I’m the kind of person that always feel like a child. Yes, it is weird for me to imagine myself as a ‘grown-up adult’ but I guess I am. Rather, I am on my way to becoming one and, like everything in life, It is mostly more about the journey than the destination.
It’s funny looking back and remembering how badly I wanted to grow up faster so I could do the “fun things” grown-ups do (yes, working was included). From pretending I had my own desk made of boxes and phone books as my “work-to-do” to stealing some mom’s make up in order to look older (or a professional fulltime clown).
You know what is even funnier? I thought I would feel like an adult at my 20’s.
One day last summer, I started writing more and more about my experiences in my own personal notebook (okay, my diary-or-whatsoever.) and this crazy title came to my mind
20 things I’ve learned in my 20’s.
I actually thought it was a bit ambitious to come up with 20 things, but hey, here we go…
-Your health goes first | Self-esteem-
1❀ ‘Loving yourself’ or ‘accepting yourself’ is not the same as neglecting yourself.’
Giving yourself a “treat” can also mean giving yourself something super healthy and tasty at the same time -be creative!
I am learning that being “spoiled” has more sense when it is about something beneficial for my own physical and mental health that I wouldn’t normally get/do due to price or whatever reason.
You and your health are so worth taking care of.
2❀ ‘Hey, sunshine, smile! -You are beautiful.’
Once my dad asked me what was wrong with me.
I just don’t feel someone special at all. Not the most beautiful, not the funniest, not the most interesting girl.
My following dad’s answer was like that remedy that doesn’t heal you instantly but starts working as time goes by:
Let me tell you something, everytime you become insecure and upset, you close yourself up and hide all that you are -you might not look your best in those moments, BUT when you are happy and show who you are -You are just the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen! It’s easy, do you want to look beautiful? Relax, make sure you are happy and smile.
Okay, isn’t my daddy the cheesiest man in this world, sometimes? but these words made me reflect on all those beautiful and strong girls/boys out there whose insecurities hide the best of them, of all of us. Smile, you are beautiful! That leads me to the following point
3❀’Objectively, absolutely (by science) all of us are different! So what is real beauty?’
‘7 billion people on Earth and no two are the same’. How on earth do you think then comparing to other people works to find real beauty? And how smart it is to base it on something that changes over time? The real beauty, my friend, is found in the heart, so you know, invest in that sexy soul of yours 😉
-So there’s this guy…-
4♡ ‘Run as fast as you can towards God and if someone keeps up, introduce yourself.’
You don’t have to compromise your convictions for someone, be bold and stand out for what you think is right –don’t lower your standards (see next point) in order to be seen by someone.
Once I confessed to my very good friend Seren how I didn’t feel like thinking about dates at all, not in a million years. She smiled and asked me why.
-I don’t feel like that game, you know? I am sick of that dating game in which you always could either win or lose the “competition”.
She looked at me and boom. She sparkled into my heart a little bit of comforting truth.
-That’s the whole point, Alessandra, the ‘right guy’ will not play games. That’s how you’ll know.
Thank you, my dear friend.
5♡ ‘Exchange your “list” for “God’s list” -before even start thinking about any kind of romantic relationship, make sure your heart is in the right place.’
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears ALL things, believes ALL things, hopes ALL things, endures all things.
Love never ends.
Despite 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 isn’t only limited to romantic love at all but Love as a whole, I learned that it should reflect the kind of love we are striving for in a romantic relationship and ultimately to find in that person and in yourself. Are your standards based on that list or on your own wrong prioritized made-up list?
One day, I found myself writing all the reasons why I missed my ex, however in the midst of my smart attempt of self-pity, I realised how “that list” didn’t match at all, not in the slightest, with the real list of what love should look like. It had nothing to do with what he was or wasn’t at all, but with what I was letting my heart run out to. Let God change your heart first, and your “cheap standards” will follow.
A tiny piece of advice from this silly Milly? Always go for the nice guy.
6♡ ‘Sweet friendship.’
Someone willing to know your heart first before anything else? Pal, You’ve got yourself a gem! Don’t underestimate the power of a sweet friendship –butterflies might fly away eventually but true friendship does nothing but growing 🙂
7♡ Singleness is a gift too. Embrace it, my friend!
I cannot repeat it enough. I would love to know this rocky truth before as a teenager. “Your life does not start when you find the person, but when you start being the person God designed you to be!” Click here to read the post about some thoughts on singleness and relationships ‘I won’t talk about Valentine’s Day.‘ by Alessandra Echevarria (me hihi).
8♡ ‘Break-ups may not be the end -quite the opposite.’
Going through a break-up is never pleasant, but in my experience, It was so useful to put my heart in a better place and I wouldn’t want it in any other way. Trust God with your broken heart. Only what is broken can be healed and made new.
PS: Sometimes, rejection simply means God’s direction. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
-Some practical little nuggets-
9✔ ‘Good things take their time -don’t rush things!’
It always takes time to build a strong building.
10✔ ‘If you know to do good, then do it! ‘(James 4:17)
This has become a decisive lesson in my life. I don’t consider myself someone who tends to want what is good for me 90% of the time:
Going to the gym? Can’t be bothered.
Eating healthy? Neh, not today.
This made me see how easy is for us as humans to tend to run to not very sensible and worthwhile options from time to time. Being more aware of this has helped so much to realise that most of the time it matters more what I decide to do than what I feel like doing. Be more proactive and take your decision now.
