Things have just been super stressful and I've felt like I haven't had a lot of time to put effort into my postings, nor did I have anything to say.
I still don't really, but I wanted to apologize.
I really want to write, but I sometimes feel like my life isn't really that interesting y'know?
Anyway, yesterday I turned 23.
It was pretty uneventful. I worked and I was sicker than a dog thanks to my allergies.
But, I've decided I should share some of the knowledge that I feel I've gotten in the last 23 years.
(Even if I'm still working on following some of the advice)
1. You are your own worst critic.
I've spent YEARS telling myself I'm not good enough, not smart enough, not pretty enough, not skinny enough, etc. when all that time I had others telling me how fantastic I am, how brilliant I am, how beautiful I am, and how good I look. But I refused to listen because that voice in my head was telling me otherwise. I still struggle with this, but at least now I realize that I really have been my own worst critic. And I'd guess you are too. Nobody else is going to notice that tiny zit you have next to your ear unless you point it out to them. You gain 2 pounds? You really can't tell just by looking. Seriously, relax. (Yes, I need to work on this too.)
If you're proud of something, be proud of it. Don't let somebody else tell you that it's not good enough or that they've done better. So what if they got an A but you're proud of your B? You OWN that! Don't let someone else put you down.
3. Family before all.
Growing up I can't say I had a bad relationship with my family, but it wasn't near what it is now. Now my family members are my biggest supporters. They've been there for me through it all, good times and bad. My immediate family members are my best friends. And I would put them before anything else on this earth.
4. Jesus saves.
I'm not here to convert anyone. I'm not trying to put pressure, but for me I've learned that Jesus saves. He loved me when I was at my darkest and saved me from ending my life prematurely. I don't know where I'd be, or if I'd even be here, if I hadn't heard Him that night in November.
5. Never give up on your dreams.
Things will get hard. One of my favorite quotes is that "If your dream doesn't scare you, you're not dreaming big enough." I fully believe that. It's not worth working towards if it's easy. You need to WANT it and you need to WORK for it.
6. Children are a lot smarter than we give them credit for.
Seriously, working with kids 10 hours a day, every day, has made me realize how smart they are. They have a completely different outlook on the world than we do because they haven't been tainted by all the bad experiences we have. We could learn a thing or two from them.
7. Read as much as you can.
I (obviously) cannot get enough of books. I read all the time. It's my favorite escape. It's the best way to pass time. And I learn so much. I don't like reading non-fiction but you can learn from fiction as well. Seriously, I wish I could write a story so others will like to read like I do.
8. One bad choice does not define who you are.
I've made plenty of bad choices in my life. But am I a bad person? I don't think so. I know that those were just stupid choices I made when I was younger. I'm not the same person I was then and I never will be that person again.
9. There is beauty in everything.
It doesn't matter how ugly you think something is, if you look at it with different eyes and an open mind, it's beautiful. All it takes is a little deep thinking.
10. Never EVER read the internet comments.
Unless you like being angry, reading internet comments on a news article or opinion piece is a bad idea. You will never find a situation where everyone agrees and everyone on the internet always thinks they are the one who is right. So it ends up a giant cluster that nobody wants to read. Seriously, just avoid it.
11. It's okay for someone to have different opinions than you do.
On that same note, there's nothing you'll ever think that everyone will agree with you on. Somebody is always going to think differently than you do. That doesn't mean you're wrong. It doesn't mean THEY'RE wrong. It just means you're different. Don't let that shut you down. So what if you are pro-Miley Cyrus and your friend thinks she's a disgrace? Is that really what you're going to end a friendship over? One of my BEST friends is much more conservative than I am, yet we made it through an entire election season without letting it affect us. It gave us some great talking/debate points, but we did it lovingly. We DEBATED. We didn't ARGUE. There is a difference. We were both able to walk away with "You make a good point, but I'm still not convinced." and then we moved on with our lives thinking our own thoughts.
