1. Always, always, always be kind.
Be kind to yourself and be kind to others. The world is a miserable place as it is; you don’t need to add to the misery. You were not raised to view the world with suspicion, to walk through life with your fists raised but with open arms and an open heart.
2. Be grateful.
3. Put yourself first.
Our needs are important and they matter. You did not spend all that time mending yourself only to rip your skin open all over again.
4. Do what makes you happy.
Chase your dreams. The only way to be successful is to live a life filled with joy and passion.
5. There will be bad days but you will get through them.
Chocolate always helps.
6. Learn to ignore the part of your brain that spews nothing but self-hatred.
You don’t need it. Come to terms with your anxiety—you cannot always control external affairs but you can control your own thoughts.
7. Nothing good ever comes out of feeling sorry for yourself.
8. Pettiness, hatred, holding grudges gets you nowhere.
All it does is weigh you down. Let it go; it’s not worth it.
9. Grieving is a long and tedious process; let yourself grieve.
Let the anger, the sadness, the frustration come. Let yourself hurt because that’s the only way you can become whole again. The wounds will heal; all it takes is a little bit of time.
10. DRINK LOTS OF WATER AND MOISTURIZE REGULARLY!!!!
11. All you need is 20 seconds of insane courage.
Let go of the fear that is holding you back from living the kind of life you want to live.
12. Pay attention. Be aware. Be present.
Don’t photograph a sunset but take it in, live in the moment. Life is in a constant state of flux; hang on to every single second because before you know it they’ll be gone.
13. Being vulnerable is not a bad thing.
14. It is not possible to live a life without any regrets.
Nothing is perfect in life, you just have to decide which imperfections you can live with. The regret is inevitable.
15. Prayer changes things.
16. Be kind to your parents.
Give them hugs and spend time with them; that’s all they want from you. Sometimes you’re too busy growing up to realize that they’re growing old, too.
17. No decision made after 2 AM is a good decision.
Trust me on this one.
18. Be nice to people but don’t force it.
Don’t be too focused on leaving your mark—people like me aren’t remembered but no matter what, your feet have still walked on these carpeted floors and fingers skirted across these wooden desks. Please remind yourself that what your hair looks like on a Sunday morning doesn’t matter; no one remembers class presentations and one day your nervous tremors will stop.
19. I have not yet learned 19 things.
It takes time to learn from the mistakes you make, and I’ve got plenty of learning and growing left to do.