In the space of a year, I have changed immeasurably as a person. Moments and experiences catapulted at me to make me grow as a sixteen year old, and to learn to put myself first. I learnt things that will probably stay with me for a lifetime and then some. That's the difference when you're growing out of your awkward teenagery boots into adult heels. You feel everything, sometimes new & raw emotions that you cannot possibly begin to explain. Looking at the world and breathing it all in, and then some days you feel full of emotions that you can't begin how to know how to handle.
I've been thinking hard and long about how I wanted to come across on this blog - whether I wanted to keep it simple or be wordy, earthy and rambly. I think that I outgrew the old style of this blog and the whole 'trying to fix the world at 15.' We've all been through a patch as a teenager where we felt quite lost and didn't know how to let our voices out - as us. There are always expectations to be someone in this society. We are always so busy filling up our lives with memories, relationships, jobs, meaning and more moments that we forget to look at the bigger picture and realise that we have one shot.
Growing up and finding yourself is definitely a challenge. Here are some things that I have realised for myself, that at some point I wish someone could have told me. In life you have to learn for yourself, these are those things:
1. BE WHO YOU WANT TO BE.
The thing about this vast tip is that it is actually very difficult. Trying to fit in, and not being accepted is truly the worst. But you know what?? Who actually cares? There's going to come a time when you realise you don't have to necessarily fit into a certain category. High school is demanding in that sense that there are cliques and groups and sometimes when you don't fit into one of them you can feel left out, and rejected. After high school, the bubble will have burst and you will realise that going off and doing your own thing means that there is more to life than just fitting in, even though your teenage heart says otherwise.
Why waste your time pretending to like certain things, or lying about something very real about you? The thing is people genuinely appreciate when you can come raw and clean, giving off the 'actually this is me and if you don't like it, that is not my problem' attitude.
I know that it is hard for some people to feel happy and confident unless they belong to a group of friends, or even just to one person but a little leap of confidence in being individual can be that extra boost in feeling ultra ace. There is around 7 billion people - and none of them are you! Isn't that radical? You're worth more than you feel.
2. CUT OUT MEAN AND NEGATIVE PEOPLE.
One thing that I learnt the hard way was realising that there is a repetitive cycle of attracting the wrong kind of people. When you are a person that wants to help out and fix other peoples' problems, some creature-people can take this aspect of you for granted and leech onto your light, trying to drag you down with them. It's not always intentional, but when people are hurt and sad, they try to cast the burden onto you, to transfer their pain. Most people depend on others to gain happiness but in reality happiness should be found within you. Being tolerant and nice is one thing, but choosing to put yourself in a repetitive, negative situation where you come out feeling miserable, is no fun at all. The easiest way to do this is to surround yourself with motivated people, who know where they want to go. People that don't come with expectations of you, or are only there when you are successful. Sometimes the best thing you can do for yourself is to cut yourself off from someone who brings you down. It's as simple as that. It's your right to do so - it doesn't mean you love them any less, it just means that you shouldn't have to feel miserable in the process.
3. GIVE YOURSELF A CHANCE.
Before you tell yourself 'I can't do this' or 'There's no point - it isn't going to work anyway', stop and think for a second. This may sound 100% lame but you should try to believe in yourself. After all, no one can do it better than you. Your life clock is already ticking away, and one day you are going to wish you had believed in yourself and given yourself a chance sooner. Why should you cut yourself short from the talents that are inside you? Just because you have failed at something before, it doesn't mean you should stop right away and give up. The greatest people only achieved greatness through constant trial and error until they found a solution.
4. YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER/BEST FRIEND/FRIEND SHOULD NOT MAKE YOU FEEL LIKE YOU ARE NOT ENOUGH/FEEL SHITTY.
This is one thing that I cannot stress enough. In the simplest way, if someone that you put effort and time into on a daily basis makes you feel less in any way then you have every right in the world to walk away. You have every right to cut off a toxic person from your life. You can shut down relationships with people that make you feel bad about who you are or what you believe in. People you surround yourself with aren't supposed to make you feel bad but should help build you up. Also, anyone you date should make you feel like you are special. If you feel worse when you are around them, or they find excuses to belittle you or change you, DITCH EM'. The whole idea of being with somebody is to bring out the good in each other and simply be there for each other and make each other happy. It's simple really. You don't have to stick with someone in a relationship if they control you, make you feel like shit, or just inflict any pain on you in any way at all. You have the right to be happy. People that you surround yourself with should lift you up and make you feel alive.
