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life lessons: early 20s

I like who I'm becoming. A lot.

My experiences growing as a young adult, along with gaining insight into the lives of others inspired me to create this list of life lessons for you.

This is not to say your 20s aren’t a time of euphoria, entertainment and rebellion — because they totally are.
Some of these lessons were prefaced with my favorite memories!

These lessons are in no particular order. They are equally important.

YOU ARE YOUR OWN BIGGEST CRITIC.

It has taken me my entire life, and I am still working through, learning to love and accept myself.
“You are more than the sum of your parts,” is a quote I have reflected on daily for quite sometime now.

It continues to remind me how far I have come and how much more potential I have beyond my corporeal self.

“It is far healthier to be flawed than insecure.”

Roger Sterling, Mad Men

In dark times it is easy to fall into patterns, allowing yourself to fall out of priority.
Something, often times, someone is used as a substitute.

YOU CANNOT LOVE SOMEONE ELSE UNTIL YOU LOVE YOURSELF.

While the distraction may work, it is not sustainable.
The root issue of self-love needs to be attended to otherwise you will continue missing something in life.

CULTIVATE AND VALUE RELATIONSHIPS.

Whether it be platonic, romantic, professional, etc.
All relationships should be respected.

I cannot stress how important it is to establish and build a good name for yourself in the world.
Life is wild and it will take you all over. It is unknown who you will bump into later in life or how they may impact you.

I cannot even begin to tell you the countless stories of my social webs intersecting.

Keep a diverse integration of people in your core circle. Surround yourself with the people you enjoy spending time.

EVERYONE WANTS TO FEEL LOVED.

Take comfort in knowing there is always someone in the world who loves you, although you may not know it.

Once you find the people you are able to communicate open and honestly with, be sure to show your appreciation and gratitude for them — they are not easy to come by.

LEARN TO ACCEPT AND GROW FROM CRITICISM.

Many of us, myself included, have received a critique we’ve struggled with accepting.
A standout moment for me happened fall of my freshman year of high school.

I remember the moment so vividly… My grandma and I were standing in the kitchen as she cooked dinner.

She told me about her day at work, I told her about my day at school. Then she blindsided me.

“Alexandra,” she said, “maybe you should make your eyeliner a bit thinner. It looks a little harsh…”

She was absolutely correct!

But at the time I thought I knew everything, so of course I wrote her off as a “hater” and continued to wear my eyeliner absurdly thick.

While this critique is not as important as others may be, accepting you are not always right can be a hard pill to swallow.

“[My 20s] were a time of some serious growth — whether I knew I was growing or not.”

Camille Mola, Positive Publicity

KNOW WHAT YOU WANT AND COMMUNICATE IT.

Communication is important.
Without properly conveying your feelings, the person (or people) you are dealing with will not understand your perspective.

The same applies for the other side.

In romantic situations is where I have found this communication to be very useful and empowering.
In my personal experience of dating as a young woman I have taken notice, more often than not, there are expectations associated.

This blame can be placed on a number of things, such as Tinder or Grindr, apps which condone immediate gratification.
However, it can also be to blame on a lack of communication.

BOUNDARIES ARE INTEGRAL.

If you are in a situation in which you would rather be alone, say it.

You are allowed to say no. You are allowed to leave a bad date and not call them back.

You are allowed to speak up if you want a specific project role. No one will know unless you make it known.

Thanks for reading!

Talk to y’all soon,
Alex

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