I've been thinking a lot lately about personal growth and how we come to be the people we are. We're all made up by the people and the things in our lives that made us- all the good and the bad- the ups and the downs, but what really makes us who we are is how we let each of those things throughout our lives define us.
In my years on this earth, I have had more than my share of both good and bad times, known all the good and bad in people, but it doesn't mean that the times were bad or the people were bad people, it just means they weren't the best for me. I have come to see that we are all matters of circumstance and we're all on these journeys for ourselves to see who we are and who we want to become, especially in such a turning point in our lives. Instead of dwelling on the negative, we need to focus on what we can make positive. I am very big on my need for control in my own life, I am not a fan of surprises and I don't like not knowing how things are going to end up. Sometimes, that makes me not take risks or not open myself up to new ideas or life experiences because of my own fear.
I am learning now that now is precisely the time to take chances. Taking risks is taking control- of my fear. I am in my 20s. I am never going to be this young again, I am never again going to have these opportunities in my life to be so mercilessly reckless. I am never going to get another chance to go to that party or reach out to that old friend I haven't talked to in years or take that dance class I've been telling myself for years I was too "old" to start taking. I am at the peak of my youth and it's time to start taking more risks. It's time to start taking more care of myself and putting my happiness first. I am so quick to think of others and what they think about me and how what I do would affect them or how I can make them happy, but I don't often think of what I can do to make myself happy. I live in the greatest city in the world, New York City, something I waited for 18 years to be able to say, and I don't take advantage of it enough. Meeting people, going places alone, getting out of my comfort zone, seeing and experiencing and living in the moment, living in my reality, those have never been easy things for me, but I'm striving every day to make them more realistic.
If you catch yourself in a state of what-ifs, get out. Put yourself first. Don't think what-if or why-should-I and think why NOT? Why shouldn't I? It's by no means easy, nobody said it was, but it's crucial. Your mental health and your happiness is nobodies' but your own. Take charge of it and take a risk. Sometimes that means leaving a bad situation, sometimes that just means heading towards a possibly good, but unknown situation. No matter what it is- GO. FOR. IT. Negative energy will only bring you down. Don't surround yourself with it. Put out positive vibes into the universe and surround yourself with positive people and tell yourself you deserve better, and things will be better.
Get off the couch, leave your bed for something other than school or work, I know how tempting binge-watching shows on Netflix is, I'm the queen of it, but take a break! Live your life. Reach out to that old friend you haven't spoken to in years. Take yourself on a date to a museum or the park and just read a book, go on a solo coffee date or dinner date- I know it sounds scary (and trust me, it is!) but start with a solo lunch out and work your way up to it. Independence is the key to being truly happy, and once you're content by yourself, you'll find meeting people and making friends and actually enjoying it is so much more fathomable. I'm making this summer my journey and I hope you'll come along with me for the ride on self-discovery and finding true happiness.
You don't have to live in New York City, just get out around your area. Stay in, even if you want- but focus on doing things that make you happy! Have a spa day, read a book- for fun! Plan whole days that are just about doing things you love that don't revolve around the hustle and bustle of school and work and trying to have the perfect resume or GPA or internship- it's so easy to get caught in that cycle, but take time-out days. I would have never made my blog if it weren't for me taking a time-out day to take a risk and finally do something I had always wanted to do- for me. It was work to make, but it was something just for me. Make this second half of summer- and the rest of your life- about you and your happiness. Put yourself first for once. Your mental health is your greatest friend. There's no shame in loving yourself, so love yourself! Put positive energy into your world- I know I will be.
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