18 Things I've learned in the past 18 years

This November, I’ll be turning 19. I always like to reflect on what has happened in my life after a particular period of time, like on New Year’s or my birthday. I realized I’ve gone through A LOT in my past 18 years of inhabiting this earth, and I’ve learned a lot that I’d like to share with others. These are the things I wish someone had told me years ago; but if they had, I wouldn’t have grown to be the person I am today.

  1. 1. Enjoy the moment and don’t let minuscule things ruin it

    I recently realized that I let the littlest things spoil any enjoyable moment for me. It's more than likely that the thing that's bothering you isn’t worth the loss of a moment.

  2. 2. It’s okay to not have your shit together; because, in reality, no one does

    I was always under the impression that once you reach a certain age, like 17 or 18, you’d have a good idea of what direction your life is headed in and how to go about obstacles. However, that is certainly not the case.

  3. 3. They aren’t worth it

    Whoever you may have your eye set on shouldn’t have the power to cause you stress or sadness or any other toxic emotion that deserves no space in your life. If they're causing you pain, forget about them.

  4. 4. You have to be able to open up to at least one person, for your own sanity and health

    I used to be a very closed off person, not wanting to ever share what was on my mind, and that quickly turned bad when I struggled to express myself. Once I found that one person to open up to, life got a little bit easier.

  5. 5. Some things will always be out of your control

    Don’t stress over things you have no control over because they will always be there—despite how much you worry about them.

  6. 6. Don’t put in what you don’t receive

    This seems very obvious, but when you want someone to give you attention, you tend to do a lot that won't be reciprocated. This is selfish of them and unfair to you.

  7. 7. Mental check-ins are very important

    Taking time to check in with yourself mentally is vital to your overall well-being, as well as making sure that your physical health is in line.

  8. 8. Capture the moment or live in the moment, or both

    You can decide how you want to live your life: taking a picture of every moment, putting your phone aside to really absorb it or a combination of both—and that is okay.

  9. 9. Make yourself a priority because no one else will

    You are your own number one—don’t look for someone else to reassure you of that.

  10. 10. Patience and consistency really are the key to anything

    I’m normally the last person to say this, but when you’re patient and consistent, you’ll achieve whatever result you desire.

  11. 11. Try to not regret anything that you do

    Don’t live your life thinking about everything you could have done differently. Instead, think about how you will do it differently in the future and leave the past behind you.

  12. 12. Have fun

    This one is pretty self-explanatory.

  13. 13. Find the good in the crappiest of situations

    Always have your eyes out for the good in everything that happens and you’ll have something to look to for joy.

  14. 14. You don’t need to stay with someone toxic just because of the time you’ve put in

    This is something that is very hard to get over in any kind of relationship, romantic or platonic. If someone isn’t good for you, get rid of them—no matter how long they’ve been in your life.

  15. 15. Grow at your own pace

    Don’t feel the need to keep up with others because the only person who’s in your shoes is you, and you are on a different path than them. Just keep doing you!

  16. 16. Keep a planner and/or journal

    Not only is it satisfying to just sit and write about your day, but it’s also a great way to stay organized mentally.

  17. 17. It’s important to disengage in order to become more engaged

    Take moments to step back when things may feel overwhelming or you aren’t working the way you usually do. This way, you can disengage, take a breath and reevaluate in order to do better.

  18. 18. Self-confidence doesn’t appear overnight

    Self-confidence took me about 17 years to really acquire—and a night is only about 10 hours long—so don’t feel like you need to be the ultimate self-lover. It’s a gradual process.

These are just some of the things I’ve learned, but I feel like they are the most valuable. Even if you aren’t able to become the perfect person, just know that you can keep learning from everything and that it's awesome to share those lessons with others to make their journeys a little easier.