I turned 18 yesterday, it was bittersweet. Not because I am now an ‘adult’ or any of those fears. Growing up doesn’t scare me, though a lot of things do that has never been on my list. It was bittersweet because I felt like I should be happier, celebrating, as excited as everyone around me, and going out. Instead, I was still anxious, and I was spending my day just as I always do but with a slice of birthday cake. The lead up to my 18th birthday has been strange, to say the least, I have been reluctant to want the day to arrive. But time doesn’t stop for even the most perfect moments so the day arrived and has passed me by already. Yesterday I had a lovely day, I enjoyed myself, and I was surrounded by my small circle of people whom I love unconditionally and who love me too. I feared my birthday in some sense, I felt like I was going to do it right. Foolish really.
But anyway, I am 18 now, and I have learnt so much in my life and some of the lessons I have learnt I still must practise and remind myself of.
For example, the simple fact that it is what makes me happy that is enough not what makes others happy or what others expect. I should have convinced my mind of this a week or so ago. But I am still learning.
So I thought I would share with you 18 lessons I have learnt in 18 years.
Life is a complex thing filled with even more complicated things and I do not believe there will ever be a right way of living or perfect way, nor do I believe there is a wrong way either.
It is the chaos, mess and complexity of life that makes those perfect moments, perfect.
So here is what I have learnt so far,
- Life is filled with limitless possibilities, opportunities and magic. Believe in the impossible and it will become possible.
- Sometimes in life to be heard you must forget etiquette and the way things should be done. Sometimes you simply must, shout, interrupt and cause a scene in a supermarket.
- You will not like everyone you meet in life. And that is okay.
- You will not always be the best. or the worst. And that is part of being human, true love sees flaws but still loves anyway.
- You are no less or more than anyone you will ever stand beside. It is easy to compare, compete and concentrate on others but it is that which will leave our minds forgetting about themselves.
- All you feel in life is valid and nothing invalidates your feelings. It is easy to feel like you do not deserve to feel happy or that you aren’t unlucky enough to be sad, but that violates the 5th lesson. You are invaluable and all you feel will never be unacceptable.
- You always have a choice.
- You should practise kindness, sympathy and empathy daily. One of the most rewarding things in life is seeing the smile and joy you have brought another by simply being yourself. Kindness is the most expensive gift you can ever give.
- Everyone is fighting their own fight. Everyone.
- You are stronger than anything that you will ever face.And you are brave too, that is all you need to conquer the world, and even to conquer yourself if you are feeling ambitious.
- Words have the power to change the world. They say “words will never hurt me”, but it doesn’t mean they do not sting, scar, or resonate.
- Loving and forgiving yourself is fundamental to living a happy life. Sometimes we think that blaming ourselves, that making it our fault will lesser another’s burden. Instead, let what has been be, and let the past be part of your story that you forgive but do not forget.
- Pain is apart of life. Pain is what makes us human. Pain hurts, but the pain will never last forever, storms pass.
- You can see so much more than your eyes perceive, You can feel so much more than your body touches, You can hear so much more than your ears take in. So look, feel and listen beyond your senses.(I know this is cryptic, but open your mind a little to the impossible, refer to lesson 1!)
- You are a product of your experiences. Your past never leaves you, it makes you.
- You shall keep making mistakes.Stop feeling sorry for yourself when you do, you aren’t superhuman, learn.
- You only need to make yourself truly happy.Not mediocrely, temporarily, momentarily… truly happy.
- Tomorrow exists.
I could probably keep going but I have years ahead of me and blog posts ahead of me so I shall leave you with just 18 invaluable lessons that my life has left me with.
Today Tomorrow Forever
‘HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME.’