22 Lessons I Lived And Learned At 22

22 Lessons I Lived And Learned At 22

Life isn't always easy to understand, but I'm learning.
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They say these are the best days of your life, but what we don't always recognize is that your 20s tend to be some of the hardest years you will ever experience.

And sometimes, they are most instrumental years in the development of your character. You face more adversity than ever before. You develop educated opinions and you often learn quite a bit about love. You make mistakes, and you gain large successes.

22 specifically, is a year of change. With that said, here are 22 lessons I lived and learned when I was 22:

1. Loving someone doesn't make them right for you.

2. Falling OUT of love is OK.

3. Your intuition tells you more than anyone else ever could.

4. Creativity is a gift not all possess, so explore yours.

5. Every single day is a chance to be the person you wished you were yesterday.

6. The Law of Attraction is real.

Think about, focus on, and attract the good things. There is no room in your life for negativity. Reject it completely.

7. Your dog understands when you say "I love you."

8. Light a candle, put a record on, and enjoy some time alone.

You don't always need to be with others to feel fulfilled and alive.

9. That boy who hurt you won't ever understand all the pain he caused you.

There's no use in trying to explain it. Write it down and move on.

10. Politics are important, but not everyone needs to know your opinion.

11. Pills aren't always the answer.

It's amazing what regular exercise, a healthy diet, and the commitment to positivity can do for your mental health.

12. You are as happy or as unhappy as you choose to be.

13. His new girl will figure it out.

14. You are not the first or the last that a so-called "friend" will back-stab.

And they are probably not the last person who will ever do you wrong, either. Be thankful for the experience and what it taught you. Don't say anything you don't mean. Walk away from the experience with dignity and self-respect.

15. Be very clear about what you expect out of someone, what you need from them emotionally, and what your intentions are.

It allows the other person the opportunity to make a decision based on your honesty.

16. Be careful who you allow to occupy your time.

Time is one thing in life you cannot get back, and the biggest mistake you could ever make is wasting it with people who just don't "get it."

17. Build a fortress of positivity by surrounding yourself only with people who lift you higher.

Energy is constantly disseminated, and you will pick up the negativity of anyone in your circle. It affects your life more than you recognize, and it stems from their true nature and intentions - not who they say they are. This is where you need to listen to your intuition.

Do not waste your time with people who don't recognize the power of their energy.

18. Always assume good intentions unless someone proves to have ulterior motives.

19. One of the most important things you can ever learn to understand is your own emotions.

Do not run from them. Every feeling is valid. Instead, accept them. Allow yourself to feel.

20. Speak positively, yet humbly to yourself.

21. No matter how much you try, you will never be able to make it work with the wrong person.

And no matter how hard you try to fight it or how badly you screw up, you will never be able to screw it up with the right one.

22. Peace comes naturally when you learn acceptance.

Cover Image Credit: Jennifer VerMeulen

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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To The High School Senior Nearing The End Of This Chapter, Feel Free To Look Back

Trust me, you're going to want to.

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Right now you can't wait to leave. You can't wait for that fresh start, new friends, independence… the list is never-ending. But coming from someone two years removed from high school, please take it all in. Take in those last goofy times in class. All those fun car rides in the middle of the night with your friends where you laugh so hard you cry. Spending all day long with the friends you've known your whole life… remember how it feels in your heart. Enjoy graduation and take lots of pictures. Remember to always remain in the moment during all of these events. Don't let anything ruin it for you. That carefree feeling you have right now and will continue to have this summer will pass whether you believe it or not. Adulthood crawls in quicker than you think…

You will be left with the memories of what was, never to see or speak to so many people you once genuinely had so much fun with. High school is such a unique experience and I believe many of us take it granted because it is a necessity. We look at it as a chore because of mundane things like it being boring and having to wake up so early. In the moment we fail to see how fun it actually was. It is often only afterward that we realize just what we really had in those 4 years. Admittedly, I never thought I missed much of anything about high school, and I especially never thought I would. But here I am, two years later and I'm just realizing how easy I had it. High school was hard, but when I say the real world is harder, please take my words to heart. I am a firm believer that high school, in general, is a massive bubble.

Not to say that the bubble is bad. But the bubble will break, and it's more jarring to some than others. So don't let it impact you in a negative way, be prepared for its impact and conquer it! My point is, know that high school is not supposed to be the best four years of your life, but it is a time of your life where most people have the least worries, and that is something you can't get back. Worries and stress are subjective, so of course, we all thought our lives were over multiple times in high school, but we shortly realized that was not the case.

Your last teenage years should be taken in stride. Don't wish them away for older age, enjoy them. You'll never get them back, so you might as well stay in the moment.

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