Dear Diary: 22 Things I Learned From Being 22

 
22 things I learned from being 22

Well, I’m officially 23. I feel like this year will be a great year. Filled with change, self improvement, and determination. I wanted to quickly jot down 22 things that I learned from 22 years on this planet. Why? Because life lessons are always hard to learn in the moment, but once you live through it – it always makes you a better and stronger person on the other side.

22 things I learned from being 22

So, here’s 22 things I learned from being 22.

1. Paying bills really sucks

You know, when you’re 15 and thinking about how awesome it will be when you’re “all grown up” and have it all together. You won’t have it together at 22. You might have a bit of freedom, but those bills will bite you in your butt.

2. You’re not a grown up at 22

You’re just trying to figure it all out. You think, I’m in my 20’s now. I’ll have everything all squared away by then. No, you won't. You’re only 22. Valiant effort – try again.

3. Paying taxes is important

But, seriously. Make sure you understand how taxes work or you’ll end up owing the IRS, oh I don’t know, $4,000. Oops. Lessons learned.

4. Puppies are a lot of work

Holy cow, did I learn this lesson the hard way. Puppies are really cute until you own them and can’t leave them on the street corner where you found them. They poop, pee, bark, bite, and cost a lot of money. Make sure you are well prepared to devote all your free hours to this tiny thing that now depends on you for love, attention, food, and shelter.

5. Fixing a fixer upper is harder than it looks

I love Fixer Upper – scratch that, I really love fixer upper – but they make it look like a cake walk. It. Is. Not. It’s rather difficult and talk about the late nights.

6. Fixing a fixer upper will improve your communication skills

Just trust.

7. Just be you

Stop trying to fit into the crowd, because it won’t work and you’ll just be left with pieces of you that don’t fit anywhere. Dress however makes you happy, wear that plaid skirt from the 90’s. Listen to whatever music makes you want to dance. You’ll thank yourself, I promise.

8. Work wherever fills you with purpose

Someplace that you feel like you’re making a difference in this world. It’s better than working in a dead end job and regretting coming to work every morning.

9. Loans are the worst

I’m convinced.

10. You’ll still get pimples and blackheads

I hate to tell you, but you will still get those pesky pimples and blackheads. You’ll likely forever get them. It sucks, I know. But you’re not alone.

11. Learn how to cook

I’ve slowing been building up my cooking skills since I was 18 and on my own for dinner. For that first year, it was rough. Can you say hello froyo for dessert every night? (See lesson 22). Learning how to cook delicious and healthy food will help you out in the long run. Your body will love you and so will your friends!

12. Don’t take life for granted

It’s so easy to just get in the rut of the mundane. Stop doing that. Stop with the daily mundane routine because it’s so hard to appreciate life when you’re in that rut. Enjoy life. Live it to the fullest.

13. Mistakes are totally OK to make!

Oh man. I wish I knew this at the beginning of the year. You’re inevitably going to make mistakes when trying something new. Mistakes are simply lessons you’ve learned by going outside of your comfort zone. I’ve made a few BIG mistakes this year – in business alone. But, at least I can say I tried it and learned from it. That’s all that matters in the end.

14. Retirement is a thing – look into it

So, you’re thinking – “Hey! I’m only 22, I don’t have to worry about retirement yet. But you should. Look at a retirement calendar and plan on how much you want to have saved up by the time you’re in your 50’s or 60’s. Plan for the future. You’ll thank yourself 20 fold if you do.

15. Take and leave advice

There’s so much advice out there that it SO overwhelming. You subscribe to a million blogs and get daily emails about what you should be doing, wearing, eating, thinking, and what not to do in all those areas. It’s hard to know what’s good and what’s not! Learn how to take and leave that advice if it doesn’t fit in your lifestyle

16. Don’t Give up on your dreams

I think we all know that I have big dreams in this life. Like HUGE. I want to pay off all our debt in a matter of years, eventually be my own boss that will allow me to have the Freedom to live in a tiny home and travel the US, and publish a book or two. I have big dreams and there’s a lot of people out there that are telling me to give it up. But don’t. It might take me 10 years to get there. But, I’ll get there. I promise you that.

17. Document your life

I know this one might sound a bit cheesy – but document your life. I find it so interesting to look back and see what stage you were at just a year ago and what your thoughts were so focused on. You can start your own blog today by signing up with Bluehost!

18. Do something fun

You’ll regret it if you don’t. Dye your hair blue, make extreme fashion choices, go to that concert that you’ve been dying to go to. Just get out and experience life. That’s something you’ll never regret.

19. Go to the doctor

You might think you’re fine and young and all that. But, do yourself a favor and go to the doctor. Get that yearly checkout. Go see the dentist. Even the neither regions doctor. Seriously folks. Save yourself so much hassle (and guessing games) and just get a checkup.

20. Tell your loved ones that you appreciate them more

As people get older, it’s inevitable that their time on earth is dwindling. I found that it’s so important to let others know how you feel about them and tell them that you love them. It only takes a second out of your day. But it just might brighten their entire day. You never know how important your loved ones are to you until they’re all gone.

21. Get outside and experience life

I feel like this generation is huge on the whole playing video games and watching Netflix stuff. I’m guilty of Netflix 100% of the time. But, I wish I would’ve gotten out a bit more and enjoyed nature. This year – I’m not going to take it for granted.

22. Take care of your body

After years of ignoring my body and what it needs. I’m paying for it. I was sick, depressed, diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease and suffering from severe anxiety. I wasn’t listening to my body when I was exhausted, needed to rest, or needed to eat something healthy. After I quit coffee, started to drink more water, eat fruits and veggies, and working out.

I think it’s important to document your years on this planet and improve yourself as much as possible. In every aspect of life, whether it be personal, professional, spiritual or more – it’s important to be a well rounded person and try everything you can to help improve our environment, humanity as a whole, and love one another. By creating this list every year – it helps remind me what i’ve learned and how I’ve improved as a human being.

Here’s to many more years of improvement!
Ashlee