22 Things I Learned at 22

I just celebrated turning 23. No, I'm not informing you of this so you can comment below and tell me happy birthday. I'm telling you this because 22 was one of the most hectic, stressful but eye opening years I have experienced on this planet.

It was filled with so many emotions and so many crazy events. 22 was an amazing year and it taught me so much about not only life, but myself. And today I would like to share with you just what I learned in my 22nd year on this beautiful planet. 



1. Plans don't always work out.

I'm not talking about your Friday night plans. I mean your life plans. You're not going to get married, have children, move out or get a career when you were expecting to. And that is okay. Life happens on it's own terms. 

2. If you obsess over the future, you're wasting the present.

This was one of the biggest life lessons I learned at 22. I spent pretty much my entire year obsessing over my future - planning out every detail of my life. This took away an entire year of my present. A year I could have spent living in the moment and enjoying every second. I'm upset that I did this, but now that I am aware it gives me the opportunity to take advantage of every second here on out.

3. Life is short and goes very fast.

Although I am still young, it blows my mind how fast 23 came. The older I get, the quicker each day goes by. I learned just how important it is to appreciate each second and never take it for granted.

4. You don't have to have your sh*t together.

This is similar to the first two things I learned but focuses a little more on career/finances. It's okay to not know exactly what you want out of life. It's okay to change your mind and not have your life in order. What's important at this age is learning and growing!

5. Learn about yourself.

This didn't happen until the end of the year for me but I'm so grateful that it did. I'm a very selfless person; I always put other people's needs before my own. For the first time I started to focus on myself. My interests. My hobbies. My needs. When you focus on who you are and what you're about, amazing things start to happen.

6. Travel is the best source of knowledge.

I didn't get to travel much at 22, but when I did I made sure to learn as much as possible. Whether it's the culture, the animals, the types of trees, it's incredible to know everything there is to know about where you are in the world. Traveling the world gives you first hand experience, something a textbook or magazine could never give you.

7. Friends will come and go.

As someone who gets very emotionally invested in every type of relationship, I generally have a hard time letting people go. Unfortunately, there comes times in life when people drift apart. Learning to except that was a huge thing for me at age 22. People come in your life to teach you things, whether you know it or not. It's okay to let go and no longer be close to people once their purpose in your life is served.

8. Family is extremely important.

I've always been close to a select few people in my family. This year was rough for me and throughout everything I went through, my family was continuously there for me. They've seen me at really down points in my life and continue to love and care for me in exactly the way that I need.

9. Your health matters.

Whether it's working out or being aware of what you consume, your health actually is more important than you think when you're younger. The older I get, the easier I gain weight. It freakin sucks and it's a constant reminder that I can't eat whatever I want anymore. When I eat better and do some sort of physical activity, I actually do feel better. You were right, Mom!

10. Compromise can make or break relationships.

Not just with your partner, but with every type of relationship. You can't always have it your way and they can't always have it theirs. It's important to see both sides of a situation and come to a mutual agreement. Even if you know your way would be the best way.

11. You can control your thoughts.

For many years I had a more pessimistic approach towards life. People sucked. My job sucked. The world sucked. When I began looking at things more positively, everything changed. Suddenly the world wasn't so crappy and people weren't actually so bad. When you look at things with optimism and a positive attitude, you open yourself up to a whole new world. A happy world.

12. You control your own life.

People can doubt you and fill your head with negativity, but at the end of the day you decide your own destiny. You can be anyone you want to be and go anywhere you want to go. You just have to learn to accept and believe in that. Your entire life is in your own hands.

13. Your interests will change.

If you would have told me at 21 that I would eventually be interested in attempting to cook, making jewelry or meditating - I would have laughed in your face and told you how crazy you are. Well, just like many things in life your hobbies and interests will start to change. 22 brought with it some really "grown up" hobby changes and I'm quite grateful that it did!

14. Gray hairs are not a sign of the end.

22 brought along the first signs of gray hair...dammit! You can imagine the panic I felt when I found the first one, then the second, now they're sprouting out all over. Once the panic wore off, I allowed myself to look at them as little hairs that are more wise than the rest. (I'm still working on this one!)

