21 Things I Learned at 21

21 Things I've Learned at 21

I can’t tell you how many blogs I’ve read that have at least one post titled, “Things I Wish I’d Known” or “Things I Learned” in my twenties. And don’t get me wrong, if I didn’t love ‘em, I wouldn’t be reading! I think they are actually quite informative. Being a twenty-something myself, I find it helpful to learn from the mistakes, or successes of those who have gone before me. The thing to remember is: everyone’s experience is different and we will all handle various situations differently.

Basically, I wanted to share some things I have learned (imagine me saying this in a snooty British accent) in my twenty-one years of experience.

I will be 22 next month, and what better way to reflect on this past year, than sharing it with you!

Let’s get started, shall we:

  1. It’s okay to go with your instincts sometimes. I found myself in a bit of a conundrum around this time last year. I debated whether or not studying abroad for a year in Wales, UK or staying here at college in the US, would be better for me. I eventually decided to stay and finish up my degree. Something I worried about after I made my choice however, was not whether I would get the chance to go abroad in the future, but if I would later regret my decision of declining my acceptance. I was so busy thinking about what others would think of me once I said “no”. But I stuck by my choice in the end, and do not regret it at all. I told myself, if you decided that this choice was best for you in the past, then in the future you need to remind yourself of that. Since declining my study abroad offer, I have been able to apply for graduation, and will have my bachelors’ of arts in psychology and a completed business minor in the spring. This year has brought me some confusion and worry, but also much clarity and excitement for the future.
  2. When one door closes, you might have to keep walking down the hall to find another open one. Be patient (I know, it’s definitely easier said than done).
  3. To love at all is to be vulnerable. A big lesson for me this past semester in particular. Mr. Lewis definitely knew a thing or two.(from C.S. Lewis’ The Four Loves)
  4. It’s okay to change your mind about what “ideal” is.
  5. Life is what YOU make it. Thanks mom and dad for that one.
  6. It’s never too late to change. Bad habits, diets, relationships…give it a chance and you’ll see.
  7. You really will win some and lose some. 
  8. Self-care is reallyimportant. 
  9. You’re never too old to have a themed birthday party.You’ll have a lot of fun and chances are, others will too.
  10. Home really is where the heart is. After a while, things that once brought you comfort and peace, may disappear. Keep searching though. Home might just be right around the corner.
  11. God is good. Always.
  12. Near or far, your true friends will always find you. Literally.
  13. You can’t fake passion.

 “Don’t worry about what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive and do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” -Howard Thurman

14. Give everything you do 100% or don’t do it at all. Follow through. Follow through. Follow through.  

  1. If it seems like it hasn’t been done before, do it anyway. Blaze that trail like Lewis and Clark! Forgot about them, didn’t ya?
  2. Give back, because you can. 
  3. Parents are human too. Be kind to them.
  4. Make new friends, but keep the old ones. Shout out to my Girl Scouts!
  5. Do one thing that scares you, every day.See what comes out of it.
  6. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
  7. Nothing comes before the time. “Trust me.” – mom

 

So, I hope this post wasn’t the most cliche thing you’ve ever read.

I also hope that you will take some time to reflect back on all you’ve learned in this past year.

Seriously, try it, because we don’t just go through life singing la-di-da

(well, not always).

We live it!

You’ve grown.

 So look back at those footprints in the metaphorical sands of time, and see where they’ve been. Chances are, they’ve traveled a long ways.

 Can’t wait to see what this next year has in store for you all.

Thanks for reading.

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do,
and he will establish your plans.
The Lord works out everything to its proper end—”

Proverbs 16: 3-4

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Leighann

Twenty-something, lover of Jesus. I like animals (esp. dogs), Fun-Fetti cupcakes and yoga. I love God and do my best to love others. I hate too-warm weather and socks that fall into your shoes when you walk. I'm a huge fan of Christian rap and cold, sunny days.

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  • 𝒹𝒶𝓎 18 𝑜𝒻 31

Obsession. I like to say photography is my love language—I have no idea what that means, but it sounds nice, right? I’m obsessed with taking pictures and learning more about composition, editing and trying new things with my little @canonusa baby. *accidentally deleted my post from yesterday—so here it is again*
  • This is not a drill—it’s a GIVEAWAY! 
Meet Kayla (@kayzilch). Though we’ve met just recently, I immediately recognized her as a kindred spirit (she’s also a Type-4 Enneagram)! Her writing is real, authentic and delves into an array of important topics such as mental health, identity, faith and much more on her blog @tobetruth_. She’s also working to become a certified yoga teacher and is passionate about her work as a freelance writer! 
Meet Meghan (@meghantschanz). I’ve never met a woman so determined and passionate about creating authentic community and tackling tough topics. She’s not afraid to go there and start conversations about real-world issues like sex- and labor-trafficking around the world, feminism (or lack thereof) within the church and equality for ALL. She’s currently working on securing a book deal, with the goal of empowering women around the globe to recognize their influence in society and their ability to make the world a more equal place. 
These women are doing some amazing things and I’m honestly just excited to come along for the ride. I believe in us, the work we’ve been called to do and I hope, after learning more about us, you will too. To celebrate and continue advocating for causes we believe in, we’re doing a giveaway with @causebox. 
Here’s where you come in:

