• Kendall Lanier

Here's to 20 and All of the Lessons so Far

Wow, time flies when you’re having fun right? 20 feels different. I’ve entered a new decade. Everyone thinks 21 is a big deal, which it is, but 20 is the first year of one of the most important and transformative decades of your life.

I am lucky enough to say that I have stepped into this new chapter happy and grateful. With the craziness of this year, from COVID-19 and everything else we have been hit with in 2020… I knew my birthday would be extra special this year. My birthday was on Election Day, November 3rd so there was a lot going on. But, I was still able to reflect on the biggest life lessons I have learned in the past year and from years prior. I also asked a few of my friends their biggest life lessons.

1. You can’t care too much about what other people think.

I know, it sounds so cliche but it's so true. Have you ever had that moment where something super embarrassing happens to you in public and you think everyone is staring and making fun of you, but in reality no one cares? Yeah, that’s kind of how life is. No one is as worried about your life as much as you think they are. When you care too much about other people's opinions, it can potentially hold you back from a lot.

You have to wake up each day and live for you, because living to please others is simply exhausting. At the end of the day it is your life, and you have to be happy with the choices you are making and who you are becoming. We’ve all had an experience when we do something because we didn’t want to disappoint someone. Yet, in most cases that’s just not fair. As harsh as it sounds, you have to be selfish, not too selfish but just the right amount. Because if you aren’t, one day you’ll wake up and you’ll realize all of the goals and dreams you once had, have been pushed away.

2. Don’t stress the small stuff.

You have to think about the bigger picture. The next time something happens that annoys or frustrates you, ask yourself, is it really that big of deal? Is it really worth that big of a reaction? Probably not. What I’m getting at is, don’t make things harder for yourself than they need to be. Simplify your life. Life is 10% what happens and 90% how you respond. I’m not perfect and definitely do not have everything figured out, but I do know that not giving your energy to pointless things will make you so much happier!

3. Be your own advocate!

I could go on forever but I’ll end it with this one. It sounds so simple but we don’t do it enough. No matter how much older someone is or how much power one has, do not let them devalue your worth. You have to know who you are, what you are capable of and what you deserve so you are not taken advantage of. It is so important to stand up for yourself in every space. Never forget what you are bringing to the table.

All of these lessons relate to each other. It comes down to being self aware, confident and understanding your goals and who you want to become. If I could wrap up those lessons in a few words, I would say that it is your choice to be happy and live the life you want. It is so crazy to me to think about how everyday is a chance to better yourself. When you look at life from that perspective life gets a little more interesting. I hope you all can implement some of these lessons but also think about what you have learned in your own life thus far!