After 21 years on this Earth ( wow, it is so weird to say that ) it is safe to say that I’ve learned some things. From laughter and joy, to failures and heartbreaks, everything that I’ve gone through has made me the person that I am today. I wanted to share with you some lessons that have made me wiser, stronger and more mature.
1. IT IS OKAY TO BE UNIQUE
Growing up, I was very quiet and shy. I preferred to be “behind the scenes” rather than being a “star”. So as you can imagine, I’ve had a hard time fitting in. Somehow, that didn’t bother me as much. I loved to hide behind my drawings and cartoons. It was a world where I felt safe, where I had the power to create my own destiny. I was that kid who watched as many cartoons as she could get her hands on and was pretty much obsessed with anime. I kept that part of me hidden though. People already thought I was childish so why would I give them another reason to do so? With time, I realised that it wasn’t a shame to be childish, nor it was a shame to like something different. Why would I want to blend with the others, to change just to be like them instead of fully accepting myself as I am? I don’t have to pretend to be someone I’m not just so that other people would like me. I don’t have to blend in. I am fine just the way I am, and God I’ve never loved myself more than I do now.
2. IT IS OKAY TO FAIL
For the past two years I’ve had my fair share of failures. If anything, they made me stronger. For the longest time I was trapped in a bubble where everything was rainbows and sunshine. It was like an alternate universe, meant to protect my innocence. I am no longer who I was in high school, nor who I was even 6 months ago. Failure brings pain but also wisdom. Each time you fail, you get up stronger. Don’t resent failure no matter how hard it hits you. Without it, you wouldn’t grow intellectually and as an individual.
3. LISTEN TO YOUR PARENTS
They without a doubt know more than you do. My mom and dad are everything to me. Ever since I was little, they made sure I had everything I needed even when they had little money. They raised me to be humble, to appreciate everything I have and to be kind. They are always there to give me advice, to teach me the differences between right and wrong. Their wisdom, strength, unconditional love and guidance are essential. Without them I would be lost.
4. SOMETIMES YOU’RE GONNA MAKE MISTAKES
Not even your family and friends can help you avoid this one forever. No one has escaped from mistakes. If anything… provided you let them, they can make you a better person. As much as it hurts, it’s important for your self growth. It took me a while to see this, but there’s always light at the end of the tunnel, even when you ceased to hope for it.
5. EVERYTHING HAPPENS FOR A REASON
There is no coincidence. Every mistake, every failure, every friendship, every relationship happens for a reason without a doubt. I have learned that everything that I do or choose has a meaning.
6. YOU ARE BLESSED
I am ashamed to say that it took me some time to see this. In fact, it took something for me to not be blinded anymore. My failures in college came with their ups and downs. They’ve changed me in more ways than one. For the first time, I started to fully appreciate how blessed and loved I am. It’s funny how moments like this actually open your eyes to what is right in front of you. Yes, it made me be grateful for everything that I have, yes, I AM BLESSED beyond belief and I was too stupid to see it.
7. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF FOR A CHANGE
I have the tendency to neglect myself. I know it’s not okay but sometimes I cannot help it. I have to remind myself to try and take it slow for once. This is based a lot on self confidence and also on self discovery. Think about it. There must be some moments when you just feel emotionally drained, when you want to scream or never get out of the room. Well that is when your mind tells you to take a deep breath and do something that you love, something that helps you heal and escape from your problems for a bit.
8. PEOPLE CAN GIVE YOU THEIR WORST
No matter what, there are some people you meet who just aren’t going to treat you well. We all have our demons, and sometimes we deal with them by unleashing their force on others. This is not an excuse, I know, but I try to be nice to them anyway. At the end of the day, treating someone as badly as they treat you is nothing more than revenge. It’s neither fulfilling or necessarily.
9. IT IS OKAY TO FEEL LOST
No one really knows what they want right away. If I really think about it, most of my friends don’t have an idea of what they want to be, and that is okay. To tell you the truth, there were moments when I felt so lost (still am some days) because it seemed that I was walking towards an endless unknown path. But then I realised, it is supposed to be that way. Not even my parents or grandparents knew what the hell they were going to do with their lives when they were my age. They figured it out along the way. I guess we all have to do the same.
10. LOVE YOURSELF
THIS IS A MUST! I cannot tell you how much my life has changed ever since I started to accept myself, to be more confident. Though I am nowhere near achieving my goal completely, I am slowly getting there. I now know how important it is to love yourself. If you don’t, not only it is damaging for your heart and soul, but also for the people around you. If you don’t love yourself, why would you expect others to do so?.
11. NEVER STOP LEARNING
Nope, I am not just talking about academic intelligence. You could be the smartest kid in school but not in life. So when I say never stop learning, I actually mean to take everything that life has to offer and turn it into a lesson. Life knowledge is just as important as academic knowledge.