-Family and friends-
11✿ ‘Parents are humans too.’
Why nobody told me that before? One day I wondered how it would be like to meet my mom for the first time and befriend her. Do I really know her as a human being or am I so self-focused to base her identity only on what she is to me ( a mom) rather than on her own personal being? Since then, I’ve made sure I asked all the possible (and quite embarrassing) questions about themselves, and that’s been very fun stuff so far!
12✿ ‘Siblings -best mates who your parents allow to stay over every night!’
I know I know… siblings are not always easy, but It would be ideal as far as it depends on you, to invest in those weird creatures known as siblings. Break the schemes -who says you cannot be best buddies?
Ps: Having the blessing of being an older sister made me realize how much worthwhile it is to embrace my responsibility and invest, mostly in those early years, on my little monkey and gain me his trust. See related post here!
13✿ ‘You don’t have to go against your convictions to find good friends.’
It took me almost 20 years, but I finally found amazing friends who not only put up with me but help me to be a better version of myself every day. Friends who lead you more and more on to the right path no matter what? Chain them under a tree and don’t let them escape! (you should probably ask their consent first, seriously, ask them first!).
14✿ “When we stop expecting everyone else to “get us” and start paying attention to “get them” instead, we get a taste of what it’s like to love like Jesus.”
I absolutely loved this blog post by Jordan Lee ‘If you feel like girls don’t get you‘.
‘Maybe true friendship is more about understanding than being understood. Maybe friendship is more about seeing than being seen. Maybe it’s more about serving than being served. Maybe just maybe, it’s not about someone “getting” me but instead, me “getting” ‘
Show yourself a friend first 😉
-Faith and my walk with God-
15ღ Kindness matters -in ways you cannot imagine.
Most of the time, showing kindness and grace is far much more efficient to make a point -Don’t forget that kindness was one of God’s most powerful weapon.
‘God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance’ (Romans 2:3-4)
16ღ Vulnerability brings more vulnerability -The power of “me too”.
Absolutely love this. Keep it real, it is not about impressing but investing in people.
17ღ He is able to make beautiful things out of the dust.
I don’t want to pretend those messy moments in life are always good, at all -I might not understand why some bad things happen, and I might cry out to God when I find things unfair, but what I’ve learned about God is that He is a redeemer, and how sweet it’s been for my soul in those bitter moments to let myself go and trust that He cares and cries with me, with us. And when I trust him and cling to him, he changes something in me and shows me a bit more of Jesus and his amazing grace and comfort.
18ღ ‘You are the one that Jesus loves -Walking loved.’
God loves people. He loves you and me too. We hear it all the time and we might forget what it really means. What would change for us if we truly believed that we are amazingly loved by the creator of all? If you want more insight into this I share a video of Tifanny Dawn which made me think a lot about this -totally loved this!
“It is not either or, but both and”
Chapter mentioned: John 13.
19ღ ‘My Dear friend, how is that heart of yours? -God sees the heart.’
I love these two verses. I learned from the first one that Jesus was more interested in changing the deepest corners of our hearts and its intentions than superficial religious practices that put tradition before people.
“Are you still so dull?” Jesus asked them. “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of a person’s mouth come from the heart, and these defile them.
Okay, I need a heart-make-over, I get it. But what exactly my heart and my deep intentions should be based on?
If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.
Whatever you do, make sure it comes from a heart that truly loves.
20ღ As Jesus has…
I remember very well that day on the plane way to Spain for holidays, I was so mad at my mom due to some arguments along the summer.
‘It’s so unfair, after all my efforts to love her! It is not worth it!’
I grunted quietly in my seat (which was a few lines in front my mom’s). It wasn’t until we were told to fasten our seat belts that it hit me the remote chance of not seeing my mom again (I am a bit scared of flying…) and tears started coming down my cheeks non-stop. I opened my bible and came across Jesus telling his disciples to love each other as he has loved them (John 13). No need to say more tears came down when I recognised in my heart I couldn’t love her that way on my own and that I needed him desperately to pour that same love into my heart to love her well.
‘Thanks God you have more patience with me than I myself have with my own mom’
I giggled with joy.
That prayer didn’t change my mom, but my heart which eventually started changing dramatically our relationship as well. Are you loving by your own efforts? Ask God to help you love, accept and forgive as Jesus have done to us ♥
Oh, what is this?!
Well, due to the fact I turn 21 this weekend… let me treat you generously with an extra one.
21★ Just do it.
You don’t have to have all ‘figured out’ or ‘all together’ to try new things, you will learn on the way, knock doors and see what happens! It took a step of faith for Peter to jump into the water and walk. Put your eyes on Jesus and start walking in faith.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
and do not lean on your own understanding.
In ALL your ways acknowledge him,
and he will make straight your paths.
One of my favourite verses ever.
After doing my list of what I’ve learned in my last 21 years, I realised I’ve learned some pretty cool stuff so far, and I still have lots to learn, which is so exciting. Maybe that’s what ‘adulting’ is all about and, maybe and just maybe adults are just wiser kids, willing to keep learning cool things each and every day.
In that case, hey! I think I am an adult after all.
✔What are some of the most valuable lessons you’ve learned so far?
✔Do you share some in common with me?
✔Have you thought all of the points above? Which one has surprised you the most or maybe inspire you?
I would love to hear your thoughts! Your comment could work as a birthday gift, you know? LOL 😉