Ten Lessons of the Decade:
Wow, what the [redacted] is happening right now? How in the world is 2020 literally knocking on our doors? Thanksgiving is coming, then Christmas and finally we watch the ball drop while counting down to zero at the top of lungs – hopefully kissing the man or woman next to us to bring on the new year. Usually I make a tongue in cheek, super cliché quote on my IG under a photo that says, “new year, new me” with laughing emojis but celebrating the end of a decade felt like it needed a little more oomph. With that beign said, I decided to think back to 2010 and work through the TEN lessons I’ve learned over the last decade – bear with me, there will be a lot of honesty and some tough lessons but why not hsare them.
- Commuting to college – even while saving money makes it 10x harder to forge college friendships
- I don’t necessarily regret staying in state for college (thank you for paying my tuition Rider) but I will say I sometimes wish I had gotten out of my comfort zone and left my hometown for college. I used to envy my friends who grew up on the college campuses of esteemed HBCUs and I went to a state school and graduated with not too many friends. If I could redo my entire college experience I would’ve hightailed it to an HBCU or an out of state school and really lived it up and experienced everything college had to offer.
- Heartbreak takes time and closure is a myth
- Jesus be a fence. This was the toughest lesson I had to learn and only because I was the one who was so selfish I broke the heart of the person who loved me through a lot of my shit and there are days where I silently sit back and think about him and hope he’s doing well (no bullshit either) I wonder sometimes if the reason I think about him so often is because I never allowed myself to get closure, because I was too full of pride to reach out to someone I hurt and truly apologize and then I realize that closure is a myth – we have to seek and find closure within ourselves. We are not meant to gain clarity from every situation we walk away from and that’s just how the cookie crumbles. I have to chin up and focus on what I have control over and that is taking the lessons I learned from that relationship and applying them to my future ones.
- Spending money you don’t have is no way to live
- I mean, how much more do I need to explain this? Debt is a terrifying and crazy thing and very easy to fall into – hello credit cards, by the way credit cards are not free money..you do have to pay them off every month – in full if you’re smart. Basically, stop spending money you don’t have and STACK YOUR PAPER. You never know when life might humble you. And it’s something I am constantly working on.
- Seek therapy if your mental health is feeling fragile
- I wanted to die constantly from 2010-2012 and very many times thought about killing myself to end the pain and it was a pain I couldn’t put a name to – how do you describe to someone the torment you are going through in your head? That everything is piling up on you and you just want to find a way to escape it? They take one look at you and assume you’ve got your shit together, your healthy, happy from outwardly appearances but you aren’t happy and you’ve been faking it? I finally womaned up and decided to invest in therapy roughly 2 years ago after hitting rock bottom and realized I needed help because I wanted to stay earthside for a little longer. Therapy has been a godsend and quite frankly is the number one reason I am alive today – therapy has and will continue to save my life and something I have never regretted investing in.
- Reconnect with your friends – especially if you’ve lost touch due to your depression/mental health
- This bullet point is really loud and incredibly important especially for me and everything that has happened in the last 10 years. My mental health is changing daily and my tendency is to close people off and shut myself inside to avoid having to rip myself open and be around people when all I want is to isolate. I’ve lost a lot of friendships that way, or I wouldn’t say ‘lost’ i would say changed – how can you maintain a relationship with people if you’re the person who is only putting in 45% to someone’s 90%? Why would someone want to maintain a relationship with you if you aren’t giving the same energy they are. Everything that has happened with my depression and the way I coped changed the way my friendships looked and I can’t do anything about that other than to bounce back and begin the reaching out process. I also talked about the friends we lose along the way in a recent post – check it out here.
- Be kind – to yourself and those around you because you never know what’s happening in someone else’s life.
- If you’ve moved out of the house – stop by and say hello to mom.
- I am guilty of this one. I moved out and didn’t go home home that often out of pure laziness and just not “feeling up it”. It was weird and hard to go home for me. Going to a place you spent 20+ years and suddenly it doesn’t feel quite like home anymore. The smell is the same and so are the people but you aren’t, you’ve changed, you’ve grown up and mentally you’re mind is a mess and you cant quite wrap your head a round it but going home makes the mistakes you’ve made bigger, the choices you made more magnified and you can’t admit you miss it because at almost 30 you’re not supposed to be living at home anyways but yeah, go home and check on your parents, love on them while you still can.
- Tell the people you love that you love them
- There are people I wish I could still say i love you too but the time has passed and I can’t but if anything it has made me more aware of saying ‘I love you’ or giving people their flowers while they’re still on this earth
- Keep living – even on those hard days where dying sounds better than living.
- I tried to kill myself and over the last 10 years there have been times where I’ve been ready to throw it all away and just die and yet, here I am. I plan to keep on living because everyday I find a new reason to keep pushing through the hard days.
- Do everything with love.