by corinne iaia

December 15, 2016

The Last Year Of My Mid Twenties: What I've Learned

Yes, it's true. 2016 marks the end of my mid-twenties, officially. *Sobs* In March of 2017, I'll turn 26, so I thought I'd do a post that's a bit more emotional than I'd normally get while talking about travel and face creams.

The truth is, your mid-20's are actually one of the toughest times in your life. I started writing in this little corner of the internet that I call mine, in the spring of 2014. A little over two years later and so much has already changed. I've switched jobs, built new relationships, seen new places and gained new perspective. It's incredible to me that I've been able to share, even bits and pieces with a community here, and while some would argue that the depths of beauty and lifestyle blogging are shallow, I believe that opening up and reaching out to others with similar interests can only be positive. So, here I am in my last month of my last year in my mid-twenties (mouthful), and I thought it would be nice to mark this little milestone with a something a bit deeper than a bottle of perfume. These are the lessons I've learned over the last few years, and what I hope to do better going forward...

Embrace Who You Are
Seriously, we spend so much of our teenage years - like during high school, college, and maybe beyond - caring too much about what others think. I like to think for the most part I've always been pretty comfortable with myself, but there were definitely times when I've questioned whether or not I really should be. That's most likely because I've always been a bit of an introvert, but as I've gotten older I've started taking the time to get to know myself - my strengths and weaknesses, my likes and dislikes - and I've begun factoring those pieces of information into the equation more often. It's so important to step back and look at yourself from a bit an objective standpoint, know the in's and out's of you and who you are. You'll be able to better define your boundaries, set realistic goals, and even figure out what type of people you should be surrounding yourself with. And please, stop comparing yourself to others too much, you need to be the best version of you, and only you can know what that means...and also, there's always two sides to every equation. You never know someone else's whole story just like they'll never know yours. If you are happy in your own skin, it will radiate, and maybe even rub off on others who could use the encouragement.

Take EVERY Opportunity
This is a big one. As I said, I've always been an introvert. I've branched out more as I've gotten older, but I have also always struggled a bit to put myself out there. I basically know what I'm comfortable with and who I'm comfortable with, and don't love forcing myself outside that box. I would miss certain social opportunities that involved people I didn't know well, and sometimes doing things I wasn't sure I'd be good at. But, when I graduated college and it came time to look for a job and network, I was truly forced to push my boundaries. Sure, I've always done so in certain ways, like travel. I'll cross the ocean alone to explore new places, no problem, but ask me to do a bit of public speaking and you might not hear from me for a week. So, since being out in "the real world" I've tried to force myself to do things I wouldn't normally want to do, that I know would help me grow. What doesn't kill you, actually will make you stronger. Your mother was right about that one. So, I finally realized how important it was to take every opportunity, whether it's meeting up with someone new, going on an intimidating interview, and I now find myself working toward my goals everyday, no matter the obstacles. I push myself, and make sure I never miss out on an opportunity - because who knows - you could meet the love of your life, find your dream job, or see the world in the process of stepping outside the box. 

It's OK To Admit Fault
This is something I couldn't pin down for years. But, let me tell you, part of growing up is taking responsibility for yourself, your actions, and even standing up for your beliefs. Although it may look this way sometimes, everyone is not always perfect, and not always ok. We all make mistakes - it's part of our job description as *humans*. Admitting defeat is much more heroic than pretending it's all okay sometimes. You never know, someone else may be in the same situation and lend a helping hand, or even become much more empathetic to your mistake when they learn what happened, or that you are able to take responsibility. 

Know Who's Important
This is a tough one, but something that I think everyone needs to be more careful of as they grow older. When we're younger, we have so many friends, and as we get older, we tend to lose common interest with many of them. It's okay to let some relationships go, but that doesn't mean it has to be done in a negative way. Don't feel guilty that you've lost interest in certain people; you may not have anything in common with them, and maybe they're just not the type of person you need in your life. Like I said earlier, get to know yourself, so that you can really decide who these people are and, of course, then nurture the remaining friendships and relationships you have. Don't be selfish, they do take caring for.

What did you learn in your early-mid twenties?


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