I'm nearing my last year in my 20's and I have a plethora of emotions about it. Like every other young adult in the world it has not been easy. Riddled with trials and tribulations, hearty laughs and heavy tears I'm feeling extremely blessed to be sitting exactly where I am. If I could however have talked to my younger self every single year along the way, I would have recited this post. Every year I worried, and every year I still ended up right where I was supposed to be. I guess that's really the point of it all. Being right where you are in this exact moment, and truly living in it. The most consistent advice that I've received from older individuals in my life, is to not let the anxiety of being young hold you down. Like a common cold in some way or another it's affected us all. Whether knocking us on our backs or simply being that annoying itch in the back of our throats, it's been present. So as usual I'm hoping I can turn the lights back on and help you shed some of that unecessary weight. Dear reader, whether you are having a crisis, over your crisis or nearing a crisis....this post is for you. 1. It is okay, not to be okay. We've all been in this place, you're giving life everything you have and in return getting lemon juice squirted into your eye. Sometimes it will get hard, sometimes the anxiety of making your parents proud, your family proud and being able to walk in the life that you've envisioned for yourself will be overwhelming to say the least. Learn to stop. Stop thinking so hard, trying so hard and to live in the exact moment that you're in. It's okay if sometimes you cry about it or throw a fit about it. It's okay if your feelings aren't matching up to your peers at every second of the day. It's okay to make YOURSELF proud. This life is so much bigger than us, so much bigger than feeling like you have to "stay on top" or "keep up" don't forget that your exact path is necessary to the entire rotation. YOU are necessary, exactly where you are. Stop faking happy all the time. Be real with yourself. It's okay not to be okay. 2. Mo' Money Mo' problems Money comes and money goes. Sometimes you'll feel on top of the world and your bills will be paid, all of your membership dues will be on time and you'll be thinking you're doing it right. The very next day it can feel like you've been robbed and you find yourself feeling like a failure orchestrating that 107th text to the 'rents for extra cash. It's the way it goes, the 20Something blues. But as the saying goes, make your money, don't let it make you. At my most financially stable moments I always have one very important trait down pact, discipline. It really is all just a game of numbers. Make your budget, do well at your job, always push to be better and pay your bills FIRST. It's cringeworthy how much easier it is said than done but really it's just a learning game. You're going to have high's and you are going to have low's, it's life. All just a balance between not letting your bank account define you & knowing better, so doing better. Learn your lessons, do better, move on. Focus on your financial goals, make a vision board, write it down, make it simple and plain and then simply do not give up on yourself. 3. Everything flows from the Inside out.
Deal. With. Your. insides. In every season of my life I've encountered someone who has lacked the ability to do this. We all know someone. They are notorious at the blame game, they lie and scheme constantly to save face or to get what they want. They are always lashing out on the people they love, chronically apologetic and are almost always wearing a mask. Whether it be of positivity or of stoicalness you're never sure what you will get. In my teenage years, this was me and I was the queen of the lash out. If this is you or you have been trying to put a finger on it, mask off. Dealing with your insecurities, our past hurts, lessons in being honest, forgiveness and with self love are not just self help book topics. It's time to be an adult. These things are imperative. Everything you do and everything you say flows from the heart and if your heart isn't right, NOTHING is right. Self analyzation is a major key to life. Why do you do the things you do? What dark places do you have internally that need light shed on? Issues with fathers and mothers, childhood traumas, lost friends or love's and pain in any way are all things that HAVE to get healing in order for growth. The saying, hurt people hurt people is very very real, and we're getting WAY too damn old to walk around like human wrecking balls. Like an open wound you will find pain in every small memory or touch and bleed over everything you love if you don't mend the wound. Find these areas and deal with them...real growth is an inside job. Remember that your story wasn't just Gods way of adding scars to you but his way of giving you strength to help the next person going through what you will make it through. You gotta grow and you gotta help others find the honest truth's in their own struggles. Real truths, not the bandaid stories we tell ourselves, "he/she was a dick for leaving" but your part caused them to know their worth, or perhaps it wasn't a fit or you weren't ready. "I never cared about so and so" but the pain is keeping you up at night because of deep feelings of unworthiness. Or even "I don't want a job, or a family, I'm a free spirit" but you're deathly afraid of commitment and refuse to deal with the anxiety. Whatever your truths are find them, and swallow them. Besides, "how you gon win when you ain't right within?" 