It's OK to let some relationships go.
It's hard to walk away from relationships you've built - whether it's a relationship with your career, a friendship, or a romantic relationship, but if all you have had were years and the biggest thing holding you back from letting go is the time you've put into it, it's time to pull up your big girl panties and call it quits.
People will give you shit for it, and people will tell you to hold on and think about how much you've put into it. You're old enough to know what's best for you and what your gut is telling you to do. Listen to yourself.
Nobody's opinion is better than your own.
I have spent many years doubting myself, my capabilities, my appearance, and the decisions I have made in life. Learning to cultivate self-trust is one of the most important and significant things I have been doing in the recent years, and being with John has helped me a lot with this. He's taught me that people's views are not more relevant than my own. It doesn't matter if they're older, more established, more successful or better educated.
Knowing what's right for you is your truth.
Dress according to what you think looks good - not what other people think looks good.
I am very proud of the fact that I've marched to the beat of my own drum most of the time, except I have faltered and fallen into the pits of mimicking a trend because it looks good on someone else. I've grown up, grown older and I know what's good for me, and what's bad on me.
Don't be afraid to ask for help, but don't be the needy person who seeks help all the time.
In many ways my parents have taught me independence - I know I can fend for myself when push comes to shove. I'm a hustler. And because of that, while I will ask for help, I won't ask for help unless I absolutely need to.
Find your tribe.
In my early twenties, my social circle was diverse and sometimes, obnoxiously huge. These days, the people I hang out with are my #tribe. I may not see them more any more than once in a month or two, but we stay in touch constantly, I seek them out for opinions and advice and I share things with them because I want to.
Love your family.
Remember that your family is who you choose, not who share a bloodline. I've learnt that through a series of unfortunate incidences with the paternal side of my bloodline (most of whom I detest).
Family refer to the people I love - my tribe, my parents, my brother, a handful of cousins (literally a handful, like you could count with five fingers) and their offsprings and my future husband. I would walk through fire for my family, so I choose my family and protect them fiercely.
It's OK to not know what you want.
Again, whether in career, in love or in life, it's OK to not know what you want. It's OK not to know what you want to be when you "grow up", it's OK not to know what type of partner you want, it's OK not to know where you want to to be ten years from now (just pretend you do know shit at a job interview, though). Know what you don't want. And perhaps, through a process of elimination, you'll find what you've been looking for all along.
Own up to shit
I've made mistakes - even big ones in the past year or so. Instead of flaking, or trying to assign blame, the easiest way to get around the mess you've created for yourself, is to own up to your own shit. Own up, learn from your stupidity and move on.
Routine medical procedure is important.
Don't be a dumbass. Get a pap smear, get your bits checked out, and listen to your body and react accordingly. Don't forget your dentist. Your dentist is your best once-in-six-months friend.
Don't give a shit about what mean girls think.
Mean Girls post-high school come in the form of insecure women, gay men with inferiority complexes or straight men who can't get laid. They will say nasty things about how you look, how you dress, what you should or shouldn't be wearing, what you're doing with your life, your body, and everything else. Don't give a fuck. Walk away. If push comes to shove, then punch them in the face.
Cheap underwear is never worth it.
Put down the Cotton On knickers. Grow up and get bras with support. You'll thank me some day.
Other people's baggage is theirs to deal with.
As much as you want to help, you are not being a good friend, partner or family member by taking responsibility for other people's problems. Support the people you love but allow them to work things out on their own; the goal is interdependence, not codependence.
Your partner should complement you, not complete you.
You should be complete by yourself.
Every day I'm thankful to God for bringing J and I together, and even when we're so far apart, I am more in love with in today more than I was yesterday. While the long distance kills us, in many ways it has made us and myself as an individual stronger and when we get through this nothing can break us. It also reminds me that I'm myself first, before I'm part of any other entity, whether it's my relationship with John, or as a family member to the people I love, or a friend.
In the almost-four-years we've been together, we're grown together, both as individuals and as a couple and at the end of the day, I know he's the one I want to come home to for the rest of my life.