1. You’ve overcome the irrational fears that plagued you as a child.
As a child, you couldn’t sleep without the comforting glow of a nightlight, you took running leaps onto your bed to keep your little toes from getting too close to the monsters under the bed, and spiders were tiny eight-legged devils that were out to get you. Now, you’ve debunked darkness and you’re more worried about your toes coming in contact with table legs than any monsters. While you never marked this as a significant transition in your life, eight-year-old you would be in awe by the Superman that you grew to be. (Though you still have that one Kryptonite fear, because you were completely right about spiders as a kid.)
2. You’ve overcome the rational fears, too.
As you grew, all those irrational fears were replaced with rational ones, like moving to a new school, going on your first date, and moving away from home, but you made it past all of those milestones. Sure, all those fears have been replaced with new fears like failure and tax audits, but you now have an innate confidence that you’ll surpass these fears too.
3. You can take care of yourself.
You finally mastered cooking (or at least have enough skill to survive) and laundry is a piece of cake. You spent the first eighteen years of your life wishing for a lock on your door, so the fact that you have a place of your own and are living your life the way you see fit is pretty amazing.
4. You’re exponentially closer to understanding who you are as an individual.
You’ll never know exactly who you are until the second before you die, but every day you embark on a journey to learn something new about yourself. You’ll discover a new band or try a new food, and be able to declare that this is who you are right now, and this is what you like, and you’re freaking great.
5. You can laugh at things that used to mortify you.
Remember that time in biology when you accidentally said “orgasm” instead of “organism”? You were sure that you would never recover from such an embarrassment, but now it’s a story that you tell to all your friends over beers and between laughs.
6. You’ve survived heartbreak.
Every substantial heartbreak feels like the ground is being pulled out from under you and you’re plummeting with no end in sight. Eventually, the ground reappears, you hit the ground hard, and you somehow pick yourself up and move on. It might take a month, or it could take a year or two, but you’ve done it.
7. You’re strong.
You’ve melted the hurdles of your past and forged them into armor. Your body is composed of every trauma, every insecurity, every speed bump you’ve ever encountered. It’s a muscle that’s taken a lifetime to strengthen, and now you’re ripped (figuratively at least, and hey, maybe literally).
8. You’re not done.
You’re chalk full of goals and aspirations. Your bucket list is constantly in flux as you check some items off and add new things daily. The fact that your life is still just as full of possibility and potential as it was ten years ago is enough to be massively proud of yourself. You’re fiercely living your life and that is something to be proud of every step of the way.