As each day passes we grow. As life throws us curve balls those of us who are smart retain that information in order to use it the next time we need it even if it is just to pass it along to someone else going through that same situations.
As I reflect back on my 20’s though I realize that life threw me curve balls and lessons that so many people don’t learn until they are in their 40’s, and 50’s. Am I glad those things happened it depends but, today as I hit the age that I have feared for literally the last 5 years it 1) doesn’t seem so bad, and 2) gives me the perfect excuse to be me today on a day that I actually have off.
That’s why I came up with these 80 Lessons that I learned in my 20’s to share with all of you.
1) If you are traveling to the same place repeatedly, you might as well move there.
2) House shopping is fun but, knowledge about the area, school district, crimes, and population statistics are important decision makers.
3) You will know you have found the right house when as you walk around it looks like, and feels like home.
4) When you own a house you will spend most of your off time cleaning your house (especially when you have pets).
5) It’s ok to be single and not looking.
6) When dating look for your best friend. Sex is great, Attraction is great but, choose to only date people that you love to share life as a whole with.
7) The right church will grow you, shape you, and mold you, it will allow and enable you to use your talents, and give you the freedom to be who it is that you really are. Christ didn’t judge, in-fact the bible clearly states that we only have 1 judge in this life, and that is God.
8) Making choices only for the sake of appeasing others is never the right choice. All you are doing is hurting yourself, others if they are involved, and building resentment for those you are trying to appease all at the same time.
9) You will never find a best friend in anyone else like you have with your mom. That bond is natural and can not be replaced or, reproduced.
10) Everyone makes mistakes – wise people admit them, and learn from them.
11) Everyone fails at something – take the opportunity that you have and start fresh refusing to give up until you succeed.
12) Childhood best friends of the opposite sex grow up, get married, and disconnect, especially when there is a jealous, possessive spouse who feels threatened by you.
13) Diapers are really no big deal.
14) Take the opportunity to hold a lot of babies, it is great practice, and if you are a man here is a tip girls love it when they see a guy with a baby.
15) Take time to work with, volunteer with and or, babysit kids. Again, it is great practice, and something that brings so much satisfaction if you have the right intentions behind doing it.
16) Take time to set realistic goals for yourself, and do something to chase after those goals each day.
17) The first time you fall in love will change you forever.
18) Getting your heart broken gives you a completely different perspective on the opposite sex, and changes you for a very long time. Don’t rush into another relationship just to get over the pain…it will become a regret eventually.
19) Never use anyone, all it does is tarnish your character, integrity, and make people question your values.
20) Money is needed to survive and pay bills but, it isn’t everything.
21) You are better off being with someone you love in truth who is broke than rich and lied to, cheated on, beaten etc etc etc
22) When faced with an impossible situation, always choose the moral path.
23) Romeo and Juliet killed themselves because they couldn’t stand to be a part. They had no faith, therefore in the end everyone lost. Romeo and Juliet isn’t the love story to want to live out but, if you find yourself in that situation, hope, pray, and have faith that the answer might be no right now but, 2 people that want to be together can win against the odds. History is full of stories like that just read.
24) Alcohol poisoning is not fun. Eat before you drink, and do not drink to much.
25) Fashion once you discover your style will become a part of you. Be yourself, and enjoy the process of expressing yourself (appropriately).
26) School staff with a sense of humor, and who bust chops with the students are their favorites. Be their friend, not their superior in behavior. They will respect you a lot more that way.
27) Waiting is hard but the right things are worth waiting for.
28) Love is patient, kind, not jealous, not self seeking, and not rude or, harmful to the other person.
29) Mommy’s boys will probably always be just that. If they can not separate in order to join as one then they aren’t worth the fight to be with.
30) Perception isn’t always reality.
31) Take time out for yourself.
32) Burn out can and will happen – Step back, re-evaluate, and re-prioritize before or when it does.
33) Your true friends are only counted on one hand. Be careful of who you trust.
34) The internet is a stalking tool. Blogs, facebook, twitter, instagram…they can all be used to check up on you.
35) When one door closes another one usually opens, sometimes more than one. Take the door in this case that will lead you to joy.
