1. “It’s only a thing if you make it a thing.”
I didn’t realize the accuracy of this statement until I said it to a coworker a few weeks ago. In this sense, a thing is something that causes a negative reaction or outcome, whether it be personally or professionally. Now, there are things in life that are completely out of your control, but your reactions and how you choose to deal with these moments are 100% up to you. If you decide to let the words of others or certain moments define you or cripple you, it has officially become a “thing” in your life. Choose wisely on what you allow to impact your life. Decide if it’s worth mentioning or addressing. Choose to be better. Choose to rise above. Choose your “things” wisely.
2. “If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.” – Mark Twain
For my entire life, my mother always said one thing: “I’ll be much less mad at you if you tell the truth than if I find out you were lying later.” I’ve lived my life actively trying to live by these words. Have I failed? Yes. Many times. But by god, does Twain have a good point. The problem with lying (besides the obvious fact that it’s wrong) is that you have to remember them all. And in the wise words of my best friend, “The truth always comes out.” Save yourself the stress and tell the truth. If you have to lie about what you’ve done or said, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it in the first place. Just food for thought.
3. “It’s okay not to be okay.”
There will be many moments in your life where you are plainly and simply not okay. Some of these moments are easily explainable: a death, a failure, a heartbreak. Some of these moments aren’t so easy to explain. Perhaps you’re overthinking something or an old wound has reopened. Or maybe you just woke up and are having a rough day for reasons unbeknownst to you. Regardless of the reason, it is okay to not be okay. It’s okay to feel down and out whether it is explainable or not. Give yourself the freedom to have a bad day, because you’re only human.
4. “The good thing about rock bottom is that there is nowhere to go but up.”
Now, this is one I’ve always told myself when times get hard and I feel the weight of the world on my shoulders. A minor inconvenience is just that—minor. Plenty of other things can and will continue to push you down if you let them. But when you’ve hit rock bottom, try to remember that your lowest low can lead to your highest high. You officially have nowhere to go but up. My best advice? Feel everything: the pain, the sadness, the rejection. Once you’ve felt those things pick yourself up, dust yourself off and fight to live another day. It will get better if you give it time and put in the effort.
5. “Never let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” – Babe Ruth
Apply for the job. Try out for the sports team or debate club. Ask out the person you’ve had a crush on. Invite a new friend out for dinner. In life, you will hear the word no; you’ll probably hear it more than you hear the word yes. Do not let the fear of rejection keep you from living. Rejection hurts and will make you question yourself, your motives, and your capabilities. But let me remind you of one thing: You will NEVER hear the word yes if you don’t put yourself out there. So which will you choose?
6. “It’s okay if you only save one person in life and it’s okay if that person is you.”
I put this one last very intentionally, as it’s one that I feel to be extremely important. If you’re anything like me, you constantly feel the need to help others—financially, emotionally, and physically in any way that you can think of. It can be exhausting, and truthfully? Very unrewarding. It is important to remember that it is okay to save yourself. It is okay to say no if you don’t want to do something. It’s okay to bail on plans because you aren’t up to it. It’s okay to not reply to messages or phone calls if you don’t want to talk. At the end of the day, only you truly know what’s best for yourself. People will have opinions, they will give you guidance or “words of wisdom” that they swear will change your life. And sometimes sometimes. But don’t let the ideas of others dictate your entire life. Do you really want to wake up five years from now and not recognize the person you see in the mirror? Because if you live by other people’s words and expectations that could very well be where you end up. Have the courage to save yourself and forgive yourself for those you cannot save.