I should have probably written this post on my birthday (which was in January), but I only thought of this just recently, so I decided to post it anyway.
One of the things people like asking each other, is “what would you change, if you could go back in time?”. When I was younger, I’d answer that I’d have done this thing, or not done that thing. But the more I grow up, the more I realize, that I wouldn’t want to change anything. Because everything that happened, good or bad, every person I’ve met, every decision I’ve made were important parts of my growing up. Without any of these things I wouldn’t be the person I am now.
But I like to think about what I could have advised to my younger self, in order to make my path smoother and easier. Things that I realized quite late, things that would make me avoid some unpleasant situations and people or helped understand myself much better. These are some of the things I’d say to the teenager me:
1. Never compare yourself with anyone else. Especially with “perfect” strangers you see online. Remember, internet is an actual lair of “fake-ness“. Most of the things are photoshopped, edited or simply not shown. You don’t know these strangers, their lives, their feelings and problems. Same with real people. Pretty much everyone feels insecure about themselves, some people just create a pseudo-confidence and show off in order to hide their real flaws. No one’s perfect, keep that in mind. Every person is different and that’s the beauty of life, in uniqueness and diversity. Don’t try to be like someone else, just be yourself.
2. Don’t be ashamed of yourself. Even if all your friends have other tastes, styles, even if they tease you for loving a “childish” movie or dressing up “weirdly“, don’t give a crap about that. Remember, one day the tables will turn, and the things you were once laughed at will become the new trend. Some people can mock you, but in reality they aspire to be like you. Embrace yourself and your tastes and interests.
3. Don’t try to be perfect. It’s good to be ambitious, but it doesn’t mean, that you can’t make mistakes or wrong decisions. You can be lazy, weak, depressed, and it’s okay! Don’t concentrate on that, just focus on the good stuff. There’s always room for improvement, even if you don’t know many things now, you’ll learn everything eventually, when the right time comes. And again, remember, the only perfect thing on this Earth is nature. Nothing else.
4. Don’t let a bad moment ruin your day. Things go wrong all the time. Plans get canceled, but it’s not the end of the world. A bad moment doesn’t mean a bad day or even life. Just find something else that will cheer you up and don’t make drama out of nothing.
5. Stop feeling guilty about your choices, behavior or actions. Some people love to put the blame on others and constantly accuse them, but it doesn’t mean, that you’re actually guilty for anything. You’re not guilty for not wanting to go out someplace, having other plans, having a headache or not loving something that others love. Stop being the scapegoat for everyone, even your closest people. You’re not a victim, and they’re not your judge.
6. Most of your “illnesses” are psychosomatic. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with you. It’s just your body’s way of telling that you’re doing something wrong or hanging out with wrong people. Just listen to your heart and do how you feel is right for you.
7. Don’t be superstitious. Stop connecting bad days with each other. Stop finding “supernatural” reasons for things that happen. Remember, things just happen, whether good or bad, that’s how the life works. Just because you wore this t-shirt on Monday and sth unpleasant happened, doesn’t mean that wearing the same shirt on the same day will cause another “bad incident”.
8. Trust God. You don’t control your life, the universe does. Everything, that happens in your life has its purpose, and believe me, one day you’ll understand everything, even if now things seem a little chaotic or annoying. God is always there for you, he’s always there to help and guide, it’s not his fault that sometimes you misunderstand his guidance. The universe knows much better why something should go this or that way. Don’t resist it.
9. Less talks, more actions. Don’t talk about your ideas, plans, wishes and dreams. Remember, most people are copycats, who love stealing others’ ideas and tastes in order to create their “original” identity. So, don’t give them the key to your heart without reason. Just do what you want to do, without telling everyone around. More moves and less announcements – this should be your credo.
10. Don’t be ashamed of everything. I know there comes a time in your teenage years, that everything will make you feel awkward and ashamed. That’s okay, but don’t make a problem when there isn’t one. Society has its stupid rules and standards, and everyone tries to fit in, but, believe me, they’re not good for you. So don’t be afraid of being seen as “uncultured” or “rude” and do things that you hate. Life is too short to care about what others talk about you.
