare moment they get. And, remember, these could be people you care deeply for. You’ll loose touch with people you expect to loose touch with. You weren’t AS close to them compared to others, but I did realize that we all handle these changes differently and have different ways of communicating and keeping in touch. Some of your people will be okay with the way you communicate and keep in touch, and others won’t. The truth of that matter is, though, you have to make a conscious effort to keep in touch with the people you want in your life. And, I think it’s also important to mention the power of grace. Friendships that last aren’t perfect. It’s important to realize we all lead busy lives, so showing your friends grace when they don’t meet your personal expectations is a really important thing to keep in mind.
SIX – It’s okay to walk away from a friendship. This was an extremely hard one for me. I typically attribute the term ‘break up’ to the ending of a romantic relationship, but in my early 20’s I felt like I initiated the break up of a friendship I had had for quite some time. There were a lot of reasons for it and it wasn’t something I took lightly. I spent a ridiculous amount of time thinking over it all. You will find that friendships change and sometimes the best thing for both people is to just walk away. Mind you, I do not think this is something that should happen often. Maintaining healthy, solid friendships is extremely important, but if you’re not serving each other in the ways that you both need, why continue to hurt each other?
SEVEN – You’ll always care about your first love. It doesn’t mean you aren’t over them or that you carry a warning sign … it just means you’re a human being who let yourself feel deeply for someone. Their little piece of your heart may collect dust over time, but it’ll always be there.
EIGHT – You can’t force yourself to fall in love with someone. If you’re questioning it in the beginning, your gut is telling you this isn’t your person. I definitely learned this lesson in my early 20’s, and walking away was the best decision I could have made for me and him. He was devastated over my decision, but it was so awesome how faithful God was in the situation. So, don’t try and force it and waste their time. Let them go! They will be okay.
NINE – Take the time to really get to know who you are. I took the Myers Briggs test one night, and I can’t tell you how cool it was to understand the way I work a little better. In college, I could have sworn I was an extrovert, and was shocked to find that I’m actually very much an introvert. I may have extroverted tendencies but, overall, I need my alone time to recharge. I’ve also learned that I am 100% no questions asked, Type A. Having a better understanding of who I am allows me to understand how I work and show myself grace when need be.
TEN – Everyone’s life unfolds at different paces. Okay. I’m going to call myself out. I’ve been guilty, as I’m sure we all have, of making frustrated comments about what I see happening in other people’s lives on Facebook that I wish was happening in mine. “This girl is YOUNGER than me, by three years, and is pregnant with her second child. Hmm.” or “Oh, great. She’s engaged again? Must be nice to have gotten TWO rings while I’m over here wondering if I’ll ever get one!” [Those are hypothetical examples, just so you get my gist. And I’m sure there are complaints on the other side, too. Over the past couple of years, I’ve realized that I have a lot to be happy and excited about, just like the things that I’m seeing on Facebook are things that are happening in those peoples’ lives that they have to be happy and excited about. It’s important to not let that deep desire come out and make you bitter, because there are a lot of desires that God has already seen through in your life and He’s not done working things out in your life. So, in the end, I’ve learned that it’s a healthier decision to make a conscious effort to enjoy the unique ways my story is unfolding.
ELEVEN – If the answer is no, trust that there is a better YES in store for you. I believe in God. I believe He knows what’s best for us and closes doors to lead to us to the ones that are meant to stay open. God knows my heart better than I do. So, don’t lose hope over the things that didn’t work out. Have faith that He is on your side and is leading you toward love and blessings.
TWELVE – Follow your gut, even when it doesn’t make sense. Enough said.
THIRTEEN – Comparison is the thief of joy. Working in social media can be really hard sometimes. I won’t lie. It’s hard to not play the comparison game. I’ve learned to remember that what you see on social media isn’t necessarily authentic or ‘real’. There’s a filter on every photo and backstory to every post. Don’t compare your behind the scenes with other people’s highlight reel. Keep your eyes on your lane. Put up boundaries, if need be, and you do you, girl!
