Life Lessons at 22

Image I turned 22 last week.  My birthday passed by pretty uneventfully, which is unusual.  My mom usually asks me what I want to do for my birthday three weeks in advance - either a party or some trip or something.  This year, we kept things quiet.  And I'm glad for it.  It has given me time to spend with the people who are really closest to me and reflect on the past year.

I mean, last year was kind of a big year - I turned 21, went on big girl nights out, had my lasts at USD, graduated, and got some work for myself.   When I turned 21, I set out to have the perfect senior year.  I set out to have a job lined up when I got out of school, I wanted to participate in every possible thing that I could before I left school, and I wanted to get some good use out of my youth while I was with my friends (a.k.a. go to clubs and be crazy).

The past year was possibly the craziest year ever - balancing school, work, and going crazy was a lot harder than I thought.  I was angry and upset for a lot of that year because the balance was off.  All of my responsibilities were taking up all of my time, my boyfriend and I were trying the long-distance thing, my parents grew increasingly excited about my graduation as I grew increasingly more nervous and sad - it was all just too crazy.

I've been wanting to write about what I learned in the past year, and it's really hard to come up with just one thing.  While life has settled down a little bit, the crazy isn't completely gone from my life.  Schedules are similar, but problems are different.  I'm learning new things about myself every day.  I'm learning how to budget my earnings, I'm learning to play the guitar and sing at the same time.

I think the most important thing I've learned about myself in the past year is that I can be really hard on myself.  I wanted to do so much last year, but I ended up getting more crazy than I would have liked.  I know that I can achieve anything that I put my mind to and that I can get what I want - I just have to take it slow, be kind to myself, be disciplined, and remember that nothing comes easily.

As my life just begins, I want to remember these things.  There are a lot of goals I want to meet in the next year, in the next five years.  And looking ahead, I know it's not going to be easy.  All I can do is take it one day at a time.