19 Things I’ve Learned In 19 Years
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19 Things I’ve Learned In 19 Years

Notes-to-self: 19 things to always be reminded of, no matter how old you are.

19 Things I’ve Learned In 19 Years

As of this Monday, I've been alive for nearly two decades.

It's always a weird feeling for me when I get older by yet another year. I've apparently been the victim of growing up recently (which happens to all of us at one point or another), and it's safe to say that turning 19 isn't a concept I haven't quite grasped as of yet.

But what I do know for certain is that I've learned quite a lot from my experiences over the past 19 years of my life. With almost two decades under my belt, here are the top 19 "notes-to-self" that I've composed throughout my life...

1. Change isn't always a bad thing.

Everything, especially yourself, will always be changing. Embrace this—learn to accept it, to infinitely grow from it. It’s the only constant we have in our lives.

2. People come and go, but life goes on.

Friendships and relationships don’t always last—and sometimes the people who were once the most important people in your life become complete strangers. It’s important to let yourself feel the heartbreak when this happens—but it’s just as important to know that your life will go on without them.

3. It’s okay to be open and vulnerable.

Get rid of that idea in your head that revealing your fears and insecurities to the world means that you are weak and helpless—and remind yourself, instead, that being tender and open and sensitive is beautiful. Don't be scared to open yourself up to other people. And no matter what, never allow your fears to tarnish your perfectly vulnerable heart.

4. Stop being so apologetic.

There are times when you constantly want to tell other people “I’m sorry”—even when there’s nothing you need to be sorry for. Don’t allow yourself to apologize for your passions, your worth, or your strength. Instead, be bold and empowered; there is nothing more beautiful than someone being completely, confidently and unapologetically themselves.

5. Always say yes to dessert.

Life is too short to pass up that slice of chocolate cake you want. Take a huge bite of that amazing cake, devour it all in its glory—and savor the exquisite taste on your tongue. And remind yourself that it’s perfectly OK to #treatyoself sometimes.

6. The way you are feeling right now is not permanent.

Remember that no matter the situation, time really does heal all wounds. Whenever you have those moments when you feel like your world is ending, remind yourself that what you’re feeling is temporary. Give yourself time. Find comfort in the fact that soon, you will feel perfectly OK again.

7. Press the send button. If you don’t say it now, you never will.

Too often, we don’t speak up when we want to because we fear that we’ll regret the things we say. Don’t let this fear hold you back from saying what you need to say. You should be more scared of looking back on your life and regretting the things that were never said: when you never told that person “I’m sorry,” or when you didn’t say, “I love you.” Don’t let yourself hesitate and miss those moments.

8. Always find time to have a “you” day once in a while.

Sometimes you just really need to take a day off and stay in bed to binge watch your favorite show and eat an entire carton of ice cream. Know that you deserve all of this—and more.

9. Learn to let go and walk away sometimes.

Sometimes things aren’t just meant to be, and that’s OK. Learn to walk away from people, things, and environments that are toxic for you. There will always be other opportunities, other people and other prospects in your life.

10. It’s important to realize that you can miss something, but not want it back.

Don’t be ashamed of missing that one thing that you let go of in the past. Just because you left something behind in your life after realizing that it was not good or healthy for you, that doesn’t mean that you are not allowed to miss it. So let yourself reminisce and miss what it felt like—and be proud that you’re at the point in your life where you know you deserve better.

11. Life’s too short not to get the shoes, the tattoo and the haircut you always wanted.

Try that new hairstyle you always wanted to try but never had the guts to. Get that tattoo you told yourself you'd get someday. Buy yourself a new wardrobe full of new clothes that no one would expect you to wear. Most of all, don't be afraid to reinvent yourself.

12. Don’t be ashamed of the things that make you happy.

Sometimes other people will judge you for the things you like and the people you love and the activities you enjoy. Don’t allow the coldness and the negativity of others to extinguish your amazing passions.

13. That boy you think you need? You don’t.

Whenever you feel lonely or unwanted or depressed because of some guy that hurt you, remember that you don’t have to be “loved” or “wanted” in order to be validated—in order to be whole. Always remind yourself of what Christina Yang told Meredith in Grey’s Anatomy: “Don’t let what he wants eclipse what you need. He is very dreamy, but he is not the sun. You are."

14. Things don’t always go according to plan—but that’s OK.

You’ll wake up late, fall sick, fail an exam. Remember the world doesn’t end with one small misstep. Breathe, make the best of it. Move forward.

15. Listen to good music, eat good food, read a good book, and watch a good movie.

Always remind yourself to make time for these simpler pleasures in life. It's worth it.

16. Don’t compare your behind-the-scenes outtakes to other people’s highlight reel.

Remember that when you're comparing yourself to others, you're comparing the behind-the-scenes of your life to their featured highlights, the small, fleeting glimpses of their lives that are only the tip of the iceberg. Don’t let the perception that you have of someone else’s life affect the way you see yourself.

17. Step out of your comfort zone once in a while.

It's terrifying to take risks and try new things—but it often leads to the best experiences of your life. So be brave. Do things that scare you. Don’t let your fears hold you back from taking that risk and just going for it; you never know if you’ll get the chance to do it again.

18. Always appreciate the little things that make you happy to be alive.

Get excited about the little things: wearing a new outfit for the first time, Sunday brunches with your friends, that song you hear on the radio as you’re cruising down the street with the windows rolled all the way down. Whether it’s a song, a person, a good book or a perfectly brewed cup of coffee—let yourself feel and appreciate it wholeheartedly. Take it and give it love.

19. Take good care of yourself.

Your physical and mental health is your top priority. You are always someone to somebody, but you are everything to yourself—and that alone is enough. It’s okay to put yourself first. Little by little, learn to love yourself, deeply. And no matter what, remember that you and and your happiness are always the most important things in your life.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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