This article was published first on Thought Catalog.
Let’s face it. In most of our growing years, we were led to believe in a couple of lies here and there, and society made us think that we do not have a choice but to accept all of it and adjust. But the thing is, that’s not how everything is supposed to work. Not everything around you is supposed to be pretty and perfect. I’m sorry to burst your bubble but here are some things that we all need to accept, especially in our 20s.
1. Posting beautiful things on social media doesn’t mean you have a beautiful life. To start this list with, people nowadays would like to believe that most of their friends are successful and have perfect adult lives, and that they suck because they don’t have all those things they see online. They could post their beautiful engagement ring, or their amazing prenup photos on Facebook, getting married, getting pregnant, and here you are, getting fat. But really, they are not as happy as you think they are. Not every happy photo you see online means the person is happy. Sometimes, the online world is just too different than the real thing.
2. It’s not not okay to hurt. Pain is inevitable, as they say. And it’s true. You cannot ask the Universe to not hurt you, because you will surely get hurt along the way. And you will only get stronger as you go through it. It may be scary for now, but one day, you will look back, and you will be grateful that you went through all the heartaches and pain, because you’ve learned so much from them.
3. It’s not not okay to make mistakes. Because we will mess up. We will mess up all the time, big time. And that’s okay. Failing is part of the process. We will fail, we might cry, but at the end of the day, it’s what we’ve learned from it that matters the most.
4. Your past does not determine your future. There will be some time in your 20s when you do not realize that you’ve been clinging on to some things from the past and you’ve been letting them hold you back from doing amazing things in your life. Now is the time to loosen your grip and let go. Know that these things, whether they are heartaches of the past, or mistakes that you’ve made, choices that you regret, they do not define you or your future. You’re not supposed to forget about them though, they happened for a reason. Just be grateful for everything and move along.
5. Some people will not like you. And that’s okay. You do not exist solely to please everybody around you, because that is pretty much impossible to do. People are different from each other. You have things in you that people might not appreciate that much, and they have things in them that you might not like either. That’s totally fine! Be the kindest version of yourself, and even if some people won’t like how you are, at least you’re not trying to be somebody you’re not just to please them.
6. People won’t always forgive you. Some people will not stay in our lives, and we cannot help this. You cannot ask them to stay. There will be times when some people will not forgive you, and you’d have to live with that. But please, forgive yourself. Eventually, you will have to part ways with some people who mean a lot to you, not because you’re a bad person, but because they were never meant to stay in the first place.
7. Relationships will be tough. You will find a person who is perfect for you, but they will never be perfect. There will be arguments along the way, you will have differences in some things, and it might get a bit difficult as you go. But always go back to the first time you knew that you already love the person. And as long as you remain humble, as long as you know that it’s not always about winning arguments or being the one who’s always right, everything else will follow. The things you work hard for are always the ones that are worth it in the end.
8. You’re going to feel like a different person in a couple of years. But never forget who you really are. Do not let go of your beliefs just so you can take it easy and avoid disagreements. Do not change just so you can please other people. Always change for the better, and do not be afraid to look back to what you’ve learned along the way.
9. Life is not supposed to be easy. You may be thinking that you are failing as a person right now. But really, you’re not. The 20s are the time in your life when you doubt yourself the most. You ask yourself if you are right on track, if you are doing what you’re supposed to be doing, if you are even happy with what you’re doing. And sometimes, it seems so scary and you’ll feel like you’re the only person in the world who is feeling this way. But you’re not. Everyone goes through this. It’s only going to get harder along the way, but it will all be worth it.
10. Not everything in life will go as you planned. But maybe this is where God wants you to be. Maybe that time when you got fired from your job led you to where you are right now, or maybe something more beautiful is bound to happen. Have faith that God has wonderful plans for you, and never give up on knowing that even though it’s hard, He has your back always.
Writer’s Note: I received a lot of reader mails and messages saying that this article is very timely for them. I feel like people, nowadays, tend to just go with the flow and try to be someone whom society will accept with open arms and heart. What we tend to forget is that, in life, there are a few things we need to keep in mind, such as not doing things only to please other people. You will be miserable that way. I guess I have been there too. I grew up in a city and went to a University where you would need to be a certain way just so you’d feel accepted. This isn’t the city’s fault, nor the university’s, but it’s just the way things really are most of the time. And if you do not understand this, you will have a difficult time keeping up with the world. Thus, this post. I hope you learned something from it. See you around! ~ Mary Elizabeth