Things I’ve Learned By Age 23

Day Two of Writing 101

Today’s prompt (which I’m just a couple of days behind on) is to write a list. Three options were presented and I am going to write a list about things I’ve Learned.

I had been throwing around the idea of writing a post about this, but primarily career oriented. I realize that I’m 23 now and have learned A LOT about myself in the past five years of living on my own and becoming a young woman. This will be a great process for me to come to senses with myself and hopefully be a confidence boost! I think I’m going to just divide up into different areas of my life and let the words roll.

Be prepared, this is a long one! But all these words are for me, I’m just glad you chose to read them too!

 

Things I’ve Learned About My Career Self

I have a bit of imposter syndrome. According to Wikipedia:

…a term coined in the 1970s by psychologists and researchers to informally describe people who are unable to internalize their accomplishments. Despite external evidence of their competence, those exhibiting the syndrome remain convinced that they are frauds and do not deserve the success they have achieved. Proof of success is dismissed as luck, timing, or as a result of deceiving others into thinking they are more intelligent and competent than they believe themselves to be.

Just a bit. As I’ve been applying to jobs and speaking with others for advice, I’ve learned that I have trouble recognizing the amount of work I have accomplished. I actually have quite a bit of experience just working outside of my education and people are always impressed with my skills and capabilities. But the thing is, all the work that I’ve done was always just something I had to do! Learning how to use certain applications or gathering freelance work, it was always something I knew I needed to get done to get more onto my resume. And just because I wanted to learn these skills for myself. I am all about learning new things and trying to differentiate myself, but doing the tasks is a little different than knowing what skills are gained. I worked really hard on perfecting my resume, with the input of others defining what my skills are and how to best represent them. It was tough. I am now realizing how much I know and am capable of. Still hard for me to put into words.

I have learned that my fear of failure is getting to the best of me. In my last internship, there were times where I would freeze or speak less when in meetings because I was scared of saying the wrong thing. I would have trouble asking for help or articulating thoughts correctly because I was trying to say the right thing without having help. I realized that it is ok to make a mistake, it is ok to come out and say “I don’t know” and learn. I always thought I would be comfortable with it, but when it came time to actually work in business meetings, I froze! It was something I worked on, and still do. I learned that I am much more comfortable speaking with just one or two people, but have trouble impressing clients or speaking to large groups.

I still go into the workplace with some idea of power distance. Most companies that I am interested in joining are breaking this idea down. Power distance for me is that barrier of communication between myself and someone of a higher “rank”. I know it is something I need to let go of, but I still have restraint.

I realize that there is still a lot for me to learn. I know I could tackle a good job soon, but I still feel like I should be in training mode and that I need to learn learn learn. I’m starting a new position next Tuesday and hope to gain more than I expect.

Things I’ve Learned About My Relationship Self

Nick and I are celebrating our f i v e year anniversary next week. WOW! I really lucked out with him. Here are just a few adjectives to describe him and our adventure: he is patient, he is kind, he is silly, he is loving, he is honest, he is sincere, he takes care of me, he is independent, he is a teacher, he is a learner, he is strong, he is my best friend. I could keep going on and on. But seriously, FIVE YEARS! How could I have been so lucky to have my first relationship be this good? We have moved in together and it is wonderful. We’re working out the kinks now, but it’s nothing detrimental. And now that I have a job and good prospects for the future, the other things will fall into place. Living together is so much easier than cohabiting before. It might be easier now that I’ve finished school and our lives aren’t as hectic, but I don’t care. We are so good together. But back to the prompt…

I am way more rational now than I was a few years ago. I was kind of crazy, and maybe that came from the insecurities of growing into my young adult self. I like to blame the Depo shot (which is notoriously known for driving ladies crazy). So I’ll just do that. But I guess what I’m saying is that Nick has helped make me sane. He has helped me learn how to be a person, and has been supporting me from day one. He truly is my partner, supporting my every effort. I love that I can think for myself and do what I want, but I know he will be there to give me advice and support me in any way that he can.

I learned that I like a relationship that is more togetherness than not. You know there are those couples that do EVERYTHING together or are more independent. Well Nick and I are in between in this spectrum, but lean towards doing everything together. I think this is just because we enjoy each other’s time so much, we are best friends! He is my best friend and the majority of things I love in life I could not do without him. I’d feel guilty, to be honest, if I did something fun and cool and exciting without him that I knew he’d enjoyed. But the great thing about Nick is he will only get play-mad about it and set out to plan a day where he and I can take the adventure together. We work so well together. We each are good at planning and balance each other out. We have such a good time together, and quite often our friends and peers question us when we are not with the other. We are slowly learning to take our time for ourselves, and it will definitely be a good thing.

You know, if I kept writing about my relationship… this post would go one for quite a while. I’ll stop here and talk about my relationship self regarding family.

I need to be a better family member. I’ve been so caught up in growing up and my life in San Francisco, that I’ve spent less time with family, spent less time supporting my family. I don’t want to say neglect, but that’s how it feels. I know it is my time to grow up and be me and discover myself, but I know there are parts of me that need to be better. I find myself dreading calls with family because they just continue to be about nuisances or things that annoy me, but I just have to swallow it and focus on the good. I’ll leave it at that.

 

Things I’ve Learned About My 23 Year Old Self, In General

I need more friends. I’m terrified of not having enough close friends. I’ve never really had many, just a couple that I know I can always talk to, but not really people who I can call up at any time to go and be spontaneous with. My best friend (other than Nick) lives in LA and has a life of his own, and I am so happy to talk to him as often as I can. But I wish I had more close girl friends. I am terrified I won’t be having bridesmaids at my wedding. I had great friends as roommates, but they all have their own lives now. I miss being around women. Luckily my new job will have plenty, but I just feel like I missed my chance on making those “life long friends”. But then again, maybe I haven’t! Maybe with my new chapter in this life I will find those special ladies to be 1000% me with.

There are habits I need to work on, now before it’s too late. Things like laziness, diet, health & fitness, commitment, time management, personal finance, education. I have only this life to learn this for the soul I am right now, and I cannot let it go to waste. And I should also not feel guilty for being lazy. I’ve been doing really well about learning new things and exploring, so I just need to keep at it!

I still feel like there is some sort of passion that I’m still looking for, that is missing from my life. I have no idea what that will be, but I am excited to find out.

Whew, that was a long one! But it felt good to get all these thoughts out. Until the next post…

Cheers,

Sophie

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