FOURTEEN – We’re all fighting against the same lie. I don’t do surface level conversations well. I can partake in them, but I am not a fan. It doesn’t lead to anything, and I’d rather really connect with the person I’m talking to. I’ve learned, through these deep, heartfelt conversations I’ve gotten myself into with women that we are all fighting against a belief that we’re not enough. We don’t think we’re pretty enough, successful enough, skinny enough, smart enough, creative enough, rich enough, etc. We all want more than what we have. What a sad thing that is, but what a great thing to know and realize and what an opportunity that leaves us with. We all need to be encouraged and reminded that we have what it takes. So, don’t be so hard on yourself and tell your people that they are, in fact, enough. Tell them that they were created intentionally and purposefully and exactly the way they are. Put a mirror to their face and call them beloved because they are. YOU ARE ENOUGH.
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made,
Your works are wonderful. I know that full well.”
FIFTEEN – Pain and failure are better teachers than joy and success will ever be. Have you ever heard the quote “A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor”? It’s one of my favorites and I believe it’s so true. I’ve learned so much through life’s struggles and heartache. I’ve learned what I’ll stand for and what I won’t. I’ve learned what I can handle and what I can’t. I’ve learned how to be a better listener, gracious person in the midst of sadness, and the beauty of silence when comforting a friend. Don’t suppress or ignore the pain and failures in your life. Let them teach you how to be a better you.
SIXTEEN – Don’t let success go to your head. There is nothing sadder to me than having a desire to bake someone a big humble pie. We should all be confident in who we are and proud of what we have achieved but, no one wants to be around someone who thinks too much of themselves. Hey, reality called … those things do not define us. We are all a work in progress, don’t think I don’t realize that … but, if I could.. I’d like to encourage you to think a little less of yourself and more of other people. Give them your attention. Put your phone down. Engage in a meaningful conversation. Take a genuine interest. Be a good human being. I believe we will leave this world a better place if we all decided to live with this kind of intention.
“Success doesn’t change people. It’s just reveals who you really are.”
SEVENTEEN – There’s a difference between being constructive and being just plain mean. There’s also a choice to be made. If you see something you disagree with, there is a way to, out of love, offer some constructive feedback. However, when people choose to make mean comments from behind a computer or phone screen, I believe it says more about them than it does about the person they’re speaking to. So, if you’ve been a victim of cyber bullying, don’t take it personally, my dear. Keep being beautiful you!
EIGHTEEN – Stop defending yourself when people disagree with who you are. In this last year, I’ve learned that there are going to be people that dislike me no matter what I do or say to convince them otherwise. I am a people pleaser and I don’t like when people don’t like me. I don’t have a natural tendency to not care. I always feel the need to defend or explain myself better so they’ll understand or agree, but I’ve found most of the time … it falls on deaf ears. That person has already decided they aren’t going to like you. It sounds bad but it’s something I’ve experienced along my blogging journey. If you’ve ever been in a similar boat, I came across a couple of quotes that have helped me realize that it just is what it is and not care so much:
“Haters will see you walk on water and say it’s because you can’t swim”
“You could be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.”
NINETEEN – Invest in experiences more than material things. Well, y’all know I love me some material things but, as my friends will attest, I get more excited about going to a concert or on a trip and learning about the history of a city than I do about purchasing a Michael Kors bag. You can have my bag … I’ll take a trip to Greece with my Mom instead. Seriously, nothing makes my heart feel fuller.
TWENTY – A hobby could turn into a full-time job. I started Made with Sparkle about 10 months ago and became a Young Living Distributor about 2 yeats ago. Per my Instagram audience’s request, I started the blog. I was excited and figured it’d be a fun thing to do on my days off. However, I had no idea what I was doing. I didn’t follow blogs at the time and I surely didn’t know blogs could generate an income or become a full blown business, but … that’s how my story unfolded. I still also work full time in Recruitment – which is a job that I absolutely adore. I LOVE what I do. It has been such a FUN adventure and I owe it all to you. You allow me to do this. Thank you for welcoming me in to your lives in even the smallest of ways. I can’t tell you what it means to me and how thankful I am.
Thank you for all of the birthday wishes, my sweet sweet friends! Really appreciate it! Hope you enjoyed this post!!
Love & Sparkle,