11 Lessons I Learned Before 21

Hey beatniks, Caitlin here 🙂

After your twentieth year your brain is suppose to be finished with its last great growth spurt and I have truly never grown more than this year. I celebrated my 21st birthday last Thursday and with the conclusion of what is psychologically measured as the last great mental growth spurt, I wanted to take the time to share what I have learned. Growth and learning continues throughout life and I don’t doubt that I will be adding to this list for the rest of my life but for right now these are life lessons that I am proud I got to learn this year.

  1. Figure yourself out first: First things first, you have to be first. You have to put yourself first and have a good grip on what your morals, likes, dislikes, passions, hopes and dreams are before you start adding other people to your life. Figure out what you think about yourself before you start taking other’s opinions of yourself into consideration. Figuring out who you are is one of the coolest experiences, don’t waste it relying on other people’s views.
  2. Master something: Nothing will make you feel better about yourself than mastering something. The ability to be proud of something will make you proud to be yourself. Whether you are mastering calculus, guitar, video games, football, or makeup, you can not beat the pride of accomplishment.
  3. Dress like a badass—BECAUSE YOU ARE ONE: Get up and look your best. You feel your best when you look your best and I believe that. If your best foot forward means that foot is wearing 6inch heels or if it means your wearing crocs (god I’ve grown) rock em. You are unique on the inside so display that on the outside. I always say that clothing is the second skin you get to choose. Embrace it, and allow your clothing to force other people to see you the way you want to be seen.
  4. Productivity People: Productivity is just key. Plan out your days, organize yourself, and get shiiiiiiiiiiit done. You will feel so much better after a long day of working yourself. Working hard is what will make your current dreams, your future reality. So get up and get going people!
  5. Break ups don’t have to break you: Break ups force you to spend more time with yourself. Spending so much time with another person causes you to gain a sense of we and lose a sense of you. Break ups are the perfect time to get to know yourself again—so enjoy it! Also, that person or that relationship not being right means you are about to have a love even greater than your last.
  6. Not everyone has to like you: Not everyone one is going to like you, and you aren’t going to like everyone. Don’t let someone’s opinion of you change your opinion of yourself. You and only you know your motives and intentions.
  7. Don’t look back in anger: I got this tattooed on my back this summer because I really think this statement is that important. The past happens. There is always something to be angry, embarrassed, or disappointed about but disconnecting the anger associated with past experiences makes it easier to learn from them. Do not burden yourself with grudges against others or yourself— you will never feel so free.
  8. Mistakes suck, but they make you better: I made the biggest mistake of my life this year and it made me question who I was as a person. Since my mistake I’ve become a less judgmental person realizing that those mistakes are what make us grow. It caused me to see that I lacked self esteem and made me focus on reestablishing it. Mistakes give you the opportunity to make yourself better.
  9. Bad things cause you to grow: I don’t believe that bad things make you appreciate the good. This is probably my least favorite statement. I don’t like the thought that you can’t have happiness without knowing sadness. I do believe that bad things do have an important purpose though; they force you to grow. Every mistake I’ve ever made, every loss I have ever experienced, and every hurt I have suffered taught me something. I learned to be a better version of myself- mistakes taught me what was right, loss taught me to appreciate what I have, and hurt taught me compassion. Know that there truly is a little good in every bad if you choose to learn the lesson within it.
  10. People are made different to MAKE A DIFFERENCE: If we were all the same life would be monotonous. You would be friends with yourself? Marry yourself? Live with yourself? If you are “different”, “off beat”, or “special” in any capacity, even if it is not always viewed as positive – it is your super power. The quality or qualities that make you quirky are the ones the world probably needs more of! Don’t let the shine of other diamonds get you down, because while one of their facets are shining, a different one of yours is too!
  11. Everyone is worth it: I originally had on my list that everyone ISN’T worth it, and that simply not true. EVERYONE IS WORTH IT. This doesn’t mean that everyone has to be your best friend, or that you have to care about every person’s opinion of yourself. To me this means that everyone IS WORTH CARING ABOUT. Everyone is worthy of our kindness and anyone is worth our concern about their wellbeing. I TRULY BELIEVE THIS. Being kind and caring toward everyone – even people you do not like – is not fake, it’s right!

I hope some of these lessons help you grow too 🙂

Peace&Love ~ Caitlin

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