36) One night stands can be what you want in that moment but, dont make a habit out of them, and never do something you know you will regret later on.
37) It is better to be single than with the wrong person.
38) Food is the way to a man’s heart as is a clean house that smells good.
39) Choose your girlfriends over your boyfriend. If he tells you to make a choice or begins sabotaging your girlfriend relationships this is usually the first thing an emotional abuser will do. Be careful.
40) Discretion in relationships is not stupid, it is wise.
41) Dating someone who is commited to someone else speaks as much if not more of your values than his. Get some self respect and respect for the hearts of others. If they are cheating with you they will eventually cheat on you. Mark my words.
42) Open relationships and poly lifestyles – 1 will never be enough, therefore, if one or both of you want others, you better make sure that you can handle it on the inside because if you can’t you will end up hurt. (Trust me on that 11 years of experience with this one)
43) Sometimes love really isn’t enough. Sometimes we may love someone so much that leaving feels like it will nearly kill us but, if we aren’t given a reason to stay then packing the car up and driving 1600 miles may be the only option. Fight and make an effort for what you want or step aside so happiness will eventually find you both.
44) 1 night stands can eventually lead to someone’s death. Is it really worth it in the end? Given what Randy went through I guarantee he would finally agree with me if he were still here and say no they aren’t worth it. A simple viral or bacterial infection led to heart failure because his body was to weak to keep fighting it.
45) The loss of your mother is the most painful loss you will ever face.
46) The loss of your best friend, the person that knows you better than anyone, who became like a father figure, a lover, a boss, and more, someone you loved to want to cuddle up with, watch movies with, spend time doing nothing with, and share literally everything with is a very close 2nd that perfectly matches the 1st.
47) No matter how much you want to deny it we all need companionship.
48) Loneliness can lead to depression, and Recklace behavior (alcohol, drugs, and sex) I’ve never done drugs ever but, the other two in a way I have at one point or another be careful to not let yourself get to that point.
49) Having second moms around you can be the most beneficial thing in the world at times.
50) At some point you realize you need to stop being so nervous about sex no matter what religious views you hold.
51) At some point you begin realizing that sex before marriage isn’t that big of a deal as long as you engage wisely.
52) The world doesn’t need to see your relationship status. Please break in this wedding ceremony while we update our facebook relationship status to married – how stupid. All of the people that care about you are in attendance at your wedding. It can wait.
53) Good music is key to getting people to dance at your wedding.
54) Pinterest wedding boards are of Satan. Is marriage really worth spending 40k on? Feel free to check mine later because it’s what I plan on spending my day doing but I would never spend 20k on a wedding let alone 40k. The most expensive item at my wedding will be my dress.
55) When I get married I will be teaching others how guest lists should be managed for weddings. I am not elaborating on this subject because it is just one of those things where you can’t change the choices of others but you can make it so that you dont create the same effects in people that others have in the past.
56) Wedding dresses can be changed. If you find a dress that you love but, it is missing something that you have always wanted (a train, sleeves, straps, a middle piece to hide cleavage) those things can all be added.
57) Just because things didn’t work out with one guy doesn’t mean there isnt a future with someone else. Don’t sabotage yourself by setting up every man that comes along for failure.
58) Do not settle for less than what you, want, and deserve. There are still chivalrous gentleman out there. They are not easy to come by but they do still exist.
59) Sometimes in order to get what you want out of a man you need to show him from the beginning how you want and expect to be treated.
60) Giving it up on a first date may be becoming the normal but, a girl with values won’t do it because she values herself. If she is giving it up to you how many other guys has she done it with?
61) Men who are looking for longer term futures dont want a girl who gives it up easily. Wait, be patient, let him chase you. You will bring out the man in him when this happens.
62) 50 shades of gray changed the way most young adults view relationships and sexuality. It is disgusting, and very unfortunate in my opinion.
63) Vampires sparkle, are chivalrous, enjoy rough sex, and can make gorgeous babies (Thank God) LOL you all know I had to put something in there about it otherwise, it wouldnt be me. (Hey, it is my birthday, give me a break.)
64) If designers would make a replica dress that burns to black like Katniss’s my life would be complete.
