21 Things I Learned at 21
Another year, another number. Just like that, I'm 22.
Being twenty-one was so much fun, and no, not just because of the alcohol. I learned a lot about myself this past year, things I didn't know about myself before and that I'm still unveiling today. To celebrate me turning a year older, I thought I would share twenty one things I found to be important throughout the last 7665 (or so) days of my life and share them with you.
You are what and who you're with.
This was something that my parents reminded me of when I was growing up, mostly because they didn't want me hanging out with the wrong group of people. You are what and who you surround yourself with. This also goes hand in hand with the way you think. I know this sounds like a cliche but if you constantly think about positive things, positive things are more likely to happen. If you surround yourself around good people, good things are bound to happen.
To trust your instinct, always always.
To rediscover being okay with change.
To be vulnerable with my body and okay with it.
I didn't know it before but I was so scared of being vulnerable. It's not a nice feeling but it's a normal feeling and this past year taught me to be okay with the moments that I'm vulnerable with my body. Loving my body is hard. During the times that I did, I didn't allow myself to do feel and it was damaging. I'm not always going to love my body. It's a work in progress for me and I know that now. And just like I learned to be vulnerable, I also learned to embrace the times that I am absolutely in love with myself and my body.
To let things matter if they matter.
I change moods very quickly. I can be over the moon one minute and shy the next, for no reason. That's just who I am. There were times that I would change from one mood to the next and question why because I didn't want to accept the next feeling. But I've learned that letting myself feel is okay and needed, in fact. When things or feelings mattered, I let them matter. It's one of the most important things I've learned. Don't shove those feelings under the bed. Clasp onto them and let them matter because they do. If you want to feel sad, it's okay to feel sad. Embrace it. If you want to be happy, allow yourself that happiness. Embrace it. Embrace it all because the feeling being there is enough and you should give it the attention.
To be passionate.
To love what you love and do it unconditionally and without fear.
To be alone.
I thought I was good at being alone but I found out, when being alone, that I wasn't. I discovered this part of me when I arrived in London to study for a semester. I wasn't alone necessarily because I was in program with other people who were also 'alone' but I was alone because I was away from the people I loved the most and that was different for me. It was hard to adjust and it was frustrating. I wanted to be okay with being by myself but I also wanted nothing more than to be home. I've been in London now for about two months and I'm still learning to be alone but I've found comfort in being by myself. I don't feel anxious anymore. I created a new home here and I like it.
It's okay to be alone even if it feels like it will never be okay. I spent my first weeks in bed with Netflix in the background to help me fall asleep so I could numb the feeling of being alone. I don't do that anymore because like most things in life, it was temporary.
Just like the last, my first time traveling happened while in London. Traveling to London was a huge step in my life. I now realize that it opened up doors to many feelings and experiences that were shut before arriving. I didn't only just come to study in London for the traveling. It was something that, to be quite honest, never crossed my mind. I knew that aside from London, I would want to travel to Ireland, and once I did, that would be it but wanderlust kicked in and I wanted to discover more places. In the past month I've traveled to Italy, Denmark, Germany, and Spain. Traveling is so much fun. Sure, now that I have there are a lot of things that I would do differently but the experience all together has been magical and I want more. I want more of different cultures, people, foods, etc. I need it.
To be angry.
To be selfish.
I used to think that you could only be selfish or selfless; that there was no in-between but I've learned that you can definitely be both because I am. It's okay to worry about others before yourself but not all the time. It's important that you take care of yourself, even if it means being selfish. Be selfish with yourself and your needs and don't feel bad for doing so. It's like learning to say no when you want to say no but are pressured to say yes. Fuck that. Say no and mean it and be okay with it.
That it's okay to let yourself go sometimes.
To not feel bad about letting friendships go or grow.
About my mental health and its importance.
I've learned throughout the years that mental health importance is not really a thing in Mexican families. This is not to say that it is this way for all Mexican families but of my family and close family friends, mental health is disregarded. Luckily, most of the younger generation is modernized in a way that we have become aware, most recently, with the importance of our own mental health and what it takes to keep us sane. Look after yourself and the way that certain things make you feel. If something doesn't feel right, delve into it and figure out what you need to nurture that feeling. Sometimes I'm tired and I know I need to sleep. Sometimes certain things make me feel anxious and I know I need to breath. Find close friends to talk to about your worries and if needed, seek professional help. I've learned that it's important.
Sleep. It's good for you. You'll love it.
To choose happiness, always.
I love One Direction. I always have. I'm also 22 now and loving a band like One Direction at this age is surprising to some people but I don't care because I love it. I could care but that would make me unhappy and I'd rather be happy. It's that simple. Choose happiness, always. Choose happiness in your career and your hobbies and in things that you do.
To fake it till you make it.
That it is okay to erase toxic relationships from your life.
I can't believe that I'm writing this because to be honest, I was so bad at it but as I grew older, I saw the importance. Of course it is great to treat your self time after time but it is also great to save and spend wisely because there might come a time when you really want something but you won't be able to get it because you spent all your money on One Direction tickets (jk).
To not worry.
To let yourself love.
Here's to 22. Cheers!