Twenty Things I Had to Un-learn by 25

phonto (12)

  1. Sex before marriage is shameful.

I was 17 years old in high school surrounded by hundreds of my peers who were sexually active and I swore that I would never have sex until I was married, but then in college I got into a serious committed relationship and at 18 I found myself justifying my sexual behavior because I was in a committed relationship and “we would get married anyway so…” We didn’t get married and I’ve met more people along the way who have challenged me to rethink the amount of shame people place upon pre-marital sex.

  1. Apply moisture before applying lipstick.

I was rarely a glossy girl, you know the girls who piled on so much lip gloss til it looked like they smeared chicken grease on? I went from a chapstick girl to a lipstick girl and I learned that good lipstick last even longer on dry lips, not crusty or peeling lips, but clean, dry, non-oiled lips. It prevents the lipstick from running, imagine walking around with The Joker face with red lipstick smeared or even worst black lipstick.

  1. Christianity is IT.

I was raised in a Christian household and was often preached to that Christianity was THEE faith to follow because the (Christian) bible said so, but then I began to wonder, what if I was born and raised in a Catholic household or a Jewish household? I’m sure Catholicism would have been THEE faith to follow or Judaism. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not anti-religion, but I’m not religious. There are things about each faith that I agree with and have incorporated into my daily life and there are things about different faiths that I don’t like and do away with.

  1. The perfect love story.

You date, you meet someone worth sticking around for, you get engaged, and then married. The perfect love story. My life hasn’t quite panned out that way, but I have learned that sometimes love comes in the most unconventional ways.

  1. Sexual liberation is synonymous to sexual promiscuity.

In this rise of sex-positive feminism, it has challenged me to see sex in a completely different light. A woman liberated sexually is someone who isn’t afraid or hesitant to talk about it, she is in tune with her needs and seeks that pleasure. That does not make her a whore, or a slut which are society constructed labels that RARELY apply to men. I used to see women that way until I found myself in a few of those situations feeling guilty.

  1. Skinny is the new healthy.

I’d like to think of myself as slim/thick. After secretly battling an eating disorder throughout junior and senior high school, I learned that sometimes skinny isn’t always the best way to go. I’ve met skinny women who were internally dealing with a lot of health issues such as high cholesterol or high blood pressure and I would think “how?!” I was conditioned to think that weight related illness only applied to fat people. Yeah, I was ignorant. I’ve learned to embrace my curves and bones the healthy way.

  1. Black lipstick is for rebels and goths.

The contrast of black lipstick against brown skin is majestic! The boldness is so out there. When I was a teen I wasn’t allowed to wear black nail polish or lipstick because it was for Gothic kids. Totally untrue. A bold, black lip makes such a beauty and fashion statement in any season.

  1. “I love you” make things permanent.

I didn’t think it was possible to fall out of love with someone until someone did it to me. It hurt like hell, but it was a reality check for me that just because someone says they love you doesn’t mean they’ll love you forever or that they actually want to be with you. I learned that “love” even though used so loosely these days means so many different things to different people.

  1. Work + Love + Marriage = Happy Life.

In my early to mid-twenties, I found myself working a job, I loved someone who I committed many years to and we were actively building towards marriage, but there was one important thing missing from my life: happiness. I remember thinking isn’t this what you’re supposed to do though? Secure a job, save up, meet a man, love a man, get married and live happily ever after? My happily ever after came when I left that situation. I’m single, freelancing, nowhere near marriage and I am the happiest I have been in years.

  1. Eating healthy is expensive.

I live my life on a very minimalist budget and I found that eating healthy on that budget wasn’t as hard as people make it seem. Someone once said a salad cost more than a burger and fries from a fast food chain. My rebuttal is for starters it’s cheaper to prepare your own meals anyway and if we breakdown both meals by grocery store rather than fast food chain it cost less money to buy a bulk of lettuce, spinach, carrots, etc that goes into your salad than buying ground meat, buns, condiments, etc for a burger. A bag of beans will cost you only a dollar and some change and will last you a very long time.

  1. Money can’t buy happiness.

While that may be true, it does help relieve a lot of the financial stresses a lot of twenty-somethings deal with.

  1. You can’t have it all.

Says who?

  1. Temptation is the devil.

Not if it’s dark chocolate, mint ice cream, or Alfredo pasta with chicken. Sometimes it’s good to indulge in the things you desire and that doesn’t just apply to foods. I’m just being greedy.

  1. Whiskey and Gin are Men drinks.

You hand me a glass of dry whiskey (no ice) or a gin and tonic and I’ll show you a good time. Hair on my chest and all (ha!).

  1. A degree means everything.

Having a bachelor’s degree is a great achievement, but obtaining a Master’s degree is even greater but not when you find yourself working a part-time job where none of your qualifications matter and no one wants to use your skills. I learned that degrees do not validate your place in the social or economic ladder. To most, it’s just printed paper. What’s most important is how competent you are in doing the job.

  1. One night stands are for sluts.

We’re allowed a few mess up passes. Everything that pertained to sex outside of marriage, I was taught it was “the devil.” I rolled my eyes as I wrote that. It is natural and in our biological make up to be sexual beings. There is nothing unnatural about the urges or the desires and the attraction that we have towards others. One night stands happen. That’s it.

  1. Opposites attract.

Have you tried fitting a circle into a square or vice versa? Wasn’t happening for you was it? I dated my opposite and realized that once the infatuation phase wore off, we really had nothing to talk about or in common. The things we had in common were lessening as time went on. But then I found someone similar to me, and the conversations never ceased. We shared everything. Had this whole artistic, natural vibe going and I knew that what I was missing in my life and in my relationships was relatability.

  1. You shouldn’t eat after 7 pm.

The worst thing you can do to your metabolism is deprive yourself of food. If you’re hungry, eat even if it is making scrambled eggs at 1am because your stomach was beginning to eat itself.

  1. When you get in the real world…

What was this real world everyone was talking about because I feel like I been living it all my life?

  1. US History

As most, I became very racially conscious when I got to college. My thoughts and ideas and everything I had learned throughout elementary, middle and high school were challenged when I got to college about this country. I was given a deeper understanding of black culture and history when I got to college. Most public schools that I attended only limited the teaching of black history to just February but, in college it was always in my face as a black woman. I am grateful for the wisdom I have gained.


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