Wow, I’m 22. That snook up on me super quick and it feels like only yesterday I was only a mere babe fresh out of my school years. Like every other person roaming the planet, I’ve had both good and bad experiences that have taught me about life and about myself. Here’s 22 things I’ve learned in 22 years of strutting through life.
We can only do our best. We all feel overwhelmed sometimes, but at the end of the day, we can only try our best. Sometimes I feel pressure to work harder, be a better friend, or just live life more. All I can do is my best and nothing more. YOU’RE DOING FINE SWEETIE!
Social Media isn’t real life. It just simply isn’t. My life isn’t as black and white or as exciting as I make it out to be on social media and I don’t think anyone’s is. We all have days when we’re down, stressed, bored out of our brains or feeling a bit insecure. Someone’s Instagram account isn’t what their life is actually like, so don’t look at someone’s social media accounts and think “ugh, they are goals”.
Sharpay Evans was the real victim. Seriously, they came onto her turf without any prior experience or even interest and stole her joy from her. JUSTICE FOR SHARPAY! If you don’t get this reference then you need to take a long, hard look at yourself. WILDCATS!
Facebook isn’t a diary. This is something that my 15 year old self didn’t realize and it’s something that came back to bite my 22 year old self in the ass through the invention of Facebook memories. I wrote a whole blog post compiling some of my old embarrassing Facebook posts which you can check out here: Some of teenage Brian’s odd and embarrassing Facebook posts. Beware, it will make you cringe til you can’t cringe no more.
A little support goes a long way. Since starting my blog, I’ve realized how much a Facebook comment, like or share, or even a message can mean to someone. Every single one means so much to me, and I’ve started to make a conscious effort to show a little more support to every blogger, YouTuber, photographer, musician or general content creator I know, because I know how much that support can mean to someone.
I’m not in a race. My life is moving at the pace and in the direction it is supposed to, and I shouldn’t judge or evaluate my own life based on what other people are doing. Some people are ten steps ahead of me and some people are on completely different paths all together. I make decisions about my life based on my needs and what makes me happy, not on what I feel like I should be doing at a certain stage of my life.
Sometimes a comfort zone is okay. It seems like nowadays we are constantly told to be doing things that we are scared to do and to never settle for the boring stuff. Yes, true! We should take risks and do things that are outside of our comfort zone, but I think sometimes a comfort zone is fine as long as we don’t stay there forever. In 2017, I took some risks and tried things I’ve never done (blogging being one of them) but there are also some things that I didn’t do because they seemed to stressful or risky to do. I’m happy with all of the decisions I made in 2017 because it’s the reason I am where I am in 2018, and I’m really happy in myself right now.
There’s nothing wrong with loving myself. I’m awesome. There’s nothing wrong with knowing that. I feel more confident in myself than I ever have, and it feels amazing. I haven’t always loved everything about myself, and just like everyone else I still have certain things that I feel insecure about, but overall, I love the hell out of me.
Surrounding myself with the right people is vital. I’m so lucky with the friends and family that I have. I’m not friends with all of the people I was friends with at the start of 2017, and I’ve made some amazing new friends in the past 12 months. I’m surrounded by people who boost me up and people who I can be myself around, and I hope my friends feel the same way about me. It’s so important to have the right people in your life.
The best revenge is happiness. Instead of trashing the people that don’t like me or don’t like what I do, I prefer to leave them and their pettiness behind because there’s no point in carrying around that negativity. I think the best way to deal with those people is indifference.
In Jessie J’s song ‘Flashlight’ it sounds like she’s saying ‘flesh-light’. If you don’t know what a flesh-light is then Google it but just make sure that nobody is around to see.
It’s good to go offline for a while. I wrote a whole blog post on this before, about how I took a break from social media for the sake of my mental health. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done for the sake of my own well-being. It’s great not knowing what 500 or so people are up to at one time, and it’s even better not caring what they’re up to and focusing on your own day-to-day life. My blog post about my social media break is here: Taking a Break From Social Media
A little fear can be a good thing. I get a little nervous and uneasy every time I post on my blog, and I think it’s a good thing. It makes me work really hard on every post and make them as good as they can be. There’s lots of things I’m scared of. I’m going to America for the summer this year to work in a summer camp and I’m so nervous about it, but if I never did the things that scared me, I would do very little.
Sometimes risks don’t pay off, but sometimes they do. I’ve taken risks before and they’ve gone absolutely t*ts up. I’ve taken other risks and they’ve turned out to be the best decisions I’ve ever made. There’s no way of knowing or predicting this. But hey, walking out the door every day is a risk in itself, right?
There’s a Britney song for almost every mood. Feeling lost? Try ‘I’m Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman’. Feeling trashy? ‘Gimme More’. Feeling bad-ass? Try ‘Womanizer’ or ‘Stronger’. Feeling like crying in the bath with a glass of wine? Try ‘Every time’. You get my point. There’s a Britney hit for everyone.
Queuing 12 hours for a concert is never a good idea. I was cold, tired, hungry, and needed to pee by the time Beyonce came on stage.
It’s okay to need help. We’re not super heroes and sometimes we need a little help just to get through a period of our life. There’s no shame in it and we shouldn’t be ashamed or feel guilty about asking for help to get through the tough times.
There’s almost always a bright side. Sometimes you can’t see it until hindsight is available to you, but from my experience, I’ve learned that there’s always a way out of whatever struggle I’m facing, and there is always light at the end of the tunnel. The journey through the tunnel is what makes us strong and resilient.
Sometimes quitting isn’t quitting. I’ve dropped out of college before, I’ve quit jobs and I’ve given up on ventures that I may have tried. That doesn’t necessarily make me a quitter. It means that they weren’t for me and I didn’t want to settle for things that made me unhappy.
I don’t have to have everything figured out. At 18 I thought I would know exactly what I was doing with my life by the time I was 21. Nope, it doesn’t work like that. I still don’t know exactly where I’m going, but wherever I’m headed, I’m enjoying the journey there.
Patience goes a long way. We all know good things come to those who wait. I’ve been blogging for nearly a year now. I haven’t made a cent from it, sometimes my posts get less than 30 views, and I only have 180 followers on my Facebook page. But I know that if I keep putting work into it and trying my best with it, it will grow. I just have to simply keep going with it.
Passions and hobbies are important! Writing is mine, and I find that it’s so important to have something that you enjoy doing and enjoy putting work and effort into. The difference it make to my mental health is massive!