I’ve been seeing this trend going around the internet for a while now, & I wanted to jump on the bandwagon. I’ve been thinking about growth & how much I’ve changed as a person since the young age of 18, & although I’m someone who doesn’t like regretting the past, I do have a few things I wish I knew back then. I was someone who was very hard on myself, a bit naive & a huge hopeless romantic. I wish I could let her know everything is going to be ok.
YOU WON’T HAVE EVERYTHING FIGURED OUT & YOU WON’T BE ALONE
So, at 18, I was studying at my local community college, pursuing a degree in journalism. Being in 13th grade (as people called it) made me feel lost & I dreamed of the day I had it all figured out & was headed to my four year university. Fast forward a few semesters, & I transfer to a four year school & ended up earning a degree in psychology. Life is a funny thing. You think you are on the path for once thing & years later you realize all the twists & turns that lead you to the future you probably needed more. And although it may feel like you’re the only one going through it, you aren’t. Everyone else is as clueless as you are. And those feelings don’t necessarily go away with age. But that’s the thrilling part of life really.
FILLING VOIDS WITH PURCHASES WON’T HELP YOU FEEL BETTER
When I was younger, I didn’t realize I hid my emotions through shopping. Instead of communicating my feelings in my dating life or family matters, it all was mended through new clothing or makeup. And although at first, it made me happy & distracted. It was just that. A DISTRACTION. I sucked at communicating my feelings. I think I spent almost 4 years too long in my first love/relationship for this very reason. If we talked more about real shit & how we felt , I would have ran the other way years before. But those were just lessons I slowly learned as I got older & I’ve gotten better. Not perfect, but definitely better. Along with this, I attributed new clothing as way to express the “new me”. Anytime I felt like I needed a change in my life, I thought changing my appearance would do that. I got this adrenaline rush anytime I stepped foot into a mall. Like, “Yes, this is the day I start a new!” “This sweater will lead me to a better me.” I’d be “different” for maybe an hour. And then I’d just slump back into my old habits & behaviors.
THE WAY I PERCEIVED LOVE WAS SUPERFICIAL & ENTERTAINMENT
My first relationship in high school which lasted a little bit before my 21st birthday was true love. You couldn’t convince me otherwise. I had a promise ring to prove it ok? But now that I look back, I see it as a way I stayed entertained. I had a place to go & things to do on Friday/ Saturday nights. And sure at the time, I felt like this person was “the one”. But dear god, I clearly was confused as to what love really was. Especially knowing I’m in a unconditional, forever type of relationship now. There’s a difference between loving someone selfishly & unselfishishly. And I really didn’t know this person whole heartedly. I mean, the guy dumped me at my front porch steps while I was eating Chick fil A nuggets. As devastated as I was back then, that was so immature for someone who was supposedly my forever person. I chucked that ring in the trash & discovered what love truly is supposed to be. But to give him the benefit of the doubt, we were rather young.
YOUR ANXIETIES AREN’T SOMETHING TO BE ASHAMED OF
I used to think I was so alone in my worrisome battles. And I was so ashamed of feeling this way all the time. Socially, I thought I was a burden to others. Every task or situation seemed like such a problem. My ex used to tell me “Stop being a worry wart all the time, it’s annoying.” And that’s the worst thing you could say to someone like me. But also, I never wanted to admit there was an issue. And I still don’t. I’ve learned to handle it myself. And I can say, living with less & switching my mindset on life has helped me dramatically. I’ve found ways that truly help me. And half of it has to do with me accepting it & reluctantly working on myself each day.
I’M ENOUGH JUST THE WAY THAT I AM
I talk about comparison a lot on here & the reason for that is because it’s something I’ve been working on for years. I can say, now I am not fully there but am better than my younger self in that matter. I used to think I wasn’t pretty enough. Or smart enough. Or ambitious enough. And I think half the problem was being surrounded by people who didn’t have my best interest at heart, not listening to the ones who did, & not having the confidence to just think those rude people were full of shit. Sure, there are still times where I struggle at being enough for people. But there’s strength in accepting yourself fully as you are. Flaws & all. And although I’m always bettering myself, I am not rediculing myself over my setbacks either. I’ve learned to take pride in myself & see every side of me as beautiful.
THERE IS SO MUCH MORE TO LIFE THAN FOCUSING MERELY ON YOURSELF
Being selfish can be a healthy trait. But at 18, I had this idea that the world revolved around me & my problems were the main event. I’ve learned that there are bigger things in this world sometimes. And you have to put your energy into other people & issues besides your own. I believe it’s important to learn from other people, share opinions & inspire. Don’t let yourself stay in this box of one sided perspectives. That’s when you become ignorant.
All this boils down to is GROWTH. And everyday, I try to evolve into a better individual. And the battles you may be going through today will be a thing of the past soon enough. And never look down on your past self, as they were YOU at one point & you should never be cruel to yourself.
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