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You did it. You made it here. Twenty-freakin’-five.
Being here, it’s different than you always imagined it would be.
Remember when you were younger, and you’d see people in their 20s and they seemed so…grown-up. Together. Like they knew all the answers.
You thought that’d be you someday too—all-knowing, sophisticated, having your sh*t together.
But what you realized instead is that adulthood is just another messy chapter in this thing called life, and we’re all just making it up as we go along.
What you realized is 25 is not old. Twenty-five is barely having stepped out of the nest, but wanting to experience it all anyway, wanting to take everything on like the badass-barely-adult-adult that you are.
But 25 is also realizing that being out here in the “real” world is scary. It’s scary and overwhelming and sometimes all you want to do is crawl back into bed and rewind to a time when your mom would come in and read you bedtime stories to help you fall asleep.
Twenty-five is this strange in-between age—where you haven’t quite figured out yet how to be, but you’re supposed to navigate this world as a fully fledged adult.
It’s easy to feel like everyone else has it together, too.
It’s easy to feel like you are this big mess of a human being and you’re not sure if everyone else got this manual at birth for how to do life and somehow you missed the delivery.
So, if you too are feeling this way, here are 25 reminders about life and love that I know, with some certainty, to (probably) be true:
- Nobody has it together. Don’t fall into the social media trap of believing other people’s lives are better, and that they are happier and more successful than you. They are not.
- Don’t forget your friends when things get busy or when you get into a new relationship. Especially when you get into a new relationship.
- Don’t forget yourself when you get into a new relationship. Remember to focus on why you like them, instead of wanting them to like you.
- Your parents are human. They are real and flawed and have lived whole lives before you existed.
- Boundaries are important. In every aspect of life.
- Order that damn pizza. It tastes delicious, you won’t gain weight, and you are not going to wallow in guilt afterward. Just don’t order it every night, but enjoy it when you do.
- Self-compassion is the antidote to self-hatred. Negative self-talk is the least helpful thing you can do for yourself.
- If you like that person, just go for it. And have fun with it! Rejection is not an indicator of self-worth.
- Life exists outside of social media. The more time you spend away from it, the more you will realize how little it is actually adding to your life. Focus on the things that are real and long-lasting.
- Caring about things is cool.
- Caring about yourself is cool, too. (Go to therapy, practice self-care, and number five above.)
- You know what’s also cool? Speaking up when someone says something racist, sexist, homophobic, or anything that’s just plain offensive. It’s important to explain, in a kind, respectful way, why what they said is wrong.
- It’s never too late to say you are sorry.
- It hurts more to be angry and harbor resentment than it does to let go and forgive.
- Learn how to forgive yourself. Or else you will never move forward from anything.
- Alcohol is not going to make you more confident, make that guy or girl like you, and it’s not going to make what you are trying to numb disappear. And if you can’t change your relationship with alcohol, there is no shame in seeking help.
- Getting outside at least once a day is good for the soul.
- If you are feeling down, reaching out to a friend or a stranger online helps even a little bit, 95 percent of the time. There is a forum out there for everything.
- Brené Brown’s Ted Talk is everything and watching it will make you feel 10 times better. This is fact.
- Yes, it actually is possible to stay friends with an ex. But not within the first five months to a year after breaking up. Space and time to heal is always necessary, no matter how hard it may be.
- Letting go of love is one of the hardest things to learn how to do. But you will do it, and you will almost always be okay after some time has passed.
- It is possible to simultaneously hate and love a person.
- Meditate. It doesn’t matter how busy you are, you always have five minutes in your day.
- Journaling every day is cathartic. You will find yourself again through writing.
- No matter where you are in life, there is always a way out, a solution, or an opportunity for growth or change. Every time you have felt there is no hope—remember, there is, somewhere, buried deep within.
As Pema Chödrön says, “To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest. To live fully is to be always in no-man’s-land, to experience each moment as completely new and fresh. To live is to be willing to die over and over again.”
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