My birthday was June 1. I'm now 24 years old. Which means I'm a year away from the big 25. Every year on my birthday my dad asks me, "Any words of wisdom?" This year I wanted to deliver in high style and have few words of wisdom to share with the group.
1. Treat your money right: I mean this seems obvious. Until you realize that you're an adult and people (family) will no longer be obligated to bail you out. Have fun. Take chances. But be smart with how you spend your money and what you spend it on.
2. Be responsible: Again obvious. But come on. If you want to be treated like an adult you gotta take on the tasks that adults have. No cop outs allowed. Step up to the plate and get your priorities in order.
3. Listen to people: Being in your 20's is like being a sophomore in high school again. You're no longer a freshman, but you sure as hell aren't a senior either. Put those ears to use and learn something. You might learn something from someone else that leads you to learning about yourself. Remember Pocahontas from 1994? You'll learn things you never knew you never knew.
4. Talk to people: Online. In person. Both. Put yourself out there. Get to networking. Build those relationships. Because it's these connections that are going to impact you for the rest of your life. (At least that's what it's done for me so far...)
5. Be vulnerable: It's okay to have weaknesses. In fact you should embrace your weakneses. Put yourself out there in your vulnerable state. You might fail. But you might find something...that's going to make you better. Something that will make you stronger. Something that might unleash a strength inside you that you don't know about.
6. Keep learning: You're probably sick of school by this point. You don't want any more finals. You're probably glaring at trees as you pass by them because you know they're to blame for that 15 page thesis you were forced to print out. So damn the grades. Get rid of the proposals. Get rid of the scantron. Get rid of that #2 pencil and that godforsaken bubble that must be filled in all the way. Learn without the stress. Learn beyond obligations.
7. Look out for others: You're not at the top. You're on the way. But pull yourself out of your journey up the ladder to take a glance back at the ones behind and beside you. If you can help. Do it. What goes around comes around and you never know what will happen in the future. Plus it feels great.
8. Remember your journey: *sings Started From The Bottom* Don't punish yourself when (And you will) you fail. Remember that everyone's journey is different and you're further along in yours than you were the day before. Setbacks will happen but so can dreams.
9. Self Love: Love yourself. Love yourself before you even understand yourself. Love yourself before you love someone else. Love yourself before you listen to someone's opinion. Love yourself from beginning to end. Love every single part of your body and being. Even if your self identity changes, love your spirit and your being above all. You're the only you in the world. Being someone else is only ever going to get you second best.
10. Keep on Dreamin' On: Crappy job? Check. Student loans to pay off? Check. Crappy roommates? Check. Some/All of these may be relevant to your current life. But they don't define you. They also don't last forever. You might be drowning in student loan debt and you might really hate your job. But there are other jobs. Loans will eventually be paid off. But something that should never stop is your ability to dream beyond your current situation. Big dreams or small dreams, they matter. They matter and you should fight for your dreams no matter what they are.
So there you have it.
That's all I got.
I realize that some points they were a little lengthy and wordy and yada yada yada.
But I think it's important to learn and teach as you go on in life. That's what Maya Angelou taught me. She passed away on March 28 and I took it as a personal blow. I was still learning from her. I was still embracing the fact that she considered me one of her children despite the fact that she never knew me.
I'll take her energy and teachings with me wherever I go.
Until next time.