22 Things I Learned At 22

I’ve made it a bit of a personal tradition to post about the things I’ve learned in the past year on or around my birthday. It’s definitely not an exhaustive list, and I’m sure I’ll leave out some good ones, but these are the ones that immediately come to mind. I’m a day late this year, but my life has been a bit hectic lately (blog post to follow about that), so I’m giving myself a pass. As I look back on my 22nd year of life, I can say it was one of the hardest ones yet. This year was, unfortunately, filled with a lot of mental health problems and heartache. But, we are now in the Twin Cities – and I think that feeling more at home will definitely help with the mental health aspect of things. I am definitely thankful for the things I learned and the people I met/got to know better this past year. It was a growing and learning experience, for sure.  I am so excited to see where this 23rd year takes me as I adventure in my favorite place with my favorite person (shout out to Zeke for being here every step of the way. Love you, babe).

So, without further adieu, here are 22 things I learned at 22:

  1. The first year of marriage is not as difficult as everyone says it is.
  2. Working in retail sucks.
  3. Moving cross-country is a lot more stressful than you’d think.
  4. “Home” is still a very complicated word for me, but I’m so, so glad to be back in the Twin Cities.
  5. Living in a hotel is equally as wonderful and terrible as it sounds.
  6. Hanging out with your old friend(s) from high school just might bring you a new best friend, so be open to the idea.
  7. It’s good to make new traditions with your new little family. Make your husband chicken for Thanksgiving if that’s what it takes.
  8. Your version of Christianity might not look like someone else’s. That’s OK.
  9. It really is OK to form a new belief system as you grow older, and as hard as it can be to defend those beliefs, its worth standing up for what you think is right.
  10. It’s important to forgive yourself.
  11. Go to counseling. Seriously.
  12. Yoga is wonderful.
  13. Recovery looks different for everyone. Be patient. Don’t let anyone look down on your recovery process, and don’t look down on anyone else’s.
  14. Speak kind words often and freely. Don’t be too critical.
  15. Say “please” and “thank you.” You’d be surprised at how many people don’t.
  16. It’s possible to still get heart broken after you’re married. Heartbreak comes in many forms – not just romantically.
  17. It’s OK to take a break.
  18. Create things. In whatever way that looks for you. It’s important.
  19. Being an adult is hard, but you most definitely don’t have to change yourself to fit this perceived “adult” mold. Be responsible, but don’t forget to have fun. Wrestling matches at 2AM are completely acceptable.
  20. Even if your past abusive relationship ended years ago, you can still feel the effects of it. That’s OK. Be patient and let yourself heal. Coming to terms with what happened to you is so, so difficult, but it is so, so worth it. It may still take a few more years to completely heal. Don’t rush yourself.
  21. Eat healthy. Drink water. Exercise. Sleep. Take care of yourself – physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually.
  22. Fall in love. Often and with many things. Especially yourself.