Because next week is my birthday, I’d like to share 19 things I’ve learned in the last 19 years.
Oh, how time flies.
Moving away from your family and friends isn’t as bad as you thought it’d be. Yea, the first two years were the worst, but you’ll learn things you never would have glanced twice at before. Not to mention, you’ll lose so many (SO so many) friends, nearly all of them, but you just have to nudge your chin up, stand up straight, and admit that if they weren’t real, they weren’t meant to last.
You WILL get better and you WILL meet amazing people along the way.
TRYING IS ENOUGH
It’s okay not to like school, but to love learning. It’s okay to fail at piano, or swimming, or drawing, or sewing. You can be an amazing cook on your own but, oh my gosh, you just can’t cook a meal for more than two people without messing at least one thing up.
You might be far off from what they expect of you, you might not add up to who you thought you’d be this year. It’s okay to be okay at things. You don’t have to be perfect.
FOCUS ON YOU
People will try to help you and usually fall short from what you actually needed. It happens. Not everybody knows your struggle and your thoughts. Yet, the fact that they tried to help is enough. Not to heal you… but to let you know that you’re loved. So it’s better if you keep them
close by and let them help you.
Don’t forget though that the only person who can truly heal is God. So turning to others will do absolutely nothing on the inside when it comes to feeling happier. It’ll make you feel a little better, not fulfilled.
THE PRESENT PRESENCE
Focus on the present. Invest yourself in the now so much that in twenty years you’ll remember the smallest details of the most important years of your life. Anxiety is the worst, but you can overcome it when you focus on yourself and your trust in God for the future. HE KNOWS YOUR FUTURE and you can bet he has a perfect plan for you, every insecurity aside.
CONFIDENCE IS KEY
Ducking your head and guarding your heart each time you walk into a room will not give you the confidence you strive for. Smile more, show them you really do care. In reality, nobody else notices about that stain on your shirt or the frizz in your hair. Confidence isn’t something that came easily, it came after I realized that I am not here to please anybody but that I am here to live for God (and he listens to all the rambling I’ve done these last 19 years).
Don’t try to be somebody else (like, the coolest person you know), just be the most open form of yourself you can achieve. Mimicking the way another person walks or talks will only get you to be a copy-and-paste version of someone else. Be YOU. If you don’t know who you are, literally all you have to do is ask God.
I’m not even joking, he will tell you if you keep asking him sincerely (all selfishness aside; he probably won’t like it if you ask for, say, more money or a new computer or your dream body ’cause those are things you have to work for yourself). That’s how I have a better idea of who I am today. And lemme tell you, it didn’t come after only like a month asking.
I kept at it until finally I became that person.
MOVE OUT OF YOUR COMFORTABLENESS
I can’t stress this enough… comfort zones! Why did I ever focus on staying in my comfort zone so much? Staying in a bubble, living your life all cooped up, will get you NOWHERE. Get out, have fun. You’ve always wanted to go backpacking alone? Go for it! You want to try out an instrument even if you’re “too old”? Do it, it’s actually known that age isn’t that great of a factor to success, practice and dedication are. There’s nothing so agonizing and infuriating to your anxiety than looking back and wishing you had made the first move or played the solo part.
BE KIND, PLEASE
Oh boy, kindness goes a long way. Be remembered for being the only person to invite the small kid to your table, not for being the one who bullies and makes somebody’s self-esteem keep plummeting down and down. Initiate the first move. Don’t wait until somebody else gets to it first, you never know if there will be a somebody else anyways. Pretend like you’re the only help, the only form of happiness they’ll get all day – because you just might be.
Don’t forget about your inner child. Sometimes pretending to be mature for so long is only masking your childlike tendencies. Stop throwing it to the side. Dance randomly, stick your tongue out for snowflakes, forgive easily, jump in puddles the size of your hand as much as you’d jump into a huge one, play hide-and-seek with your friends, be eager for living.
If you act too much like an adult you’ll suddenly, and sadly, start to feel like one and the pressure to succeed will become too much.
UHM STOP JUDGING, YOU
Why are you judging? Whenever I catch myself thinking something negative about another person I remember that every single person is different. We are all going through our own paths, taking our own time, on our own walks. It’s no use thinking you’re better than somebody else because, what? You’re older? Wiser? Your mind isn’t as clouded over? Who decides somebody is better than another person?
