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In graduate school, I learned many life lessons (See 6 Life Lessons from Graduate School). One of the most important lessons? I am responsible for my own education. No one tells me what I should be studying or tells me how to balance work and life. I looked at what I didn’t know and set out to do better. I started to research self care… and productivity… and personal finance… and entrepreneurship. Once I learned how to teach myself, I started reading up on everything that sparks my interest. I am better for it.
(I heard Elon Musk does the same thing. Great minds think alike, amiright?)
Once I started learning, I never stopped.
I started learning about different topics, but most importantly, I learned about myself. Graduate school exacerbated my anxiety and made me physically ill, but I committed myself to working through the challenge. After years of hard work, I am on the other side. I am content. I haven’t felt depression in ages. My anxiety is under control. Dare I say… I’m happy?
It feels absurd to admit to myself, but I am happy.
I finally reached happy. Everything I thought would bring me to this state of being was an illusion. More on this in another post.
The number one reason why you should stay learning? (or ‘keep learning’, if you don’t speak AAVE.)
You are the reason to stay learning. Your health, mind, bank account, future – it all depends on the choices you make today. In The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter, Dr. Jay said we spend the majority of our 30s and 40s correcting for mistakes made in our 20s. Similarly, our 20s is spent trying to unlearn things from our childhood… so let’s just say this decade is a time for being intentional and making informed choices.
The reason I am happy is because I committed to my process. Instead of giving up – killing myself – I pushed myself to read and do. I read books and articles about mental health (particularly in graduate school), became more involved in the twitterverse, and found others in my situation. I set boundaries. I voiced my discomfort. I learned how to persevere.
Once I felt like living, I dared to dream of a radically different life. I wondered not whether I deserved my vision, but how do I get there? What do I need to learn to become financially stable? To pursue my creative projects? To be a better friend? Mother? Partner?
And so, I stay learning.
The lessons I’ve learned, the books that changed my life, the simple things that keep me motivated and moving in the right direction… I am sharing all of it on Grade 21. I am on the path to living the life of my dreams.
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