17 things I learned being 17

Life goes by so fast, it’s impossible to keep track. This time last year I was fresh from a trip to disneyland with my friends, worrying about diploma exams and walking the stage at my high school graduation. So much has changed. I wrote this just before my 18th birthday- I thought I’d post it here.Last year was big for me. I turned 17- a year or two younger than everyone in my grade and a year early to graduate. 17 was the year I got my license, my first boyfriend, first kiss, first car and first job. It was the year I graduated and the year I went off to university. It was the year of my first breakup, my first hard lesson. I know there will be many more lessons for me, but here are some of the ones I learned this past year.

1. Grades aren’t everything. You will get into the school you want, and do the things you want if you work hard. It’s not your whole life- school will never be worth crying over.

2. Life is so much better with a ‘ride or die’ group of people by your side. Find good,   honest friends and stick with them. Whether they’re ‘popular’ or not, they’ll become   like family to you. (You might even find out that all those popular kids were actually jealous of how close you all are)

3. Look however you want to look. Dress girly, or shop from the mens section- do both and change depending on the day. Wear a full face of makeup, or none at all. Grow your hair out, cut it all off, or dye it a crazy colour. Get tattoos or piercings if you want them. Don’t let anybody make you think you aren’t beautiful because of the way you choose to look. That is only for you to decide.

4. Nothing is permanent. Things change, people change, circumstances change. The only thing we can do it learn our lessons from it all.

5. You have to learn to accept yourself. The only person you’re going to be with all the time is yourself- learn to love that person, flaws included.

6. Always, always forgive. Forgive every wrongdoing from every person you come across. This doesn’t mean letting somebody push you around- forgiving them does not mean you owe them any respect whatsoever afterwards. It means you can walk away with no regrets and no resentment.

7. Never let anyone tell you that kindness is weak. This goes with the point above-being accepting doesn’t make you a pushover, it makes you the bigger person. We all have to deal with people we don’t agree with, why not do it with love?

8. Never ever get angry at other people. It only brings hurt and negativity. Even if they’ve broken your heart and you’re at a loss, even if they want to start a fight, let your emotions run their course before you talk to them. You can rest assured that you only brought love and light to the situation.

9. Know when to walk away. Love people even when they don’t deserve it, but know when it’s time to move on with your life. When you’ve learned all you can from somebody and they only bring you negativity, let them go with kindness. It will make you a better person in the long run.

10. Calm down. Seriously. Not everything warrants a big over the top reaction, it’s okay to just let things happen around you while you take it all in.

11.  Stop caring about the people who don’t care about you. They are the ones losing out- just focus on yourself and let them go. Most times they’ll send negativity your way because they know they don’t have your attention anymore. That means you’ve done something right.

12. Forget your anger and remember your happiness. Don’t let the bad things that have happened to you cloud your happy memories. Never let negativity run your thoughts like that.

13. Say sorry. Forget your pride and be humble enough to apologize. Own your mistakes and try to help heal any pain you may have caused.

14. There is almost nothing that the right song cannot fix.

15. Cry. No matter what anybody says, it’s not stupid and it’s not weak. It helps you heal.

16. Be adventurous. Do things spontaneously and make memories. Travel. See as many new things as you can and try as many new things as you can- even if it scares you a little bit. You won’t regret it.

17. Be proud of you are. Wear your strengths and weaknesses on your sleeve. Tell people what you think and fight for what you believe in, while having the strength to remain soft. If people think you’re naive for being this way, maybe they are too scared to let their own spirit show. Be undeniably yourself, and you’ll be surrounded with people who truly understand your soul and love you for exactly who you are.

Alicia

it was when i stopped searching for home within others

and i lifted the foundation of home within myself

i found there were no roots more intimate

than those between a mind and body

that have decided to be whole

– rupi kaur

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