With seventeen years of life on my belt, I'm happy to say I've gathered a bit of wisdom! After years of making mistakes and memories, I wouldn't have it any other way. This article was actually fairly emotional for me, especially after scrolling through a few thousand photos of my friends over the years.
Even though these are lessons I can say I've learned, I sometimes still have trouble listening to my own advice and two cents. Although I still have a lot to learn, I'm excited for another seventeen years of adventure!
Only worry about the things you can control.
Sometimes we can't control what's going on, but we can always control how we react to it!
Ask for ketchup if the waiter didn't get you any, ask them out, ask someone to talk to you if you're lonely, ask someone why they hurt you, ask if they're hiring.
So many good things can happen if you just ask, just think of the worst that could really happen!
It's okay to be uncertain about life.
You might not always be the prettiest person in the room, but you can be the kindest.
Also always judge people based on the way they love others, and if their kindness shows without words.
Find time to dance.
Maybe school dances weren't so great, but I danced anyways.
Protect your peace...
Just like protecting your heart and mind, I've found my peace is the most valuable thing I have.
And fight for peace.
Growing up in a small town makes going against the grain a little more difficult, but I've learned that loving everyone and fighting for what's right goes beyond fear.
Sunrises are underrated.
It's safe to say quarantine has messed up my sleep schedule a little bit, and after waking up a few times at the crack of dawn, I realized the sunrise is JUST as beautiful as the sunset.
As cliche as it sounds, pictures hold thousands of memories. Even if you don't think you should take them if you look bad or if you're having a bad day, looking back at them is worth it.
Always have something to look forward to!
We're constantly told to "live in the moment", but if there's nothing exciting going on, that's really hard to do. Sometimes daydreaming is the next best thing.
Teen life is idealized and unrealistic.
Each friend group has its own unique adventures, but sometimes, life isn't as exciting as it may seem. Being a teenager is super confusing, and we're just trying to figure everything out. There's no guide, we're doing just fine.
Eat what makes you happy and feel good.
Eat dessert anytime, anywhere. Eat breakfast in the p.m. Stop at McDonald's for a frappe. Life doesn't wait on anyone, and it's too short to waste worrying about societal standards.
Throw away expectations.
No expectations? No disappointment. Also on the other hand, imagining and planning how everything could be can be a huge distraction!
Listen to new music regularly.
One of my favorite things in life is getting a text from one of my friends telling me to listen to a song they heard. I might love it or hate it, but when I listen, I'm really listening to a piece of them.
Quit your job, turn off the bad movie, leave the conversation. Don't ever stay on the wrong path, even if it's tolerable.
Call your grandparents, play Minecraft with your brother, watch that movie with your mom. Some of my favorite memories have been with my family, and I'm so thankful I learned this lesson early on!
Forgive your past self, be gentle with your present.
Everything you've done has created you into the incredible soul you are today.. You are meant to be where you are now. I'm so thankful for everything that's in my past, and (I think) I'm ready for whatever the future holds!