15. Bones creak and joints ache.

Maybe this is because I spend 8 hours a day sitting on my bum while working, but my bones sometimes sound like a symphony and my joints end the day being pissed off at me. Getting older isn't only mental, your body really starts to remind you daily!

16. Grocery shopping gets...enjoyable?

I can't believe I just said that. Going to the grocery store isn't such a miserable thing anymore. I enjoy having food in my house and in order for that to happen I need to go shopping for that food. Seeing as I don't really enjoy shopping at the mall, I guess the markets are a good way to get some shopping in. The rather large sum that comes out of my bank account from doing this isn't so great, but the actual store isn't so miserable anymore!

17. Organizing gets fun.

While I used to enjoy living in a cluttered mess and claimed to know exactly where everything was, suddenly living in organization is just more satisfying. I appreciate when things have a "spot" and don't get tossed on the floor. I like having my shirts organized from tank tops to long sleeves. Knowing where all of my pens are (because they're in their own designated box) is awesome! And having pillows strategically placed on my couch somehow makes me feel like a real adult! Who am I?

18. Being yourself is awesome!

At this age, it's becoming less common for me to care what people are thinking about me. It does still happen sometimes but it affects my life less. I know who I am and I am confident in that. If someone doesn't like me, what I'm wearing or how I live my life, that is 100% not my problem to stress about. We were put on this planet to be ourselves and not everyone is going to connect with who you are. There's way too many people who will connect with you to spend your time worrying about those who won't.

19. "Going out" isn't the same.

A long night out no longer means partying until the wee hours of the morning. That actually sounds exhausting. Now going out means going to a restaurant close to home and grabbing one drink (maybe) and then calling it a night. If I make it up past 11:30 PM, we had a wild night!

20. Heartburn is really painful.

I always thought people were such babies when they would complain about heartburn. Maybe it's karma biting me in the butt but that damn heartburn will really get you! Who would have thought that I would have to think twice about eating something because it may give me heartburn or acid reflux...Sucky!

21. Savings accounts and retirement funds matter.

Go figure. These are things you don't think twice about when you're younger. But they actually play a really big role in your future. Although I said I learned to not worry so much about the future, some things (like these) are good to keep in mind. Setting money aside monthly in each account is actually important to me now.

22. You will stop wanting to celebrate birthdays, at some point.

I'm willing to celebrate a few more years, but I think once I hit 25 I'll just start pretending that it's just another day. Birthdays are so fun when you're younger but every year that passes now just freaks me the heck out! Now I only look forward to birthdays because they're an excuse for me to call off work and travel. Forget the turning another year older part!


Can you relate to any of my findings? How did you spend your 22nd year?

Although some of these items on the list may sound somewhat negative, they're all very positive things. I'm grateful for every year I've spent on this Earth. 22 was by far my favorite year I have lived yet and it taught me so much about who I am and what I want out of life. 

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Meditation Pillow Tutorial (Beginner's Sewing Project)

Sometimes certain events occur in our lives and they send us into a whirlwind of confusion. This was the case in my life a few months back. My initial reaction was to shut down and feel sorry for myself but then I decided to try something different - something more positive. For the first time in my life, I started to focus on myself. I tried to understand who I was as an individual. I then became grateful for these events that were bringing me down before. They allowed me to discover all new things about myself.  

From this journey of self discovery, I found yoga. It was calming and peaceful and allowed me to connect with myself on a more personal level. It reminded me of something I had felt before, a few years ago. 

A few years back I was really into meditation. I didn't know exactly what I was doing but when I was done with these meditative sessions, I was on a high. I had never felt so calm before.  Unfortunately, after some time I lost the ability to quiet the commotion in my head and meditation was no longer enjoyable. I quit attempting to do it shortly after. 

Thankfully, yoga reminded me how to focus on the here and now. It taught me to quiet the noise in my head and just focus on myself in that moment. Because of this new understanding,  meditation is becoming easier for me to accomplish and I would like to start doing it more. 

