Now I would like to offer a disclaimer for this post
. Mainly to those out there reading this that may have children my age or who are a generation or two ahead of me. Because it’s very possible that you may read this post and roll your eyes.
I am a full blown, early twenties, impulsive, passionate gal and I live my live like one.
I love with my whole heart.
I trust too much.
I try to please others too much.
I can be selfish and greedy and immature and certainly naive.
So let’s get started
There are ten things this I have learned at 22.
1. YOU ARE NOT A “BAD GIRL” or a “SLUT” if you are sexually active.
Listen, it’s a great idea to wait until you are married to have sex for the first time. I mean, if you can your significant other can achieve that, more power to you. I think it’s a beautiful thing. Now, I don’t believe in telling anyone that sex is this scary horrible thing. It’s not. It’s lovely and beautiful and if done with the right person it is powerful, passionate, and brings you closer together. It feels good.
What we should be telling our kids is that sex can have some serious consequences. Right? Sexually transmitted diseases, unwanted pregnancy, and all the emotional turmoil that can follow.
Most likely your kids are going to have sex. So make sure they know how to protect themselves. Be an active part in their life and don’t look the other way.
Also ladies let’s stop calling our friends sluts and whores, even jokingly. it’s just not OK. Because guess what? You are allowed to have sex with people, multiple people even and not be a ‘slut’.
Date around, sleep around (safely of course!).
This is allowed.
You are allowed to be sexual and not be labeled as a “bad girl’ or a ‘slut’
2. Love Everyone
Simple concept that so many people forget to practice.
You have no idea what is happening in someone else’s life that causes them to act a certain way or say the things they do. Do not instantly get frustrated with them. Do not lose patience but instead try to understand them and be there for them. Meet your neighbors, shovel their driveway if they are elderly. Call your mom just to say hi. Hold the door open for everyone. Smile. Make eye contact!
My mom around Christmas time used to buy 20 $5 gift cards to Dunkin’ Donuts, and give them out to people she thought deserved them during the season. I loved this idea.
I remember she told me and by the end of the day I have given out three.
Small acts of kindness. Try to do them everyday.
If you adore someone’s outfit or hair, tell them!
If you see a street musician throw him a couple bucks.
Someone out there is having a worse day then you. I can guarantee it.
Just love your fellow brother and sister on this planet.
And love the planet too.
Recycle, all that jazz.
3. It’s OK to take time off from school
This is a big one.
I am twenty two and at my third college starting over basically as a freshmen. My friends and others that I graduated high school with will be graduating this year from college. In my home a college degree is a must. I mean, go to school ,get a degree, then get married and then have children and live in a big house and be soooooo happy.
Ok I am coming off a bit sarcastic BUT
I don’t think everyone is meant for school
Yes degrees are great and give you an edge in life certainly!
I am not sure yet if I am one of those people yet who will end up graduating (or at least graduating in my early twenties), but I will say I wish I had not gone off to school right out of high school.
I was lost. I had no idea what I wanted to do. I was home sick and away from friends. I ended up dropping out and getting married!
I wish I had stayed home and worked or even traveled a bit.
I do not think at 18 I was ready to go to school and choose a career path.
I still do not feel ready for that.
So if you need a break to figure out you. Take it.
4. Find something you are passionate about
You only have one life to live here on Earth. Find something to be passionate about. Find a project. Read more. Watch more movies. Go outside and just feel the wind and smell the air and look at the Earth because it can be beautiful. Do a 5k. Give a stranger a hug.
I remember once being in a store and a woman was crying, and I just hugged her. She clung to me and cried and then just thanked me. I’ve never seen her again.
Learn to play an instrument. Take some risks.
5. It truly is your body
Cut your hair off. Get tattoos, get piercings, if you want. Your parents and grandparents may faint but it is your body. Just remember that you DO have to live with these alterations forever so make sure they count.
6. Believe in something
Even if that’s nothing.
Be an atheist, be a God-fearing Christian, be a Jew, Be a Muslim. I don’t care what you are because as long as you are a good person and treat me and others with respect I will love you, but please, be something.
7. It’s OK to get married
I was married at 19. If I could do it over again, I would not change my decisions. I think it’s OK people. If you are in love, and have realistic expectations out of the relationship and similar life goals….then go for it. And if you want my advice then just elope. Do a vow renewal ceremony if you want, but just run off together one day and get married.
8. It’s OK to get divorced
No wants really wants to get divorced when they get married but not all marriages work out, and that’s OK. You are not a failure. Marriages fail. it happens. Marriage is a serious commitment and it is hard and not something I think you should just end because you got in a fight but, they do end.
9. Spend too much money
That’s right. Do it, at least once. Buy that dress or purse or car or WHATEVER that is too much money. Oh it’s so liberating. So So liberating. Plus amen noodles can actually be really delicious when they are all you can afford.
9.2 Be broke if you can
I know this is a weird one and lack of income can be scary and stressful but also kind of great. I remember not being able to afford to keep my heat on and having to sleep in front of a fireplace snuggled in a sleeping bag. Sounds silly, but it’s such a great time in my mind. Plus you have to be creative about what you do! Hiking is free people. Go out, explore. Have a picnic.
10. Love yourself
This is me at 22.
Young and naive and full of life and full of love
. A college freshmen, with one tattoo and divorced.
But you know what? I have also shaved my head twice for charity. I am part of a drama club to encourage young kids to come to a place where they feel accepted. I regularly donate blood. I am polite and helpful and kind. I am bright and charming and funny. I play the ukulele and sing (a little).
I am a genuine, real, decent human being.
I may not have the desired rap sheet:
Married at nineteen
Divorced at 21
Dropped out of college
Now in a relationship with someone twice my age
But I am someone to be proud of
I love who I am.