Oct 3, 2012

My Early 20's : Lessons Learned Part II

Last week I shared part one of my "Lessons Learned" post about my early 20's. As promised, here is the second and final installment. I wanted to give myself time to think about what I really wanted to write, the last post was sitting in my head for a few weeks, and this one was a bunch of jumbled words until I sat down and decided to start typing.I always find some sort of inner peace when writing a more introspective post like this, makes me realize how much I have grown and matured over time. It's very interesting, and I can't wait to look back in another few years and see where I'm at.

Take time for yourself.
Unfortunately I learned this the hard way. I still have a habit of taking on more than I can handle, and it's definitely something I am trying to work on. I hardly ever say no to anything asked of me, and sometimes it can be a problem. Although I don't mind being busy, sometimes I need to stop and be realistic about my time and schedule. It got to the point where I was saying yes to everyone, and I had no time to breathe, or even sit down and think for a second. Constantly running yourself into the ground is only going to make you sick. It's not ideal, and in the long run it only causes more stress on top of the stress you already have. Although most of my time now is pretty packed I try to keep my schedule manageable. If I know I have a lot to do and something is asked of me, I don't feel bad saying no anymore. I am only human and I can't be in 10 places at once. And that is perfectly fine. Nothing is more therapeutic than taking a day to yourself(or with your special someone), and just doing what makes you happy. We all need that sometimes. Take the time you need to center yourself, whether its ten minutes, or ten hours. Do it, your body will appreciate you.

Do not ever change yourself for anyone.
I think this is definitely something girls can relate to. What I mean by don't change yourself for anyone, is mostly directed towards the women who change themselves to suit a man. During your early 20's you will fall in and out of love, sometimes multiple times, maybe just once, whatever. It's really easy to base your life around someone else, and think that it's okay to change little parts about yourself to make someone else happy. This will never work. There's a few reasons why, most importantly because YOU'RE NOT BEING YOU. How long can the charade go on? If you're constantly worrying about changing those little things that make you unique, how will you ever feel comfortable? At the end of the day, if the person is right for you, they're going to love all those weird and twisted things you hate about yourself. Whether it's a weird toe, or loud outgoing personality, whatever it may be: OWN IT. You are you, and if someone doesn't love every last bit of it, they're probably not the one for you.

Don't wait until January 1st.
I am guilty of this, as I am sure most of you are as well. We spend our days making excuses for things we do that aren't good for us, but then we try to make ourselves feel better by saying "OH WELL IN THE NEW YEAR, I'M MAKING A CHANGE." The truth is that just prolongs it. If you truly want to change, start now. Delaying it is only going to make it less likely to occur. If you want to work out, start now. If you want to quit smoking, quit. It's as simple as that. If you're not ready to do something, pushing it back a month or two isn't going to make it happen any easier. I think people put too much pressure on thinking that the new year has to be this groundbreaking thing that changes our lives, but in reality, it's just another day. You can pick any day, and make it new. Tomorrow isn't promised, which is even more reason to start today.

Tell people you love them.
This doesn't just mean in the literal way either. In my life I have had my share of grief and loss. I know how delicate life is, and I know how important it is to tell people how much they mean to you. I also always loved the rule about never going to bed angry. You really never know when something will happen so I think it's important to tell your family/friends/significant other, how much they mean to you. Cherish your relationships with people that mean a lot to you, and go out of your way to spend time with them. You'll never regret spending too much time with someone you care about.

Don't rush things, and stop worrying.
Have you ever found yourself constantly looking forward to your next trip/plan/step in life? It's common that we always look for the next best thing without realizing that we aren't enjoying what we have right now. It's not bad to get excited about new things, plans or anything coming up in your life, but if you get too caught up in that, you're going to miss what you have in this moment. I used to spend a lot of time worrying about the future, and how things would turn out. What's funny about that is that there really is no way to predict where you'll end up, how you'll feel at any given time or what things will be like. If you asked me five years ago what I thought I would be doing, I definitely wouldn't be able to give you a real, honest answer. The truth is, none of us know what's to come. It's completely unwritten and worrying, over analyzing and holding on to it is only going to make things more difficult. I think the two go hand in hand because for me I would look forward to each new thing as if it would help me get through those worries. Ultimately I went from worry to worry hoping that if I didn't focus on the now, I would feel happier. I find comfort in knowing that it's okay not to have the answers to everything. If I am not where I want to be right now, I know I will get there eventually, and that's enough for me.

I hope you all enjoyed reading this as much as I loved writing it. What things have you learned in your early twenties? It's crazy that in two months I will be going into my "late twenties" I really don't know where the time has gone, but I know there's a lot more to learn along the way, that makes the years worth it.


  1. It's great to see you evolve Maria, and so much of what you said is true. I think I learned that in my 20s, you learn who your friends are, and start to see that sometimes people aren't who they seem to be. But the biggest thing I learned was not to care what everyone else thinks of you... be yourself, and live for yourself, and no one else.


  2. such good advice and things that we far too often forget :)

  3. great advice, and that side profile of you is gorgeous.

  4. beautiful list. I never make resolutions for a New Year because when I decide something, I do it on the spot. It actually bothers me to see people delay things because they end up delaying forever!
    I love how you mentioned how no matter what it is you have regarding yourself, to own it. good.

  5. don't wait to january 1st. this is something that i learned a while ago, but for some reason waiting that date still makes me happy
    For the rest, i couldn't agree more, you always have to be yourself and don't worry about things you can't change, life is too short :)

  6. I absolutely love these lessons posts! I'm guilty of the January 1... I've been telling myself all week I'll exercise NEXT week, but you know, why NOT this week?
    I'm totally guilty of rushing things, too! Ugh
    xo Heather

  7. Thank you again for this amazing advice!

    <3 Melissa

  8. Great post! You're posts always make me happy! :)

  9. pretty lady, you are one wise person! love this! :)

    p.s. i always think, dang, i want those glasses everytime you wear them on this hear blog. the next thing, i think when i'm on your blog: candy corn.

  10. Those are some pretty good lessons you've learnt.. some people take another decade or two to finally figure them out.

  11. AWESOME POST!! Can you tell how much I loved it? I can't wait to read the first. You're very knowledgeable for someone in their late twenties. Keep up the good work.


  12. Such lovely words of wisdom! I think we all have to be reminded of these things, no matter what age. Thanks for sharing! :)



  13. Love these tips. I think this is so helpful at any stage of your life! We all need these helpful reminders of what is great about us and great about life. Kudos!

  14. Another fab post! The last point in particular resonated with me. x



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