A few weeks ago, I watched The Baby-Sitters Club on Netflix, which I HIGHLY recommend you watch. Watching a show based on a series that made a huge impact on my life ended up making me reflect on my personal character developments and life lessons.
I began to think about how much I have changed since I started college in 2011. Soon, I realized that even before then, I had learned so much about life. In my 27 years of roaming this Earth, I have dealt with some serious and silly stuff.
With this realization, I decided to write a short list of life lessons I learned the hard way. The life lessons are all experiences I have dealt with first-hand and range from childhood until recently. Some are funny; others are heartbreaking, but they have all made me who I am today.
You don’t have to be who people expect you to be.
In my sophomore year of college, I went to a music festival with three friends. Our group decided to split up because we wanted to see different artists. A friend and I wanted to see Weezer. Our two other friends wanted to see Florence + the Machine. Little did I know that this split was going to ruin a friendship.
I had known one of my friends since high school. He wasn’t a close friend, per se, but we did hang out quite often. He had this perception of me from high school, but by that time, I was already evolving into the person I am now. So when he started to yell at me because we split up, I lost it. I told him off telling him he needs to cut his shit and that it is not my fault cell phone reception was terrible AT A MUSIC FESTIVAL. Once the yelling finished, all three of them looked at me in disbelief. I had never really stood up for myself, so that friend was surprised because he had assumed that he could walk over me. Nope.
Unfortunately, my friendship with him ended soon after. He didn’t like that I had changed, but that is on him. I wasn’t going to stay the person he expected me to be, and I was growing up. I had to learn how to stand up for myself, and I am glad I did it at that age. Learning that people’s expectations don’t matter is a life lesson that has stuck with me for a while.
You can have multiple passions and not all of them have to be jobs.
Throughout college, I thought I wanted to be a journalist. I loved to blog, found social media fun, and just found content creation to be exciting.
HA! I was wrong.
Working professionally as a content creator and a journalist was draining me mentally and physically. I hated my jobs so much and made me realize that I wasn’t about having my passions turn into 9-5 jobs.
After much research, I found the 9-5 passion that led me to a job I love (on most days, anyway). I enjoy what I do and do my research outside of work to get better. The best part of my job is that it led to experiences of other aspects of my passion for data I hadn’t dealt with before.
My blog is also my passion, and I enjoy working on it. But I am glad that it isn’t my job and that I can take breaks when I need to without fearing I would lose my job. I have more flexibility, and I am my boss.
Also, your passions don’t have to be similar to each other. My interests range from baking and cooking to blogging to data. Who would have thought?
Don’t always assume.
I learned to not always assume at a really young age.
Growing up, I always enjoyed watching my mom put on makeup before work or going out to a party. I would just stare at her and observe her put on mascara and eyeliner. Finding the right color of lipstick was always my favorite part. But the one piece that left me at awe was when she used the eye-curler.
When I was around 6-7 years old, my curiosity got the best of me. While she was out, I decided to put on makeup. It was not looking good, but it all went downhill when I couldn’t find the eye curler. At that age, I didn’t know what the eye curler did or the name of the instrument. Since I couldn’t find it, I assumed scissors would work.
My mom caught me right after I cut my eyelashes in one eye and preparing to start on the other one. I began to cry, and she just thought the whole situation was hilarious. She trimmed the other eyelashes so that they could match, and explained to be the actual purpose of the eye curler and how to use it.
After that experience, I am AFRAID of using the eye curler and hate anything getting close to my eyes. Unfortunately, my eyelashes never recovered or grew back to them as long as they used to be, but at least I didn’t cut my eye out.
I have also become afraid of assuming, and this is probably my most terrifying life lesson. I always ask questions because I am scared of somehow doing something stupid that would end up being another silly story for my mom to tell.
Using your Enneagram to your advantage.
I learned about Enneagram in grad school, and it has become something I take personally. Type Ones are afraid of making mistakes, well-organized, and always need to be right. Believe it or not, I match that description perfectly.
Because of my extensive knowledge of my Enneagram type, I have learned to check myself when I feel like my perfectionism is taking over or when I am too controlling of the situation.
I also use my Enneagram to throw some awesome parties, give A+ quality advice, and to follow my gut.
When people say you will meet your soulmate in college, they never said it was a significant other.
In high school, I told someone that I was going to UT-Austin for college. Instead of telling me congratulations or ask what I was going to study, they said to me that I was going to meet my soulmate in college.
Don’t get me wrong, Josiah and I were on campus together for two years. Maybe I would have met him sooner had I seriously considered trying to meet new people and trying to date? But I mostly cared about having fun and focusing on my future.
While I didn’t meet the man I would eventually marry in college, I did meet some people who are my best friends and have been through thick and thin with me. Many years later, and they are still people I know will have my back.
I did meet my soulmate five months after graduating, while he’s studying, so I guess he did meet his soulmate in college.
So yes, you do meet your soulmate(s) in college, but it might not be the type of soulmate you thought it was.
Chickens run pretty fast.
My old neighbor was an older woman. My mom would go over to help her with errands or to just chat. I used to love going to her house because it always smelled sweet, and I enjoyed watching the chickens.
One day, I was walking around the yard when I heard a peck. Since the house was on stilts, I looked under and saw a pair of eyes come at me. I got up from the floor and began to run. It was while running that I realized two things:
- I am not a fast runner.
- Chickens run pretty fast.
I don’t know how I managed to escape, but I did. I quickly opened the gate, closed it, and ran crying home. No joke, I cried for a few hours thinking I was close to dying. Since that day, I stay away from chickens, and this incident would eventually lead to an overall fear of birds.
Never underestimate how fast animals can run, especially chickens.
While I have dealt with serious life situations, I wanted to share my experiences that I find ridiculous or have changed my life for the better. I hope y’all enjoyed a few life lessons I learned the hard way and leave a comment if you want me to make this into a series.
Trust me when I say I have many more stories like these.