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21 Things I've Learned in 21 Years

Since my birthday was just last week, I thought it would only be appropriate to share some profound lessons I've learned in my 21 years of life.

I'll keep the descriptions quite short since 21 is a bit of a large number, but these lessons are in no particular order.

  1. Distraction leads to destruction. - Self-explanatory really, but I had to learn this the hard way. Any distraction from a desired goal always stimulates destruction and distances you from achieving your goals.

  2. Rest is crucial. - I didn't understand this until I got a little older and realized that lack of rest leads to extreme burn out. Burn out hindered me from accomplishing so many things I wanted to do. So with that being said, you NEED rest.

  3. Healing isn't linear. - Healing from past pain and trauma is not a linear process. There are many moments where the healing process is at its high and some where it's at its low. You just have to prepare yourself for good days and bad days.

  4. Dependence on God opens doors. - There's something about full dependence on God that miraculously opens doors and allows God to do things we think are impossible. In those moments of dependency is where God truly performs His miracles and reveals that all along He is truly all that we need.

  5. Patience is truly a virtue. - Patience is something I strive to completely have. It is genuinely one of the best qualities someone could have.

  6. Time is too precious to waste. - It seems as if time moves way too quickly now. It never feels like there are enough hours in a day to complete everything on your to-do list. There time is something to be held in high regards because once the moment passes, it's gone forever.

  7. Punctuality is respectful. - I genuinely do not appreciate my time being wasted, and though I have my days where I am not as punctual, I hate having people wait for me as well. It is an act of respect and shows that you value and honor someone when you show up on time.

  8. Being impactful is not only through words. - Being impactful with your words is only half the job. Making an impact on someone or something requires action and attention. If you're just good at showing what you can do or say, but you can't help others when they need help or contribute some of your time, you are certainly not impactful.

  9. Faith without works is dead. - I used to be one of those people who would pray before a test, but not study and to say the least, I should not have expected too much because I failed on my part to put in more effort and work. Faith is one part of the formula, but again, sometimes action is also required.

  10. Everything truly happens for a reason. - Many moments of my life I would question why things would happen to me, but as I reflect and see where I am in life now and how much my life has changed for the better, I realize that everything that happens has to happen for a reason. Each moment is really just a step closer to where God wants us to be.

  11. Not everyone is meant to stay in your life forever. - As an extrovert, I have and had many friends. I learned that some people are really only meant to be in your life for a season, whereas others are meant to stay forever. Either way, each person we encounter teaches us a lesson, and for that I am grateful.

  12. Surrounding yourself with good people is important. - The people you choose to surround yourself with are important to character development and mental health. I'm thankful and fortunate to have such loving friends and family around me because without their help through tough times, I would not be the same person I am today. It's so important to feel supported and celebrated by the people around you when you grow and succeed. Anything other than that is just pure jealousy.

  13. Comparison is never the answer. - Comparing ourselves to one another is toxic behavior and often actually hinders us from improving because we are so fixated on being better than that one person.

  14. Honesty and authenticity are so vital. - You're definitely more reliable, likable, and trustworthy when you're honest and authentic with everything you do. Most people don't prefer to associate themselves with fake people, which leads to my next point.

  15. Your true character will always be revealed. - Some people are extremely likable in the first few years that you know them until you really discover that they are definitely not who they portrayed themselves to be. Your true motives, intentions. and characteristics will eventually be revealed into the light when you are put into certain situations or given more responsibilities. My point with this one is that it's extremely important to be honest with yourself and others, and who you portray yourself to be.

  16. Self-reflection is necessary for growth. - You can never blossom into a better person if you don't reflect on yourself first. If many people are saying the same thing about you, believe them. It's easy to be offended, feel attacked, and even be in denial when people are saying things about you. Instead of feeling that way, take the words they say and reflect on them. Work on your character and don't prove them wrong. Prove that you ARE CAPABLE of growth.

  17. Communication can make or break relationships. - Communicating your feelings and thoughts are essential to having healthy relationships with your parents, friends, significant others, etc. If you never communicate what you want, you'll always feel silenced when in reality, you just didn't speak up. Communicating your feelings, desires, and needs shows that you respect yourself as a person, and really listening to someone else communicate the same things towards you shows your respect to them. Ruining relationships over miscommunication or misunderstandings would be such a shame.

  18. Set your priorities straight. - I have a tendency to say yes to helping people out, doing favors for others, or hanging out with them too easily. It was really these past few years in college where I learned that some things don't need my time and attention as much as other things do.

  19. Being regretful is a waste of time. - As an overthinker, I tend to reminisce on the past and wish I had done things differently or started things sooner, etc., but I realized that really hinders me from moving forward. I can't change the past, but I can change the future. The past few years taught me that we should not spend too much time thinking of what we could've been or done, but instead take those regrets and turn them into stepping stones to a prosperous future.

  20. No matter what you do, someone will always have something to say about it. - This is one thing that shaped me to be who I am today. I realized that no matter what you do, even if it's your very best, someone somewhere will make a negative comment about it. If you're trying to gain the approval of others all the time, you are simply wasting time once again. Not everyone will like your work, not everyone will appreciate your efforts, not everyone will find favor in you. If what you're doing pleases God and your intentions are in the right place, then all these words are just wind.

  21. You're never too young. - You are never too young to have feelings and emotions, you are never too young to feel stressed out and depressed. No matter your age, your feelings and emotions should be heard and valued. On a lighter note, you are also never too young to start pursuing your career. You're never too young to chase after your dreams. You're never to young to be used by God. You are never too young to achieve and accomplish big things.

To wrap everything up, I know a lot of these lessons are a lot easier said than done and honestly everything I've listed here are still things I'm working on and reminding myself of. Throughout our lives, we'll have some chastening experiences, but those chastening experiences always stimulate growth, and if there's one thing that you should take away from this blog post is that every year is an opportunity for learning and growing.

🤍, Carol


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