I'm twenty years old y'all!! I know, it's a shock to me as well. I recently had my birthday on the 20th of August. Two whole decades of my life have officially gone by. I know to a lot of people that seems like nothing, but to me, it's completely mind-blowing that I'm now in my twenties. It's been a long time coming, since my friends are already 20!
I was stuck wondering what sort of post I should write up for my 20th birthday. A '20 things I've learned in 20 years' post? Or a birthday tag, maybe? I really couldn't decide. But I remembered a post I saw a while back where someone had reflected on what they'd learned since their last birthday. I thought I'd do a bit of that, but also mix in a few things I've learned through my life as a whole.
So kick back, relax, grab yourself a snack. Maybe get yourself a fancy drink - it is my champagne birthday, after all!
A reason, a season, or a lifetime
I'm sure you've heard the saying that people come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. I know it's super cliche, but it is true. In twenty years, I've come across people from every category. And honestly, sometimes it can be pretty hard to determine who is who. Some of the people I thought were 'lifetimes' ended up being 'reasons'. In some cases, it was someone who was in my life for a short time that impacted my life positively; and others, it was negative. But the lessons I've learned from those not-so-great relationships have moulded me into the person I am today and I've learned to be grateful for that, instead of just fixating on how things could've gone better.
Mental illness doesn't make you 'weak'
This was a lesson that took me so long to learn. Despite being completely supportive of other people's mental health, I have always been really hard and unsympathetic towards my own. In the early years of dealing with my anxiety, I had someone say that I was 'weak' for suffering from mental illness, whereas those who don't suffer are 'strong'. As if strong people can somehow fight off mental illness...? It was obviously completely ignorant and plain wrong to say. But being a young teen, it really took a toll on me. Mental illness doesn't make anybody weak. In fact, people who suffer from mental illness are some of the strongest people out there. As much as I hate dealing with anxiety, it has definitely made me a stronger person over the years.
Friends who stick around during tough times are the ones who'll last forever
I've been through a lot of ups and downs in my life. Like, a lot, a lot. In that, I really came to realize who my true friends are and not only that, but just generally who I wanted to be in my life. Friends should make your life better, not worse. That was something I had a hard time coming to grips with. I'm the kind of person who hates to rock the boat. But there were just certain toxic relationships in my life I had no choice but to step away from, for my own happiness. With that being said, there've been friendships that have really bettered me and my life as a whole. I saw something online awhile ago that said something like, friends you've just met in uni know you better than friends you've known your entire life. And honestly, it couldn't be more true for me. The friends I've made in uni are incredible and those friendships have been life-changing.
Don't let anyone deter you from going after your dreams
Let me say it again, just in case you didn't hear me... DON'T LET ANYONE DETER YOU FROM GOING AFTER YOUR DREAMS. I don't care what your dream is - doctor, psychologist, beekeeper, car mechanic. Anything. If it's what you want to do with your life and you know it'll make you happy, then do it. So what if someone says that chances are you won't make it in your career field? The only way to know is to try. You've got a long life ahead of you, especially when you're 17 or 18 and leaving secondary school. Don't go on a career path that makes you miserable just to make you other people happy. Take it from someone who's been there; it's so not worth it and you'll definitely regret it later.
Hope you're all having an amazing week!