11. Pay attention to the actions rather than words. Some people talk rough words, but in reality are the kindest people who will do anything for you. While others will compliment every single part of you but those empty words will mean nothing neither to them, nor to you. Many people are two-faced, they’ll tell you one thing, but talk shit behind your back. Don’t believe in either of those sayings. They’re not your friends in the first place.
12. Love yourself. Love your body, love your “big” nose or ears, your height, don’t hate your freckles or the color of your hair. You look gorgeous. Stop feeling guilty about the food that you eat, stop saying that you’re fat. You’re not. It’s a dangerous road that leads so many people to self-destruction. You are perfect the way you are, with all your imperfections. One day the future you will be looking back at your old photos and think how awesome you always looked.
13. Stop overthinking. Stop telling horror stories and frightening your own self. Most of the problems exist purely in your brain and not in reality. And even if something bad is supposed to happen – your overthinking won’t prevent it from happening. So you’re just going to ruin your peaceful now with worries about tomorrow.
14. Follow your dreams. No matter what everyone else thinks. Some people will say that dreams are for kids. Don’t believe them. You have your own reality, where dreams do come true. Never settle up for ordinary and never betray your true dreams for glory, money and social status. Those things never make anyone happy. But seeing your big and small wishes coming true will make you believe in actual magic and miracles.
15. Stop trying to save everyone. You can’t change people unless they want to change themselves. You can temporarily affect them, but they’ll change back instantly, once your influence gets a little lower and all your effort will be vain. So stop sacrificing yourself in order to make others’ life or mood better. Give advice only when people ask, don’t force your own perspective on others, that’s wrong. Everyone goes in their different paths, and you have to accept that.
16. No company is better than bad company. Don’t be afraid to stay alone. You can pull it off. No need to stay in friendships, where you aren’t appreciated and feel like the “third wheel” of the group. Choose your company wisely. Being alone isn’t really that bad or terrifying.
17. Enjoy your every moment. Your life isn’t boring. Just because someone is showing off the “amazing adventures“, that you don’t currently have, does by no means define that your own life doesn’t mean anything. One day you’re going to look back and feel really nostalgic about all those times that passed, so make sure to make the most out of it. Appreciate all the good days you spend.
18. Don’t live with plans and expectations. Stop living with plans and expectations in your head. You’re just making it worse, because life’s going to give you constant surprises. When you let it all go and just swim with the flow of life, you’ll realize how easy and fun that is.
19. Listen to your intuition. It always knows the answers to everything. It will give you the true signs right away, so don’t be stupid and notice them. Your soul knows, who and what is good for you, and what’s not, and if you listen to it, you’ll just save yourself some time and trouble. Your intuition has never been wrong so far.
20. State your opinion and stand up for yourself. Don’t be afraid to speak up. Even if you sound silly or stupid, even if you’re misunderstood. If you have something to say – say it and don’t think about the aftermath. Don’t be a pushover. I know, that most of the times you actually don’t care for all the drama, but sometimes you have to stand up for yourself and “fight back“. Set some boundaries and don’t let anyone treat you the way you don’t wanna be treated.
21. Start making your own decisions. Stop asking others what top to buy, which photo to post, or when someone says that the photo isn’t good enough deleting it. One of the coolest things of becoming more mature is learning to take the full responsibility of your life and all your decisions. There’s nothing better than independence and freedom when it comes to making choices.
22. Don’t believe the shiny covers that you see online. The day will come, and you’ll learn all about the dark side of the things and people you thought were ideal. People don’t want to show their vulnerability online, everyone wants to appear perfect. Don’t take that bait. Not everything that shines is gold.
23. Don’t let anyone define you. Don’t let your close people decide whether you’re smart or stupid, talented or not, pretty or ugly. Don’t let other put labels on you. And never put labels on yourself either. Even if you don’t know many things, it doesn’t define you as stupid. Labels make you limited, break those limits and be free of all those definitions, especially the destructive ones.
24. Appreciate people who are there for you. Don’t become “bitter” and cold just because of the bad experiences you had. Not everyone you meet is a traitor or a jerk. There are many great people around you, who are always willing to help and support you. You just have to let them. Appreciate them. And work on your trust issues.
25. Don’t live with past or future. Live in the moment. Don’t be sad or angry about the past and don’t worry about the future. You only have one moment – now. Enjoy it!