What a way to make a short story long!

Today I'm going to show you how to make a meditation pillow. Meditation pillows serve a couple of purposes. 

Comfort.

Butts are boney and floors are hard. Meditation pillows create a nice cushy layer between bum and floor which allows for added comfort and less for you to get distracted by.

Posture. 

While meditating, I find it easiest to cross my legs and sit straight up. This position can get uncomfortable for the hips after some time. The pillow acts as a little booster seat so that your hips are raised equal to or above your knees. Again allowing you to focus more on your practice and less on your discomfort.

It's just cute.

I don't know about you but when I find a "hobby", I enjoy buying or creating things that add to that hobby. In this case, it makes me joyful to have a pillow dedicated solely to meditation. Something about it gives me a sense of, "Okay! We've got this, let's do it!" Maybe I'm just crazy.


Enough of the chatter, let's get into the tutorial.


You will need.

  • A yard of fabric.
  • Scissors.
  • Lots of stuffing.
  • Yarn. (optional)

 

Getting Started.

Fold your fabric in half and cut out two 24.5 inch pieces. Make sure your fabric is completely flat and doesn't have any wrinkles or folds before you cut. It's okay if your edges are a little jagged but try to cut in as straight of a line as possible as this will help you when it comes time to sew.

If you have your fabric folded on one end you won't need to cut that side and it will save you some sewing time!

Pin the fabric.

Turn your fabric "inside out" so that the pretty, patterned side is touching. You want the not so pretty side to be facing out on both sides. 

Pin the fabric together along the edges using fabric pins. Make sure there are no wrinkles or folds when you're doing this. You don't want your final pillow to be lumpy and wrinkly. You want it smooth like butter!

If you aren't confident in sewing straight lines just yet, go ahead and use a sharpie and a yard stick to draw out very straight lines on the fabric. This will give you a guideline if you don't feel comfortable working off of the position of the pins.

Sew it.

Self explanatory right? Pick a side and start sewing. If you did fold your fabric in half then one side is already "sewn" for you. Sew up the other three sides now.

NOTE: You need to leave a small section of your pillow open and unsewn so you can flip it inside out and get the stuffing inside. I would leave a section 2 inches or wider left open! Personally, I prefer to leave a big enough opening so that I can fit my hand inside and move the stuffing around.

Flip and Stuff.

Find the hole you left in your pillow and shove all of the fabric through the hole. You can use a ruler to help you get it through and straighten it out.

Once your pillow is right side out it's time to start stuffing. This is the time when you'll appreciate a larger opening. Just start shoving the stuffing through the opening until your pillow is cushy enough for your liking. The final amount of fluff your pillow has is entirely up to you.

Maybe take your pillow to the floor and give it a test run before you finish closing it up. Make sure it's comfortable and you don't feel the floor beneath your bum. 

Also if your stuffing seems lumpy and not very smooth, don't be afraid to adjust it while it's in the pillow. Move things around. Shake the pillow. Do what you gotta do to make it look awesome!

Sew it up.

This step may seem a little intimidating and my sewing skills still aren't master level. It's easier to do than it is to explain and involves hand sewing. I found an awesome picture tutorial that you can get to by clicking here.  I don't want to confuse the hell out of you by trying to explain it so luckily there are people like Amy from Positively Splendid who make it look and sound very easy.

Create and apply tassels. (Optional)

Tassels are completely optional but they do give your pillow the most satisfying finishing touch. (And they're really easy to make.)

Grab some yarn, almost any yarn will do. Find something to wrap your yarn around. The length of this something should be about the length that you want your finished tassel to be. Keep the thickness of the object in mind as that will add length to your tassel. I ended up using this little gift box that is probably about 4 inches. 

Wrap your yarn around your chosen object many, many times. The more you wrap, the thicker your tassel will be. I wanted them thick and fluffy so I wrapped generously. Once you have your desired thickness, cut a second piece of yarn and slide it underneath the top layer of yarn that is resting on your object. Slide it towards the top and tie it very tight!

