I Took A Break And Here Is What I Learned

I Took A Break And Here Is What I Learned

Things done in love will last forever.

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I decided a few months ago that I needed a break. I realized that my life was being dictated by other people's opinions of me; the way I acted, the way I dressed. None of it was mine and mine alone. So, I took a break. I deleted my social media. I spent time with my family and my friends. I disconnected from what I thought that the world had to say, and I learned the following.

1. You do not need validation from anyone.

Stop checking to see who liked your picture! Stop caring about if other people think you are pretty or skinny or fashionable! You do not need validation from anyone. You are unapologetically you. Do whatever you want. Be whoever you want. Wear whatever you want. To be beautiful means to be yourself. You do not need to fit in. You do not need validation from anyone.

2. Do not waste your time with people and things you do not enjoy.

Always find time to do things that you do enjoy and surround yourself with the people you love. This is what life is all about. When it is pouring rain outside and you are staring out the window feeling lost, you will think of the time when you laughed so hard in a dairy queen that you cried or the time when you sat in bed with all of your best friends, eating key lime pie and watching the bachelorette. You will think of these times and these memories and you will find your peace in those moments. Do not waste your time with people and things you do not enjoy. They will not bring you your peace. They will not bring you anything at all.

3. You do not need to be a people pleaser.

The only person you need to please is yourself.

4. Your thoughts are not reality.

You will romanticize things in your head and make them seem better than they are. But your thoughts are not real, the world isn't crashing and burning around you and things aren't as sad as they seem. Nostalgia is deceiving.

5. No one will fight your fight for you.

You have to fight on your own. You have to find the willpower inside of you because the only way out is through and the only person who can get you through is yourself. You have to learn to let it hurt, and let it go. Make your way towards acceptance or forgiveness or whatever it is you are working towards breath by breath.

6. Never forget to love.

Love your friends, your parents, your cousins, your teachers, your classmates, your co-workers, your doctors and neighbors and cashiers like there is no tomorrow. Nothing on this earth matters except for the relationships we have with others and the love that we show. Remind the ones you love that you love them. Touch their souls. When we are all old and wrinkly we won't remember the time spent in anger and sorrow. We'll remember the time we spent laughing and loving and the memories that warmed our hearts all those decades ago will continue to warm our hearts all those decades from now. Things done in love will last forever. Love is all that matters. Love love love as though you are incapable of doing anything else. And when all that is done, love some more.

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To The Girl Who Isn't Graduating On Time, It Won't Feel Any Less Amazing When You Do

Graduating is something to be proud of no matter how long it takes you.

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To the girl who isn't graduating college "on time,"

I promise, you will get there eventually, and you will walk across that graduation stage with the biggest smile on your face.

You may have a different journey than the people you grew up with, and that is OKAY. You may have some twists and turns along the way, a few too many major changes, a life change, you may have taken most of a semester off to try to figure your life out, and you're doing the best you can.

Your family and your friends don't think less of you or your accomplishments, they are proud of your determination to get your degree.

They are proud of the woman you are becoming. They don't think of you as a failure or as someone any less awesome than you are. You're getting your degree, you're making moves towards your dreams and the life that you have always wanted, so please stop beating yourself up while you see people graduating college on time and getting a job or buying a car.

Your time will come, you just keep doing what you need to do in order to get on that graduation stage.

Your path is set out for you, and you will get there with time but also with patience. The place you're at right now is where you are supposed to be. You are going to thrive and you are going to be the best version of you when you graduate and start looking for a company that you will be proud to work for. Don't look on social media and feel less than, because at least you're still working towards your degree that you are finally passionate about. You will be prepared. You will be ready once the time comes and you cross the stage, move away, and start your journey in whatever field you're going into.

Don't question yourself, and be confident in your abilities.

With love,

A girl who isn't graduating on time

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College Can Be Difficult, But Trust Yourself, Girl

Life can throw you curveballs sometimes, and times can get tough, but it is SO important to pick yourself up and trust that you can do anything.

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I'll be honest, this school year was one of the hardest years of my life. There were lots of moments throughout the year that I just wanted to go home and get away from it all. I had to be reminded that I have been raised to try as hard as you possibly can, and I was doing that. It took some determination and time, but I didn't give up.

No matter how bad I felt, I stayed and persevered.

Now that I am home for the summer, I have been reminiscing on the past two semesters of school. At the beginning of the school year, I had a much different idea of how it would go. It was going to be "my year," but somehow while the year was going on, I felt that I had been completely wrong. It's easy to come to quick conclusions when life doesn't exactly go your way. Conclusions like "this year has been the worst year ever" and "I can never get a break" were often popping up in my head. My grades weren't where I wanted them, and I was surprised by a lot of occurrences that I never expected to happen (imagine a wild ride). I found out who my true friends are and who I could rely on, and luckily, my circle only grew. Being extremely extroverted, it was hard for me to get out and just do something. Being in this "rut" took a toll on me. I had to make those hard decisions about doing what was best for me in the long run instead of doing something just for the moment. Trust me when I say, this was NOT easy at all.

Through all the tears and change all around me, I decided to proceed to the finish line because I am NOT a quitter.

I decided that it was time for me to allow myself to fully, undeniably be me. I wanted to start doing the little things I enjoy again like working out, taking pictures, and simply just going out to do anything. I started forcing myself to take any opportunity that came my way, and it helped. One of the things that brought me so much joy was kickboxing – talk about therapeutic, people! Kickboxing at least three times a week helped my mood shift so much, and it was a start to seeing me again. I am so blessed with friends who would come over at, literally, any time of the day. Spending time with them helped me more than they could ever know. We did anything from just hanging out in my living room to splurging on a fun dinner. Through everything that I was doing daily, I was learning how to rely on myself. Looking back now, I have never really had to know what it felt like to rely mainly on myself. I did get so much help from my family and friends, but what good could their help do if I didn't want to help myself first?

Even though I felt like this was one of the worst years of my life, it taught me so much more than I ever expected. Looking back now, I grew so, so much. I learned how to smile when times get tough. I learned that it really is okay to not be okay sometimes, and it will be okay eventually. I learned that it's okay to ask for help because we weren't made to do life alone. Most importantly, I learned how to trust myself. My hope for anyone reading this, you will learn from my experience that the worst seasons get better. I am in such a good place right now because I never gave up, and I will continue to never give up. In a short amount of time, I am seeing how far I have come and how much I grew.

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