24 Lessons for 24 Years

I'm not about to assume y'all know me so I'll just tell you what today is. Today is my birthday. As the title gives away, yes I am 24. I've made a lot of decisions, met a lot of people and spent a lot of time learning about this here life I have. Now it's time to sit down at this desk and give you all some golden nuggets I've picked up on the way. (BTW, this post was inspired by the wonderful Victoria of shescandid.com Check out her lessons here.)

1. It's OK to fail.
If you ask my family or close friends, they will tell you how I HATE failing or getting something wrong. But it's unavoidable. Apologize, improve and move forward.

2. The first and last person you need to be honest with is yourself.
You know why? Because you can't really walk away from yourself. There's only so many times I can take myself off the chopping block before the same issues come back. When I've been honest with myself, my life has fallen into place a little bit easier.

3. Focus.
There's so much out in the world and if you're like me, you can get distracted really easily. DON'T. Whenever I've gotten sidetracked, it takes so much longer to finish whatever I was working on.

4. Feel unapologetically.
I can't stop my emotions. I have a lot of them. So I've been trying to let them run their course instead of letting them fester. So far, it's been working out.

5. Being alone can make you stronger.
There are certain things you'll have to go through alone. There are also certain times when being around people makes a situation worse. Removing yourself and taking care of yourself or a situation can be the best course of action.

6. Being alone can also hinder you.
Too much isolation has hurt me more than once. And by the time I ask for help, it's been a little too late.

7. Time only has as much power as you put into it.
So many of us worry about how much time we have to do the things we want to do. I get anxious every time the fall comes because I think I haven't checked off enough items on my life list. I'm just realizing that list doesn't define me. Having goals is great but letting them get me down isn't.

8. No one is thinking about everything you're thinking about.
Everyone is starring in their own life show and everyone's life is different. It's impossible for anyone to have the exact same thoughts as you. So let go of the anxiety you've been holding onto.

9. Putting yourself first is one of the best and hardest tasks you will have.
The best because you can see the results clear as day since you're with yourself everyday. The hardest because when you slack off, you can't give a good enough answer to yourself.

10. Don't explain yourself to people who don't matter.
This includes extended family, acquaintances, coworkers and strangers. When I came out as bi, I got A LOT of questions from the aforementioned. And when I stopped answering, my headache was lifted.

11. If you can walk out the store without it and not feel bad, you don't need it.
This is a fashion lesson that I keep with me. It makes all my purchases much easier because it's the last comment I make before I swipe my card.

12. Call out your people when they are wrong.
Your family can be racist. Your classmates can be sexist. Your friends can be homophobic. Tell them so they can either learn and grow or stay the same with one less person around them.

13. Admit when you don't know.
I've failed classes because I didn't want to say "I don't know." You can learn more when you have someone with experience teach you.

14. Not everyone in your circle is supposed to be there.
Do you know how many friends I've let go of? People I thought would be apart of my village when I eventually have kids? Some of your people aren't here for you. Point them out and act accordingly.

15. Ignoring things does not make them go away.
You know what your kitchen looks like when you haven't washed any dishes and taken out any of the trash in a month? That's what my life has looked like when I've ignored my problems. Clean up your life.

16. You are always allowed to say no.
To anything. To anyone. At any time.

17. Your journey is not a straight line.
I've wanted to be a therapist, an entertainment lawyer and singer at one point in my life. I've worked in tax, finance, real estate, nonprofit, and automotive industries. One of my professors told me I don't know what I want. Hell I'm still figuring it out. But guess what? So is everyone else.

18. Someone will find fault with what you do. Do it anyway.
I've had friends tell me going completely natural will ensure that I'll stay single. I've had family tell me moving to the east coast will suck me dry. I've done both and so much more. Fuck it, live your life.

19. Set up auto payments.
You will forget to pay something. You will also not have enough funds on certain due dates. It's OK. Just opt in and feel better.

20. There is a difference between being rude and being honest.
Like I've said before, I am petty. I have comebacks for everything and everyone. That doesn't mean I have to say all of those comebacks.

21. Trust.
I know it's hard because people have betrayed me too. Some people are on your side. Let them be there.

22. Stagnation is not an option.
You cannot stop moving for too long. I have been left behind because I wanted to wallow in self-pity or got too comfortable. Strive for the next level.

23. Spot the difference between embracing and improving.
You can embrace the parts of yourself that you haven't always loved. But that doesn't mean you can't change them. I love my body, but that doesn't mean I'm not making an effort to shed some pounds and get healthier.

24. Don't push what doesn't fit.
This is for fashion, relationships and jobs. If you have to tug at it, heavily alter it or lose something in order for it to fit, DON'T GET IT. Don't keep it. Move on.

And that's all the major lessons I've learned so far. What have you learned from living your life?

Evon Williams

Washington, DC

Lover. Writer. Budding PR/Marketing Consultant. Emotional and Mental Growth enthusiast. Sex Positive Supporter.

You can find me @goddessevon on most social media sites.