4. Love is who you are; not a prerequisite for adulthood. We have literally all had this moment. You're binge eating in bed at night and it's 3 am. Completely content and joyful scrolling down your Instagram or facebook feed and bam, baby, engagement, wedding, baby, engagement, wedding, repeat. At certain times in your life it's enough to claw your eyes out. Do not fall into the social media blues. Comparison is the thief of joy. We were all raised on stupid Disney movies, watching these 16 year old fish women and professional thieves find love, fight for love and then be happily ever after. Please don't let this be your guide to life. If you're ready for a relationship that's completely okay and if you're not that is OKAY TOO. Don't feel like you're missing some major part of adulthood by not "keeping up with the Jones" and for the love of all things good do not turn into the type that hates seeing happy couples lol. The worst post are the "ugh if I see another, must be nice" situation to only end up happy, in love and posting your beautiful life 10 days later. Love and let love. Be love. You are right where you're supposed to be and every beautiful part of life that you're waiting for will eventually find you. Learn to breathe through it, you'll never find your purpose now constantly trying to get to the next place. You're not whack, you're not lame. Learn what works for you, what you don't like and do like, take your time, and LIVE. 5. Don't just post about it, Be about it. It's weird that this one is even a number on this list but in this day and age it is. "If a tree falls in the middle of the woods and no one is there to hear it does it make a sound?" Now listen, I LOVE seeing post of people growing, thriving, loving and living life. It's literally my most favorite thing about social media. But please,make sure that you are doing the work that you say you are. None of us matter, no one reading or liking your post matter, like, at all. Make sure that when you put your phone down at the end of the day the peace is real, that you're really doing the internal digging. Really loving others and loving yourself. If no one ever sees that you posted that "positive vibes only" was serious to you it wouldn't make it any less true. Make sure that the validation you seek truly comes from your God and yourself. The only person who misses out from faking if you are, is you. If you're depressed or sad stay OFF social media, don't give your brain a reason to start the comparison game and play tricks on you, the same goes for if you are happy, personally I live far away from my family so I enjoy sharing my happy moments and pictures with them but save some for yourself sometimes. Be blissful and full for and by yourself. Don't share all of you ALL of the time, it will leave you feeling empty. Fill you before you try to fill others. 6. He said, She said. Somehow I feel like this is the most important point for any young adult on earth. Caring what other people think. This is the honest and heavy truth. People will talk about you behind your back, they will be two faced, they will lie, villinize you, drag your name through dirt, the list could go on forever. If you are these people (and deep down you know) it's time to turn the lights back on. Literally every single time anything like this has happened in my life I'm shocked. I never understand how people can be capable. I always want to believe that everyone on earth has the best intentions but the truth is we are a melting pot of broken people. No excuse to the aggressors, my palm itches to slap at least one person a year. But these are the facts. After my mother passed away I had a few seasons of complete God designed Joy, not because I was happy with my life, I was terrified, but because God was showing me exactly who he was in the midst of it. I could at times almost literally feel him carrying my family to the next place. The love was smothering, and I've never known a worship so beautiful than in that place that I was in. But as soon as the peace settled so did the whispers from people around us, whispers that we were pretending to be happy, or judgments that I was making decisions off of impulse started driving me crazy. I had never felt God more in my life and people were watching telling me that it wasn't real. Yes, it hurt, and yes, It's bound to happen. People are bound to be people. Making reckless assumptions about how you feel, or what you're doing or what you should do. As hard as it will be at times being unphased by this is a never ending practice. God isn't wasting unnecessary time showing other people what the plans for YOUR life are. He's showing you. Constantly looking towards naysayers, jealous or bitter or even just gossip'y people, is equivalent to Jesus telling Peter to walk on water, and Peter being more concerned with the water that surrounded him than the man who controlled all things. At the end of the day Jesus was still Jesus, and all that happened from Peter losing his focus was a waste of time and an awarenss that God would always be God. Even if they are the little things, people critiquing your outfit, hair styles or life goals. You simply can not give into the anxiety of giving af. Remind yourself of who are you, and WHOSE you are. Learn to walk in your truth. Like I said, it's a practice and perfect practice makes perfect. Smile even when they doubt your joy, love even when they turn up their noses, live even when they throw their stones, and stunt even when they are hell bent on your downfall. Get comfortable with that middle finger kids. We're in for a very long and beautiful life. In the words of young Sean "They can't f*ck with the light"