5 Lessons I Learned this year

Twenty something struggling with this whole adult thing, trying to make sense of the world on this birthday, I share life lessons learned from this past year and hope to help other millennials adult a little easier today. The Confused Millennial, Gen Y advice. 

Twenty something struggling with this whole adult thing, trying to make sense of the world on this birthday, I share life lessons learned from this past year and hope to help other millennials adult a little easier today. The Confused Millennial, Gen Y advice. 


Today is my birthday...

and for some reason I am not at all excited.

Maybe because I realize that more adulting (by numbers) = more responsibility... ugh.


Maybe because the last few birthdays have been kind of anti-climactic...


because I love being in my twenties so much that I really hate that they keep passing by (I am turning 27 and accidentally forget and tell people I am still 25... Whoops, my bad! )

Seriously, my twenties have been a complete roller coaster of unforeseen changes and lessons, but I have absolutely loved it. I have graduated with both my Bachelors and Master's degrees, I have excelled in a career only to blow it up and start my own business, I met my fiancee and am getting married in a few months, and I have really learned just so much about myself as a person.


But today I reflect on this past year and the lessons I learned... while there are way more than 5 these are the most prominent and dominant 5: 

1) Self care is top priority. This year has been beyond stressful in every area of my life, family, housing, business, friends... and my body and health have definitely experienced some negative consequences as a result of the stress. I am so grateful that Drops of Joy Jewelry sent me their oil diffuser necklace to try.


I get chronic headaches as some of you know, and with this necklace I can add a few drops of essential oil on the disc, put it in the locket, and let it diffuse into the air and clear up my tension headaches. How cool is that? Plus they have some adorable designs! I also got super nervous that I may eventually develop Fibromyalgia because my body is constantly tense (is that even how it works? Because that's how I think it works and I keep freaking myself out), so I started getting regular massages and will get back into yoga this year. 

2) The Facebook effect is much broader than just Facebook.  I remember reading this article a couple of years ago about why Gen Y is unhappy and the American Psychology Association released their Annual Stress In America Survey for this year, which dubbed millennials as the most stressed generation. When I read the original article referenced in this point, I realized I was one of those entitle Gen Y "Yuppies" it talks about... I actually started teaching this article having groups read it while working as a counselor I found it to be so true.... But then I forgot about it.

While I've definitely lowered my expectations of life, I seem to have forgotten that the carefully crafted Facebook life, spans to a much broader reach than just Facebook.... It spreads to on-line personalities newsletters, website, webinars, testimonials, and their real life. This year I've had the pleasure to interact with high level coaches and realized they are living in fear that this carefully crafted persona will come crashing down... and that although they've built their businesses on hard work... they are now settling on entitlement to carry them through. I realize I don't ever want to rest on my entitlement or "Facebook Effect" persona. I want people to know the struggle and hiccups, so they can connect and learn too... even if it means it takes a little longer to build my business and be seen as an expert. #Integrity4theWIN!


3) You can choose your family. Okay well I already knew this one and learned this lesson a long time ago, but to me, family is the person or people who show up, without strings attached, no matter what. They are the people that can respect where you are at and don't punish you for taking care of yourself or being your own person. I am so grateful for the friends who have become family and my soon to be family (what?!? Am I really getting married in less than 4 months? This is starting to feel real!)


4) Just because someone writes about helping and supporting others doesn't mean its true. My mind was blown when I learned that most testimonials on sites are people's friends or family... Better yet... apparently it's industry standards to blur the lines of those "praise" sections... Who knew?!? Maybe I am naive, but I really believed them when they had their picture, city, and name on there! Only after I learned this, I noticed if I read closely enough they are really a testimonial about the persons character, not services, seriously go read them.  Even some of mine on rachelritlop.com fall into this... I really should update those.


5) Netflix isn't the most important thing in my day.  Last year, I think if you asked me how I spent my day, at least 8 hours of it was spent watching TV, literally, I am not exaggerating.  This year, I buckled down and got way more serious about my business and nurturing relationships... proudly I can say Netflix is still my BFF, but we are only seeing each other 3-4 hours a day now. 


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How do you guys celebrate birthdays? What lessons are you learning?


Rachel Ritlop

Rachel Ritlop is a millennial career and business coach. Rachel passionately empowers her clients to make more money and build their dream careers. Rachel is also the founder of TheConfusedMillennial.com, a Gen Y lifestyle blog sharing experiences, struggles, insight, and educating readers to navigate their twenties and thirties.