65) Humility, values, and character win every single time there is a question.
66) There is nothing wrong with being submissive to the opposite sex as long as you dont allow yourself to be taken advantage of, manipulated, and hurt. It is actually very biblical, and becoming more and more rare.
67) You will never succeed in your job unless you can honestly say you love what you do.
68) Happiness, and joy come from within.
69) Dinner parties never grow out of style.
70) Girls nights are more valuable than you realize. There is something about pizza, wings, wine, movies or season viewing parties that bring out the best in you.
71) It is ok to dream. Anyone who tells you otherwise lost their inner child a long time ago, and they need to do some reflecting.
72) Wolves in sheep’s clothing really do exist. And dont be afraid to expose them for who they really are. In fact you should expose them.
73) The things that really interest you will never leave your heart or spirit.
74) People can rob you of things that you love but, they can never take the passion away from you.
75) The church can create more hurt inside of you than any non Christian could.
76) Narcissism is real, and can cause real damage. Be careful of who you let into your life.
77) Bonds can be formed with others that do not break or separate even in death.
78) The dead do have ways of communicating with us dont ask me how this happens but, it does, paranormal experiences are very real. Do not think for a second that they are not.
79) There is hope for an agnostic or atheist to find, and accept Christ in to their lives. Never give up on praying for people even when you feel like it is hopeless.
80) Never underestimate time. We dont know when God will take us or, someone we love. My last words to Randy were I love you ____, and the last words I heard from him in return were I love you too (insert his g rated nickname for me here) he had already called me the r rated names in that conversation but made sure I knew he was just saying I love you in his own way. It’s the last memory that I have of him. And one in which I will never forget or regret.
Today more than any other day I miss him. I wonder what he would have sent me, I wonder what kind of card he would have picked out, and how many times he would have said oh you are 22 this year right. This year, I wouldnt have argued, this year, I would have probably agreed, laughed and said yes, yes, I am 22 this year happily and thanked him for making me laugh.
30 isnt so bad but, turning 30 the way that I am is making me realize that in every possible way I really am starting over in every possible way except when it comes to family.
It’s an interesting place to find yourself but, when you realize that you have grown from all of the life experiences that you have faced many of which I didn’t even include you find yourself with an amount of wisdom that you only gain from getting older, and that makes it a little easier to grasp.
What are some life lessons that you learned in your twenties? What advice would you give someone who is just entering their 30’s? What changes if anything other than the number?
On the inside I am truly laughing.
Liz just called me to ask me if I would like to switch positions for the day to an all day assignment at the high school and before she could tell me what it was I said “Of course” and now that I know what it is both, I and everyone I went to high school with are laughing.
I’m about to go teach gym.
For those that do not know me I really am just like Bella Swan excluding dance, cheerleading, swimming, volleyball, crunches, stretching, walking, and elyptical machines.
I had a permanant excuse out of gym class due to my ankles the entire 4 years of high school but, honestly the excuse was only there because I was so uncoordinated, and uncapable that I would have flunked it had I let them keep me in it. Dance became my phys ed credits, and I would only go in to class when it was weight room / machine room days, swimming, volleyball, or for girls cheerleading days, and sometimes tennis. In other words on days when it was something I could do, and wouldnt be made fun of during.
Hilarious isnt it? I think so. So today it’s yoga pants, a pair of sneakers that were actually my senior year cheerleading sneakers, and I dont know what yet for a shirt. The next few minutes will tell.
Let’s see how this day goes, and thanks mom for the laugh again today because I have a feeling that her sense of humor is up to this one today.
“Diligence pays off.” I just quoted myself with this one because, it really is true.
When I lived in Georgia I faced so much opposition not just personally but, professionally as well, and that opposition is what led me to the choice to move back to my home town.
