An African Girl’s Early Twenties Reflection
Author’s Note: We are back babyyyyy. I turned 25 yesterday! I felt so loved and appreciated, which was a great way to ring in a new chapter of my life. I hope you enjoy my lessons. Let me know what lessons you’ve learned 🙂
A quote for you: When the sun rises, you rise with it.
“Growth is everlasting… even if you reject it.”
You cannot deny the growth you experience every year. Even if you don’t feel it, you are growing each year. What you have experienced can indeed make you a new person. For some, this may seem obvious, but for others, it is hard to accept. Imagine all the new people you meet each year and what you’ve learned from them. It doesn’t have to be direct. Simply, it can be what you’ve experienced with them.
“Friendships bloom but can also wither.”
Not like a dying flower, but you get it, right? I think each person I’ve had as a friend was super important. No matter what I went through with that person, they added something to my life. No matter the hurt I have caused and vice versa, I will forever be grateful. With each friendship, I learned so much about myself. I knew what kind of friend I am, and what kind of friend I would like to become. I became more vulnerable. And, I think the best part is that I learned more about my own love language and the types of friends I want in my life. The difficulty, though, is accepting that not every friendship is meant to continue to bloom. Everything in life doesn’t last. Some friendships wither to make room for newer and stronger friendships.
“Your community is everywhere.”
I don’t think we talk about this enough, but the community helps us thrive in this world. Without our communities, we are empty. A community is like a nest; as birds build their nests sometimes, they consider what’s needed to make their nests strong. The communities you are part of help develop your character. We are born into communities, but we also have choices as we get older. Everywhere we turn, there is a community for us. Over the years, I didn’t realize the communities I was part of- the ones that shaped me into who I am today. Without those communities, I would be lost. So don’t forget to keep finding your communities. It is never too late.
“If you want to sing a song, make sure to sing it loud and proud.”
I remember this one time I was driving to my house with my mom in the passenger seat. Harry Styles Adore You came on and I busted out my singing voice. My windows were down, and I was happy. I sang until we got to my house. I parked next to this car, not realizing someone was in it. When I turned to look at the car, there sat a woman in the driver’s seat, giving me the dirtiest look I have ever seen. To this day, I am still hurt because that woman really must have hated my singing. Why am I telling you this? Well, if you want to sing a song, sing it. Do not let other people ruin your shine. You will have people hate on the very things you love to do, but that should not stop you. Keep going. And this goes beyond singing. Interpret this lesson in any way that suits you. Did I stop singing after that encounter? No. I sang my heart out even more because I love Harry Styles, and singing makes me happy.
Do not let the pressures of marriage get to you.
I have been pressured to marry since I turned 18 years old. Luckily while I was in school, it wasn’t that bad. But, once I graduated from college, it got worst. Marriage proposals left and right. I wish I went to therapy more often during this time. I wish there was someone to help me get through it, and not deal with it on my own. Though I joke with my friends about wanting to get married, I still cry to myself knowing the pressure has gotten to me. This lesson is easier said than done. But, you have to try to not let people get into your head. Some will tell you you’re getting too old so you need to get married. Others will tell you to settle and stop being picky. At the end of the day, this is your life. Marriage will come when it comes.
Document your highs and lows.
Every year, I love to revisit the millions of journals and pictures on my phone. Although I do not like to be reminded of the past, knowing what I have been through is still good. The good and the bad. You don’t have to do this, but I find it helpful to document your life, whatever it looks like for you. Journal. Take pictures. Create a physical photo album. Make your own scrapbook. This is for you and only you.
You will always find your passion/purpose in new experiences and challenges in life.
I talked to a close friend of mine, and they mentioned something so important. They felt lost and didn’t know if they really knew their purpose in life. It made me realize that with each new experience, you will be reminded of your passion/purpose in life. And, you may not have just one purpose. Honestly, I don’t think any of us have one purpose. If you’re feeling lost, think about your passions in life. Think about what you’re truly passionate about. What makes you happy? It took me a while to figure it out, but when I did, I was a happy woman. Take your time too. Do not let anyone rush you to figure it all out. One step at a time.
“Do not forget to take care of your open wounds.”
You put a bandaid on that wound, hoping it will heal in due time, but have you checked on it? Have you cleaned the wound? Your open wounds need to be addressed and taken care of. I have always suppressed my emotions and the pain I’ve felt. I would remind myself that with time, I would heal. But, that was never the case. Eventually, all the emotions piled up, leaving a bitter taste in my mouth. I became bitter. Your open wounds cannot become scars until you do the work to heal. Once it becomes a scar, you’ll be reminded of your strength and the obstacles you’ve overcome.
Thank you so much for reading! Stay safe!
Written by Diaka Thiam