12. Love doesn't have an age limit.
I found my soul mate when I was 13. I was engaged at 18. I was married at barely 22. But that doesn't mean my love is any less than someone who meets their partner at 30. It also doesn't make it any better, just because it's been almost 10 years for us. Everyone finds love at their own time and it's just as beautiful. There's someone out there for everyone. So if you haven't found them yet, even though all your friends have, that's fine!
13. Love is HARD.
People throw around "I love you" so easily. But the thing is, it's not easy. It's definitely hard work. I'm not saying it's not worth it though. But true love isn't just a feeling. It's a CHOICE. You wake up every morning choosing to love that person, despite their many flaws. Despite the arguments and the times they may have hurt you, you choose to keep loving them. Sure, it starts off as just an emotion and an attraction. But if it's real love, it'll grow into so much more.
14. You can't stay home sick for a cold.
This sounds ridiculous, but seriously. In high school/college it was like "Oops. I don't feel the best. I should stay home and get some more sleep." Then, you wake up 2 hours later totally fine. But once you hit the real world, people depend on you to show up to work on time and ready to do your job. That's not to say you can't take a break every once in a while. It's okay to call in for a mental health day. But other than that be responsible.
15. It's all about who you know.
Sad, but true. I have 3 jobs and all of them came from knowing someone. My teaching job - I student taught here and struck up a great friendship with my mentor teacher (and the other teachers), so when I applied for the opening, I was an automatic choice. They knew me. They liked me. It was perfect. My daycare? A good friend of mine through school worked there and mentioned my name when they needed someone new. She was a good worker, so she was trusted and I was hired. My grocery store job? I've worked there since I was 15. People who knew me worked there and gave me good recommendations. It's truly about who you know and who can write you the recommendation.
16. Every day has 24 hours.
Some days, it feels like you have all the time in the world. Other days, you feel like you're rushing and have nothing to do. But really, every day has 24 hours. If you don't have time, maybe you're taking on too much. You have the same amount of time as every other day. Make use of it.
17. It is possible to work too much.
I work 3 jobs and it's EXHAUSTING. I know I work too much, but right now I don't have a whole lot of choice in the matter if I want to pay my bills. I do need to learn to take a day off every now and then though. Still something I'm working on. But I can tell you, it's definitely possible to work too much. And eventually, your body shuts down and you end up really sick from it. Story of my life people. Trust me.
18. Education is important.
Now, I'm not necessarily saying formal education is important. To me, it is. But maybe not to everyone else. But some sort of education is extremely important. Learning is one of the greatest things. Some people learn from books. Others learn from experience. The best is to have both worlds, though I know that's not always possible. Either way, do what you can to learn. Books, school, tv, museums, talking to people....
19. Drink lots of water
I've just recently been doing this. I'm told you're supposed to take your body weight, divide it in half, and drink that many ounces of water every day. I've been doing that and it's really made me feel a little better. I haven't been drinking all kinds of crap anymore. I'm more conscious about what goes into my body and it feels good. Just cutting out a lot of other stuff (not completely - just enough to get in the water) made me lose 7 pounds right away. It was fantastic.
20. "Some people come into your life as blessings, others come as lessons.
You WILL lose touch with those friends from high school who you promised to be "BFF"s with. You will meet someone new, whether a friend or a lover, who is going to tear your heart into a million pieces. And that's okay. Some people aren't meant to be a huge blessing in your life. Sometimes they're meant to be lessons. They'll help you learn how to stand on your own two feet. They'll help you figure out how to make your way in the world. And then you'll let them go.
21. In the end, we only regret the chances we didn't take.
How many times have you decided not to take a risk and then later on found yourself wondering "What if?" That's the worst! Sure, there's many things in my past that I'm ashamed of and hate that they happened, but at the same time, I don't regret them. They helped shape me. They taught me not to do them again. They made me a better person and who I am today.
22. Remember, it's just a bad day, not a bad life.
Many people (myself included) will have a bad day and take out our frustrations with a "Ugh! I hate life!". But one day is not your whole life. You'll live THOUSANDS of days. Later on, you may not even remember this one.
23. Dreams don't work unless you do.
You need to work towards your goals. Continue working, even when things get tough. When you reach your dream, come up with another dream. Keep going.