This transition has not been easy for me. Yes, there has been a lot of time spent with family. Yes, I have finally gotten to the point where I can confidently say for the first time ever that I do not want anything to do with Mr C but, at the end of the day, it is about so much more than that…
Over the last week I have been working at a local school that is infiltrated with special needs children, and they have needed extra help, and after speaking with my boss today who happens to be one of my old high school social studies teachers, he clued me in on the fact that he has gotten many phone calls about me telling him how great I am with the kids, and how great of a job that I am doing which does a dual job in proving to him that he can trust me to do what it is that he needs me to do in other areas, and the words that came out of his mouth brought tears to my eyes, and heart after I said the words, “Jason, I owe you more than I could ever repay you, thank you so much for everything you have done.” His words to me were “_____, you don’t owe me, or anyone else for becoming the woman that you have become over the last 12 years that you have been out of my classroom but, even 12 years ago I knew you would become successful, trustworthy, full of character, and integrity because, you had those character traits even back then, and everyone that knew you, knew you were different because, you were confident in who you were and are even back then (10th grade) and only have yourself to thank for who you have turned into today.”
Is he right? The more I think about it he is. Because I did fight to get here, I did sacrifice to get here, and I never gave up. Jamie was right, Jason was right, Chris is right, Randy was right, Jim is right, Amanda is right, Jerah is right, and even Mr. C was right because, my resilience, and diligence is very much a part of who it is that I am, and a huge character strength that I have ignored over the years.
Right after we got off the phone he graduated me from special ed straight to the high school, and tomorrow morning I will spend my day working with kids that are the same age as I was when my boss walked in to my life as a teacher. I want to be able to leave the impact on my students irregardless of the length of time that I am there that, that man left on me, and that is one of the biggest reasons why I said yes to doing this for him to begin with while I wait on the other position that he will have available to free up.
No matter what happens my old teacher remains my new boss but, now maybe more than ever before I have so much more respect for him than I have had for anyone in a very long time, and irregardless of what he thinks, believes or tries to drive through my very stubborn, determined, and diligent mind I truly am so grateful to him for believing enough in me to pull strings, and open doors that otherwise never would have opened without him being there, and doing what he is doing.
I owe him, and I know it but, again like I told him earlier, it’s a debt that I could never in my lifetime repay.
Have you ever experienced a life changing event that was the cause of nothing other than strings being pulled, and doors being opened for you by someone else? How did you show your gratitude and appreciation?
This evening I find myself at my second job. However, there is this customer that I have been getting to know since Sunday who just told me about the experience that he had earlier this afternoon with the Manager of the hotel that I work for, and no it wasn’t a pleasant one.
He ended the conversation with “_____, I mean it when I say, you are the best thing about this place.” and although I definitely fought the urge to let those words affect me I couldn’t help it, smiled, and said “Awww, well thank you.”
His eyes draw me in, they captivate me but, other than expecting me to do my job, he has another alterior motive and that is to get to know me because it seems as though he is as interested in me as I am interested in him but aside from us getting to know one another is he right? I am beginning to wonder. I like my employers but, I understand why customers have problems with them. They are not hospitable to customers, they are not helpful, they don’t call cabs, look up attractions or directions to potential places like I just broke from typing this post out to do for a customer who stopped in here hours ago for the night. The fact is that I enjoy what I do, I enjoy serving, and assisting other people, and look at it as a way of going above, and beyond to bring these customers back but, I am a dime a dozen to find because, no one else does this, and many of the stay over customers that have spoken with me have stated that.
Finding somewhere, where my personality can shine has not been easy. I enjoy what I do, and enjoy serving others but, I am limited in what I can do for people when it’s my own employers that are limiting me because they don’t understand how to continuously bring back customers.
Am I lying right now, no. I could name off a huge list of things that my employers could do to wow customers and make them want to keep coming back but, I’ve been told by so many staff members that no matter what I tell these people it will make absolutely no difference, no matter how many tips that I give them nothing will change, and therefore, I’m just going to keep my mouth shut so I don’t put my foot in my mouth and regret it later.
I love what I do but, what I am learning is that loving what you do, and being proud of what you do, and where you work are two totally different things when the place of your job has a horrible local reputation.
I’m glad I work more than one job, at least I can be proud of what I’m doing in that one, where at this one, I’m limited, and all to often wish that there was more that I could do or say to make my guests feel more welcomed, and served but, given what I know is that an unrealistic hope for the future. Maybe he and I are both right, and it is.