6 Things I Wish I knew in my early 20’s

I spend much of my time with college age people. I sit back and watch them struggle with identity, love, breakups, financial struggles and a lot of anxiety. Within a couple of months, I will turn twenty-nine. Looking back to my early twenties, there are some tips I wish someone had shared with me.

Learn to love yourself
Other than improving some character flaws and getting healthier, there are not many things you can change about yourself. Learn to appreciate the quirks and imperfections because they are what make you unique.

Let go of past hurts in relationships
Carrying around guilt, shame and bitterness will only keep you from opening your heart to have healthy relationships in your future. If you were the cause of the break-up, learn to forgive yourself.

Forgive your parents
It took me years to realize that I was still angry for some of the decisions my parents made when I was a child. Now that I am older, I realize how easy it is to make some of those same mistakes. Cut them some slack and make memories with them.

Get rid of expectations
Life usually doesn’t go as planned. We place expectations on others and ourselves that are often unrealistic. I am not saying to settle; I am encouraging you to learn to change and make room for a plan B, C, D…..

Start a savings account
Learning to plan for your future is very important. Weddings, engagement rings, houses, cars and everyday things cost money. If you want any of these things in the future, why not plan ahead? You will never regret having extra money.

It’s ok to feel a little lost
We grow and change as people but don’t always realize it. I felt like such a failure because things weren’t the way I wanted them to be “right now.” You are building a future, and that takes time.

Hey. It’s going to be okay. I promise.

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Your Dream

I was recently inspired hearing a story about a man in his sixties going sky-diving. There was nothing getting in the way of this man living his life to the fullest, so I started to think of my own unfulfilled dreams.

Traveling the world was something I always wanted to do. Once I started paying bills, though, reality set in on how much it costs. There will always be reasons not to do something. Whether it is a trip you can’t afford, a job you aren’t qualified for or dreams with too many obstacles.

Instead of limiting your opportunity, try to find a way. You may not have the money for a vacation now but set up a savings plan. You may not be qualified for a certain position, but work hard to learn. As for your dreams, figure out what is keeping you from making them a reality.

Think about the one thing you have always wanted to do. Set up a plan and go for it.

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Imagine you’re sitting in a crowded room, when suddenly the lights go down and a spotlight is pointed directly at you. Some would get a kick out of having the attention, but most people hate the thought.

Mark 4:22 says:”For nothing is hidden, except to be revealed; nor has anything been secret, but that it would come to light.”

This verse was intimidating because I have hidden secrets. Things I am ashamed of and would never want anyone to know. This verse scared me. I pictured my secrets being revealed and being viewed as a fake. So I hid.

I learned something; as long we are hiding the pieces of us that are filthy, we end up hiding the good, too. Light not only reveals yucky parts, it also reveals beauty, hidden talents, gifts and other amazing things that no one knows.

It is important to challenge ourselves without putting ourselves down. Insecurities cause judgment, envy causes gossip, unchecked bitterness leads to hate, and the list goes on and on. Once these things are brought into the light and are dealt with, the best parts of you will shine.

It’s not all about us, though, that is only the beginning. Once we learn to think past ourselves, God will use every part of who we are to show Jesus to the rest of the world. Jesus is that light and the closer we get to Him, the clearer things get.

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