Today, we are getting DEEP. Personally, in recent times, I have been doing a lot of processing about some hard truths and thinking about them. These hard truths, while some took time to accept and process, I am glad I know now. And, I *indeed* wish I knew each of these hard truths sooner! Gee, it would have saved me A LOT of pain and struggles over the years. But, through it all, I am glad I know these things now.
Lessons learned in life are some of the most valuable things to have. No one can take away what we have learned in our lives, whether it be in the classroom, workplace, or this so-called thing known as life. Grateful, thankful, and blessed are the names of the game. The lessons that we learn in our lives help shape us into the people that we are meant to become moving forward.
10 Hard Truths I Wish I Knew Sooner:
1 – It’s your life and not anyone else’s, so don’t look at whether or not others around you are getting married, dating, promotions at work, having kids, traveling the world, moving out on their own, getting graduate degrees, adopting dogs, etc. and think you need to do the same. Sometimes, I think I should move out on my own, because many of my peers in my city are EVEN with me being extremely happy living with my Papa. The same goes for thinking I should be in a relationship like many of my college classmates when I’d rather work on myself and am happy single and all. Just because your peers are doing those things does not mean that you need to too. Take the time to reflect on what you want to do and whether or not it is feasible for you. Do what makes sense for you and when it does.
2 – Self-comparison is toxic. Stay in your lane and focus on your goals, aspirations, etc. and don’t focus so much on what others are doing. No one’s life markers are your own markers and benchmark for what you should follow. I sometimes look at others and where they are career-wise, relationship-wise, etc. and think oh my goodness I need to be at their level. We will ALWAYS find something that we see in someone else that makes us look worse than them in our own eyes. But guess what?! YOU have some admirable traits too that others admire in YOU. Someone else may look at you and say they wished they had certain things that you have and offer to others that they may lack. Focus on those and what you want to do. Someone else’s goals and aspirations and interests are not your own.
3 – It’s a waste of time to care what other people think about you. Likely, believe it or not, most people don’t care THAT much about what we’re doing. Likely, most people don’t think about us nearly as much as we envision that they do – we ALL have our own lives to live filled with responsibilities, worries, and much more. Do your thing and always be you. Would you prefer to read on a Friday night than go clubbing like your twenty-something peers?! Who cares – stay home! Do you just LOVE a style that’s, perhaps, considered … “cheugy”?! WEAR IT and wear it well! Sometimes, I think well my sense of style is not the mainstream style and I *even* had a college classmate tell me my love for Lilly Pulitzer that is STILL going strong will be “just a phase”, but it is me. That’s what matters. So, I keep doing me. Whatever the case may be, carry yourself with confidence and do things because you want to do them not anyone else. You’re irreplaceable. Don’t let others’ opinions of you steer you in the wrong direction.
4 – Not everyone will like you and you will not like everyone and that is OKAY. We are all human. We have our likes and dislikes when it comes to food and, well, people are no different (we just don’t want to say it). Some people, we are meant to clash with more than agree on certain matters. Sometimes, it’s best to admire and root for people from a distance, even if we do not like them. At the same time, we must always treat people with respect and not with hurt. I had a former classmate say she didn’t like me, but that she wished me the best. While not pleasant to hear, I 100% respected her comment as it did not come with ill will. I feel the same for her and know there are others like her in my life. We also have the ability to root for and wish the best to others that we may not like personally. Choose to do that. Don’t wish ill will on anyone. You will have so much peace when you wish others well, even if they may not be in your corner or have even hurt you in the past.
5 – Your career – your choice. Career paths are not linear. Many people go back for second degrees or switch career fields all together. What we think we want today may not be what we want 3 years down the line in our own careers. I felt heavily influenced by my parents as to what major and career discipline I was to choose. And, well, I initially went for a career in data science and realized that I did not like it. I now work at the same company in health policy and data visualization (with company support!) and am a lot happier. I am glad I took the time to explore data science, as it got me to where I am today. I was proactive in my career and that is important. Always be proactive in achieving your goals. Learn more about you, your passions, and always uplift your teammates. Don’t be afraid to make a chance, like I did switching from data science. It’s all about learning.
6 – Take time to self-reflect on your own personal triggers, likes, dislikes, etc. and work through the things that you can. Take the time to process things and learn more about yourself. We NEED that time as humans to be able to process and sort things out emotionally and personally in our lives. While painful at times to process things, we need to feel the pain. No day is perfect by any means, but we need the time to process things on our own. Being alone allows us to recharge, reassess, and repeat. I am also a big advocate of therapy and have been proudly going for 4 years now. Therapy also helps me process thinks with someone who is always in my corner and willing to lend a helping hand. And, the more we process our own personal triggers, the better we will be moving forward.
7 – Being alone is better than being in the wrong company. Actually, being alone is good for the soul and important for our minds to grow and process things and recharge. We learn more about ourselves when we are alone than when we are with other people. Spending time with yourself and only yourself allows you to learn more about you and love you. Personally, being single for a longer time than previously envisioned is much better than being in a relationship and even in a marriage with the wrong person. When I dated my ex, I spent so much time hoping for what wasn’t instead of learning to enjoy being in my own company. In early college, I was SO afraid to eat and do things alone. Now, there are times I prefer to be alone and LOVE it.
8 – Not everything is in our control. Sometimes, we have to set back and let God (or whatever upper spirit if you believe in one) or life take the wheel. All we can do is our best each and every day. I had a health scare in December of 2022. Being in the waiting room sucked, as I was waiting to hear my results. But, I was proactive with my health, advocated for myself, and did all that I could. At the end of the day, that is all we can do and that is that.
9 – You’ll find your tribe with the radiant energy you spread. Many of my friends from high school and college are not my friends today. In high school and college, I was at a very insecure place in my life. I did not have as much self value placed on myself than I do now. Now that I have worked on myself, I have found many others who are more confident in themselves and radiate positive energy more so than those in my high school and college days. I have grown closer to some of my high school and college friends, while others I have not. That is OKAY. You will find your tribe in due time. Your tribe will be FILLED with people who love, hype, and accept you for you. Don’t accept anything else just keep doing you.
10 – Dating apps are not worth your time. Learn to love yourself and focus on your own goals and passions, rather than focus on finding a partner. The more you love you, the more attractive you’ll be to the right person for you, as you’ll radiate confidence and your love for yourself will shine. Find a hobby, go on that trip to Italy you’ve been wanting to take, or take some time to volunteer. When you light up and are in your element is when you will find somebody on the exact same wavelength as you. Trust the process and enjoy living and time with you!
XOXO – Katie <3