21 Lessons In 21 Years

As my 21st birthday looms in the near future, I’ve been toying with the idea of writing this post. Part of me thinks that this type of post is tired and fairly cliché; the other part of me secretly loves this type of post, because not only does it tell you so much about the person who wrote it, it can also teach you something about yourself.

So, perhaps against my better judgement, here goes: 21 lessons I’ve learned in my 21 years.

  1. Fake it ’til you make it. This one was basically my motto throughout high school. I struggled pretty heavily with depression, body dysmorphic disorder, and a slew of other self-confidence-related issues. I was terrified of people finding out, so I basically faked confidence and self-love. I pretended I loved the way I looked and I fully believe that faking it for so long is what helped me eventually love myself for real.
  2. Take it one step at a time—for when the goals you’ve set for yourself seem overwhelming and unachievable.
  3. You only have to do something outside of your comfort zone once; after that, it becomes part of your comfort zone.
  4. If it’s scary, but you know deep down that you should do it: DO IT.
  5. “Learn who to be patient with and who to cut out. This is a big part of adulthood.”
  6. Pray. Pray. Pray. Don’t stop.
  7. Get involved in as many things as you can. Force yourself to be friendly, welcoming, and active in your community, even when it isn’t particularly convenient for you. You will not regret this.
  8. Your time and energy are important—don’t waste them on puny people.
  9. Life’s a party. Dress like it, dance like it.
  10. Words are art, too.
  11. It’s your body. Your choices regarding your body are valid and only yours to make.
  12. You can choose family. Family doesn’t only include those you’re related to by blood.
  13. Put yourself out for the people who deserve it. It’s easy to be there for someone when it’s convenient, but true love sometimes means inconveniencing yourself for someone else.
  14. Learn how to discuss; not just argue.
  15. You can change your body if you want, but learn to love it at any size or shape; it’s the only one you have.
  16. Don’t settle for anyone who makes you feel like your existence is an inconvenience. Someone out there can’t wait to love you and show you off. Wait for that person.
  17. Don’t give anyone a reason to say anything bad about you.
  18. Dwell on your mistake long enough to learn from it; then leave the past in the past.
  19. Forgive. The hardest thing in the world to do is forgiving someone who never asked for your forgiveness. It’s also the most freeing.
  20. Be nice to EVERYONE, even those you don’t like. Kill people with kindness. You’ll never feel bad about making people feel good.
  21. We can love because He first loved us. Once you’ve experienced perfect love, it’s hard not to spread love to others.
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