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Big moments come and go. Some stand out drastically and others are a little smaller. No matter what experiences you have, if they’re important to you, they’re a pretty big deal.
I’ve always been one to embrace the experiences I’ve had throughout my entire life. I know that each memory, good or bad, has lead me to where I am today and the person I strive to be. There’s always improvements, always more goals, and the inability to be totally satisfied. But who is ever truly satisfied?
Once I reached my 20s, I realized how much my life has changed and how much I’ve accomplished. I don’t believe that it’s BECAUSE I’m in my twenties, but because I’ve had a change in perspective.
The life I used to know is now completely different. And for the first time in my life I’m scared to death and hopelessly excited for what’s to come. I’m more mature, more determined and more understanding than my younger self once was. And I blame the powerful experiences I’ve gone through.
Here’s 6 powerful experiences I’ve had so far in my 20s.
1. I got my own apartment.
As a 20-year-old entering her junior year of college, I signed the lease to my first apartment in my college town. It was a cute little 2-bedroom apartment with windows overlooking the town, white walls that were cracked in many areas college and a fridge that was older than dirt. But it was mine.
Although I did receive a tad bit of help from my parents, I proudly contributed to paying rent, which I did so by working my butt off not only in school, but at work too. I went to class, studied, worked and was a part of an organization that took a good chunk of my time. I was always busy and I loved that little apartment more than anything. I know that I won’t ever have an apartment as cheap and rundown as that one was, but I know I’ll also never be able to top the memories I made in it.
I learned what it was like to truly be on my own, how much work it took to keep it clean and organized and how to get creative when I was limited. I was relieved to know that living on my own in the real world, wouldn’t be so scary.
2. I graduated from college.
One of the proudest moment of my life was graduating from a university with my bachelor’s degree. It was the longest and most brutal 4 and a 1/2 years of my life but it was all so worth the reward.
All my late-night studying, projects, client-work, team-work and improvements as a student made a huge difference in my education and my career path. I felt so confident walking across that stage because I knew how hard I worked to get there.
I never wanted to be the girl who regretted not doing better and saying things like “I should have tried harder,” or “Why didn’t I study more.” Coming from a girl who made this mistake in high school, I wasn’t about to let it happen in college.
3. I lived in another country.
Not many people I know can say they’ve had the opportunity to live in another country. And although it was only for 2 months, it was incredible. I lived in Sweden and it was an experience I’ll never forget.
Not only did I explore the city of Uppsala and Stockholm, Sweden, but I also traveled to Copenhagen, Denmark and London, England. The trips were life-changing and it made me just fall in love with Europe even more.
Despite the fact that I decided not to stay in Sweden, I had a profound understanding of another country and how greatly it differed from ours. Briefly, the culture can be described as professional, clean, polite, fashionable and beautiful. Every part of town was beautiful and breathtaking and every person you saw was dressed to the nines. It was interesting to see what the country valued and how society ran on a day-to-day basis.
I realized because of this experience, that taking risks is always a good idea. And even if it didn’t work out for me in the long-run I don’t have a single regret giving it a try. I just know now that I’m more of a traveler, not a permanent-stayer.
4. I landed my first real 9-to-5 job… in my field.
So maybe I’m a little bias being a New Yorker myself, but this city has given me hope. The opportunities, the energy, and the atmosphere make everyday worth it. I’ve always wanted to be there and how lucky that it happened so early in life for me.
My job is rewarding, exciting, and different everyday. Whether I’m at my desk responding to emails, putting contacts together, talking with clients or running errands, I’m always so happy and thankful to be in my position. I’m just happy to have purpose.
5. I wrote a blog post that made an impact.
Being a writer is rewarding no matter how many people read my material. I’ve always found such enjoyment and fulfillment from putting my thoughts on paper that even just reading it myself was sufficient enough.
It wasn’t until I wrote a moving piece about my college town and why it never really leaves you after you graduate. The blog post itself has over 30,000 views and counting.
Never would I believed it would even get a couple hundred. Once I shared it on social media, it spread like wildfire. I started receiving notifications and comments from people all over the world, students, alumni, fans and even grandparents, talking about how much they loved my article. It was an amazing feeling knowing I moved that many people and brought an already tight community, even closer.
It made me feel so good knowing that my words instilled a feeling in others that they otherwise didn’t or couldn’t say themselves. It encouraged me to always share my thoughts and continue writing even if I don’t think anyone will read my stuff.
6. I found inspiration for life.
Generally speaking, my everyday experiences have made me more aware, positive and grateful to see another day. I know that great things are to come and that when bad things happen, it won’t always be that way. It’s not necessarily about looking forward, but starving to be content with exactly where you are.
Whatever powerful experiences you’ve had so far, embrace them. Never belittle what you’ve done and accomplished because those accomplishments make you better even if you don’t realize it.
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You always have a reason to keep going and an opportunity for improvement. If you have bad experiences, just make new ones. You have all the power in the world.
What powerful experiences have you had so far?