Of all the horrible things that can happen in one lifetime, the scariest for me is regret. I will consider it a personal success if I die an old lady, confident about most of the life decisions I made. Not everyone is so lucky to experience such a smooth transition into kicking the bucket but there is a way to reverse any damage you may have caused. Just learn from me and my ridiculously stupid mistakes in a post I’d like to call : What I wish I would’ve known at 20.
Ok so I am only 25 at the moment, in case you were wondering, but that doesn’t mean life hasn’t thrown a few curve balls at me. I have the battle wounds to prove it. Lets take a look back at my misfortunes due to me being a reckless 20 something failure :
Loyalty (family, friends & relationships) – How come nobody tells you that people ain’t shit? Excuse me, where are my manners? Correction, how come no one tells you people aren’t shit? There we go. Its painfully sad but true. Family is just a group of people comprised by blood, DNA, and genes. Nothing more or less. Loyalty is what separates family from relatives and there is a huge difference. I really thought at 20, just because I’m related to this person, they’ll always have my back. I had a very rude awakening with a very close “relative” of mine and never fully recovered from it.
Friends? Ha! Where do I begin? Maybe we can start with the fact that if you can’t even trust family, can you really trust strangers? Mmm, nope. Friends are just people as well, with their own agendas and motives that you’ll probably never truly know. The best thing about fake friends is they are way easier to cut off than a shifty relative. Just quit answering their calls, you don’t really have to worry about seeing them at thanksgiving unless they start dating someone in your family. Now that’s just the frenemy from hell.
At 20 I definitely thought I had this whole relationship thing figured out. Stay cute, cook and clean, pick your battles, have sex frequently and never interrupt a Sunday football game. Unfortunately none of that matters. You can be the best boyfriend, girlfriend, or spouse in the world but it also comes down to how good of a person your partner is. I exhausted myself for years trying to be the perfect girlfriend and none of it mattered. It’s nice not having to fake a smile through a whole game of football and not having to beat my face to perfection everyday anymore. Now its all about sweatpants, takeout, and the peaceful reality of knowing that no one wields the remote control except I (that sounded single and lonely as fuck). Now I’ve joined the sorry statistic of people wandering life alone, paranoid, afraid and full of trust issues thanks to these life lessons.
Future – I wasn’t raised making my own decisions nor was I allowed to have a problem with the decisions made for me. I never really thought for myself, what I wanted to do in life or with my future. So when my parents told me where to go to college and what to study; I applied, got accepted and studied a major I absolutely fucking hated. I don’t know how I got through life never asking myself what I wanted out of it but I wasn’t truly living. I really believed adulthood was all about going to college, getting a job, marrying your soulmate and having babies. This was probably the only thing in life I had thought about and knew I absolutely did not want any part of. The mere thought of getting married and having children actually gave me sweaty palms and a slight migraine (even now). My distaste for adulthood probably saved me from making the ultimate mistake because I wasn’t ready then and I’m not ready now.
What I wish I could’ve told my 20 year old self? That you are in complete control of your life. Family, friends, and relationships will come and go and you have to learn how to cope with that. You also need to learn to accept people for the asses that they are and then decide if they’re someone that you should have in your life. Stop killing yourself trying to be the perfect girlfriend, daughter, sister and friend to everyone. If its real, they’re going to love you regardless of your failures and imperfections.
Slow down for a second, stop going with the motions and ask yourself what do you want. If you don’t know, think about it. Take some time to find yourself and allow yourself to heal from the past. After a nice cry, pour yourself a drink. get over it and live fabulously. You’re going to experience some setbacks and that’s good, setbacks teach you how to not give up and how to persevere. Those rough times are going to make you stronger and braver, because living life as a victim is no way to live at all. Fear is ok, love isn’t scary, and not everyone has it out to hurt you. Love yourself, prioritize your goals, and live everyday to the fullest, regardless of who’s in it. Pain is inevitable but suffering is always optional.