I always think back to grade school when we would fill out the pieces of paper that said, "In 5 years I see myself .." and "In 10 years I see myself .." I always laugh because at the time, I would always think how old that would make me. 10-year-old me would especially focus on what life would look like in 10 years. The first thing that always came to my mind was, "Holy crap, I'm going to be TWENTY!" At the time I thought that was crazy, and if I'm being honest, I still think it's pretty crazy that I'm now that same twenty-year-old writing this.
There are a lot of things that I have learned over the years. Some lessons a little tougher to learn, but nonetheless, they all shaped me into the woman I am today. So, here goes. A list of twenty things that make me the twenty-year-old version of Grace- enjoy;
You will lose people along the way, and that is okay.
Not everyone is your friend. Yup, I said it. As much as you want to be everyone's bestie, you can't be, and that is okay. We have seasons of our lives for a reason, and with that, people come and go.
Do what makes YOU happy, not what makes THEM happy.
I'm just going to say it plain and simple- conformity will kill you. I learned this one the hard way. If I'm being honest, I got to a point in my life where I was not the person I wanted to be. My values that I claimed to have, weren't there. The people that I surrounded myself with, were not my people. Looking back, I realized this was because I was so focused on being the person that everyone else wanted me to be, instead of being the person I wanted to be. Plain and simple- be the version of yourself that makes you so dang proud to be, and the right people will come.
Don't ever settle for less than what you dreamed of.
I really don't think this needs an explanation. Plain and simple- set the bar high and Go. For. It.
It's okay to guard your heart, but to also let your guard down.
As I've gotten older, I've become a talker. I always used to be a chatty Kathy in grade school (just ask any of my dance teachers while trying to do across the floor ..) But then I got to a point in life where I became really shy, and never talked to or opened up to anyone. If I'm being honest, I'm still like this in many ways, but growing up you realize who you can open up to. Something that I think everyone needs to learn, hard way or not, is that not everyone is going to be in your corner cheering you on, but once you do find the few that are- be that chatty Kathy.
Move your body every day, somehow, in some way.
Growing up a dancer, I really never had the choice to not move my body. It wasn't until I got to college that I realized how much of a blessing this was. Moving my body is something that I do to truly appreciate myself, and what I am capable of. Once I started to appreciate myself for me, I found that life was a whole lot better.
It is okay to be vulnerable.
If anyone truly knows me, they know I am as closed of a book that one could be. If you could put locks on books, I would have one. I used to think this was one of my greatest strengths- never showing a weak side, so everyone always thought I was happy and strong. Don't get me wrong, being happy and strong is important, but showing that side 24/7 became exhausting. If I could tell my 16-year-old self one thing it would be that it is okay to tell someone that you're not okay.
But also know when to be strong.
With this vulnerability however, learning how to handle it, is equally as important.
Your weaknesses are someone else's strengths; appreciate that.
We all can't be good at everything, and that's life. I was the girl that tried every sport in the book. If you want to talk about trial and error, I'm your girl. There is beauty in that, though, because we all do eventually find our strengths and that is a win in itself.
You cannot pour from an empty cup.
As much as I love helping people, I have learned that I need to help myself before I can help anyone else. I always used to think this was selfish, but as I got older, I realized that I can only truly pour goodness into others' lives, if I pour goodness into myself first.
God is the best, best friend that anyone can have.
I have always been someone of faith. I grew up in the church, had a relationship with God, but never really dove any deeper. My relationship with God was always very personal, which it should be, but when it came to open up to others about my faith, I never did. This was the missing piece of the puzzle that I never knew I needed. I not only found out more about myself, but I found out more about others around me, and it made life so much sweeter.
Reading books are cool.
I used to not like reading. At all. I am a very visual person, so when it comes to just a white sheet of paper with endless lines of words, I get bored. What I didn't know growing up, is that I was eventually going to fall in love with reading books, but it had to be the right kind. I like to think of life like this too- we might not find joy in certain aspects, but that doesn't mean it's all bad.
Drink the tea, but don't spill it.
I am a tea girl. Any time of day, hot or cold. The thing with tea, though, is it can be literal, or figurative. My best advice, originally given to me by my momma, "Tea stains, so be careful where you spill."
Know when to ask for help.
Remember when I said we can't be good at everything? Well, we also can't DO everything, either. I know there is a great sense of accomplishment when we can say that we did it all ourselves, but it is okay to ask for help, just as much as we give it.
Don't be afraid to be a leader- even if that means having to do it alone.
Being a leader can be hard, because it also means that we have to be the bigger person. With this sometimes means we have to go in alone- woah, scary. The reality is, though, when you are brave enough to step up as a leader, everyone that follows will be with you every step, making that sense of being alone not as bad.
Know that what you put in, is what you're going to get out.
Plain and simple, you guys. We have to put in the right kind of effort, to get the right kind of results.
Seasons of waiting are beautiful.
Just because we are waiting, doesn't mean that time is wasted. There is beauty in knowing that something beautiful WILL in fact happen, we just have to be patient. (Something I'm working on every day.)
Wake up an extra hour earlier.
I think this is so dang important that I wrote a whole article about it! (You should check it out- https://www.theodysseyonline.com/why-my-mornings-became-the-most-important-part-of-my-day- )
Not one person has the same story.
DARE TO BE FREAKING DIFFERENT, PEOPLE !! We are all meant to have different stories, and that is so so beautiful, I don't think I can say it loud enough. Embrace that we all are on different paths, all while navigating this crazy life together.
You are a direct reflection of the five most important things in your life.
You are who you surround yourself with. You are what you watch on TV. You are who you follow on Instagram. You are what you put into your body. Make sure that these are all good things.
Sometimes just waking up that day is the greatest blessing.
If you are still reading this long list of things- I commend you, I got a liiiiitle carried away lol. But I will end with this- give yourself Grace in knowing that not every single day is going to be a grand slam. It's the little wins that add up to one big win at the end of the day.