The world is a great, big, beautifully scary place. We are all on our own, individual journeys to find ourselves yet we encounter and mingle with so many different people along the way. As we go through our daily lives – and of take advantage the occasional out of the ordinary opportunities that open up for us – we are thrust into all sorts of situations, most of which we are entirely unprepared for. While I may only be eighteen years old, I feel as though I have been through a lot of experiences that have helped me grow as a person. I decided to compile a list of the some of the most meaningful lessons I have learned over the course of these past eighteen years. So, from me to you, here are 15 things I just thought you should know:
1. Being genuinely happy a majority of the time doesn’t mean that you aren’t entitled to your fair share of bad days. You’re allowed to have some time to yourself to think things through and to collect your thoughts.
2. If you don’t want to talk about it just yet, that’s 100% okay. Just remember not to shut out the people who are there to support and love you unconditionally.
3. Let’s be honest, society’s romanticized ideal of love at first sight is crap. Love is so much deeper than the superficiality of lust. There’s a big difference between loving the way someone looks and loving someone for who they are.
4. If you don’t let people in easily, that doesn’t make you a cold hearted b*tch. It’s 100% okay to be cautious and to want to protect your own heart and emotions. Let people in when you are ready.
5. Labels are meaningless. They are simply names we give to people or to our relationships with people in order to satisfy everyone else but ourselves.
6. Don’t take the easy route. You have to fight for what you want and you have to be willing to put yourself on the line. You can’t expect that things will be handed to you just because you want them. If you aren’t willing to fight, you are unworthy of success.
7. Give forgiveness when you feel that forgiveness is deserved. Don’t allow someone to force you into moving past something if you aren’t ready to move on yet.
8. We all must take responsibility for our own actions and the resulting consequences. If you broke it, it’s your job to fix it. Stop trying to push the blame onto others and just take ownership of your mistakes already.
9. Each of us is strikingly different yet beautifully the same. We are individuals yet we are one. It’s entirely up to you to decide when it is better to stand together and when it is better to stand alone.
10. You can be young-hearted and an old soul all at the same time. Some of the most creative, passionate and driven people that you will meet in your life are the perfect combination of old and new values.
11. A true relationship, be it romantic or platonic, requires compromise and mutual benefits. Some people are only in it with the hopes of achieving their desired outcome. Don’t let those people weigh you down and hold you back.
12.Love is love is love is love, no matter the shape, the form or the color.
13. Similarly, art is art is art is art, no matter who made it, where its displayed or what it is made out of.
14. It wasn’t wasted time if you learned something from it and came out as a stronger person.
15. Having the courage to admit that you are scared shows just how brave you are.
Some of these lessons you may have already learned for yourself. Some of these lessons might not apply to any situation you have had in your life thus far. But I promise that at some point in your life, you will discover the truth and validity behind these statements. And when that time comes, I hope that these words help you overcome whatever it is that you are going through.