22 Things I Learned Being 22

My 22nd birthday honestly feels like it happened centuries ago, and I don’t feel close in any way to the person I was at this time last year. But that’s what we call growth, honey. Here’s my annual reflective post of yet another year that I have managed to survive.

  1. Getting over trauma doesn’t mean all evidence of it happening is erased: A lot of bad stuff happened last year, and I did a lot of work to recover from it. But for the longest time I thought I wasn’t “okay” because I could feel how I had changed. It took me a while to realize that there was no way I was going to be the same person, but that’s okay, and that doesn’t mean I’m not healed.
  2. Oysters are so delicious and I can’t believe it took me 22 years to try them.
  3. Loneliness is not a reason to be with others, it’s really a call inwards: I know everyone says this, but even if you’re the extrovert to end all extroverts, get comfy and learn to enjoy being alone. Many times being lonely is really just a sign you’re not dealing with something inside.
  4. Tidying up your room every night before you go to bed is a revolutionary habit to make. Try it.
  5. Consent is so much more than just a yes or a no, it’s an active, enthusiastic choice and I wish more people knew and practiced that.
  6. There are no perfect political candidates (until someone gets me that forged birth certificate and I can run for President).
  7. It really do be like that sometimes.
  8. If two famous writers lived during the same time period and were in the same place at one point – they probably hooked up tbh. (Ex: Walt Whitman and Oscar Wilde).
  9. ASK FOR WHAT YOU WANT. Be it a raise, a relationship, space, understanding, forgiveness. People cannot guess your desires. This is something I’m still working on because I think my intentions are really obvious to people when really I’m just constantly wrapped up in a veil of mystery.
  10. I need to stop manically getting a haircut (or doing it myself) and calling it “spontaneous.”
  11. I lowkey believe in astrology and I’m not ashamed of it. God, I’m such a Taurus. And on that note – anything that doesn’t hurt anyone and helps people understand themselves or the world around them (different religions, philosophies, astral projecting, etc) isn’t something you should mock.
  12. Always think that people expect a lot from you – then meet those expectations.
  13. Replacing butter with tahini in a chocolate chip cookie recipe is a genius move. Everyone should try it.
  14. At some point I will probably have to tell my parents about my love life, but I’m going to hold off on that for as long as it is feasible.
  15. Bad mental health has taken a lot away from me. But thinking about what I’ve lost isn’t going to help me.
  16. Mr. Big from Sex and the City *is* hot you just have to be a certain level of maturity to see it.
  17. There is such a thing as being too polite.
  18. I FINALLY understand what it means to nurture your inner child/parent yourself. For me this means lots of fantasy novels which bring me levels of joy not seen since maybe 2010 and telling myself that “we have food at home.”
  19. Finally ready to admit this controversial opinion: Theme/Amusement parks suck after the age of 12 (including Disney). Also, Disney as an entity isn’t that great. Sorry.
  20. Making friends as an adult is as hard as everyone says it is. But it’s not impossible, and if anything it’s an opportunity to build a friend group based on nurturing, healthy relationships and common interests rather than convenience and proximity.
  21. At least 40% of my dating problems would probably be solved if I just ruled out white men as a group, but what can I say, I still haven’t completely gotten rid of those self destructive tendencies.
  22. I recently told my mom about the anxiety I get every year as my birthday rolls around. She just laughed and said that I remind her of my father. So happy to know my annual existential crises will continue into my 50s. Can’t wait.

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