24 Life Lessons that I’ve learned in 24 years of existence

We can all agree that 2020 has been a devastating year. We were forced to deal with loss and uncertainty. Plans that we made for last year and the succeeding years were instantly thrown out of the window.

When NYC went on lockdown, I was pretty optimistic. I thought to myself that it would only take 2 weeks tops and things would be back to the way they were. Yet here we are almost a year after and there’s barely any sense of normalcy. I craved for “normal” in the first few months but as the fight against this pandemic continued to stretch, I knew that I had to be comfortable with (or at least accept) uncertainty.

I’m grateful that 2020 taught me how to look at uncertainty differently. It’s still a process but last year really made me see that uncertainty doesn’t always have to be accompanied by fear and anxiety. Uncertainty can be good. It gives us a million possibilities that we may have never imagined for ourselves if we choose to make space for it.

Just like everyone, I lost a lot in 2020. My mother, internship offers, the college senior year experience, the opportunity to fly home and visit my family, and a few friends. But I also gained a lot. Clarity on my purpose, new friends, deepened relationships, appreciation for the simplest things in life, fulfilled goals, bigger desires, and a greater zest for life.

There will be greater unknowns waiting for me but I’m more excited than fearful now. Why? Because I choose to create a life that I love. A life where I can make beautiful things out of mistakes or failure, and where I can trust that sometimes just being is enough.

Here’s to 24 and hopefully to 24 more!

As a small Valentine’s gift, I thought I’d share with you 24 life lessons I’ve learned in 24 years of existence.

  1. Love is the greatest thing you have and can give.
  2. Be kind, always. Everyone is going through something you know nothing about.
  3. Be yourself. You only have one life. Don’t waste it by living a life determined by others. The world needs your uniqueness. 
  4. Boundaries are the key to having healthy relationships, whether it’s your relationship with yourself, your friends, family, and your work. 
  5. Be courageous. It’s impossible to live without fear BUT you get to choose whether fear gets to take the steering wheel or stays in the back seat.
  6. Everyone you meet can teach you something. So, listen and be humble.
  7. Focus on the journey rather than the result. When you love and enjoy the process, the results will speak for themselves.
  8. Rest is an important part of the process. We’re not made to be outputting every minute of our lives. We’re soulful beings, not robots.
  9. Invest in yourself first. It’s the longest and most important relationship in your life. You cannot pour from an empty cup. The people around you deserve to know your best self.
  10. Don’t hold back on loving the people who care for you. Tell them how much you love and appreciate them. We never know when our time comes.
  11. Let go. We’re not supposed to have a kung fu grip on our lives—on anything. Detach from things and people that no longer serve you. We’re meant to outgrow things and people as we evolve. Embrace change and make space for the new.
  12. Do not believe everything you think. You are not your thoughts. You’re just an observer/a witness to these thoughts.
  13. You are so much more than your work. You are not your work or talent. 
  14. Rejection = protection and redirection.
  15. Make time for play. Who knows what you’ll discover!
  16. Live with a gratitude attitude. There’s always something to be grateful for. 
  17. Breathe. We often forget that it’s the simplest yet most important thing we do every single day. It’s how we get to survive—to live!
  18. Be present. When we spend time thinking too much about the past and the future, we miss the NOW. And there is nothing more important than the present. That’s all we’ve got.
  19. Give yourself permission to fail. Success cannot be attained without committing mistakes along the way. Mistakes offer us wisdom.
  20. Stay in your lane.  While we may have similar goals, we have our own purposes. What’s yours will be yours. Comparing will not only crush your self-esteem, but it could also lead you to live a life that is not your own.
  21. Life is too short to think about what others think. More often than not, people are too busy living their own lives to think about yours. And as Dr. Seuss said, “…those who mind don’t mind, and those who matter don’t mind.” 
  22. Energy is your greatest currency. Protect it at all costs. Spend it wisely.
  23. Always remain a student. You’re in the wrong room if you think you’re the best. There’s always room to grow. 
  24. Trust your intuition. Your inner guidance knows best. Even if the outcome is not what you desired, you’ll always discover yourself. 

Love & light,

Diane

Mental Health Diaries

Feb 14, 2021

Hey there!
I’m Diane Lee.

I am an NYC based content creator, filmmaker, gluten-free foodie, and mental health advocate.

more about me

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Hey there!
I’m Diane Lee.

I am an NYC based content creator, 
filmmaker, gluten-free foodie, and 
mental health advocate.

more about me

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