12. HAVE FAITH
In my darkest of times, when I was in such a low place that I thought I was worthless, that’s when faith saved me. One night, when I was on the verge of having a breakdown, I decided to listen to some music since it always calmed me down. I opened up my Apple music and unknowingly searched for the song that would change everything for me. I somehow got to Rachel Platten’s new album, which I am not kidding, wasn’t even released half an hour earlier when I last checked. I was quite surprised, as you can imagine. As I was scrolling down, my eyes landed on the song GRACE. I don’t know why but I was really drawn to it. I pressed play and I started to be overwhelmed by this incredible sense of understanding. I had goosebumps and I was shaking. Never, in my entire life, has ever been a song to define my whole being like that until that moment. The answer that I’ve been waiting for such a long time finally revealed itself. That song brought me peace and comfort. Because of it, I’ve regained my faith in God, and also, faith in myself.
13. THE PEOPLE YOU LOVE WILL CHANGE YOU
I always trust my gut when it comes to choosing the perfect people for me. Let me tell you, I was never wrong. Every person that I’ve allowed to be in my life has changed me for the better. With their strength, wisdom, kindness and confidence, they’ve all played an important part into my life. They’ve inspired me to be better, to cherish every moment that I’ve been given, to be happy and to believe that I am capable of amazing things. I can never thank them enough for what they did and still do for me.
14. JEALOUSY HAS ITS UPS AND DOWNS
Believe it or not, jealousy can actually be a blessing in disguise. In the past year, I’ve had moments when I hated myself because I was jealous of the success of others. I thought: Why not me? Why am I not doing anything as amazing as that? It consumed me to a point when I started to become someone I couldn’t recognize. It was one of my lowest points. I felt useless, untalented and a failure. I had this mindset until I realised that I can actually use this as a motivation to fulfill my dreams rather than be jealous of something that I don’t wholeheartedly want. This is how this blog revived. This is how I started drawing again. This is how I started to practice my singing again.
15. TREAT PEOPLE HOW YOU WISH TO BE TREATED
I keep this with me everyday, especially now with how dark the world is. I never stopped hoping, believing that WE will be better. I think if I did, I would lose myself completely into this darkness. This is why I set a goal upon myself: to try each day to be kinder and to help people when they need it. I remember one time in my volunteering years when I participated in my all time favourite activity: “free hugs”. I was humbled and extremely touched at how many people were so open to it. Some even said they needed that hug more than ever. People are often evil and selfish, but there is also kindness, happiness and joy within them. I will never cease to stop believing, because there are people out there that are worthy of every drop of kindness you can offer. You never know when you can change someone’s life by just giving a small compliment, or a smile, or a hug.
16. YOU DEFINITELY ARE YOUR HARSHEST CRITIC
Whenever I do something, I want it to be perfect. When something doesn’t turn out the way I envisioned, I feel incompetent. It doesn’t do wonders to my self esteem either. The main issue here is that I am too hard on myself. I see that fact, but its still difficult for me to not be. I have to get used to the idea that I am and always will be my harshest critic.
17. PEOPLE ARE SELFISH
I would be the first to say that I’ve had moments when I thought of only myself. I don’t have an excuse for this, but I am trying to manage it. I am aware of my flaws, I am not perfect, but every day I try to turn them into little helpers… helpers who make me want to be better. Humanity is selfish, and I am no exception.
18. IT’S ALL ABOUT THE LITTLE THINGS
I’ve found that I am happiest when little things happen. Last summer I posted on twitter a picture with me holding Lily Collins’ book and went to bed. The next morning I woke up with my phone filled with messages. In the back of my mind I kind of knew why but I still thought Nah, there’s no way… I opened up my twitter, and there it was. Lily Collins saw my picture. My heart was full of joy and I felt pure happiness. Having one of my role models respond to my post meant everything to me. It’s not about the grand gestures, but about little things.
19. NO REGRETS
Your life is how it’s supposed to be. Even with it’s ups and downs, I’ve learned to never take it for granted and certainly not regret anything that I’ve gone through. And you shouldn’t either. Love your life because it’s priceless and irreplaceable.
20. STOP TRYING TO BE PERFECT
The truth is, I am not perfect. No one is. I have to stop trying to be flawless. I would be inhuman if I didn’t have my fair share of flaws. Instead of resenting them, I am trying (as I already mentioned) to analyse them and to learn from them in order to become the best version I can possibly be. We all have the potential to be great, but never to be perfect.
21. NOTHING COMES EASY
Oh boy, where do I even start. I mentioned already that I am childish. Well, this doesn’t come with disadvantages. When I had secured myself with a place in college, I felt free and capable of doing anything. I was so naive to think that from then on everything that I ever desired to have will fall down from the skies. Now I know that it’s actually the opposite. No one became successful without working hard.