One month ago marked the 20th year I have been alive. Typing it out makes me sound older than I feel.
A sense of sadness marks my heart as I acknowledge that my teen years are over, but I look back at that era of my life thankful for the lessons it taught me. I’m still young and know more experiences are coming my way that will shape me as an individual; however, there are four tidbits of knowledge I’ve picked up along the way.
It’s okay to be emotional
You’re too sensitive. Toughen up. People are going to take advantage of you.
As an emotional soul, I’ve heard these statements before and don’t buy into them. For the longest time, I thought being emotional was a weakness.
I may overthink and care about things more than most others, but these are qualities that make me who I am. I’ve learned that being emotional is a superpower. Deeply feeling everything allows me to experience life to the fullest. It’s what makes me an empathetic and passionate individual.
While some keep their emotions in, others choose to express themselves through tears or conversations. Neither form of expression makes an individual stronger or weaker than the other, they simply make them different.
Just go for it
Life has sent plenty of opportunities my way – opportunities to be a leader, friend, and strong individual. I have been granted the chance to lead student organizations, intern with companies close to my heart and be a friend to some of the world’s greatest people.
None of these would have been possible if I didn’t put myself out into the world and simply go for it.
As a soft-spoken individual, others often underestimate you and your abilities to succeed; however, this should never stop you from achieving all you set out to do. I say prove those people wrong, and show them that your quiet confidence is a force to be reckoned with.
I have learned to accept that not all of my personal endeavors will be successful. When something does not work out, it simply means that there is something better for me at that moment in time.
Know the difference between what you want and need
One of the hardest concepts I have learned is that knowing the difference between what I want and what I need is essential to my happiness.
Things in life, such as habits, jobs, and relationships, have challenged me as an individual. When you want something so desperately, it is easy to put your entire self into it and forget who you are.
The moments in my life when I got to this point are the moments I knew something needed to change. I know myself better than anyone, and when any person or situation makes me question that, it’s time to remove myself.
The path to losing who you are can be a slippery slope, and recognizing what is best for you is not as simple a task as many would think. Therefore, it’s essential to always keep in mind who you are and who you want to be and make decisions from there.
Be patient with yourself
Be kind…be kind to others, be kind to your body, and be kind to your soul.
Being a good-hearted person who serves others is an ideal that has been instilled in me since I was a young girl. The right thing to do is be there for people and ensure they know that they matter.
It was not until recently, though, that I realized the importance of treating myself the same way. I deserve all the happiness and respect I give others and must treat myself with just as much care.
Although you must push yourself to be a better and more knowledgeable individual, do not be so hard on yourself that you feel disappointed in who you are. Be patient with your body and soul, and trust that you are doing the very best that you can.0
Also published on Medium.