As a child, I can remember saying, “I can’t wait to be a grown-up. Adults have it so easy!” Now, several years later, I see how sadly mistaken I was. Being an adult is not easy. Many times, I long for the days when I could just sit back, relax, and be worry-free. As we grow into adults, we learn so many things. Some of those things we learn easily and some of them…well, you know the rest. Thinking back on my journey to adulthood prompted me to share five lessons I have learned the hard way.
The more life I live, the more these lessons evolve. I guess when they say “experience is the best teacher”, they really mean it. Some things in life, you learn by people telling you. But some things you simply have to experience for yourself.
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What does it mean to learn a lesson the hard way?
If you are wondering what I mean by learning a lesson the hard way, let me provide some clarity. Learning a lesson the hard means finding out what you need to know by living life. Going through life and making mistakes along the way is one of the best teachers.
Here are some of the things I have learned through life experiences:
Nothing in life is free.
When I was little, I was so innocent and naive. Anytime someone said that something was free, I believed them. Win a free trip to Hawaii! Buy this and get that free! Sign up for this credit card and get this t-shirt free! Ha. (The joke was definitely on me!). I learned that lesson the hard way.
People will show you their true colors.
Maya Angelou said it best when she said, “When people show you who they are, believe them.” The more you are around someone, the more you will learn what kind of person they are. Pay attention when people show you signs of who they really are and do not expect them to change.
Nobody’s life is perfect.
I grew up in The Cosby Show era. The Huxtables were a picture-perfect family that everyone envied. I secretly wished that Rudy would run away and that Cliff and Claire Huxtable would ask me to replace her. I was super shocked when I finally realized that scripted lives don’t exist in reality and that perfect families only existed on Thursday nights at 7:00 on NBC.
Money does not grow on trees.
My parents tricked me. I thought that there was some endless supply of money that they tapped into whenever their wallets were empty! I cannot remember a time when I asked my parents for something (within reason) and they didn’t make it happen. Now that it’s my turn to do that, I find myself looking endlessly for that pot at the end of the rainbow! (Anyone with tips, please email me. Please!) Lesson learned!
You can’t change a person.
No matter how hard you try, you cannot change a person. You are only responsible for yourself. The faster you accept that, the easier your life will be. It is ultimately up to the other person to change their mind or their actions. Nothing that you do or say will make a person change if they do not want to change.
There are certain things that people can tell you over and over again. But, it’s not until you learn those things for yourself that you really start to believe them. Life is the best teacher that you’ll ever have. There is nothing as profound and eye-opening as living and experiencing those things that you’ve heard your parents and grandparents tell you time and time again.
I guess this age-old adage is true: You live and you learn.
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