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  • Writer's pictureBrooke Radi

22 thoughts on my 22nd year

Well friends, somehow the world kept turning and I'm in the final hours of my twenty-second year. It's been a ride-- I'm absolutely flabbergasted at the life I've managed to cram into a year and how much I've grown and changed since this time last year. In the past year, I've learned so many lessons and have found so much to be grateful for. Here are the 22 things I would love to tell myself on the eve of my 22nd birthday.

1. Post-grad life isn't nearly as scary as you think it's going to be.

2. Home is where you make it. Home might not be where you grew up or went to school, or even the part of town you thought you were going to live in. Find it and embrace it.

3. Friendship is a choice. You have to choose your friends and continue to choose them over and over again. Show up for them. Tell them you love them-- better yet, show them.

4. Let it happen. Whatever it is. Once you've done the work, sit back and have faith that it will all come together the way it is supposed to. Whether that's with visas, finding apartments or finding the big J-O-B, you've got this.

5. Book the last minute trips to places, just because they're cheap and close. You'll be absolutely floored at the hidden gems you find. Orbitz will be your new best friend.

6. All those adultier adults in your life? Ask questions and listen to the answers. Watch what they do and try to do it. You've got some great role models around and you really need to start following their lead.

7. Keep running, it keeps you sane.

8. It's okay to let yourself take a break-- sometimes rest is the most productive thing you can do.

9. Contrary to what you might believe, it IS entirely possible to drink too much coffee. Stop giving yourself the shakes.

10. Take pictures, but make sure you see the world as it is in front of you, not through your phone.

11. God listens to your prayers no matter if you're physically in a church or if you're listening to a sermon podcast on the run. The church is about people, not buildings.

12. You're still just as awkward now as you were then, but you've conned yourself into thinking you're funny. It's definitely much more fun that way.

13. Time with your family becomes more and more precious-- especially since you're going to be so far away. Make sure you hug your grandma, spend time with your sister and squeeze every last drop out of visits with your parents because there are days where you

feel each of the 4,568 miles.

14. Cute shoes are fun. A fourteen-mile day in cute shoes is not. Always choose form over function.

15. The job you think you're going to get is not the job you are going to end up with, and you're going to be over the moon when you figure it out.

16. Sit next to the open windows on the trams when it is hot. Your nose will thank you (deodorant is good, showers are better).

17. You'll find your people, who help you move via public transportation and assemble an entire household of Ikea furniture and still want to be your friends.

18. Laugh more and find people who laugh with you (and at you).

19. You'll always remember the Czech word for cats and the Czech word for lentils. And your Czech professor will always remember you as the student who mixed them up.

20. When in doubt, call mom. Even if you think something should be washed in hot water, it probably shouldn't be.

21. Practice gratitude every day, even if you're just grateful that they had your favorite fruit at the supermarket. It will change your perspective.

22. Talk to yourself the way you would talk to your best friend. You are worthy of love, respect and joy.

Most of all in this last whirlwind year, I'm so grateful for my friends, family and mentors as I've transitioned to life as a "real grownup." Your support, prayers and words of encouragement have lifted me up and empowered me to dive headfirst into this big, juicy, life-filled year and I can't wait for us all to walk through many more together. In the spirit of this blog post and my 23rd year, I'd love to hear from you. What would you like to tell yourself ago?

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