Photo taken by me on Lady Bird Lake
It’s taken enduring rough patches, snapping back to reality and evaluating consequences to get this far. This post has been months in the writing and almost a year and a half in realizing. I present: some of my life lessons learned.
1. Don’t believe everything you think.
Your mind is a powerful thing, and sometimes it’s also deadly. It’ll kill your hopes, self-esteem, and confidence. Remind yourself about the things that are true and put your trust in them. You are worth it. You can do this. Eating a cupcake is ok.
2. Be honest.
I find this especially hard when I need to give news that won’t be happily accepted. But it’s better in the long run for the person. Likewise, it’s ok to be honest and vulnerable with someone you trust. It’s ok to share your feeeeeeeelings. (So, honestly: Backstreet Boys over ‘N SYNC and fanny packs can be cool.)
3. Forgive and move on.
You will make mistakes. Sometimes it’s ok. Sometimes it’s not. And sometimes it’s a really good idea to correct those mistakes. Apologizing is not below you and it does not make you weak. Feel the pain and anger, let it move through your veins and hit your heart, and then tell it to leave. Accept that it happened, forgive who you need to forgive and then move on. Dwelling in the past will keep you from happiness.
4. You are responsible for your actions.
Don’t like the outcome of what happened? How did you influence it? Don’t like what someone said/did to you? Did you provoke what was said/done? Think really hard about your actions and the possible outcomes before you act and/or speak.
5. Don’t assume anything.
ANYTHING. Because there’s a huge chance that you are incorrect. When you assume things, you set yourself and others up for failure. No, of course he didn’t know you felt that way and no, that is not actually what he was thinking. Assuming is dangerous. This is how fights start and mistakes/misunderstandings happen. Just speak up and state the seemingly obvious.
6. Think positive thoughts.
When did we all get so mean and opinionated? We’re critics and quickly pick out everything that’s wrong with people and with situations, especially when we have easy platforms (ex: social media) to make ourselves heard. Not saying to suppress your opinions, but we can stop putting negativity into the world if we think before we diss and state the positive instead of tearing each other down. This goes for what we think about ourselves, too! Watch your thoughts.
7. Life will always be challenging.
I’ve grown up thinking that when I get older, life will be much easier. In high school it was: I just need to get into college and then life will be easier. In college it was: I just need to find a job and then life will be easier. Surprise, it actually doesn’t stop. There is no easier. You just care about different things or care about things differently. There will always be challenges, sadness, stressful situations, and disappointments. The way we survive is
alcohol attitude. Accept the happenings, endure the happenings and practice gratitude often.
8. Start now.
There’s no tomorrow. There’s today. Right now. There’s no perfect time to start. I might even say that there’s rarely a time you’re really “ready.” You just have to jump in, go for it and trust that it’s exactly where you need to be. Life will always be challenging, and the things you want take work. You’re not going to lose X number of pounds in your sleep or improve your self-esteem infinitely without work, so just start. “If we wait until we’re ready, we’ll be waiting for the rest of our lives.” -Lemony Snicket
9. Love is kind of, really beautiful.
Love can be frustrating, disappointing and painful, but underneath it all, it is beautiful. It helps you believe in and appreciate your purpose and your happiness. It can overwhelm you, keep you whole and give you hope. It’s exhilarating when you step in and let yourself feel it. I’m a hopeful romantic, so I could go on and on about this, so I’ll just say this ThoughtCatalog post says everything and more that I could say about love.
10. Love yourself.
This is where it starts. If you’re not true to what you want and what you feel, you’re going to find yourself fumbling, looking for every possible wrong way to fix what isn’t aligned inside yourself. And there’s an awful chance you’ll take down people around you, too. Stop and evaluate your happiness. Respect yourself. Invest in the things and people that make you feel alive.
These are ten things I’ve learned yet I still need to remind myself of them often. Geeze, life is really hard and heartbreaking sometimes. But, I think after all the stress, worry and endurance, we’ll be ok. Better than ok even! And we’ll have a million more lessons learned.
What life lesson have you learned so far?