As a part of my Yeppuntwenties section I wanted to share a few life lessons that I have learned or re-learned in recent years. These lessons each taught me something new about myself and my life. I hope that these learned lessons provide an opportunity for others to view their life experiences in a more neutral light & learn from the experiences as they move through life.
Lesson 1 – Breaks: Never give up something that means the world to you. Take a break and start over.
Learned lesson: Taking detours or other routes can set you on a different course and may lead to regrets later in life. But, remember that these detours were chosen(*not necessarily true for all people) to help your achieve the same starting goals. Never forget that.
In my 20s I have taken a number of breaks from my goals, my dreams, and even school. In these breaks I’ve regretted the time lost only when I was not utilizing my time efficiently. Breaks are resting periods, but they are also periods for when we can look backwards, plan momentarily, and re-create the future that we see for ourselves.
Lesson 2- Trust: Don’t place full trust in everyone you meet no matter what age they are.
Learned lesson: Relying on those who I did not know too well lead me to fall into trap situations in work, in love, and in school. Do not say yes or agree to anything without fully thinking over the benefits & keeping in mind if the person offering something is also considering your best interests.
Too many times in my independent life have I come to grips and acknowledged that there are few people you can rely on outside of your own family. While living in DC and Korea in recent years I’ve met new friends, connected again with old friends, and entered into new work environments. In all instances I put my trust into the individuals I thought would do the same the for me. However, too many times I fell victim, by falling into situations where my trust was taken for granted: with an ex bf, with ex-classmates on vacation, and even with a former boss. Due to these experiences I have learned that trust is something meant to be earned not given.
Lesson 3 – Love: Being cautious with love. Love can be taken for granted when love is blind.
Learned lesson: Relationships can be unequal. Make sure you know your partner’s intentions early on in the relationship. Do not let love place restrictions on your life and your life goals. Love is not something that en-cages people. It gives them strength.
Having started dating later than the average female I carried a mis-perceived view of love and mutual feelings that love entails. In my first serious relationship I loved an ex bf wholeheartedly even when their love was not 100% reciprocated. Under false beliefs I imagined that love can be given once it is received. However, what I failed to understand was that the un-equalness in that relationship was present from the very start, but unspoken. Not fully understanding that type of love led to uneasiness and eventual cracks, which is why my take away from the experience is learning to be cautious and knowing the difference between a supporting relationship vs a relationship full of deception.
Lesson 4 – Sincerity: Being generous and kind are sincere traits not found in most people. When you do meet someone with these qualities pay it forward.
Learned lesson: Being sincere on a daily basis not only can uplift your day, but also those whom you have helped. Sincerity is contagious and spreading a little a kindness every day is needed.
While living in Korea and back home in the U.S. I have come across both crass and kind people. The ones whom I remember the most are those ‘kind’ people who showed additional sincerity and kindness in their interactions and engagements with both people in their daily lives and with strangers whom they met on bus, train, at a restaurant, or on the streets.
Lesson 5- Changes: Sometimes abrupt and sometimes slow changes happen whether you are aware or unaware of them. Within the last 5 years of my life I have experienced frequent changes, some of them good and some of them bad.
Learned lesson: Whether positive or negative all changes in our lives happen by chance, fate, or destiny. What matters is not how positive or negative these changes are, but how we welcome, accept, and ensure that these changes push us in the right direction; and if by chance they make us stumble, hope that these changes help us see things from a whole new perspective.
Just this year alone I have gone through uphills and downhills in my life back in the U.S. At first I imagined everything would be nice, being back home that is. However, quickly did I realize that my friends & family had changed so much while I was gone. Learning to adapt to life back in NY, learning to experience a 1-year LDR, learning how to maneuver my career path and goals in this unsteady century as a millennial brought so many changes for me. Yet, still I am here and still I am moving. As the 2016 year veers to a close I know that I will surely experience new changes come my way, but I have learned to let life happen and and as First Lady Michelle Obama would say “..stay true to yourself” no matter what type of change comes your way.
In life we learn by living and we live by learning. This cycle never stops. For me, everyday, I am living and learning.
What life lessons have you experienced and/or learned from recently or in the last year?