God certainly doesn’t think this way, therefore you shouldn’t either.
DON’T KEEP IT IN, SILLY
Ask, ask, ask away. Questions aren’t from the lowly or stupid, it’s for those who have their minds open to always learn something new. Who cares about what everybody else says when you stall for five minutes because you didn’t understand something. You’ll feel so much better after doing so because you now know a little more.
The knowledge adds up, trust me.
CRYING IS GOOD, PUNCHING A PILLOW IS GOOD
Showing emotion is not the end of the world. Why is it that we equate being vulnerable with being weak and worthless? Why is it a common belief that crying is for the helpless?
Being open and empathetic is a beautiful thing. Just remember to guard your heart from what doesn’t feel right.
GIRL THAT MAY BE EYE CANDY BUT NOT WHEN IT COMES TO STAB YOU IN THE BACK
Not all that is pretty in life, is worth it (song lyrics, anyone?). Whether it be relationships, physical items, new looks, or a different take on life, be careful with who you set yourself up with and how you go about it. The devil shows itself as a beautiful being, something innocent and maybe even captivating, don’t let it fool you. The smallest mistake and you could be letting something dreadful come into your life. Unknowingly… but he doesn’t care nonetheless. It won’t stop him from wreaking havoc on your soul, mind, whatever it is.
Respect yourself before anything else. Your body is a temple, not a trash dump. Treat it as you would treat your best friend. With love, care, and lots and lots of chocolate. Keep focusing and your mind will stay on the right course too.
LIVE FOR WHAT YOU LIKE
Yo, don’t ever let anybody dictate how you feel or act. You like that mainstream room decor? The trendy shoes (they’re a trend for a reason, it’s obviously because the shoes are pretty)? The cheesy boy band? A nice cup of tea to feel better? You go like whatever it is you like and if somebody gives you a hard time, remind them that you aren’t here to live for them.
Emotions are also difficult to control. Especially if somebody around you is already cranky or in a bad place. Just try to focus on being kind (especially when you want to be anything but) and thinking about what Jesus would do in your situation.
HONOR YOUR PARENTS
Your parents (parent, guardian) know what’s up. Not that they’re perfect or anything but they already lived through your age. It won’t be the same experience but the general bit of advice does help. Even when they seem – in our brains – to be getting it all wrong. God wants us to honor them, then we will to the death.
TAKE THAT BREAK
It’s good to take a break from learning sometimes. Not from life experiences but from things that show up in articles, the news, books. You know, worldly knowledge. I tend to get carried away and want to just take in all the information around me that is possible. You don’t have to know everything, let it come naturally. As if you were meant to learn this and not because you forced it.
IT’S NOT TOO LATE
Don’t think it’s too late to pursue your dreams, or just something you’ve always wanted to do. I started to play the piano (something I’ve always wanted to do) when I was 16, which is very old to be a prodigy and play like a professional. I wasn’t going to do it (I didn’t think I could), but I did anyways.
There are also dreams you have that won’t be fulfilled – there always is – but usually it’s because God is leading you away from them.
For instance, when I was a little girl I took ballet classes. I always wanted to be a ballerina, music and movement have been my greatest passions, but after a short while I got taken out of the classes. For a long time after I always wondered why and I wanted to go back. Thinking about it now, who knows if ballet would have taken me someplace where I wouldn’t be happy, what if it would have made me focus so much on being the best and practice, practice, practice (ballet is very routine-oriented), that I would have never found God.
I might not even have this blog and be focused on writing either.
I would NEVER trade going back and being in that dream life for my relationship with God today, EVER.
Live every single day as if it was your last. Appreciate every little wonder nature has to offer, marvel at the smiles of people around you, keep spreading the word of God around your acquaintances and friends. Remember that you aren’t perfect, but also remember that you can be forgiven when you fail. Don’t go to sleep without feeling guilty or angry. You never know when God decides to take you home and you really wanna be ready when he does.
Here’s to the mistakes, the downfalls, the endless challenges, and the triumphs.
You’ll make it through life one day at a time, and when you have God you’ll be so much happier.