I turned 22 last week! When you and many of your friends turn 22 the same year that Taylor Swift comes out with a hit song about that very age, chances are you’ll hear it a lot. I’ll admit to totally loving the song – it’s super catchy, and TSwift’s lyrics are pretty insightful for a sugary pop song.
Although Taylor’s words are wise, for my 22nd birthday I asked people who know me a little better than she to send me what they would say to a 22 year old. I asked for little “nuggets” of advice; either “words of wisdom” or something they wish they had known when they were 22. I received Chinese proverbs and Shakespearean quotes, wise one liners and whole pages of thoughtful advice…it was really great.
I can be a pretty sappy person so it doesn’t take much to set my heart aflutter, but reading my friends’ and family’s responses truly made me laugh, think, and maybe tear up a wee bit. I’ve edited for length a little bit here and there, but what you see below are their own words and voices (I’ve kept their unabridged responses in a folder to read on a rainy day). Gratitude is something I strive to remember as often as possible, and it’s not hard with all these supportive people in my life — many thanks:)
So enough of me rambling, courtesy of some wonderful people:
How to Feel About Feeling 22 — 22 Nuggets of Wisdom
1. Begin before you feel ready.
2. Never live with regret. It is better to internalize the knowledge you have learned, and use it towards bettering yourself in the future.
3. Live life abundantly. We have all these incredible dreams and aspirations; they all get pushed to the side so that we can be “materially happy”. We are 20-something year olds! Time to live life abundantly and stop worrying about what everyone else thinks.
4. Know your worth.
5. Take more risks, try new things, treat yourself well and open your heart to good things.
6. Souris la vie est un fromage! (Smile, life is a cheese! – it works better in French…)
8. If you feel bad that you haven’t got it all figured it out – don’t. No one does. Just give yourself a break once in a while, and don’t take yourself too seriously. Find the things that make you happy and pursue them. Why follow a route when you can make up your own?
9. The important thing to remember about growing up is that we never really do.
10. Be a little “off the wall” and irreverent from time to time (such times to be carefully chosen!).
11. Be an intellectual. Read widely.
12. Remember to keep those you love in your life close to you, like twins in the womb. (…guess which brother sent me this?)
13. Come to terms with your weaknesses without condemnation and appreciate and rely on your strengths.
14. “This too shall pass.” Happy or sad, everything passes. So, relish the happy, and know that the sad will be over soon.
15. Pay attention to your gut feeling when spending time with people. The people who are worthy of your time are people who leave you feeling good about yourself.
16. The world is your oyster.
18. Don’t be afraid of salt and butter. (Interjection from Dad: An hour of exercise everyday forever!)
19. Have the courage of your convictions.
20. Self-awareness is the characteristic I value the most. The more you understand yourself, the more you can understand and empathize with those around you.
21. “Be not afraid of growing slowly, be only afraid of standing still.” I continue to aspire for steady progression in all facets of my being. It’s never too late to reassess one’s priorities.
22. Follow your bliss.
So, here’s to being 22, it’s miserable and magical! Any more advice?? xo