1. Being someone’s option if they are your priority.
2. Doing anything because you assume that you couldn’t do or find better. Nothing extraordinary ever seems initially, inherently feasible.
3. Remaining in the limbo between risk and fear: most times, all that you have to lose is false hope anyway.
4. Spending your life chasing an ideal that is not your own. It’s a game you can’t win– you either never reach the goal or never find any satisfaction in it if you do.
5. The love that we accept in an effort to avoid the loneliness and uncertainty that sometimes comes with waiting for the love we really want and need. You should not settle for the person you found to replace the person you really want, even if you haven’t found them yet. Nobody deserves that. You don’t deserve that.
6. A body that you don’t love, but also not loving your body because of someone else’s assertions on why there’s something wrong with it.
7. Who you are as a definitive. You should settle into the changing uncertainty of that. You are a constantly evolving amalgamation of likes, dislikes, habits, and beliefs. If you evolve, and if your tastes change, that’s okay. Explore your new passions. See where they take you.
8. A job you don’t really want because you don’t want to face the uncertainty of change, schooling, applying, rejection. Those things are ultimately just guidelines that will direct you. Stop putting pressure on one step because it doesn’t look like the accolade of the entire journey– it’s not supposed to be.
9. People who walk on you, use you, and let you go when their needs are taken care of. The people you should keep in your life are the ones who are there through hell and high water. That’s what everyone deserves, but to find them, you can’t be afraid to seek them out.
10. Giving into your every last want whim and desire. Sometimes it’s important to learn to defy instant gratification. Sometimes it’s important to learn when it’s not worth engaging someone with whom you will only arrive at a deeper conflict with. Most times it’s worth learning to get past your innate, knee-jerk desires. If you give into instant gratification at every turn, you’ll become less and less satisfied.
11. Letting yourself bask in unwarranted and irrational self-hatred. We like to consider the worst possibilities so that we are never blindsided by something that could hurt us. But it’s simply a backwards logic. Focusing on it makes it more real, it doesn’t defend us against anything.
12. Someone who has a place in your bed and mind but not your heart.
13. Things that make everyone else but you happy. Sometimes we have to do things as they’re expected of us. That’s part of growing up and taking on responsibilities. But for the most part, compromising yourself and who you are to please other people is a fruitless endeavor. They will never be satisfied and you’ll wind up empty and wanting more. Don’t try to please someone if they aren’t willing to meet you at least half way. Sometimes it really is possible that everyone can be happy in the end. Never rule that out as a possibility.
14. Giving up what you most want to do even though it’s exhausting and it seems futile and you’re entirely convinced you’ll never get anywhere with it. Let your tired efforts be the most important fruit of your labor. Let your life be defined by how much you care about what you do, not how other people quantify that caring.
15. Any belief that you were taught indefinitely but somehow doesn’t resonate with you. You should not settle for the religion you were raised if it doesn’t suit you. You should not settle for accepting something as truth if it doesn’t align with your individual beliefs. Allow yourself to think freely. Arrive at your own conclusions.
16. A salary that is beneath what you are worth. Ask for more if you know you deserve more, and present your proof. Stand your ground. The only way anyone will ever value you is if you show them that you value yourself most of all.
17. Allowing other people to dismiss you. Your thoughts and opinions and voice are all valid, but sometimes (oftentimes, even) people won’t see them that way until you do. The people who get thrown into the backseat somehow, at some level, always feel like they belong there.