Nothing prepares you for the future as much as the past. Every day, we learn new things, face new challenges and build new habits. All of these are to guide us to our desired lifestyles. In April I turned 26. I realized that in 26 years, a lot has happened. The growth has been remarkable. I don’t think I’ve ever been one of those people who is scared to grow older. As a matter of fact, I love growing older. I’m not afraid of going grey or adding weight and wondering how to lose it. None of those scares me. However, I am a worrier so I worry about my well-being. Have I learned to be better at being me? Have I been a better friend, sister, daughter, and since February, wife? Yup! I got married! That gist will come up another day.
One of my philosophies is that I go through hard times to learn lessons and if I don’t learn, it’ll come back. Maybe not the way I expect but it will surely come back to me.
So here goes, 26 lessons I have learned in 26 years
I felt better as a vegan
Sometime last year, I tried veganism for the second time. I loved every bit of it but unfortunately got derailed because a lot was happening. If I’m being very honest, it’s better than anything else. I wake up every morning feeling lighter in all areas. it’s like the less meat, the more clarity. If you can, try it and let me know your experience.
The idea of reading and the act are totally different
I always used to tell myself that I liked reading when in reality, I really just liked the idea of reading a book. It’s been over a year and I haven’t picked up a pamphlet to read. There are no excuses tho. I just haven’t. The idea seems nice but the practice is what really matters
God is always looking out for me and I know it
If I start to count all my blessings one by one, I doubt that the blog can take it. God constantly shows up for me.
Not everyone is your friend
Sad but true. You’ll meet a lot of people and you need to understand that even the ones you want to keep as friends will just not always feel the same way. Also, you have to be alright with people leaving your life as well. Not all friendships will last forever.
Being Fit does not equal being skinny
There was a time when I thought I had to be skinny to be fit. Turns out, I can drive myself to underweight if I am on that track. I am now more focused on getting to a fit lifestyle. it’s not been easy o but we keep trying until we get there.
My emotions are a reflection of my thoughts and they can easily be acted out
I once saw some quote/saying that thoughts become things. The truth is that the moment I start to harbour a thought, positive or negative, it begins to register in my mind and I slowly act it out. It’s not to say that I don’t feel negative feelings. I just try to keep them hovering in my head for a really short time before I turn into a 26-year-old hulk.
Christianity is great but I can learn from other religions
There’s this rejection that I sense from other Christians around me. I remember telling someone that I’ll like to read the Quran and their reaction came with so much judgment and condemnation. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with finding common grounds with other religions. My core values were revealed to me through a concept in Buddhism and I don’t regret it at all. I am super grateful for it.
Family in Nigeria is overrated!
Before you attack me here just chill first. I love my family very very much. There’s something about the word family in Nigeria that annoys me. So during my wedding, I realized that I needed to consult people that have never cared for my wellbeing all in the name of family. Where have you been for the last 2 years? Why do I need you to move on when you didn’t show up since. I think there needs to be a stop to the way we carry everybody along in this family train. I’ve sha checked out.
Saving and Investing are not the same
I blame the low rate of financial literacy for this. Although I knew the meanings of these words, I did not know how they directly affected my own bank account. Honestly, I am still trying to understand savings accounts and the rates with banks. Investing money can be tricky and I’m learning where to put my money for better yields. I get ashamed tho because I feel like 26 years is too old to figure my finances out but that’s societal pressure talking so I will pay no mind.
Anxiety does not own me but I give it the power
As a very bold young child, I struggled with accepting adult self to be anything but that. It really didn’t make sense to me. I had a reputation to uphold. I quickly realized that I was holding on to over 20 years ago and it was only going to make me feel worse about everything. Anxiety takes over but you have to let it. I am learning to do better.
I actually don’t like the process of traveling but I love the destinations
You can expect that at 26 years I have a truckload of destinations to visit before I die. Unfortunately, one of my biggest fears is actually getting on a mode of transportation to get there. If you’re thinking this is only about car rides then you’re wrong. I get massive anxiety just knowing that I am going to be traveling. It’s called Hodophobia. Like with most things, I brushed it off until I started to see a pattern. It didn’t matter where we were going or how we were going, I could not sleep the night before. Scary stuff right?
Some people will show up for you when you least expect
I officially believe that God can raise anybody from anywhere to step into your life and change it for the best. It happened to me first hand. God exceeded my expectations and He used people I didn’t even know were in my life.
There’s time to work and there should be time for me
I am really glad I got to learn this at 26 because I know that t would have messed me up if it came in much later. Work no dey finish and so I needed to allow myself rest. Trying to finish work will only cause me to forfeit my personal time and it is very important to take out time for myself.
Sometimes, just damn the consequences and move on
I jokingly say this thing “All die na die” In essence, I mean really if I overthink it, I’ll never get it done and that’s only slowing me down so let’s damn all the many thought-out barriers and give it an honest try. The quicker you fall, the quicker you get up. Starting YRN all over again was one of those moments for me
Animals are actually precious creatures. Really nothing to be scared of
I used to be so afraid of animals. I got one with my partner and it has been the best decision so far. We love her so much. She’s the most precious thing.
Not all advice is good advice
Just take the ones that you know deep down to help you grow and leave the rest. Say thank you and pass it to recycle bin, then empty recycle bin.
You can master anything at all. It just takes practice
Practice makes perfect they say and they ain’t wrong. I hated cooking. Maybe because of the hype that accompanied it. Turns out, it’s actually therapeutic for me and I just roll with it. I’ve been cooking by myself and it has been amazing.
Fasting is not so bad when you have your mindset
I tried to fast all on my own for the first time last year. It was truly a beautiful experience.
Trust your process
If you don’t, who will? Trust that everything will come into place eventually.
Marriage is really peculiar to the couple.
Before I got married, I sat and listened to tons of other couples share and give advice based on their own experiences. Some of those advice made sense but if I’m being honest not all of them did. I’ll say allow yourself to evolve with your partner. Grow together. No premeditated marriage expectations. Drop it all
Yoga takes patience and practice
I am still no doing the yoga I said I will do 5 years ago. Sometimes, I beat myself up for not accomplishing this goal until I have turned 26 years. I always want to jump right into splits and hard positions. Ogbeni calm down and allow it to flow. No be assignment.
Worrying will never get the job done
You see, it doesn’t matter how many times you worry, that business won’t get launched. In fact, you’re going to give yourself 1000 reasons to push the launch date backwards. I still worry a lot but really e no dey benefit me. Don’t be like me.
Miracles happen every day
Look around you! Actually, try to appreciate the little things. When you think of miracles, your mind immediately goes to the big things but small miracles happen too and being grateful for them can change your outlook on life.
You can’t control how other people feel
People will be sad, angry, happy, grieving and there’s nothing I can do about it. I can only support. Support can mean step aside and allow them to figure it out or stay close and enjoy it with them. However, I am not in control.
I am a bad plant mum
My best friend gifted me a plant. I love it and I’m so glad that she gave me a low maintenance plant because OMO! I always forget to water it. Weeks can pass and I will even forget that I own a plant. I need to do better o
It’s ok if someone does not like you
26 years later, I still get a little uncomfortable when someone doesn’t like me. It’s alright tho. I don’t have to be an angel in their story. I don’t even have to be in everybody’s story at all.
Dear gang, after 26 years, these are some of the lessons I have learned. What are some of yours?