I kinda love the fact that I’m not 21 anymore. Trust me, turning 22 was terrible for about 70 seconds – all these thoughts kept rushing through my head, is the “peak” of my fun age finally over, as so many had warned me before? Then 70 seconds later, I decided it was all hogwash as I headed outside my room of my college apartment to take shots with my best friends. Now, a couple of years later, I think back to that girl that was 21. That girl had NO idea what life held in store for her, and that girl, like so many of you has probably changed and matured for all the RIGHT reasons.
1) I’ve Grown Up – In every sense of the word. My body has changed (praise curves!), my priorities have changed from things that aren’t worth it to wanting to spend time searching for my next career move or learning to cook. I no longer care about what people think about me, and I realize that the only happiness I’m concerned with should be mine.
2) I Can Differentiate Boys From Men – This was a huge breakthrough for me. You kiss a fair share of toads in your time (and you’ll regress here and there but pay no mind to who doesn’t matter) and that’s okay. You’ve been through a couple of bad relationships. That’s okay too. What’s important is that you’ve learned exactly what you DON’T want. With age, comes experience, comes perspective. Now when you run into that “Mr. Perfect” who turns out to be a self-absorbed hypocritical douchebag, you may waver, but unlike you’re inner 21 year old, you’re not stressing or pining away for him – why? Because you know that’s not what you want or deserve.
Let’s Have a Toast For All The Douchebags..
3) I Realize I’m Not Invincible – The quicker you realize there are consequences to every action, the better. I, like many teenagers and twenty-somethings, went through this phase where I thought I could do or say no wrong. You quickly realize that every action comes with a price, my twenty-something year old now appreciates and understands that no one is invincible and to act with responsibility.
4) I Appreciate the Power of Family & True Friendship - By your later twenties, you will have gone through a couple of friendships, some may have faltered, some may have soared, and some have remained solid as God’s green earth. Appreciating the solidity and the loyalty behind these friendships is powerful, that is your support system. You’re family is the equivalent to the Pokemon Healing Centers, you know the one where no matter what shape you’re in, no matter how you feel, how weak you are, how sad or happy you are, you come back fully charged.. You’re family rejuvenates you, they are you’re true strength and backbone, and they will always be there to fuel and heal you in anyway.
5) I Never Say Never - I just don’t believe in “never”. Life is too quickly changing, people are brought in and taken out of our lives in seconds. We’re given experiences every single hour and day to deal with. To say “never” is to constrict yourself of something you may one day decide to do. To simplify, you have only one life to live, focus on learning, try everything just once, and smile while you do it (This is where it’s appropriate to say #yolo).
6) I Now Value the Power of Closure & Communication - This has more to do with maturing through your age, than your actual age itself. So many people can drop others in a second due to anger, miscommunication, or other reasons they find justifying. This isn’t strength, this is immaturity. Tossing your ego away, and picking up the phone to sort and hash through you’re feelings is necessary in any situation. Why? It’s because we realize that life is too short for any discrepancy, if a situation is not meant to happen, owe it to yourself and to others to communicate and to provide the other with closure. That’s good karma.
7) I Don’t Stand For Games Or BS. Ever. - See, 21 year old Raji simply didn’t know what games were. She thought that interaction was supposed to be simple, and everyone was on the same page. Along the way and years, Raji has learned the difference between when someone is shooting the shit with her, or plain BSing her. It’s important to learn when someones pulling your chain or being real, simply because you need to drop the former, and stick to the latter. Also, being real isn’t being rude, so if someone is proud of their blunt but rude ways, that’s some BS aka we don’t stand for that either.
8) I Don’t Believe In Regrets - The phrase “What if” shouldn’t be in your vocabulary. Agreed this may be impulsive behavior, but if you want something, go for it, jump at it, and take it. If it works, you just went after something you wanted. If it doesn’t work, you will have went after something you wanted. You won’t know until you try. Listen to your heart, and leap at full speed.
9) I Listen To My Heart - A part of me has always listened to my heart, but my younger self also listened to the riff raff. I’ve learned in time, that the only voice that matters is yours. People who presume to be your friends or family may try to tell you what to do or give you their two hundred cents, it doesn’t matter. As an adult, you learn that you form your own opinions, you have your own interactions, and you live life the way you want to live it. Listen to your heart. It’s priceless.
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