A Letter from the Heart: What I've Learned As A 20-Year-Old

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Dear lovelies, 

I'm writing this because there's a tug at my heart, an urge to urge you to be the best you can be. As hokey as that sounds. Enjoy. 

Here's some things I've learned so far at age 20:

Make art. I spent 19 years thinking I wasn't a creative person  - that I wanted to be, but I never quite succeeded. Utter rot, I tell you...go out there and show everyone (but most importantly yourself) just how creative you can be. You don't have to be the most creative person - just do the creative things that make you happy. That make you feel like you. Find what is your art, embrace it, claim it + be darn proud of it. It's amazing.

Don't be afraid of having a "define the relationship" talk with the person you like. Sometimes it's awkward, sometimes it's not. Sometimes it makes things awkward, but a lot of times, it makes things better and smooths them out. It clears the air...because let's be honest, you know, your friends know - and he even probably knows, and then when you know that he knows...sheesh. If you don't say anything, it can be awkward. And addressing an aspect of a friendship/relationship, if it's obvious to both of you, is the grown-up way to handle it. There's no reason why you can't discuss it like mature adults.

Just remember - the world will never end if you reveal your affections for someone. Even if they don't feel the same, it's good to clear the air and often helps the "getting over someone" process along. 

You will change: your interests, friendships, goals, and even mindset. And that's okay. It's part of growing and adapting and becoming your own person, part of discovering who you are as an adult. Not everything will be thrown out the window or change in a negative way...but just be open to exploring new roads and possibilities you never thought you'd consider in a million years.

Enjoy the ability to take naps. Seriously. These are the only years you'll be able to take them undisturbed by a spouse or kids. Zzzzzz.

Trust yourself. Quit thinking you're making mistakes and are going to ruin your life. You're so young. 10 years from now, when you look back, none of the things that caused you stressed or that you fretted about or cried over will still be important. You aren't a failure, so beating yourself up like one = bad idea. You wouldn't tell your best friend that, so why tell yourself? Trusting is scary, but know that you know deep down what's best for you.

If you wake up hating + dreading something, don't do it for the rest of your life. If you're unhappy where you are right now, chances are you will be as long as you stay where you are and keep doing it . If you're unhappy, make change happen. Now. You only have one life  - so don't waste it.

Which leads me to...Find what makes your heart happy and makes you bounce out of bed in the morning. Then do that as long as you can and want to (forever, even). Occupations and jobs demand a great deal - they take hard work and plenty of determination. If you're going to do something, there are going to be rough days, hair-pulling roadblocks, and stressful deadlines. On those days, it'll be your passion for what you're doing that keeps you going; it'll remind you why you're putting time and energy into it - because you love it.

For me, it's writing, blogging, and photography. I love those like nothing else. I wake up excited to write, to blog, to pick up my camera. To capture words, memories, feelings. To make people laugh, feel special, and know that they are not alone. My calling is to tell stories through words and images...it's a calling that I love with every fiber of my being. I wish I could spend every day fulfilling it! And one day, I will. I'm working on it right now.

It'll take time and work, but that's what makes a passion worthwhile. You have to love it enough to live with it, hone it, push it, and watch it grow larger than you ever dreamed possible. 


  1. This affirms and challenges me. Thank you for your insight and know that what you've shared has taught me a thing or two. :)

    1. Thank you, Ms. Cay. You are an inspiration to me - know that your affirmation and friendship means the world to me. :)

  2. I think it's interesting you seem to imply that we females can initiate the "define the relationship" talk. I'm a firm believer in not initiating that discussion, not putting yourself out there. In my experience, it is awkward, yes. But in a more serious case, isn't wearing your heart on your sleeve just a prelude to more heartache? Just some thoughts. Beautiful post my dear.


    1. Liz, thank you so much for your comment - I am not trying to state that we girls should always initiate that talk...it can and does make things awkward. However, and I should have specified this in my post, if that talk is unavoidable (i.e. you are both aware of it and it's making your friendship complicated/uncomfortable), then I think we shouldn't be so afraid of talking about it.

      My personality is to wear my heart on my sleeve ;) so I've had one of my closest guy friends realize that I liked him a few years before I left for college. We had the talk after I'd gotten over him and it helped us firmly and mutually establish our friendship as just that. I also had it this past semester with the boy I'd liked all freshman year. He was also aware of my affections, so I decided I might as well let him know that I knew. I hate "dancing around" the elephant in the room. We met for lunch and he shared that he wasn't ready for a relationship, which I told him was fine. I'd simply liked him - I wasn't wanting him to date me! Again, it cleared things up.

      So, my point, I suppose is that I'd always been terrified to tell a guy I'd liked him because I was afraid of rejection. However, honestly, the worse thing that can happen is that he says he's not interested. In which case, it's his loss. ;)

  3. I think you really are my granddaughter (albeit my oldest grandchild is eleven). ;)

    I wrote something similar for my Sunday Post only from the perspective of one who thinks they may be too old.

    Not creative? Really? The way you write?

    1. And I am more than okay with really being your granddaughter! ;) And you are certainly not too old...I love your posts.

      Ah, thank you. I'm blushing. I finally realized it's not arrogant to consider oneself creative, but I'm still working on actually describing myself that way!

  4. "If you wake up hating + dreading something, don't do it for the rest of your life." thanks for slap me in the face, I needed it.

  5. Great post, I really love your blog :)
    God bless,
    x x x