Once you have that knotted, carefully slide the yarn off of your object. When you have all of the yarn off, go ahead and cut the very bottom of the yarn circle you have made. (Opposite of the knot you created.)

Don't panic if your yarn bits aren't all even. You can always go back and give it a hair cut later!

Rest the top knot on a pen or something relatively thin and fold the tassel back in half. Get a third piece of yarn and tight a knot very tight underneath the pen. Slide the pen out and you've got a tassel!

Now for the attachment. 

Thread your needle and make a knot at one end. Slip the needle through the top knot and make sure it is secure. Attach the tassel to the pillow by placing your needle in one seam on the corner and out the other side of the same corner. Make a loop through the tassel and the seam multiple times until you feel your tassel is secure. Knot the end of your thread and cut off the excess.

Repeat 3 more times and viola!

Sit and meditate.

Congratulations, you've just created your own meditation pillow. Now you'll have a place to root while you relax your mind, body & soul!

And now that you have made this pillow, you can create all kinds of other pillows for your home since you have the basics down!


I really hope you enjoyed this tutorial and have created the most amazing pillow for your practice. Let me know how yours turned out or if you plan on making one in the comments below!

The Difference Between Living and Existing

Oscar Wilde said it best. 

Life becomes a lot less complicated when we fall back into the simplicity of routine. It's safe and as humans we are (usually) trained to feel more comfortable when there is order in our lives. 

While I love routine and feel that it is necessary (I'll be the first to admit it), too much of a routine isn't always a good thing. When you're stuck in this schedule of doing the same thing, at the same time, everyday you lose sight of what's most meaningful in life - actually living. 

This may not be the case for everyone but as far as my own life goes; I wake up, go to work, come home, go to sleep and do the whole thing over again. At no point during my day (with the exception of weekends) do I feel much joy in what I'm doing. As appreciative as I am for my job, it's not a place that I enjoy being. It's quite the soul sucker so making that the highlight of my day isn't giving me the fulfillment that I want out of my life. 

Because I'm so caught up in this routine and set schedule (as I'm sure a lot of you are), I miss out on all kinds of amazing things life has to offer. I am a girl in this incredible world who is simply existing. I forget that I was brought to this planet to live. Although I can't spend all of my free time doing things that spark joy (wouldn't that be great), it's time that I start taking advantage of the free time that I do have and fill it with experiences that will enhance my time on this planet. I think you should do the same!

Existing is falling into the same boring routine without taking advantage of life's offerings. Living is knowing that realistically we don't have much time here so it's important to live each moment with purpose and do things that don't always fit in your comfortable routine. 

Until recently, I was perfectly fine with my routine. I didn't know how to function any other way - nor did I want to. Now I realize that I'm wasting precious moments because my schedule runs my life. Obviously I'm not going to quit my job or give up sleep to really make my life more abundant, but I want to start taking advantage of all of the free time that is hidden throughout my day. 

Breaking routine isn't easy but it definitely creates a more rich lifestyle.

What Adult Coloring Books Taught Me About Life

Adult coloring books filled the shelves towards the end of 2015. This new trend is supposed to be an unconventional way for adults to relax and unwind. I liked the idea of these books from the moment I saw them but didn't think that it could be something that would work for me. 

Since I got a plethora of gift cards for Christmas, I decided to invest in one of these books and give it a go. At the time I had no idea how much a coloring book could teach me about life lessons. 

You can find the book I bought by clicking here.

You can regain your focus.

When I started my first page in the coloring book, I instantly thought I was going to hate it. I’m the kind of girl who can’t sit still long enough to read a book. My  mind starts to wander, I get antsy and then eventually I find myself doing something that is completely unrelated to reading a book. 

I found coloring to be easier than reading, but it did take time to direct my focus solely on the coloring book. When I would notice my mind start to drift, I would make a serious effort to redirect it to what I was working on. 