5. LOSS IS INEVITABLE.
Loss is always going to happen. Just like rain is going to fall, or your nail polish is going to chip, or mud sticks between your toes. You know when you're a teenager and you feel every emotion under the sun? Or when you finally fall in love and realise it's real for the first time and you don't want to lose them? Sometimes when relationships come to an end it feels like the whole world is closing in on us, as we can't imagine being without that person and we don't want to realise that the memories shared with these special people, might begin to become just memories. Know that it's okay to feel these emotions, feeling pain is just a part of life that makes us understand the value of relationships and connections. Remember, you don't always have to get on with it immediately. Pain is pain, and people deal with it in different ways. If you need time to get over someone and to spend time being alone that is okay. You don't have to fling yourself on the rebound train just because you want to feel loved again. Relationships are about finding what you need/deserve, and sometimes it is important to experience the end of relationships so that you can learn things from them. NO relationship is a waste of time, if you were treated badly - then at least you know that you don't deserve that kind of b.s. Also, the best things are born out of heartbreak. Most songs that are about heartbreak have so much depth and meaning behind them - so if you have just recently ended a relationship with someone and want to wallow in it, get into a comfy outfit, buy a carton of ice cream and pump those heartbreak beats.
6. FAMILY IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING.
Making that change from a teenager to an adult is a big deal. In those three to five years, your life will change drastically. The most important thing that I have found, having lived on this earth for a mere sixteen years is the importance of family. Family know you better than you know yourself, that is where the essence of unconditional love comes from. Sisters and brothers are the BEST thing ever... and even if they annoy the living daylights out of you, when you are older you will realise that they are your best friends and their daily teasings of you actually might have kept you grounded. Also it rocks having older sisters as I have access to a free wardrobe 24/7. My parents work hard everyday, in every aspect of their lives to make my life better - and it is because they love me. A very important thing to understand is that as a teenager you are not entitled to anything from your parents. Your parents don't have to buy you a car, or pay for your schooling. They do this because they love you and choose to help you prosper and grow. Of course there is a role that they must play as parents, but learning to be grateful for the blessings in your life is something that will benefit you in the long run. Having parents that love and support you is a rare thing. I have learnt not to expect things, as it is not my right but my privilege.
If you don't have a relationship with your parents or family, friends can fill that gap. It is merely about who you can be yourself around, and have a reciprocal relationship with unconditional love towards each other. Relationships I find, bring more joy and meaning into my life.
7. INSECURITY IS A PRISON AND YOU ARE MORE AWESOME THAN THAT.
Insecurity is a very real thing. In my life I have met some people that I considered flawless. Pure, intellectual and loving people. They admitted to me that they had been through periods of insecurity, and through my honey coated view of them I could not see how this was possible. This is why I think that you should give yourself a break. Calling yourself negative names, filling your head up with ugly words can be a real stab to your confidence. After all, you can't possibly step out of your body, so how can you call yourself ugly when you are smiling with happiness, or laughing at a lame joke someone made. If you're upset and shedding tears, or doing something as simple as vacumming where you are concentrating and don't have to be anyone else but you. How could you call those little moments ugly? Life is too short to look at yourself harshly, with no appreciation to your talents or judging yourself compared to someone else. At the end of the day you have to accept who you are because telling yourself things that you are not will do you nothing but harm. After all, being yourself is the prettiest that someone can be.
Tip: imagine yourself sitting on a couch with your seven year old self. The innocence is still fresh in your young self, and the excitement of life. Picture yourself telling this seven year old that they are ugly, and mean nothing. That they are fat, or have an annoying laugh. That they are going nowhere. Can you possibly say this to a seven year old, and watch them cry? It's the same thing, except you are older and telling yourself these things can do you nothing but harm. Give yourself a break.
8. WORK HARD.
From a young age, I have always worked hard for the things that I wanted. Even if they were little things, like getting a licence, or learning to drive, or getting my first paid job. Setting goals and working hard for yourself can never do you wrong, as it sets you up for understanding what the real world will be like when you leave high school. I am a sixteen year old teenager with a palette of colour-emotions; cerulean-sad, magenta-love, sunflower yellow-happy, wooden green calm. When I was first exposed to these raw emotions, I never knew how to place myself or handle certain scenarios. All people are different, but the basis of what is expected of someone to get where they want to be is to work hard. There is a refreshing feeling, almost overwhelming after you have achieved a goal. It's almost like you know that you can do it - that all this hard work has paid off to make you benefit from it.
Those are things that I wish someone had told me.