6 THINGS I LEARNED AT 26
Continue to share your strengths, even when they feel like weaknesses.
When we share with the world how we really are feeling or something new they don’t know about ourselves, the common response we get is
For me, that tends to be my Type 1 Diabetes. I don’t like to voluntarily share that information and this year I started to break free. At first, it triggered a nerve of anxiety. I often worry that sharing this about myself needs a longer explanation rather than just a casual mention. I acceped that it really doesn’t matter how people choose to define you when you choose to share something. What matters is that you know the definition and what it means to you.
Work on your goals and know when to adjust them.
This year, I launched my freelancing services and took on a couple of projects. I found that there were things I loved and things that stressed me out. I learned to balance my priorities and boundaries. I also learned that freelancing doesn’t mean you have to do everything on your own. It’s okay to reach out to a friend and ask for help. You have to say yes to an opportunity before figuring out your boundaries. That’s how you learn them and find what works best for you.
But a list of goals is just a list. You have to start working on them to see if it’s really what you want. And just because you’re good at something, doesn’t mean you have to do it. If it’s not bringing you joy, it’s okay to admit that goal isn’t something you want or need. It’s not a failure, it’s growth.
The finish line might change, learn to welcome the new perspective.
This year I finally finished my first draft of my novel. At the time I thought that was the whole picture. After going back and reading it, making some notes and putting pieces together, I realized I had only written part of it. There were three other perspectives I wanted to add in.
After all that hard work, thinking I had finished a goal and scratched something off the list, I realized it was just one thing off an even longer list. And instead of getting discouraged, I welcomed the challenge and got excited about the new finish line that was ahead.
Try different routines and find the things that work for you.
I’ve tried so hard to create the morning routine I envision for myself. It’s still a work in progress for sure, but there are things I tried this year that really stuck with me. The number one thing I’ve started doing that has changed my life for good are my Morning Pages.
Every day when I get up, I write a conscious stream of thoughts. This can be anything from worries and grocery lists, conversations with God and lists of affirmations. It really depends on the day. But I’ve learned that if I don’t do these every morning, I have a bad day. Believe me, I’ve done the experiment. My sister can tell when I don’t do my morning pages.
Remember your parents are human beings too.
I took my mom to Spain this year and quickly realized that traveling with your parents as an adult is completely different than traveling alone or with friends. The experience reminded me that our parents are human beings. They once had a life of their own and decided to make some sacrifices along the way to make you the center of their life.
Think about that for a second. I know that’s not the case for everyone and I consider myself both lucky and blessed that I had that growing up. I’m not saying it was perfect, but I’m grateful. I’m still learning to navigate the adult relationship with my parents, but this year helped remind me that they are more than just mom and dad, they’re people.
Moving out on your own is a solo trip adventure.
I have had a roommate my entire life up until a few months ago. The experience has already taught me a lot about myself and what kind of life I want to live. But really, living alone is a solo trip in itself. You learn very quickly that being alone has so much value in your life. There is no one there to judge if you choose to create, do yoga in the living room, or even walk around in your underwear. You are free to be who you want to be.
I will admit that FOMO sometimes gets the best of me in this whole living alone solo trip adventure, but over the years I’ve also learned what I really like doing doesn’t always look like what’s on my Instagram feed. In those moments, I recommend taking a social media break or cleaning your feed. Reach out to a friend and plan a get-together. Remember that living alone doesn’t mean that you are alone.