I have just approached my twentieth time around the sun, and it has caused a bit of reflection on my life. Sometimes we all get caught up in the fast pace of the world, and we forget to take the time to remember the things life has brought us. It amazes me all the challenges and obstacles I have faced in my life thus far, but I am also surprised to see where I am today. I wanted to take this opportunity to not only reflect on everything my twenty years has brought me, but I also want to use this time to give my advice that could hopefully impact one of you. I know life can bring challenges, but it is a matter of how we utilize those challenges that matters.
1) Not every day is good, but there is good in every day.
I found this quote not too long after my grandad was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. I knew that the whole family was grieving a potential loss to come, but I also knew we needed to band together in optimism. I painted this phrase onto a board, placing it on my grandparents mantle. I had the hopes that he would wake up each day and reflect on those powerful words, but I soon found myself pondering on them a lot. It can do you so much good to stop for a moment, each day, and think about something good that has come from that day.
2) It is okay to ask for help.
I would be lying if I said I utilize this one all the time. I know that it is true, and I know that releasing some control will not kill me. All that to say, I still struggle letting others help me out. I hope that y'all will take my advice and learn from though. Lean on those willing to support you in every way possible, if you need a helping hand then ask.
3) Not everyone out there wants to be your friend.
Unfortunately, many people have ulterior motives in life. Some people will take advantage of you if you let me. It may take some time, but find your true friends to trust and lean on.
4) Learn to love yourself before you love others.
I got this one from one of my best friends. She is a firm believer that before you can have a successful and healthy relationship, you must fully love yourself. You come before any relationship, so treat yourself with love and kindness.
5) Don't be afraid to be yourself.
You are who you are. Do not try to conform to other peoples standards. God made you just the way you are, so don't be afraid to let your inner self shine.
6) You can please some of the people all of the time, or all of the people some of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time. -Abraham Lincoln (John Lydgate)
I just had to include this one, because not only is this my favorite quote, but Abraham Lincoln was my dad's favorite president. This quote holds literal value, but it also hold a hand full of memories. I remember being told that my dad wanted a portrait of Abe as the center piece on the mantle, but my mom shot that idea down really quick. In all honesty, they're of many lessons inside of this quote. I will let you simmer over the truthfulness of those words.
7) You will always be able to count your truly close friends on one hand.
This is one my grandfather has always told me this, and so far in the past twenty years, I can say that it has held true. This does not mean that you can't have more friends that 5, but I mean the close friends that you would consider your best friends.
8) Keeping an active brain is the key to longevity.
Not only have I heard this as a psychology major, but all of the older family members of mine will recite this. For as long as you keep your mind going, then your body keeps going. It is something that I strive to continue, as my age progresses.9) It's only awkward, if you make it awkward.
Who else has been here? You bumps heads while kissing someone, you fall down the front steps of Reese Phifer, or you mix your words up while public speaking. I have experienced my fair share of awkward moments, but it is how you handle it that sets the tone. Sometimes we make a mistake and that is okay. In some cases we just need to brush it off and act like nothing happened, and some times we need to get a good laugh out of our system.
10) Don't let the fear of the future stop you from enjoying the now.
So many times, we just in the loop of fearing our future. It is common to be apprehensive of the things that are in store for us, but we cannot let that stop us from enjoying the seasons we are living in.
11) Treat others the way you want to be treated.
How many of you have had your mom tell you this exact phrase? Yes, please picture me raising my hand. There is a whole piece of truth in that. If someone is rude to me, then I am less likely to be nice back, but if they are kind to me, then I will most likely be nice back. There are always expectations to the golden rule, but if all else fails just be kind.
12) Your mentality is your key to success.
I have always heard the terms: Mind Over Matter. Little did I know how true that was, because as it turns out the thoughts we have going in will determine our out come. If I think I am going to fail this exam, then I have a slightly higher chance of failing it. Keep a positive thought stream and encourage yourself to achieve great things.
13) If you don't like how it looks, then change your perspective.
A lot of times, in life we will not like the outcomes of a situation or the things going on around you, but I challenge you to find a different angle to look at it from. I cannot promise you that it will blow your mind, but at least you tried to get the full picture of the case at hand.
14) Nothing in life comes easy, so work everyday towards that goal.
This one comes from my significant other. He is by far one of the hardest working people I have ever met. He is completely right though, the world will always give you some push backs. Don't let this pushback hold you from your goals, just know that you will just have to try harder than some others.
15) Don't take what you have for granted.
We sometimes forget to be grateful for what we have. Don't wait until Thanksgiving to count blessings. Reflect each day on the things and people who matter the most to you.
16) Be empathetic.
One of my other best friends constantly reminds me of this one. We never really know everything that is going on inside someone. If you get the chance, actively listen to what they have to say and be supportive of them.
17) The hardships of life won't last forever
Wherever you fall in life, we probably have experienced a trail, or we will eventually. It is important that we remember that the struggle will not define us if we don't let us. We can overcome it.
18) We are resilient.
My grandfather has told me time and time again how resilient I am. He has yet to be wrong. No matter the task at hand or the impacts it has caused, you were made to overcome. We, as humans, we're created to be resilient in the face of adversity. Never lose hope, because you will get past it and defeat out demons. You grow stronger day by day.
19) You are loved.
Don't forget that you have a support system that is there for you to love you. There are people sitting on your side of the court, rooting for you.
20) Continue to learn.
Whether that learning is about life, yourself, or other, never stop. Life is always changing and with that change we must continue to learn. There will always be more things we don't know, so as we move through life utilize the tools we have at hand to learn.
Overall, I could go on and on all day about the things I have learned. The important things to note is that I am not done learning. This is only twenty expanses of life's advice, and I really intend on learning more throughout the years. I really hope someone was able to take away some valuable bits of knowledge. Remember to take care of yourself and put you before anyone else. You are important, you are loved, and you are resilient.