You know how we try and act like we know everything? And then the older we get, the more we realize how young and naive we were? Which leads us always ending up wishing we could've known then what we know now? It's a vicious circle. Though, regardless of how many times we look back and think, "what was I thinking", we're actually low key pretty proud of ourselves that we've made it this far in life. So, although I will more than likely look back on this and shake my head at how much I thought I knew, here's a list of 20 things I've learned at 22.
Put your phone down and live in the moment.
We spend so much time on our phones each day, whether it be on social media, taking pictures to share on social media, or constantly feeling like we need to talk with someone. You will have time later to check your phone. Watch the sunset, take in that beautiful view from your hike, soak up the sun and wind from having the windows rolled down. Put it down for a few minutes and enjoy what's around you.
Get out of your small town for once.
Go. Get out. Don't spend your time only getting to experience one tiny part of the world. You don't realize what you're missing until you've gone out and seen something other than the inside of your city limits. Life is full of adventure, but you'll never know until you go.
Be a helper, someone that someone else can rely on.
Don't be a person that can't be counted on. When someone calls you and asks for your help, feel honored. It doesn't take people long to realize who they can count on, and who they can't. It takes a little bit of your time out of your day, but for the person you're helping, it could make an impact on their life.
Hold your loved ones extra close, they won't be here forever.
Call them and talk to them, spend time with them. It shouldn't take the funeral of one family member for the rest of the family to get together. Family is all we have in this world, so make an effort to spend quality time with them.
Don't get yourself too deep into debt.
It's the worst feeling in the world. So you've just graduated high school and want to build some credit, great. Start off small and keep your spending small too. Just because you've been "approved" for a certain amount doesn't mean you should actually spend that much. Do the best you can to live within your means, otherwise you'll never catch up. And let me tell you, feeling like you're "stuck" is an awful, terrible feeling.
You won't stay close to your childhood/high school friends, and that's OK.
Each of you will change as you grow older. Your interests, goals, ambitions, paths, cities, can all change. You aren't the same person you were 5, 10 years ago, and that's alright. We aren't made to stay the exact same for the rest of our lives. Sure, you'll look back and laugh at all the crazy times you've shared, but even though you've grown apart, your friendship is still something you'll hold close in your heart.
Make an effort with your other half by doing/being the best you can everyday.
Whether you have a boyfriend, girlfriend, fiance(e), husband or wife, strive to make an effort and show your love everyday. Relationships can fail because people stop trying. They stop putting each other first. They stop building each other up and encouraging each other. They stop making an effort to go out of their way to do something for one another. They stop working on themselves to be a better person. Whatever you do, don't stop.
Try new things.
Food, experiences, make new friends, travel, volunteer, go on adventures, get some fresh air. Life isn't made to be lived from the inside of your living room with a remote in one hand and a bowl of chips in the other. If it's something you've never done, and it scares you a little bit, it's probably good for you.
Stop trying to be in control of everything.
This is often a hard one for me especially because, if I don't feel like I have some sort of say in the situation, it's like I'm out of my comfort zone. This goes hand in hand with trying new things. Sometimes it's OK to let someone else take the reins. Let someone else make the plans, and go along with it. Don't feel like you need to put your two cents in. Even though they may do things totally different than you would, there's more than one way to skin a cat.
Some people will fail you.
I try to be the kind of person who looks at the best in everyone, but sometimes I end up being so wrong about them. People will do what they think is best for them. Regardless of what you say to them, they are still going to end up doing what they want. They will remove people from their life, and maybe you were one of them. They will do things that will offend you. They will do things that will disappoint you, maybe even hurt you. But in the end, you have to realize that you are not that person.
Make an effort to stop complaining.
I have been so bad about this ever since I was a kid. Mom and Dad asked me to do chores? I'd complain. A friend would ask me to help them move? I'd complain. Someone would cook something or do their laundry in a different way than I would? You guessed it, I'd probably complain. It's so dumb! And negative. No one wants to be around someone who cannot stop looking at the bad side to everything. It wasn't until my husband called me out on it that I realized how often I did it. I make an effort to try to catch myself before the words hit my mouth, and let me tell you, I am so much happier because it makes me think negatively less and less.
It's OK to cry.
Did you just see a cute puppy at the shelter? Are you watching your family member hug their soldier that just came home? Are you stuck in a traffic jam because a funeral procession is passing by? Have you been in an argument and you're so mad that you start crying? It's OK. Your crying, showing emotion, means you care. Sometimes we feel that we need to stay strong and hold it all in, but don't be afraid to shed some emotion. It shows that it's something you care about.
Spend time outside.
Go, take pictures, take a drive, go on an adventure, experience something you've never done before. You'll realize how much happier and more free you feel when you just spend some of your day outside getting fresh air.
Sleep on it.
When we're mad, upset, emotional, overthinking, we tend to make rash decisions. Whatever it is that you're feeling, it's best to sleep on it and make a decision in the morning. This allows yourself time to think through everything, the good and the bad. I promise if you sleep on it, you'll have so much more clarity and feel so much better about the decision you've made.
Stop comparing your life to lives of those you see on social media.
Think about what you've posted in the past. More than likely they were good things, right? Things you've accomplished, maybe a new car, earning your degree, the new craft you made for your church's annual craft fair. But you didn't tweet that you had to drain your savings account to pay for new tires for your car. You didn't post the picture from your phone that you felt ugly in. You didn't make a comment about the argument you just had with your other half. Don't compare your bad moments to all the good moments you see on social media. People only allow you to see what they want you to see.
You can't please everyone.
I used to be the kind of person who wanted everyone around me to like me. I didn't know how to say no. No matter why someone was mad at me, I always took the blame and tried to make it up to them. Let me tell you something, when people discover that you will do anything just so as not to upset them, you become a doormat. You will not feel fully free in life by walking on eggshells. Sometimes, people don't like you. But guess what? Who cares. Quit trying to be a people pleaser. It's exhausting, it's holding you down, and it's also impossible. You just do you, and don't worry so much about everyone else.
Don't be so easily swayed.
Be open minded, but be firm with where you stand. Do the research. Ask questions. Be sure you can defend yourself. I'm all about listening to other people's opinions and views and why they believe in what they believe in. But, at the end of the day, I am confident with where I stand.
Learn how to handle money and count back change.
This may seem silly to some, but just think about it. You will use cash for the rest of your life. This is the reason you were forced to take math in school all those years. Being able to handle money and count back change is so important to be able to function in society.
Do good things without feeling the need to tell everyone.
This should just be a rule of thumb. You shouldn't feel the need to convince all of us on social media that you're a good person.
Find something you're passionate about.
Don't worry so much about what everyone else likes to do. Try new foods, go on new adventures, try something you've never experienced before. Do what makes you happy! Life's too short not to.