After a while this became easier and easier. Distractions around me weren’t as successful in stealing my attention and the act of coloring became more enjoyable. 

Live in the moment.

Focusing on the past and future is much easier than focusing on the here and now. We’re constantly planning for something or reminiscing about an event that happened a few years back. It’s so rare that we stop to appreciate the current moment. 

I am extremely guilty of this. My obsessive planning of the future definitely takes away from my life in the present. 

While coloring, it would be very easy to plan ahead. When I would look at a design, I would have an overall plan for how I would want it to turn out. The hard part was trying not to jump ahead. Even though I knew which parts I wanted to be green, for example, I needed to remind myself to not work ahead and finish all of the green parts at once. For me it was important to focus on the part of the picture I was coloring at that moment - whether that's a leaf, a flower, whatever it may be. 

Focusing on one leaf or one flower allowed me to put all of my energy into that section I was on in that moment. Just like in life, it’s important to focus on what you’re doing in the present. Have a plan for the future, but don’t allow it to consume all of your energy. 

Have patience.

About halfway through my first page, I started to get over it. I had a lot left to do and my first thought was to just give up and finish it “later.” Which likely would have meant never. Although I was having these thoughts, I knew how happy I would have been to see a finished page full of color.

It would have been easy to give up, but I didn’t. I kept working my butt off on this page and when it was complete I was even more happy than I thought I would be. 

Don't get discouraged by the thought of time. Rushing through anything leaves us with a finished result that we know could have turned out been better.

It’s okay to take breaks.

Not everything has to be done right here and right now. I was really lost at a point and didn’t know what direction I wanted my color scheme to go in. I was getting frustrated so I decided to take a break. 

I walked away from my work and when I came back the ideas started flowing. Had I not taken a step back and given myself a chance to clear my head, I may have ended up with a finished piece that I was unhappy with.  

Sometimes stepping away from a project or a problem is actually the right thing to do!

The end result:

This whole thing may sound silly - comparing life to coloring books. But sometimes you can find answers to your questions in places you never thought to look. 

Coloring really did help ease my mind and reduce some stress, but it also taught me some valuable lessons along the way. I highly recommend you invest in a coloring book. If you are interested in purchasing the same book that I got, you can do so by clicking here. I went with the animal kingdom coloring book by Millie Marotta. It's a phenomenal book filled with all sorts of beautiful designs relating to plants and animals


Grounding Yourself In An Enormous World (Free Printable!)

After a two week long hiatus, I am back and ready to put all of my time and energy into this blog again. For me, Bohemian Crossroads is a place for me to express myself and inspire others to do the same. 

Sometimes life gets rough and it is so easy to get caught up in all the commotion. Work, relationships and day-to-day problems become overwhelming and you suddenly lose sight of what's truly important. 

A high percentage of the problems that I run into in my daily life are extremely insignificant and will work themselves out without me worrying. When you put a lot of attention and energy into these small problems, they grow and seem overwhelming. 

When I have days like these - or in this case weeks - I try to focus on things that make me happy and spark joy in my life. I have noticed that spending more time in nature when I'm feeling down can really uplift my spirit. When I focus my energy on the trees and animals around me it reminds me how beautiful life is. 

Click the image above to get your free printable version!

Click the image above to get your free printable version!

This planet is a fascinating place. There is so much meaning and purpose behind every little flower or hummingbird. When these things are in their natural habitat, they don't stress or feel overwhelmed. They trust in knowing their purpose on the Earth. 

It is easy to forget our worth and purpose here, especially in times of stress or sadness. We all have significance in the world's complex plan that is our lives and it's important to remember that every single day. No matter how big or small of an impact we actually make on the world, we are all essential. 

Don't give up, don't look back. Just remind yourself that you are a unique individual, like a flower. Though small compared to the big picture, you are extremely meaningful as a singular being.

To claim your free printable, simply click the image above. A new screen will pop up and you will be able to print your image directly from that screen.

I hope your day is as special as you are. 

I plan on creating more free printable quotes so make sure to subscribe below so you can be notified when my next free printable is up!