Here’s a list of 10 things that have become very apparent to me over the past year:
1. It’s okay to not be okay. Feelings are fleeting. As humans, our emotions are meant to vary and fluctuate. Learn to disassociate the word “negative” when it comes to any emotion. It’s not a “bad” or “negative” thing to feel sad or have a hard day. We are human and we aren’t naturally going to be happy or love life all the time. It’s okay to admit to having a rough day, a rough week, a rough month, etc. Don’t punish yourself for feeling down, instead learn to nourish yourself. Self-care and self-love is vital. Treat yourself to an extra cup of tea or a hot bath. Instead of feeling bad about having a bad day, give yourself some extra loving!
2. The goal of life is not to be “happy.” Again feelings are fleeting. Emotions are not goals. Aim for meaning, for a purposeful life. Aim to be fulfilled.
3. Nothing is permanent, be okay with the temporariness of life. Things change, people change. Life is a strand of continuous change. Don’t be scared by it. Live in the present moment and learn to welcome each new day with an open heart and a warm smile.
4. I don’t want to fall in love. I want to walk into love. I want to welcome love into my life. Love is both an emotion and an action. While we may not be able to have absolute (or much) control over our emotions, the act of loving all comes down to choice and effort. It’s a commitment, a willingness, a desire, a resilience. Yes, love is exciting (I want all the butterflies), but I also want it to be: secure, dependable, reliable. Through the ups and downs that naturally come along with life, I want to have that gut feeling of knowing they will always be there.
5. Trust and communication are key. To any relationship. Whether that be family, friends, romantic partners, etc. Never underestimate the value of trust and communication.
6. School, or getting an A+, is not worth sacrificing your mental health. Education is a vital part of life (whether institutional education or independent learning), but it’s not worth losing your health over. Work hard, learn as much as you can, but remember to still be kind and gentle to yourself.
7. Stop worrying about what other people think. Cut your hair. Wear that piece of clothing you really love. Be honest about your gender/sexuality. Get that tattoo you’ve always wanted. Go after the career you’ve always dreamed of. Tell people how you feel. Be honest.
8. Be minimalist. Find value in moments. Not in “things.” Be rich in love, meaning, compassion, serenity, solitude, people, spirituality, mindfulness. Learn to shed the obsession of material items (I know this is hard, society has ingrained us with materialism), but then we will be free. Free to be with the people we love, to do what we love, and then have the resources (aka money & time) to travel and have purposeful experiences.
9. It’s okay to not know what you want. You don’t have to have your life figured out. You don’t have to know where you want to be in 10 years. You don’t have to settle. Take each year, each month, each day, as it comes. Work hard & be nice –life has a way of working itself out. Do your best and don’t be scared to put yourself out there. Let yourself be vulnerable.
10. Accept yourself. Right here. Right now. Be kind and gentle to yourself. Be vulnerable. Keep working towards where you want to be and do your absolute best. But it’s okay to make mistakes. It’s normal to make mistakes. Mistakes are a prime location of growth and discovery. We aren’t perfect and we never will be. So love who you are right now, accept who you are and where you are at, but don’t forget to keep working towards where you want to be down the road. If we are honest and accepting of where we are now, then we leave so much room open for growth. Open your arms & heart to the world. ❤