July 17th marked my 23rd year on this Earth. Being the sappy ass person that I am, I usually take a moment on my birthday to look back and reflect on everything that has happened so far in my life. Every up and down, every friend and foe, and every decision I made helped me become the person I am today.
This year, I decided to compile a list of life lessons I have learned along the way. Yes, this might be the cheesiest and most cliché thing you've ever read. And no, I did not get these quotes from Pinterest. These are morals I actually repeat to myself whenever I need a little push to get through certain situations. Hopefully, they can help you one day too.
1. Surround yourself with people that add, not subtract.
You'll come across people that drag drama and stress into your life and constantly feed you with negative energy. It might take a while for you to realize it, but once you do, don't be afraid to cut those "friends" off.
2. You can't please everyone.
You can be a good person with a kind heart and still say 'no.' Saying yes to everything is a recipe for stress and frustration. Also, not everyone will like you. Where I'm from, there's this saying that translates to: "you're not a little gold coin to be loved by everyone," so don't even try.
3. Treat others the way you want to be treated.
When in doubt, always go with this golden rule. It can be as simple as holding the door open for someone, listening without interrupting, or giving way to other cars on the street. In a world full of hostility, be the difference and don't do to others what you wouldn't want done to you.
4. Certain things will never go back to how they used to be.
People grow apart; that's just life and you have to accept it. Change happens so that we can learn to let go and move on.
5. You'll never know if you don't try.
Apply for that dream job even though you think you don't have a chance. Tell that special someone how you feel, no matter how embarrassed you are. Shoot your shot. Every accomplishment starts with the decision to try.
6. Don't keep everything to yourself.
When it comes to emotions, don't bottle them up; that never ends right. We all go through similar if not the same situations, so I assure you there's someone out there who can relate to whatever it is that you're going through. Talking it out really helps.
7. Be the bigger person.
Move your pride to the side. It might not be easy, but believe me, you'll feel better with yourself. "Winning" doesn't guarantee contentment.
8. Treat yourself.
Get a manicure. Have some desert. Take a break. Recharge and feel good. Self-care is not selfish, it's important.
9. Don't depend on others.
You're only setting yourself up for disappointment, and a little anxiety along the way.
10. View yourself the way your best friend does.
Sometimes the voice in your head -the one that knows all your insecurities and tries to use them against you to bring you down often- becomes the loudest one in the room. We can be really hard on ourselves. Listen to what your loved ones have to say about you and believe it. You're all that.
11. Make time for your family.
Especially when you move away from home. It's easy to get caught up in your new lifestyle, but try to call your mom and dad often, and your grandparents if you're lucky to still have them. And whenever you go back home, plan some bonding time with your siblings and cousins apart from making plans with your friends. Family is not an important thing, it's everything.
12. It costs nothing to be kind.
We're all going through some shit in life. We're human. Just be patient, nice, and aware of others.
13. Friendships need care.
A true friendship requires mutual effort, willingness, and initiative. Don't settle for anything less.
14. Never take things for granted.
I've come across multiple tragedies in my life that have opened my eyes to how short life really is. You never know when it's the last time you'll see someone or do something, so make the most out of every moment.
15. Do what you love.
Pursue what fills you with unique sensations despite what anyone else says. You'll know it's your passion when it doesn't feel like work.
16. Do not judge a book by its cover.
A classic, but I'll admit I have judged a few people in the past without knowing them and they turned out to be some of the best people I've met. Appearances and gossip can be deceiving. Give others a try; you could be surprised.
17. Everything happens for a reason.
I'm a firm believer that there are no coincidences in this life. Even if you don't know the reason now, you eventually will with time. Just trust.
18. Life is about balance.
Sure, go ahead, have a few drinks, and enjoy a pizza and some fries during the weekend. But eat healthy and work out on a regular basis. Creating good habits will make you feel good.
19. Be yourself.
Don't pretend to be someone else and never apologize for who you are. If they don't like you, they're not for you.
20. Don't let fear rule.
Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. No matter how nervous or anxious you feel, do it. Face what scares you. You'll realize it's not as bad as you thought it was.
21. Not everyone thinks the same way you do.
Neither do they see things the way you see them. That's why communication is a major key in life. Learn to be open-minded. Oh, and never expect anything from anyone. If they don't think like you do, they certainly won't act like you would.
22. Your feelings are valid.
There's no limit. Some people may not understand them, but don't let anyone make you think otherwise. You are allowed to feel.
23. Never say never.
Of course, I had to leave the most cliché one for last (*cue Justin Bieber*). But honestly though, repeat after me: "I'm capable of whatever." I assure you that if you put your heart, mind, and soul into something, you'll accomplish it.