I was talking to a friend the other day about how far we’ve come from our younger selves. I’ll admit it, I was a bit of a troubled youth. Oh, but I was good at lying about it. I had major self esteem issues. I had anxiety issues. I was very unhappy and unbalanced. I partied a lot – to a point where it was actually a problem because I was using it as an escape.
I suppose we all change as we grow up. But I could have gone down a different path. I could have let those problems escalate. But I didn’t – I changed. And I’ve learned a lot from it all.
You can’t control everything.
That was a big problem for me. With school, work, and even friendships, I wanted to know what was going to happen, and I wanted it to always go my way. It always caused me so much stress, because life just doesn’t work that way. It took me awhile to realize that I you can’t sweat the small stuff. And if you cannot change the outcome in a certain situation, then you have to just let it happen and face it head on – good or bad.
Take time for yourself.
I always struggled with being alone. It’s hard to enjoy your own company when you aren’t comfortable in your own skin. I was only happy when I had someone by my side. Someone I knew who liked me. It made up for how little I liked myself. But sometimes the best time is when you can be alone. Reflect on your day. Your feelings. And just content with silence. Peacefulness. Kicking back alone with a big cup of tea and enjoying absolute silence.. that’s perfection.
Beauty is not just physical.
I was so unsure of whether or not I was “beautiful”. But the problem was, I was basing my beauty off what is socially accepted. Tall, thin. Legs for miles. Blonde hair, blue eyes. Everything that I was not. It wasn’t until I was in university, studying women’s and gender studies where I realized that was not what beauty really was. It’s sad that it took me until then to realize this. But in those courses I not only learned that I was not alone with those feelings, but that there were so many people who would define me as beautiful. Beauty is not just skin deep. It goes to your inner core. Your personality, your morals, your hopes, your dreams. And if you don’t fit into society’s definition of beauty physically – guaranteed there is someone (and most likely, a whole bunch of someones) who would see you as their perfect definition of beauty. First you need to see that in yourself. It’s all about confidence, baby.
I know, it sounds silly. But believe me, it’s important. I’ve also always had anger problems. Temper problems. And as a very emotional person, sometimes it leads me to act irrationally and say things I’ll later regret. Sometimes you just need to stop, take a few deep breathes, and try approach things a little more calmly.
Talk it out.
I used to treat it like people could (or should) read my mind. Expected people to know what I wanted or needed. As you can imagine, in relationships that caused a whole lot of conflict. Sometimes I was scared to actually vocalize my problems. Scared of judgement, I think. But the best thing to happen was when I realized that saying it out loud was the only way to make it right. It didn’t mean it was always going to go my way, but if I spoke about those wants and needs, it wasn’t all up to me to make it happen. After all, in a relationship, it takes two.
Things work out in the end.
There’s no need to stress about the future. Take it day by day. And if it’s meant to be, it will. That was a big thing for me. Realizing that I needed to live in the moment more. Enjoy each day and know that no matter how a certain situation works out, it’s meant to happen. That’s not to say it doesn’t take work and effort to make things happen in life, but approaching it day by day is the key to a less stressful life.
I learn something new about myself each day. My likes, dislikes. My hopes and dreams. And I’m thankful for the lessons I learn from life. My successes, my failures. They all happen for a reason. And more and more, I’m figuring out how to make a happier me.