1. The biggest thing you need to accept is change.
To be human is to undergo constant metamorphosis. As much as you hate to hear it, it’s one of the greatest truths I’ve realized over the years. I used to fear change because I’ve always seen it as something disruptive. I feel a sense of melancholy wash over me every time I think about the people who were once constants in my life. Friends change, ambitions change, life changes, and there’s nothing we can do but to accept it wholeheartedly. We may not believe it right now, but change may make us better versions of ourselves. I know that God put me and you here (wherever you are in life) for a reason. Trust in that reason.
2. Learn how to forgive yourself.
You will hurt people you love and you will not like it. You will say stupid things and you will make reckless mistakes. Whenever I disappoint someone else, I always take it seriously. I blame myself for all the things I didn’t do and didn’t think of at the time. However, none of us is perfect. Learn how to forgive yourself for the times you didn’t reach your or other people’s expectations. Life is about making mistakes and still being brave enough to accept and learn from them.
3. Learn how to apologize.
Don’t let human pride get the best of you. When you do something wrong, learn to say “I’m sorry” and mean it. You’ll be shocked to see that those two words won’t actually damage your dignity and make you half the person you are. In fact, it will strengthen your spirit. So to all those people I’ve disappointed and brought down at some time in my life, I am sorry. I am sorry for not being there when you needed me. I am sorry for not trying harder. I hope you know that I’ve learned from my shortcomings.
4. It will all get better in time.
There will be days when you feel like your world is crashing down. Maybe you’ll find yourself basking in the darkness. Know that you’ll eventually find the need to step out of it. Just give it time. Soon you’ll see the beauty in everything once again. What once was empty will be full again. Time truly heals all wounds because everything obeys the command of time. But as for now, allow yourself to stay in the darkness until you’ve gathered all the strength you need. Take as long as you want.
5. Take refuge in art, music, and literature (or whatever you relate to the most).
One of the reasons I’ve decided to write this article is because I had nowhere to express myself. I believe every moment in my life, whether good or bad, can be encapsulated and represented in either lyrics of songs or even quotes from my favorite pieces of literature. When I have no one to turn to, I simply open my favorite book or plug in my speakers and sing to my favorite 90s songs. Let the words of the art change you, shape you, and inspire you.
6. Let it go.
There are some moments and experiences in life that we must learn to slowly loosen our grasp over. There are some things you can’t change no matter how much you want to. Don’t dwell over something that makes you unhappy and let your own misery slowly consume you. Things like this take time to heal. Once you’ve learned to let it go, celebrate all those sad moments in your life. It probably taught you a thing or two. You’ll be surprised at how much you’ve grown from it.
7. Learn how to appreciate nature.
I know we live in a world where we depend on technology so much. I’d like you to ponder a question. Have you ever tried taking a walk late in the afternoon and looking at the sky? I was caught in a predicament a few years back when I had nothing to do in the summer. I took a walk around my village for the first time in a long time. Ever since that day, I’ve made a hobby of strolling. There’s something about how the sun sets and how the clouds move that make you want to live a bit more. Over the years, I’ve realized that nature teaches you a lot about yourself. If you ever wonder why I enjoy walking so much, it is because I’ve found a friend in the stars, sun, and sky.
8. It’s OK to cry.
A few months back, one of the greatest teachers I’ve encountered in my life told my whole class that tears were symbols of strength. To this day, I believe in that statement so strongly. Tears do not equate to weakness. You don’t have to always pull yourself together the whole time. You don’t have to always have everything figured out. Don’t tell yourself to hold back the tears. Once they flow, it’s shows people that you are human and you are alive.
9. Practice empathy, sensitivity, and kindness.
I can’t stress enough how all these values are important if you want to live a meaningful life. There are so many people out there that you can lend a hand to. Even something as simple as greeting a stranger hello is enough to bring a little warmth in their life. Don’t ever think you’re superior to anyone just by how much you earn and how many things you own. Learn how to reach out to those who’ve gone astray. Understand someone’s story and put yourself in their shoes before you actually talk bad about a person. That is the secret to all the happiness in the world.
10. Don’t ever EVER give up (yes, this is an order).
If you have a dream or ambition, never think that ANYTHING is impossible. How do you think anyone has ever reached his goals by doubting himself? Study hard for the school you’ve always wanted to attend. Start that company you’ve always dreamed about. The only thing getting in the way between you and your dream is yourself.
11. Have fun once in a while. Don’t be selfish with your time.
The demands of everything now are heightened, but that shouldn’t stop you from catching up with your friends or spending time with your family. I know the feeling of drowning yourself in your own work, but then I realized I was missing out on so many things. Aside from your duties and responsibilities, remember to do the things that make you happy. Make time for your friends and family before it’s too late. Take adventures with your loved ones and discover yourself more. Learn how to actually LIVE.
12. Believe that you are beautiful.
I’ve had my own share of insecurities. People used to tease me a lot about how I looked. I was the girl people talked about for being too boyish or too messy. Until now, I am still the invisible girl people would pass by without even noticing. However, as I got older, I learned to let go of the notion that physical beauty will get me somewhere in life. I can’t say I’m completely confident about myself, but I can say that I’ve grown to love myself a little bit more. You should, too. Beauty is subjective. Embrace your uniqueness. Who cares if people say you look bad in this photo? If you think you look beautiful, post it.
13. Fitting in is so out of style.
Ironic, isn’t it? How I see it, you’re never really “cool” if you don’t learn how to live in your own skin. I used to think that if I liked whatever everyone else did, I would find my place in society. Surprisingly, I found my place by doing what I loved. Don’t make their mean comments influence your own interests. I think I’m speaking in behalf of a lot of people when I say I’d be happier to befriend someone who follows her own beliefs rather than tries to be someone she’s not.
14. What’s meant to be will always find a way.
Back when I entered high school, I had a set plan for myself, but life happened and I ended being in a place where I least expected myself to be. Don’t work yourself up too much in finding ways to keep people and opportunities. No matter how hard you fight it, if you were meant to be in this position at a certain time, life will find a way to bring you to that moment. God has His plans for all of us. We probably will never understand them until we reach a certain point in our lives.
15. Appreciate the love that you have now.
It took me a long time to realize that the love from my family and God is enough to sustain me forever. I was always in search of new friends, new loves. My friend once told me that there’s nothing wrong with wanting more love. I believe it’s a human instinct to incline toward wherever love is. However, appreciate the people who have always been there. Let them know you love them back. Don’t be so blinded by your search for more love that you don’t realize the people who have always loved you have been waiting for you to come back home.
16. Be open to learning.
When I was younger, what I thought I knew about life was only half of what life really was (but I’m still young, so I still probably don’t know much). Life is about constantly learning. You will never be too “experienced” in any field. There is always something new to learn every day.
17. Don’t ever think you’re walking alone.
One of the biggest mistakes I’ve made is thinking that I was facing my problems alone. I’d sometimes doubt God because I could never see Him. I always wondered if He was ever listening to my cries for help. Faith, on the other hand, is to believe even without actually seeing. I knew that my faith had to be stronger than my doubt. If ever you feel forlorn, know that God is always walking with you. He is always holding your hand, keeping you steady even if you’re on a tightrope. Don’t ever make the mistake of thinking that you are walking alone.
Thank you for allowing me to write all that I am in this article. I hope that wherever you are and whoever you may be, you somehow found joy in reading it. Cheers to life.