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Jessica Ireju: Life Lessons I have Learned in my Twenties So Far

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My twenties have been an entire course on its own; life has been handing out lessons and your girl has been trying to keep up. I get to welcome another twenty-something year today and I’ve decided to share my notes with people who, like me, are trying to live their best lives. I’m nice like that.

Life is so fleeting. I remember being sixteen, in my first year in the university, walking to my first class in an orange t-shirt, jeans, and sandals, and trying not to get lost on campus. It’s 10 years later and here are some of the lessons I’ve learned so far.

Start before you are ready

Spoiler alert! You are never going to feel like you know everything about starting that business, launching that podcast, or coaching your first client. At every point in your life, you are both a student and a teacher – learn some new lessons, and teach a few classes with your failures. The day you decide to show up for your purpose, every resource you need will be delivered.

Fall in love with your version of your beautiful

This fitfam journey is not easy. I have been every size, from a size 6 to 14, in the last ten years. You just have to learn to love your body shape, crooked smile, stretch marks and laugh when your only option is to cry while working out. Be like the woman of your dreams – think of her, live like her. The woman of my dreams is wearing a big smile, clothed in confidence and draped in authenticity.

Purpose is overrated

The word “purpose” has been abused. “Purpose” isn’t completed degrees, or work achievements. It also doesn’t not come dressed in robes and titles. Purpose is simply showing up in every room God sends you as yourself; no pretences, false versions of yourself, or masks.

Forgive yourself

You’re going to need it a lot! Stop beating yourself, rehearsing failures, and practicing perfection. Rest!

Burn the highlight reel

Stop falling into the comparison trap and hit the unfollow button on social media.

Rewrite the Plan

So you didn’t graduate at 19, get married at 25, and make Forbes list before 30? Today is a new day to dream new dreams, edit your life goals and delete some ideals that no longer represent the person you are becoming.

Ask your friends their love language

Ask your friends their love language and proceed to be intentional about loving them how they like to be loved. Friendship is about intentionality, sacrifice, and commitment. It is the same in a romantic relationship too.

Audition for new roles

If, at any time in your life, you are tired of being the person who always complains, can’t draw her eyebrows, and hasn’t started the blog yet. Learn a new language, watch YouTube videos and write your first blog post. You will be surprised that you will be the star of your life movie.

You teach people how to treat you

You have to be your biggest cheerleader, write love notes to yourself and speak kindly to you so that you can tell counterfeit love it has the wrong number when it calls.

Self-care is not selfishness

Self-care is deciding that the tired, stressed, unhappy version of you is robbing the world of the magic that you are. So put your phone on airplane mode, write an out-of-office notice or take a social media break. Travel around the world or walk around your estate, have a 3-course meal or homemade popcorn, buy yourself an expensive dress or go thrift shopping; Whatever you do, decide to pay for happiness instead.

Don’t feel like you have to fit in

Sometimes, you are not meant to fit in, so quit idolising images in your head, stalking people on social media, and wanting to be like everyone else. Why be regular? When you can be premium jollof rice!

You will be different people at different points in your life

Each of them is important to you. The teenager who was bullied is the person who never body shames another person.

Don’t let anyone deceive you, love is beautiful

Love is beautiful but it also comes with sacrifice, work, and compromise. Marriage is a commitment you are paying for with your life so except they are making a down payment with at least 10 years of their lives, your aunty can get her jollof rice fix elsewhere.

The grace of God is not the absence of doubts, discipline, and dedication

God will give ideas but you must create. He will hold your hand but you will walk. He will always love you but you must decide to accept that love.

You will be happy when you decide to be happy

You don’t have to make seven-figure revenue, land your dream job or marry the love of your life before you are happy. Wake up every day and make the decision to be happy no matter what.

You must own something that is yours

It must not necessarily make you money – it can be a passion, hobby, personal brand but it must be something you have control over.

Glow up financially

Now would be a great time to take foundational courses, get support building that income stream and glow up financially by learning how to budget.

Everyone has something to give

You have something to give at every point in time – time, money, love, resources. Smile at a stranger, edit that CV for free and take your friend out on a date.

You won’t have it all figured out

Enjoy the ride, choose happiness deliberately and decide to pay it forward with every lesson learned.

Jessica believes everyone has a story worth telling! She creates Digital Content telling these stories by writing, blogging, and podcasting. She interviews women on her blog curating their unfiltered stories to inspire others. Jessica is also the co-host of "Gist and Puff Puff Podcast" sharing personal stories with humour and heart. She loves small chops, thinks journals make the perfect gift and spends her free time watching youtube videos. Jessica believes her Instagram stories @jessicaireju is a safe space to share her unedited thoughts, you should come to say Hello!