18 Things I Learned Before I Turned 18
1. LIVE IN THE MOMENT
The past is for laughing at or letting go of. Dreams and goals for the future are influenced by your actions TODAY! Embrace every moment and make each day count.
2. THERE IS NO HARM IN SAYING NO
Ever seen the movie 'Yes Man'? Well, you should have said no to seeing it, it's a terrible movie! Urban Dictionary defines a 'Yes Man' as "your party counterpart that will agree to *anything* regardless of how crazy or stupid - and sometimes illegal - it is". Please, for your own sanity, learn to say NO! I know that I have struggled with saying no. It's not easy. I would find myself quadruple booked and running on three hours sleep. By taking on too much, I only disappointed people and sacrificed my own wellbeing, ending up very overtired and sick.
3. NEVER TRY TO BE ANYONE EXCEPT YOURSELF
You were not mass produced. You were not created on a conveyor belt. You are a one-of-a-kind, limited edition, hand-crafted, designer boutique masterpiece. A photocopy of the Mona Lisa is worthless, an original demands the highest value. You are not the Mona Lisa; you may be a Monet, a Picasso or a Warhol; beautiful in your own way.
4. CONTINUALLY BE INSPIRED
Seek inspiration and beauty in the mundane. Do whatever gets your creative juices flowing. Write down those ideas that have you tossing and turning at 3am.
5. DON'T LET YOUR INSECURITIES DETERMINE YOUR DECISIONS
I am so guilty of this. I didn't go to the beach for an entire summer because I thought I was 'too fat' but of course, I didn't run because I wouldn't want anyone to see me and judge me. For so long I put off writing a blog because I was so scared of what people think. I let a period of my life become completely dominated by my insecurities. This caused me to become miserable, lonely and only focused on myself which is certainly not a great way to be living.
6. THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH BEING SINGLE
I have never been one of those girls who is always in need of a boyfriend; I am perfectly happy waiting for the right one, it saves a lot of hurt and heartbreak. Even my future relationships don't work out, at least they will be genuine and not based on desperation.
7. YOU ARE ACCOUNTABLE FOR YOUR ACTIONS
Such a simple concept, but so many people find it so had to get their heads around. YOU are responsible for your actions. Stop playing the blame game!
8. MAKE YOURSELF SMALLER IN THE PICTURE
I was scrolling through Instagram the other day, and I came across a photo with the caption "Favourite painting by my favourite artist." What painting? The photo was a selfie. I literally had to screenshot and zoom into the top left corner to see the blue Brett Whitely painting that she was talking about. In a culture that is so consumed with 'self'; iPads, iPods, I want, I need. Sometimes we need to take a step back and stop being so inward focused and dare I say it, just plain selfish! There is a whole world full of beautiful people, places and things that you can't see because you are taking up too much of the lens.
9. KNOW YOUR BOUNDARIES AND WHAT YOU STAND FOR
Not setting up boundaries is setting yourself up to be pushed over, hurt and ultimately for failure. Know what you stand for and do not allow anyone to try to convince you otherwise. If you feel like someone is crossing your boundaries, talk to someone else - let them know what is going on so they can help you.
10. YOU WON'T DEVELOP STRONG FRIENDSHIP WITHOUT INVESTING INTO THEM
Yes, that means coffee dates, tear drops on your shoulder and running a 24/7 over the phone counseling service. Friendships are not onesided and require a lot of time. But believe me, there are so many benefits of having a close circle of good friends. On that note, be selective about the types of friendships that you are investing into. Don't try to be someone who you aren't to 'win' a friend; a true friend will accept your flaws but bring out your best.
11. DON'T MISS OUT ON AWESOME OPPORTUNITES, YOU WILL ONLY REGRET IT
Jump off that waterfall. Go on that roller coaster. Eat that cake.
12. MONEY CAN'T BUY HAPPINESS
It's so easy to live to work instead of working to live. While it is important to work hard, money should never be the main priority as it will never truly satisfy.
13. BE OPEN-MINDED BUT THINK FOR YOURSELF
Listen without judgement . Understand peoples perspectives. Embrace new ideas. But, by no means being easily swayed. Know what YOU believe and stay true to your own convictions but respect other people and their differences.
14. TALK IT OUT
Don't bottle up emotions, stress and anxiety, you will explode. Find someone who you can trust and talk to them. Not only is it a great way to receive advice, but I find that just by speaking about what is going on, I am able to sort through my thoughts and come up with a solution on my own. When you speak something out loud, it is easier for you to come to terms with it.
15. BEING SOBER IS WAY MORE FUN
If you decide to have fun with out alcohol, you will! An attitude adjustment is like drinking without the empty wallet, vomiting, embarrassment, taxi fares, liver damage, hangovers, increased risk, stumbling, calories and you will remember your night! Sounds like a pretty good idea to me!
16. LOOK FOR THE GOOD IN EVERY SITUATION
This one wasn't easy for me. I am definitely a pessimist by nature. A very over dramatic pessimist. I have had to train myself to see the bright side of situations. When I moved schools a couple of years ago I aboslutely HATED it, I would come home every day complain. My mum read this book called 'One Thousand Gifts' by Ann Voskamp. And so she decided that she would pay me fifty dollars write down one thousand, yes ONE THOUSAND reasons why I loved my new school. It completely reshaped my perspective on that school and when I came to graduate, I absolutely loved the school and the friends I had made there.
17. READ MORE
For years I believed that I was simply 'Too busy' to read, but it took one good book to have me hooked. Mysteries, romance novels, tear-jerkers, classics, autobiographies and non-fiction books form a pile of books waiting to be read beside my bed. There are endless reasons why you should read, and endless resources out there for you to find something that interests you. Lets face it, you are almost at the end of this super long post so you are most probably an avid reader anyway!
18. DON'T TAKE ANYTHING FOR GRANTED
What you take for granted, someone else is praying for. Our car died recently and my family has gone for about two months without a car. We are totally fine, we have learned to bus around and order groceries on line but when a friend lent us her car the other day, I realised how much I took for granted pulling into a driveway each day. Its all about perspective. Grab a pen and paper and write out things that you are grateful for. Never overlook them.