Thank You, 2017: Six Things You Taught Me

Thank You, 2017: Six Things You Taught Me

I laughed, I cried, I loved, I lost, but above all I learned.
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2017 has been a year of change in my life. I have loved and lost, graduated, met new friends and lost old ones. I have moved on from high school and gained a couple ounces of independence. I have experienced new things, laughed and cried, but there are a few lessons 2017 has taught me which I look to carry on in the new year.

Lesson one, Highschool sucked. I don’t know if it was just me or not, but even though I thoroughly enjoyed high school much more than middle school, it still sucked in comparison to where I am now. So far, since graduating, my life has only gotten better and what I use to worry about is not important. College is cake- except for maybe a few subjects, but if it’s only two subjects out of eight that I’m worrying about as opposed to “i need this for graduation”, it’s not a bad deal. Highschool trapped me with people who I felt forced to be friends with as opposed to those I chose to be friends with (don’t get me wrong, I still have a few of those friends but some not so much) and college opened me up to making friends on my time, and not on the classes.

Lesson two, Worry About Yourself. I never really worried about others more than the usual- if they had a bad day, I worry, but I wouldn’t constantly nag in their business. The problem was I never worried about myself, and what I needed to feel at peace. Everyday i would find myself fulfilling obligations that truthfully were not important, I only made them important because they were my hobby- but hobbies can become work very easily. In 2018 I hope to work on that, and take time for myself as opposed to making myself work to meet a quota I set a year ago. I recently acquired my love for reading back, some fuzzy socks, bath bombs, popcorn and new movies. Those will be my new priorities when it comes to relaxation, and the hobby I use to trudge to do will come second. People can wait, what comes first in times of schoolwork and projects is myself and my happiness.

Lesson three, Be more appreciative. I did appreciate things people did for me, I appreciated my family and my friends, but over the past year it really hit me. Soon I will be in college, fending for myself. I will be responsible for my own well being and health, and I won’t have my family as close as I do now while attending community college once I hit university.

Lesson four, Don’t grow up too fast. I use to be eager to hit high school because middle school was hell. Then when I became a sophomore, I wanted to be a senior. As a senior, I started to realize that I would miss my school, and that feeling only increased on graduation evening. Now I am in my second semester at college and while I can not wait to go to university, I am trying to spend time appreciating where I am right now- in the warmth of my own home, with family, safe. Before you know it, you’re not with your family, you’re alone and living on your own terms and while the freedom is fun at first, it’s scary. I can’t wait for the freedom, but I am young enough to appreciate the life I have now and I am no longer in a rush to move on quicker than I have to.

Lesson five, Things will fall into place. Just a few weeks ago, I was worried about failing math, having to prolong my transfer into university, potentially losing opportunities, and being in debt thousands upon thousands of dollars. Now, I know my GPA is a 3.2 (not perfect, but pretty great considering some of my tests), and I may only have to take one class in the upcoming summer- not because I failed it, but because I want to. Things will fall into place, even if it takes time to realize it. It doesn’t do anyone good to stress out about it.




Work for your change. I have a lot of flaws, and the while the new year, new me! Mantra is cringey as all hell, it’s true. I don’t usually keep resolutions, but I need to this coming year. I need to work on my own self to better my relationships and my well being. The time has past for the excuse, “it’s just how I am, and I can’t change that”. I can change it, and I’ve done a good job going about it thus far. 2018 is the year of my positivity streak, much like it should be for everyone.

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

From an outside perspective, suicidal thoughts are rarely looked into deeper than the surface level. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is that people live in between those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead.

You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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23 Things I've Learned In My 23 Years

And there will be many more lessons along the way.

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Turning 23 isn't a milestone birthday but this year has brought up a lot a reflection after going through a period of tribulations. We tend to forget the big picture of our lives that we just need to enjoy the ride and reflect on our growth as a person. Here are some things I have learned throughout the way.

1. Be more in the moment.

With life becoming monotonous, we are so fast paced and do not take a break to just breath and look around in our surrounds and embrace the moment we are in.

2. Check up on your loved ones more often.

A quick I love you or a text message goes a long way to know that you are appreciated and being thought of.

3. Embrace what you used to love as a kid again.

The greatest thing about being a child is fearlessness and imagination to be open to anything and we tend to lose that as we get older. To have back that feeling even for a moment is a moment of pure happiness.

4. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health.

How are you able to do all the great things in life you want to accomplish if you don't take care of your body and mind.

5. You can say no a lot more than you think.

We tend to feel obligated to say yes and make others feel happy when at the end of the day it is our life and you can say no to situations that don't make you comfortable or if you're not fully committed to.

6. Take advice from a variety of people in your life.

People have come from different walks of life and have stories to tell that are different from you, listening is the most important trait you can have. Listen to people that have been on this earth longer, listen to children, list to the person who no listens to aswell.

7. Pet more puppies

No explanation, animals just need all the love in the world.

8. Expect your plans to change last minute.

Be flexible, as you get older holding relationships takes a lot more work so you have to be committed to seeing the people you care about.

9. Be more financially responsible with your money starting at a younger age.

Talke about money more, teach yourself about money responsibility so you are not worrying when you get older if you have retirement funds or not. You want to live a secure financial life then start young.

10. Staying at home with a glass of wine and Netflix can be more fun than the club.

It's not all hyped up to be. You save a lot more money, the drinks taste better, and you can watch your favorite shows in your pajamas.

11. You don't stop learning once you get out of school.

You're always learning every day. Also keep your brain sharp by reading, teaching others, and continuing your passion.

12. Your words have a bigger impact on people so be conscious of what you say.

Words can be remembered for a long time by a person and impact their lives, so be conscious of what you say to people that you surround yourself with. The words you say represent yourself.

13. Judgment from others comes from fear

When a person is judging you they are showing their own fears and projecting it on to you, so do not bear that fear onto yourself.

14. Pursue the life that you want

At the end of the day, it's your life so do what makes you happy.

15. It's not the end of the world if you're taking a little longer in the race called life, everyone has a different path

Everyone has a different journey to get to where they want to go. We tend to compare ourselves to what society's standards of where you should be at a certain age when there is no perfect time.

16. Take more pictures of moments

You won't regret it when you're 80 and looking back at old times

17. Open up to your spiritual side.

We all are looking for answers and a deeper connection, whether is God, meditation or Basketball. Connect with your spiritual side so you have a place to find your center in times of need and calmness.

18. You will fail a lot in your twenties and that's okay.

The twenties are a time for failures and learning from that so you can grow to be who you want to be.

19. Go outside in nature more

We are blessed to call this Earth our home and should enjoy what beaches, mountains, springs its has to offer for us.

20. Do your research and stand for what you believe in

Question everything and everyone and fight for injustices to make a change in this world.

21. Get out your comfort zone and learn something new

You will not grow if you do not fight out of your fears and into new possibilites.

22. Put yourself first

You are the most important person because you come into this world alone and leave alone so in order to tkae care of others and to have the life you want you have to put yourself first.

23. Dont compare yourself.

We do not see the full story of other people's lives, we do not see the hardships that they go through so when we compare we tend to think the grass can be greener. Instead of comparing appreciate your life and make your life what you want it to be.

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