“I don’t know about you but I’m feeling 22.”
When Taylor Swift’s song 22 came out, I thought to myself “Cool song, and wow imagine being 22 years old? Crazy!” and I kept jamming to that song oblivious that one day I would be blessed enough to see 22.
Here are lessons I have picked up in the 22years.
1. Go with God
Let me tell you Maina, without God nothing is possible. The much I have seen and surmounted was only possible with God. There are days I would wake up and wonder how I would get through that day. God has been faithful, forgiving, and gracious upon me all these years and I can encourage you to wait upon Him and journey with Him, He will never fail you. For the full sermon see me personally.
I discovered this interestingly. One day I was having a crisis internally where I felt I was struggling to talk over the noise of the world. I felt frustrated. I am talking and not being heard. So I decided to stop and listen. I began listening to the world around me and I can tell you that I am way better of. You learn a lot when you listen. Listen to the things around you, the things not being said. Listen to the people in your life. Stop the shouting match with the world and listen to it. You will discover a lot about yourself and things around you.
3. Love yourself
In the words of GK Nyambura,”JIPENDE BITCH!” Usipojipenda, utapendwa na nani? No one can ever love you enough to compensate for the lack of self-love within you. That love you desperately give to others, pour it back into yourself. Self-love is so powerful. It propels you to care for yourself and not tolerate things that muddle with your essence. Whatever self-love looks like for you I encourage you to dive deep into it. Jipende tafadhali.
Are you aware of who you are? Are you conscious of the being you are? Self-awareness has had a large impact on my life. It has caused me to see things as they are and not how I’d like them to be. It made me be accountable and hold court within myself on my actions. Being conscious of oneself is key to unlocking your potential and also being true to yourself. So wake the hell up and be aware of who you truly are.
5. Stay learning
Learning is not just a classroom thing, it is applicable in all aspects of life. You have to be teachable and willing and ready to learn every step of the way. Every moment is a learning experience. There is so much we can learn every day about ourselves, the people around us, and the world too. The lessons from the learning experience are what carry us through life. Besides that, you can learn a new skill, a new subject, etc. Learning helps your brain remain youthful.
You cannot be everyone’s cup of tea! Some like matcha, others like coffee and some don’t like any of the above. That is okay. You don’t have to force your delicious teaness down everyone’s throat. Move and find those who love tea, those who love your personality. There are over 7 billion people in the world you will not miss those you are compatible with. Whether it is a friendship, relationship or business partnership choose those people you are compatible with. Your relation will be seamless compared to forcing issues. In case you are reading this and wondering where your tribe is, be patient they are coming.
These are personal beliefs you form from your life experience, your core values define who you are as a person. Core values are the compass that guides our lives. Identify your core values and let them guide you. Don’t be afraid to drop the values that don’t serve you anymore.
8. Seek and ask for help
No man is an island, that’s why there are people around you. You can not know or do everything. People need people. Feel no shame in reaching out for help.
9. Take care of yourself
Please care for yourself, physically, emotionally, mentally, and whichever other avenue. Don’t burn out caring for others and neglect yourself. Sleep, eat well, exercise, set boundaries, etc. Do not wait to fall ill to realize how important you are.
10. Establish agency
Take charge of your life, actions, body, and time. Life will blow you in every which way if you do not establish agency. Ensure you can get a grasp so you are not swayed.
Once you know your values you can set boundaries. Set and enforce your boundaries. Communicate when your boundaries have been crossed and if people do not respect that find ways to say you do not appreciate their actions. People will walk all over you if you do not stand up firmly for yourself.
12. Vitu zingine si a must
You don’t need to ride every wave. If you feel deep within you something doesn’t align with you, don’t feel pressured to go with it. For example, if drinking is not your thing don’t indulge in it. I know it is easier said than done but at the end of the day peace within you is worth it. Vitu zingine si a must, usijiforce kuzifanya.
13. Count on yourself
No one is coming to save you. Count on yourself to achieve your vision. Be proactive with your life. It is great to reach out for help but do not be in the back seat of your life. Do the work and put in the effort.
14. Be yourself
“Be yourself; everyone is already taken”
You are the only you. It is a great disservice to the person you are when you try to be like someone else. Do not change yourself to fit a mold. You are more powerful when you are your authentic self.
The way you talk to yourself is a precursor for your success or doom. If you keep telling yourself you are not good enough you will fall into self-sabotaging habits. I encourage you to change your narrative, speak positively to yourself and of yourself. Your life will change dramatically.
16. Energy doesn’t lie
Everything has energy, from animals, vegetation, inanimate things, and people. Energy is interesting because it does not lie. For example, if you dislike someone you can put on an Oscar-award Winning performance around them but your energy will sell you out. So learn to identify different energies around you and it will save you a lot of heartache and problems too.
To be mindful simply means to be present. Please get out of your head and live in the here and now. Be aware of where you are and what you are doing. Do not let life pass you by while you are stuck in your head or scrolling on your phone. Enjoy the real world. Pay attention to people when conversing and enjoy the moment.
18. Give thanks
Gratitude is fundamental my friends. There is so much to be thankful for all around you. Life will wear you down sometimes but there is always something to be grateful for. Sure you climbed the wrong Super Metro but at least you can sightsee on your way to Kikuyu right? Always count your blessings and be grateful for them.
19. Turn off notifications
Unless you are a full-time content creator or have an online business, just turn them off. You don’t need buzzing and pings all the time just to be notified about “someone who you may know” also happens to be on the same app.
20. Find healing
Life can through curve balls and some of them are heavy and traumatic. Often these things are so difficult and they scar us. Life, however, doesn’t stop. We have to keep it moving and this means that we may ignore the pain and the hurt and sadly it does not leave. It festers and manifests in ugly ways. Then you wonder why you are always angry, irritated, or maybe even numb. This is where self-awareness comes in. You should be able to check yourself and question some patterns in your behavior. If they stem from a place of pain or trauma, find healing. Find a way to process and heal. It is difficult but necessary. If it overwhelms you then seek professional help from mental health professionals or find someone you trust and open up to them. I encourage you to heal, let go of baggage that plagues you and life will get a lot more pleasant.
21. Do more of what makes you feel alive
Stop waiting for the moment you will be rich to enjoy your life, stop waiting for the moment you’ll be happy to enjoy your life. Enjoy it now. If you enjoy reading find the time daily to read. If you enjoy music blast your playlist and sing along. Stop postponing joy!
22. Kabla ukute vitu piga protection
Sauti Sol was right to sing these lyrics. Take charge of your sexual health. Start by educating yourself on the whole spectrum of sex especially about sexual health. Ama utatii.
These are my two cents on life from a 22-year life experience, what are yours?