Anyone can write an article on the Internet, based off of their own beliefs and personal experiences. But those experiences are just that – personal. They don’t relate to everyone, but they make us believe we are supposed to live a certain way or we’re doing life wrong.
While in all actuality most of the time they’re just opinions.
Writing is a job, it’s art, it’s a hobby, it’s an outlet for creativity, it’s different for everyone. But the truth is, anyone can write about having their life together while they’re completely falling apart. Anyone can write about the best self-care tips while their cuticles are bleeding from gnawing on them and their hair hasn’t been brushed in days. Anyone can write about where you’re supposed to be in your 20s and compile lists of what they think a ‘forever person’ should be when they’re single or in a toxic relationship. I know this because I’ve done it.
So the best advice I can honestly give to you is to stop believing everything you read. Take everything you indulge in with a grain of salt. Internet articles are just that – internet articles. Some of them will speak to your soul and I urge you to let them, I urge you to let those heart felt pieces resonate with you. But don’t buy into the generic lists, the pieces what define happiness are, the pieces that tell you what a relationship should entail, the pieces that are telling you what defines being strong.
Don’t read the letters to your younger self, instead mess up – a lot. Live and learn, make mistakes, date people who treat you like shit, get your heart broken, run from the cops, do the things that everyone advises you not to because that’s the only way you’re going to learn. It’s the only way you’ll know what feeling alive feels like when your hearts in your stomach and your adrenaline is rushing through your veins. Don’t follow all the rules, instead live your own way. Be your own best teacher and learn from your own mistakes instead of what some Internet article is telling you to do.
Don’t read the articles telling you about how you should be loved. Instead fall for the wrong people, understand what it’s like to be in the wrong relationship, date people who don’t treat you like you know you deserve because it will only make you understand what real love feels like in the long run. Get your heart broken, feel pain and be empty and vulnerable for a while. Find the strength in your to heal, go back to your ex, move in way too early, do what feels right for you in the moment and then learn from it. Find what you want in a person and don’t listen to what qualities an internet article qualifies as ‘datable’.
Don’t listen to the articles telling you what you should or shouldn’t have in your 20s. Your 20s are everything and nothing. They’re bad, boring, fun, lonely, heartbreaking, exciting, freeing, and filled with lessons of growing up and making your own mistakes. They’re college, moving back in with your parents, landing your first salary job, moving to a new city, starting over from nothing and being broke trying to make ends meet. Your 20s are your young years to do whatever the hell you want with because it’s your life. Travel the world or sit in your childhood room – it doesn’t matter as long as you’re doing whatever makes you happy.
Don’t buy into the articles that tell you you’re living wrong because no one knows what feels right in your life except for you. Don’t listen to anyone telling you what the right and wrong way to live is, who undermine your decisions and make you feel like a sack of shit because you’re still 26 and working a bar job. Who cares if it takes you a little bit longer to get on your feet and who cares if you’re just doing that in order to continue working towards starting a company or saving money to move to your dream destination. It’s your life, live how you want.
Don’t think you have to live a certain way to be a “strong girl” or an “independent girl” or a “cool girl” because you don’t have to fit into any of those categories to be enough. You are exactly who you are, you’re unique in your own way and you should own that, along with all your quirks and flaws because those are part of you, too. Don’t feel like you’re not good enough if you don’t meet all the qualifications on some list or look like some model in the picture because you’re enough just the way you are.
Internet articles are great, they’re fun to write, they’re fun to read, but most of the time they’re ideas in someone’s head and just because it’s on the internet doesn’t make it true! You don’t need to live a certain way or meet a certain standard set by a list, or act like you’ve got it all together because most people don’t have it all together. And we’re all just figuring out how to get by doing the best we can.
Just keep living for you, doing what makes you happy and figuring out how to survive in your own world. That’s really all you need to be successful in your own way.