It’s kind of cliche, the 24 things I’ve learned in 24 years. It’s a staple for birthday’s, but I’ve never actually written one myself. I’ve experienced so much, and yet I have a lifetime ahead to look forward to. I just wanted to take the time to acknowledge and share a few of the things I’ve learned so far…
I tend to overuse the word “inspiring.” I am easily attracted to hard work, the journey of how a person got from point A to point B. The small details of their life before and how it led them to build the life they now live. Positive influencers are like a drug for someone like myself. Someone who has big aspirations for herself. Someone who wants to believe that “good things come to those who wait. But better things to come to those who work for it.” Stories of people who made something out of nothing. Stories of rising to the top because of the refusal to let anyone, anything or even oneself get in the way.
I thought about you today. Not in an "I miss you" sort of way, but in a "you used to be in my life, but now you're not" way.
I think about you quite often actually. When I'm driving to work and and my thoughts bring me back to a memory of you, when something funny happens that I think you'd appreciate, when anything happens I remember how you were always one of the first people I told.
It's interesting how someone can go from being a part of your everyday life to being a complete stranger. At one point you were someone I went to with everything. Your thoughts and advice were important to me. I took them into consideration and they were a part of how I made decisions. What you thought and how you felt about something influenced me more than it should have.
It's November 2016, I graduated almost a year and a half ago. If you think time flies when you're in school, try not to blink once you're out.
I've never been one to look too far into the future, choosing to focus on whats in front of me or the near future like tomorrow or next week rather than a year or five ahead. So when I was in high school I worried about high school, vaguely paying mind to the thought of what comes next aka college. Then when I was in college, it was more about passing my classes and paying my tuition than "what's my end goal?," or "what happens once I graduate?"
Ever since I was a little girl, I've loved to read. In middle school when I discovered the YA section, the novels that drew me in, the ones that I went back to every time I made a trip to the library, were the romances. The teen "chick lit" as it's generally known, aka my go-to genre. The one where the girl meets the guy and maybe they don't get along right away, or maybe he's not who she ever thought she'd see herself with. By the end, both the girl and her love interest realize the mutual feelings and finally have that kiss we've all spent waiting, the hundred or so pages of waiting, for. I'm not sure what it is about this genre but it's always been the one I've gravitated towards the most. I don't stop there: books, movies, music (heck my favorite artist is Taylor Swift, I think that says a lot),was, and is, the genre that appeals to me the most.
"I don't want to bother her with my drama right now." "They won't care about how much of a screw up I am." " I don't need to burden him with my problems."
How many times have you found yourself starting a text to a friend and then deleting it? How often do you hesitate to reach out to someone? When are we going to stop brushing off how we feel as nothing more than an inconvenience for someone else?
We watch the lives of other people unfold before our eyes through the pictures they post and the videos they share. We see the vacations they go on with friends, the numerous concerts they attend seem endless and the number of friends they have goes on and on. It seems everything always falls into place for them, they're never disappointed. They're never left alone to pick up the pieces of their shattered life. And then we look back at ourselves and when we don't see a reflection of what they have in our own lives we get this idea in our heads that we are somehow less than or incapable of such beauty.
"No." At one point or another we all get that instinctual feeling. The one where you can physically feel your stomach plummet to the concrete ground at your feet. The one where it actually feels like time has stopped. It's that moment where it seems control is no longer in your hands. The next step you take could end in disaster, and you're terrified. So, the first thing that comes out of your mouth is "no." Without hesitation, you automatically decline the invitation, shut yourself down and try to change the subject. As soon as you feel the anxiety creep in, you do everything in your power to rid yourself of it. To avoid facing something that makes your hands shake and your stomach knot so intensely you feel physically sick, you say no. You stop yourself from living because you're afraid. You're afraid what could happen. You're afraid of what's behind closed doors and the inevitable, like failure, rejection, change, the unknown.
Every time the new year rolls around I notice two types of people: those screaming NEW YEAR NEW ME, and those proclaiming that you don't need the clock to strike midnight on a new year to make a change. While I agree that starting over, changing directions and taking on a new perspective doesn't need permission from a new year, I enjoy the endless possibilities of starting fresh in a new year.
I suck at following schedules. If you don’t depend on a regular routine from outside forces like school or a full time job, I've found it's difficult to follow through with one. I get all motivated and pumped to be productive initially. I like the idea of being organized and sticking to a routine. Then reality sets in and I get lazy. I lose sight of my priorities and find myself back where I started: binge watching T.V. shows and wallowing in self-pity. So, I’ve come up with a few steps on how to encourage yourself to stick to your plans.