When you turn eighteen, they say you are officially an adult. In many contexts, an adult seems synonymous with responsibility, and with responsibility comes the necessity to be knowledgeable and self-aware. But looking back on my eighteen year old self, I would say the experiences I’ve had in the years after have given me life lessons that could not have been handed to me on the day I turned eighteen. I wasn’t knowledgeable or self-aware enough then. I guess it just proves that we never stop learning as human beings. In honour of my twenty-first birthday, I wanted to commemorate some of the things I’ve learnt over the past few years and what I would have told my younger self if she could see me now. Of course, these things are by no means instilled in my, but at least I have a bit more knowledge and a bit more self-awareness so that I can continue to practice what I preach.
- What seems big now won’t seem big in the future. Whatever you are panicking about, whatever you feel is the be-all-or-end-all of things will later only be a memory that you’ll laugh at. Things will always turn out alright whichever way they go. Relax, and be free.
- Don’t waste time and effort on people who are negative, who don’t make you feel good about yourself, and who don’t make you who you want to be; don’t change for other people and don’t dwell in a negative environment. Cut loose, and find a new space.
- Don’t care about what people think. This is a time to dream. Do what you want, and don’t sacrifice anything you want for yourself for other people. Stand up, and be happy.
- Relating to the previous point, don’t feel like you have to do something just because everyone else is. That doesn’t mean you can’t try new things, but what’s the point in wasting time on things that you don’t like or don’t care about? Listen to yourself, and be you.
- The harder things in life happen to everyone in different ways and you will be better for it. Even if you don’t change in the face of adversity, then all those hard things you’ve gone through just highlights who you really are and who you’re meant to be. Feel, breathe, and embrace.