9 Things I've Learned Since I Was 9

1) To Appreciate the Time We Have

Before the loss of my grandfather, I had never really understood that people don't live forever. I thought that it was a tinker bell kind of thing, where if you loved and cared about them enough, then that would be all they needed to live forever. However, sadly, I realized this isn't how it works. I took advantage of the time I had with my grandfather, and even though I catch myself taking advantage of the time I think I have with my loved ones, this event in my life has made me realize that you have to cherish every second you have with those who you care about.

2) Reality

Everybody learns this lesson eventually, if I'm being honest, I may have learned it a little late in life. Growing up, we all have these impossible ideas of what we will be when we're "older." I, for one, wanted to be the first female president of the United States. This soon changed to being a figure skater, and professional singer, and eventually turned into more realistic things, such as a teacher or a journalist. Reality can hit people pretty hard, and others learn it without really realizing. However, this is one of the lessons that everybody must learn in order to survive, no matter how crappy it is.

3) Honesty

I've always been the brutally honest friend who tells it how it is. I learned how to speak my mind and realized that there's no since in sugar coating things. I don't believe in lying to make hard news hurt less. Life isn't all rainbows and butterflies, so why try to make it out to be that way. Sure, I get weird looks and a lot of comments on how harsh I can be at times, but I know that I appreciate it when somebody is honest with me. If there's something I feel needs to be changed, whether it's somebody's attitude, or a school project, I'll speak my mind about it with no regrets. I'm not going to go through MY life trying to please others. I'm going to be completely honest with anything that I feel needs to be changed. However, this honesty doesn't always have to be based towards negative things. If I compliment somebody, or tell them that I care about them, they know I'm being 100% honest with them, because I'm honest about everything else in my life. Being honest isn't a bad trait, it just means that I'm strong in my beliefs and won't hesitate to speak those beliefs.

4) To Stand Up for what I Believe In

I never back down. I'm stubborn, but I'm proud that I am. I stand up for what I believe in, and I stand up for those I care about. Even if I lose a fight, I never walk away with my mind changed. I know what I believe in, and nothing can ever change those beliefs.

5) What A True Friend Is

Unfortunately, this is another lesson that everybody learns. However, this is the lesson that I'm the most thankful for. Over the years, I've learned the difference between a friend, a best friend, and somebody who is just using you for their own benefit. I've cut toxic people out of my life, and I know I'm a better person because of it. Life is too short and spectacular to spend it surrounded by people who only make you miserable. I realized that a friend isn't somebody who knocks you down when you're feeling good, it isn't somebody who is always coming to you for help but never answers the phone when you call them. A true friend is somebody who loves and supports you no matter what you do, it's somebody who will drop everything if you need them to, it's somebody who helps build your confidence instead of knocking it down so they can have more. Finding your true friends is one of the most painful, but needed expeirences in everybody's lives, and I'm so glad I found mine so quickly.

6) How To Let Go

Holding a grudge will only make you more angry and bitter. Don't sweat the small stuff. Hating somebody or something won't hurt them, it will only hurt you. In the words of Elsa, let it go. Don't let a little thing ruin your whole day, stay positive and don't let it bother you. The less you seem bothered by something someone did to you, the more it will bother them and the happier you will be.

7) When to Fight

Not letting things bother you and shrugging them off is a great method to staying positive, but sometimes people just hit a certain nerve and you have to fight. Learning when to fight and when to let it go is the important thing. Fighting for things you are passionate about and make your blood boil is a good thing, and perhaps fighting is the wrong word for this. Defending the things you love is important. However, keeping the realization that you can't always change people's ideas and opinions in the back of your mind is a good idea. Getting this a knot in your stomach, frog in your throat, and goosebumps on your skin is a sure sign that you're passionate enough about it to defend it. Defend what you love, but keep in mind that

8) To Always Be Kind

Cruelty and bullying will only make you hated by others. Treat people with respect and you'll get the same treatment back. You don't know what's happening in other people's lives and you don't need to make it worse for them. Instead of telling them you think there eye's are too far apart or that their opinion is wrong, point out something you like about them, and try to understand why they have that opinion and respect it. There is absolutely no reason at all to be cruel to others in this already crude world. Stay respectful, stay kind, stay humble.

9) How to Love

My parents have been a prime example of love and has always taught me how I should be treated. They are he definition of a perfect couple, and they have taught me the meaning of love. However, they never taught me how to love, they never taught me what it reallt feels like. So, throughout the years, I found myself wondering "is this love?" Most of the time I would realize that it wasn't, but I've gotten lucky enough to expierence love a few times in my love. Although it hurts when it ends, it's so wonderdul while you're in the midst of it. I've learned to love with no regrets and with honesty. Love is a wonderful thing, and I always feel so blessed when I get the opportunity to be surrounded by those who I love the most.

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