18 Lessons for 18 Years

I turn 19 tomorrow and I learnt a lot being 18. I don’t like to think there is such thing as a waste of time, only lessons to be learned. I made lots of mistakes but I like to think they made me wiser, so here are 18 things I learnt in my 18th year. It was a heavy one.

  • You are only broken for as long as you proclaim yourself to be, and it’s up to you to fix yourself. Everyone you blame for “breaking” you is suffering on their own, it’s up to you to be the strong one and lead by example
  • Lonely is not bad, nor is it a reason to feel sorry for yourself. Lonely is an opportunity to go within, explore who you are and discover how you can be who you want to be. Lonely is an affirmation that you do not have to prove to anyone that you are worthy. 
  • There is opportunity in everything and everyone, there is potential and a lesson in everything and everyone. Don’t let fear or the burden of negative emotion get in the way of you appreciating simple things that make being alive cool. 
  • Mundane tasks such as being on the bus or walking to work can be beautiful and an opportunity for you to collect your thoughts. Notice the things around you, things are more interesting when you immerse yourself in the world rather than glueing yourself to your phone trapping yourself in a bubble of social media. 
  • You don’t have to have it all figured out at once- you don’t have to have a plan, you can expect many detours. Don’t overwhelm yourself as it will only bring postponement of achieving your goals, and will limit ability for surprises. Focus on where you want to end up, focus on what you need right now, and baby step the in between. Being alive is an exciting journey not a daunting chore. 
  • Don’t force yourself or push yourself to do anything that does not fit because you have been taught, or you have taught yourself, that it is the “right” thing to do. If it does not feel good, it is not the right thing to do. Take care of yourself. Sometimes it’s okay to only do what you must. 
  • People are important. Cherish them. People who see you for who you are and appreciate your quirks. People are the reason this world is so beautiful and it’s such a waste of time to look at them through cynical “I’m better than you” glasses that carried you through school, or through your self esteem issues. People are beautiful. People are not “toxic” and do not need to be “cancelled”, people are at worst broken and need to be helped, whether it’s by you or not. 
  • Boundaries make life so much easier. You don’t need to go to extremes to be respected, just be independent enough and strong enough to decide what you will and won’t tolerate, and how you respond to these behaviours. 
  • You come first. You cannot put others before you no matter how much you love them. You cannot love another truly unless you first love yourself. You owe it to yourself and to this planet to be whole in order to make this world a better place, you cannot help others for as long as you are unhappy even with the best will in the world. 
  • Gratitude is the most powerful energy. Spend a minute a night counting your blessings and affirming to yourself that you are worthy of them. For as long as you focus on lack and feeling hard done by no good will come of you. 
  • Know when to work and when to be still, no one will do anything for you however sometimes surprises will only come if you allow them to. 
  • You aren’t the bigger person for anyone else but yourself. 
  • If you have to prove something to someone, it usually means you are not in fact what you are trying to prove. 
  • Love is not gooey mush that is to be rejected and grossed out or embarrassed by, its not necessarily a certain type of relationship or dynamic or anything you’ve been taught. Love is an energy and it is wonderful, it takes grown people to appreciate it. Any manifestation of true and pure love is to be cherished and appreciated. 
  • Set your pride and ego down and life becomes lighter. Pride and ego are a waste of time which we developed to protect ourselves, but vulnerability is strength and in order to get what you want you must be fearless. Bravery is rewarded. 
  • Don’t be scared of music or anything that triggers negative emotion. Do not run. These things you are scared of are the making of you. They are a gift. 
  • The scared child within you that you have told to shut up deserves attention and love
  • The way people treat others is a powerful reflection of how they see themselves 

and a bonus;

To have grace is not a facade that you have to put on. It is not to be “lady like” in the sense that your nan taught you, it isn’t not to be restrictive or be a bore- but it’s just to treat people with compassion and respect. It is to love. In a world of chaos, be a home for lost souls trying to find their way.

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