During this past Memorial Day weekend, I conquered new a milestone in life. I turned 25 (shout out to my fellow Gemini’s). I spent my birthday strolling the streets of my favorite city, Chicago. (I’ll have a post about Chicago coming soon). Birthday celebrations continued throughout the week and ended with a trip to VA Beach for a Chance the Rapper concert. Now that I have made it back home and things have settled, I have finally found time to write a post.
In honor of my birthday, I decided to post about 5 things that I have learned these past 25 years.
Learning to put aside my own opinions and emotions to see someone else’s perspective has helped me form many of the relationships that I may have otherwise overlooked. Although I am an INFJ (Myer’s Briggs Personality Type), which tends to be the most empathetic type, I still had to step outside myself to relate to others in certain situations. By learning to be empathetic with others, it has helped me to practice empathy towards myself. Self-empathy helps during moments of emotional discomfort or stress. I practice self-empathy by tuning into myself and being present with who I am in that moment. Empathy is a valuable skill to have in life.
Take time to be by yourself.
Have you ever gone to a coffee shop and sat by yourself? Have you ever sat in a restaurant by yourself because you deserved a nice meal? Do you carve out time in your schedule to be by yourself and only have the stillness of your breath and the beat of your heart to keep you company? Have you traveled by yourself whether to another country or state or just up the street to the next city/town? This can be done whether you are single, dating, or married. The past few years, I have intentionally made time to be by myself. I have not regretted it once. I have learned to enjoy being with myself.
Find God on your own.
One of my favorite quotes is from :
“Two things everybody’s got tuh do fuh theyselves. They got tuh go tuh God, and they got tuh find out about livin’ fuh theyselves.”
-Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
I find this to be true for myself. To be honest, what your family, community, or even culture may find to work for them may not work for you. And that is fine. I think everyone should take time to explore and to listen to their inner being, their intuition, science, or to the calling from God(s)/the universe and discover what draws them near. It may not be an easy path but it will be worth it.
Continue to learn.
One thing that has been constant in my life has been my desire to seek knowledge. I was the child who played school at home and the one who genuinely enjoyed going to school. Although I have already graduated, I make time to constantly learn about new topics and to freshen up on old knowledge. I do this mostly through reading. I have so many books in my apartment that it’s becoming quite overwhelming. I have turned to using my beloved library card. (Support your local libraries! They have a lot of free stuff to offer). I also continue to learn through podcasts or watch TedTalks. Everyday I listen to at least one episode. Lastly, I learn through talking to others. Talk to the older generations in your family and community. They have wisdom to pass down. I also talk to the generations younger than me, they are seeing the world and society different from how I did at that age. Whatever way you choose to stay informed and connected, continue to do it throughout your life.
Travel has been one of the most exciting parts of my adult life. I love going to a new place, getting lost, and having to find my way around. I love the thrill of meeting locals and trying my best to blend in and not look like a typical tourist. I hope to keep that sense of adventure throughout the rest of my life. I tell everyone that I meet that they should invest in traveling to a different place whether it is within your own state, the country, or across the sea. The experience and feeling that comes through travel will last forever.
Now, I’m off to enjoy being 25!