1. Give this post a (♡) double tap.

2. Go follow @meghantschanz & @kayzilch.

3. After you’ve done both of those things, come back here and tag two women whose life, work and friendship you believe in! 
The prize is a summer-themed @causebox valued at $300, packed full of small-batch, sustainable and ethically created gifts made by women and small businesses around the world. 
Winner will be announced Friday (8/24) morning at 10am EST!
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Blue. I’ve been looking for a way to fill my ginormous (at least it seems that way) white living room wall. Every time I thought I knew how I wanted to decorate that space, I changed my mind suddenly, determined that there had to be a better way to fill the empty 
space.

I didn’t know this about me before, but it hit me one day, as my parents were helping me unpack my stuff in my new place. My mom began asking me what I’d like my new place to look like, rug colors, mat textures, wall—fixtures and all. I am no good at decorating. Like, I had no idea how to put a space together. I’ve never been on my own before and the idea of having to decide how my space would be...mine, freaked me out. 
But then, little by little I found some pieces that I didn’t hate, and started to put them together. And yesterday, I stumbled upon these little treasures at Marshall’s. I couldn’t resist the ocean hues and beach vibes. I knew it was meant to be. 
All that to say, for anyone else struggling to put your place together after either never having to do it before #livingsingle or maybe putting the pieces of your life back together after a breakup or split—take your time. It will all come together eventually and it will look amazing. And before you know it, it will start to look, like you. ttys
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Hot. No, it’s not what you think. As a matter of fact, when I first saw this picture I was horrified. I saw all that was wrong with my body, my hair and my skin—ugh. 
But you know what? No one’s perfect. And thank God I don’t have to be. Plus, my body was/is working just fine, my hair was moisturized, and my skin was poppin’. Trying to shift my moments of self-doubt and body-consciousness to thankfulness and positive self-talk. 
Also, the day this was taken was HOT, so it still counts towards today’s #augusteyecandy.

I don’t know if anyone’s told you today, but you’re made splendidly and you couldn’t be more perfect than you are right now—yes, even in this heat with your mascara running down your face. ttys 
S/O to @kayzilch and/or her awesome fiancé, Michael for this pic 📸
  • 𝒹𝒶𝓎 14 𝑜𝒻 31

5pm. 
It’s crazy to think that I’ve actually posted one picture on IG for TWO weeks straight. Especially considering all that’s been going on around me: moving back across the country for school, moving into my new place, actually starting school, remembering how to (somewhat) adult—throw in a little bit of anxiety, and you’ve got yourself the past two weeks of my life. 
All that to say—we made it, folks. We made it to today. And that is enough. You’re doing great—ttys
  • TW: Anxiety/Panic Attack

Anxiety is like a shadow that’s been following me around since I was about thirteen. I guess puberty marked the onset of racing thoughts, subtle hyperventilation and that queasy feeling you get when something’s just not right. I had my first panic attack at nineteen, during a new hire orientation. It felt like I was having a heart attack—my heart inexplicably began to race, my hands shook and I felt warmth all around me. 
I excused myself to the reception area and, in a panic, asked the receptionist if she could help me. She said to place my hands above my head and breathe. I paced around the lobby and breathed, eyes closed. Inhale. Exhale. I worried for a moment that I would die. Then gradually, my heart began to beat at normal pace again. My breathing deepened and my body cooled down to normal as I continued to pace, slower this time. The kind receptionist gave me some water to sip and sat me down until I was ready to go back to the meeting. 
Anxiety can feel like a high-speed train. Going 5mph one minute and 150 mph the next. It can also be subtler, feeling like you can’t quite catch your breathe and you begin to hyperventilate, in a way that is only recognizable to you. 
Although I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, anxiety has taught me the importance of coming back to the present. And how allowing myself to feel what is presently around me, can ground me and remind me that I’m alive. I’m safe. 
I share this story in order to start the conversation. Anxiety is a part of my life, whether I like it or not. I hope you know that first of all:

1. You are loved beyond measure and valuable even with your anxious thoughts and actions 
and 
2. You are not the only one 
ttys

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