It's time to face the music: I am growing up. Today I turn 21 and that age really screams adult. I've lived a good few years (being a fangirl for bands/books/boys/more, having mental breakdowns about having to be an adult, etc).
So I've decided to compile a list of things that I've learned while being alive for 21 years, mixed with some advice I wish I would've had when I was going through the tough time that is adolescence.
- Being nice is always a good thing. Whether it's holding the door open for someone who is just a little too far away, or just smiling at someone. Always choosing to be kind is the best way to be.
- Don't be so hard on yourself. You are a smart, kind, wonderful person. There is no need to beat yourself up over things. It isn't worth it. You're going to do incredible things in your life, so don't worry about everything else that is going on right now.
- Everyone is a critic. Not everyone is going to love you, not everyone is going to agree with what you're doing - that is life. Don't dwell on others negativity - you are doing great things, remember that.
- Stand up for yourself & what you love/believe in. Don't let the opinions of others make you change yours. Like what you want. Love pop music? Love it with all of your heart. Liking things that are seen as vapid does not make you a lesser person.
- It's okay to do nothing for a day. Relax. Give your mind & body a day to yourself. Read a book, drink a cup of tea, watch a movie. Don't schedule anything. You deserve to just zone out for a day.
- You're allowed to feel. This sounds super dramatic, but it's true; you're allowed to feel whatever you want without having to explain it, and without being criticized. If you want to be sad because a band broke up, you can be sad without having to justify it. If you want to be happy that PSL are back, be happy (and you should be - they are delicious)
- You can do whatever you want to do. If you want to write a book, do it. If you want to travel across the world, you can. Yes, there may be things holding you back, but you can overcome them. You have the power to do anything and everything you want to do in this life.
- Stop worrying about how you look. I am always concerned over how I look when in public. Is my shirt fitting okay? Is it sitting on my body right? Does that person know I have a small stain on my sleeve? Instead of focusing on other things, I'm worried about how people are viewing me, and that's really silly. You don't need to worry about how you look. You don't need to wonder what you think people are thinking about you. Just be.
- Do spontaneous things. Get on a bus and go somewhere. Cut your hair off. Do something in your routine that is new - whether that means changing up your style, or changing what you take in your tea. Keep life interesting and fresh. It won't get dull that way.
- You don't need a million friends. I went from having lots of friends, to having just enough friends to count on both hands. Both are wonderful, but having a close group of people that care about you is the best. Your friends are a different kind of family, and that is so wonderful. This point leads me to the next one..
- You don't need to keep people in your life. I like to surround myself with positive & inspiring & uplifting people. If someone isn't bringing you up, they are probably bringing you down. You want to surround yourself with people that want to love, dream, and support one another. We aren't meant to be tethered to people from our past. You are allowed to be choosey with who you want in your life.
- Sometimes you just need a good, long cry. The best way to do this is in a hot bath while listening to Death Cab and/or Dustin O'Halloran. It's therapeutic.
- Love yourself first. Boys are (usually) dumb. You don't need to look for love, it'll find you when you're ready. Focus on the wonderful people that you have around you and love them to bits and pieces. They will show you what love is. Know love before you profess love.
- Let people know you love, support, & appreciate them. Whether it's friends, family, or co-workers. Cliche, but life is far too short to not let people know that you care about them. They love and care about you just as much as you do.
- You don't need to have your life together yet. It's okay that you don't know what you're doing now, and it's okay if you don't have long-term plans. You're young, you aren't supposed to know everything. 5 years ago, you had no idea what you wanted to do. Now you have a million and one things going for you. You're doing great, focus on that.
- Take little steps. You don't need to conquer the whole world in one day. Small steps to your dreams is just as effective as one large leap. Get yourself organized, write lists filled with life goals, and get started.
- Change is good & keep an open mind. If you aren't happy with your life, change it. Whether it be a job, a friend, or a romantic partner. If it's bad, make it good - it's a step to improve your happiness. Opening your mind to new things is scary, but exciting.
- Be optimistic. You're going to be in tough situations, and have to deal with things that are far too serious for anyone to be dealing with, but you must stay positive. It will keep you going when times are so unbelievably tough.
- Don't take your emotions out on people you love. They love you & you need to remember that. Everyone in your life wants the best for you & to watch you flourish. Remember to be kind to them.
- You are the most important person in your life. This is something recently learned, but is incredibly true. If you aren't looking out for yourself & your well-being, who is going to do that? As important as family & friends are and as much as you love being in a relationship, at the age you are now, you must make sure that you are making sure that the thing/person on the top of the list of priorities is you. You must make sure that you are growing & excelling & venturing on the path to greatness.
- Don't take anything too seriously. Life will get serious sometimes, but always try to remember to laugh & smile.
(As a side note: Something else I've learned in my 21 years of being alive - there are people on this earth that have not seen or read Harry Potter. Craziness.)