(Leer en español) Someone once told: do you know what’s the best year for a woman? The year she is living. And that’s how I feel it today, living the adventure, not about reaching somewhere but enjoying where I am going through.
I thought about writing the 22 lessons that I learned in this 365 days and then I realised that it was a long list I did not want to write, even less read, so I am going to sum up the 2 ducks in a few lessons only.
Cut/dye your hair.
A month after turning 22 I got sick of the long hair, I had been thinking about it for a few months now. One day I just went and did it but apparently I didn’t cut it enough because no one noticed it.
After my accident I decided to make a more radical switch, worst scenario if I didn’t like the outcome was that no one would see me while doing therapy at home. Turns out I did like it. I went back to work with a bob cut, a red strip and the confidence you earn when you leave a mane behind, for a boy’s haircut.
I am letting it grow again, but just to see what other crazy things I didn’t have the guts to do before I can now. When a woman modifies her hair, modifies her life, I read that somewhere sometime and I think it is true.
Learn to proudly carry your scars, all of them.
There are two kind of scars, the emotional and the physical ones, both are equally hard to face and overcome. The first ones we accumulate them through different episodes in our lives, and only show them to those who overpass our barriers and earn our trust. They are also the easiest to hide.
The second ones are harder to hide, they normally come with an unpleasant memory that involved doctors, blood and medical tools. Last May I decided to go down the stairs and broke my ankle. Long story short, I have a 10 centimetres scar in my right ankle.
Showing the scars is not easy, specially if you dislike being the centre of attention. For my surprise, after an internal crisis whether to wear a dress for work or not, my coworkers only notice the scar like after 2 months. Your scars are the memory of the battles you won, or are about to, show them off!
Live by a budget, not by emotions.
I got my first official paycheck the same month I turned 22 and yes my first thought was: shopping, shopping, shopping! but of course, my reasonable mind and living with the economists changed my mind quickly. I got home, opened an Excel and did a monthly budget. Yes, I still buy things that don’t make much sense, but also yes, I have saving and can afford a few crazy things once in a while.
Credit cards are not unlimited money, is a personal loan that is going to be expensive if you don’t have a budget. Yes, my first credit card had a Batman design – I am still a child, y’all.
Be selfish about yourself. Love you first.
That you like someone doesn’t mean you have to be with him, that you tell him you like him doesn’t mean he has to be reciprocal, and yes, you can end up being friends, trust me. Go out on dates. Don’t fall in love. Enjoy the lunch/dinner. Talk about everything with the person that ask you out, but get this one clear, a date won’t necessarily end up in a relationship.
Sign into the gym, and not as the classic new year resolution. Choose a class you like, do only what makes you feel confortable. I have learned that dancing lessons are not for me, but 1 hours of combat makes me feel better about myself. I like to run in the treadmill and I get super stressed to follow the instructions of the coach, I do my effort though.
This last year taught me to love myself, to set myself as a priority over trying to like everyone or make them happy. I surely still like making people smile, but mine comes first.
Part of growing up is falling in love with who you are. And remain faithful to your values. Yes, I am a Christian. I was born in a Christian house and there is not reason enough to make me deny my faith or go against what I practice.
You know what is the best of remaining faithful to who you are? That only the people who loves you by who you are stay. I don’t believe in “best friends” but if society will impose me to label them, I count them with my fingers. I value them because they don’t change who I am, they enable me to be myself and loyal to my faith.
My 22 were full of amazing events, good and bad one. I wouldn’t change anything of what happened because all of them defined the Ana that goes into the 23. When my grandpa passed away last year, I understood what a wonderful life he had and how he ended it up faithful to who he was, knowing how valuable his life was, my grandpa taught me many things but the following he did without words and only by actions:
Live like a warrior, to die as a hero.