By Lulu Akaki

As a child, the twenties seemed to be the ideal age range, a bridge between being an adult and somehow still getting away with a few immature stunts. I always thought that by the time I turned 25, I would have life all figured out… confident that a job, a husband, a house and kids would ensue. Ahh, how a young mind makes assumptions to only realize that life is not a straight light but a series of winding roads!

Life taught me that being twenty and starting the journey into adulthood is not what it seems. That by the time you hit mid-twenties, you realize you are not quite cut out for adulthood.

I’m nowhere near being done with my twenties, but I feel that my first half to mid-twenties have been a learning curve. I’ve been in a reflective mood as of late and I’d love to share life lessons I’ve learned in my early twenties.

Friends come and go.

Friendships are ever changing. In the last few years, I have lost touch with several people. People who have been in my life for years. It wasn’t necessarily due to arguments but more of a growth and change in interests. One thing I’ve learnt is to accept this change. It might hurt for a while, but along the way you form new friendships. Ties that suit who you are at that point in life. All you can do is be a good friend and accept that not everyone was meant to be in your life forever.

Say no more often.

I am 100% sure that the word ‘no; does not exist to me. I have felt drained and stressed out simply because I said “yes” one time too many.  That friend that needs a loan, that project at work I clearly know I can’t handle. I say yes. In the last few months, I’ve learnt that it’s perfectly acceptable, even an act of self love, to say no. If your friends and family are not willing to accept your inability or unwillingness to do something, then maybe the problem is them and not you. We all need a little time to recharge and do the things we love. All you have to do is say ‘no’ once in a while

Make your own timelines.

It’s always made me feel bad and a little sad when I saw my classmates or people who were years behind me in school get engaged or have babies. It made me question if maybe I was waiting too long for this. Recently, I came to the conclusion that we don’t all have to do things at the same time. It might take me longer to get things done, and that’s perfectly okay.

Take your time, I guarantee you the journey is much sweeter when you enjoy the conclusion simply because you did it for you.

Apologizing is a sign of strength, not weakness.

There’s this notion many people seem to have. One that makes them think that apologizing somehow makes them weak, appear less than they are in the eyes of someone else. It takes a special kind of strength to admit when you are wrong. To realize you hurt someone and accept your mistake. Weakness is having an ego that makes you ignore the pain you cause others.

Next time you do something and feel the need to apologize, don’t fear, just say sorry. It feels liberating.

Trust Your Gut.

I want to end on ‘trust your gut,’ because this is how I like to make decisions. My gut has gotten me out of many situations safely. That inner voice telling you what choice to make, listen to it. It could be the key to you getting that job you’ve wanted for years. It’s taken me years to trust my gut and listen to my instincts, but they have never led me astray. Here’s to many more great experiences thanks to it.

I haven’t finished learning about life. I’m pretty sure the next few years will bring me more knowledge. I cannot wait to experience and write about them as I journey through life.